JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Veterinarians see more and more dogs overdosing on marijuana, especially edibles containing high levels of THC.
Channel 2’s Tom Regan was at the Newtown Dream Dog Park in Johns Creek where in some serious cases, a dog can suffer seizures.
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The director of ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, tells Channel 2 Action News that cannabis toxicity cases involving dogs have risen sharply in recent years.
“We have had an increase of almost 7,000 in the last five years and 11% last year. The increase is mostly in chocolate bars, brownies, and gummies that contain THC,” said ASPCA Animal Poison Control Director.
The surge in emergency calls and veterinary visits coincides with the growing legalization of marijuana in many states. Even in states where recreational marijuana use isn’t legal, more people are buying and consuming marijuana products.
Unfortunately, dogs are getting hold of some of the products and getting sick.
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Veterinary doctor Rob Lafferty says he’s seeing more four-legged patients showing up dazed and confused with their owners at his Alpharetta practice. Many of the animals have urinary incontinence.
“They are just peeing. They’re just stoned and wobbly,” said Lafferty.
He recalled the story of one dog who had eaten five cannabis gummies.
“We nicknamed the dog Cheech and Chong because he was out like a light. But he was alright. Gave him some fluids,” said Lafferty.
Some dogs can suffer potentially serious health risks from consuming large quantities of high-potency marijuana products.
“If they get a big dose, they can get hypertension, or their blood pressure can go down seizures. There’s no antidote for marijuana toxicity,” said Lafferty.
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At Newtown Dog Park in John’s Creek, dog owners said if people really love their dogs, they should put pot products far out of reach.
“To hear people are irresponsible and leave them out and the dog gets them. That’s awful,” said Phil Greenspon.
“Something so small, can knock a person out and it’s going to do even worse to a dog,” said Natalie DeLaguardia.
Animal advocates say in some states, including New York, dogs overdose after eating the remnants of marijuana joints discarded on the ground.
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