As marijuana use continues to become more and more mainstream, the number of dogs who are accidentally getting high is also on the rise. And, contrary to what you thought in college, dogs make terrible stoners since weed-laced edibles or cannabis butter can make them confused, uncoordinated or comatose for days.
Today's Chronicle reports on the recent uptick in dogs with the munchies:
As one veterinarian put it, our dogs are "munching out." Dogs are known to be indiscriminate eaters, going after paper, trash, random objects on the street and, now, their best friend's cannabis.
The Pet Poison Hotline, which takes calls from around the country and Canada, noted a 200 percent increase in reported incidents of poisoning in the past five years. Dr. Lori Green, a critical care veterinarian at the San Francisco SPCA Veterinary Hospital, says the clinic treats as many as three dogs a week for symptoms of marijuana toxicity: trembling, vomiting and walking troubles.
"There's been an increase as marijuana becomes more acceptable in public and less of an underworld thing," said Dr. Karl Jandrey, an assistant clinical professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where the animal hospital treated 27 dogs for pot poisoning in the past year, up from four in 2010.
With edibles becoming a more common THC delivery system, dogs are finding it much easier to get high by stealing their owner's brownies and crackers. Unfortunately, their dog livers can't metabolize THC, which means the effects aren't so much euphoria and couchlock, but more like vomiting and loss of bladder control. THC poisoning in dogs is rarely fatal, but there have been a few local cases where dogs have ingested enough cannabutter to overdose. Homeopathic home veterinarians are also attempting to treat their pet's pain with pot biscuits, tinctures and vapors — none of which are recommended by actual vets at this point.
Speaking of veterinarians, a KTVU story from earlier this year also checked in with Bay Area vets who have been seeing a jump in emergency visits due to sky-high pets: