Apr 16, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon
Animal Rights

Dogs Dying from Marijuana Use in Colorado

“Stoner Dogs” sounds pretty funny right? Well it is, in theory. But in reality, it isn’t.

According to reports out of Denver, the popularity of medical marijuana in the state of Colorado has unintended side effects, including dogs getting high off their owner’s supply — sometimes with deadly results.

You see, dogs are different than humans. When we ingest large amounts of weed, we get really high. When dogs ingest large amounts of weed, they get really high … and then they (sometimes) die.

Dr. Stacy Meola, a veterinarian, says the number of dogs that have gotten really sick because of marijuana has quadrupled in Colorado since medical marijuana became legalized in the state.

Some people believe that if weed can help people, then it can also help their pets. It’s also funny to watch your dog stumble around and go HAM on his kibbles and bits because he’s stoned as a mutha.

But Dr. Meola and other vets are warning that marijuana can be very harmful, and sometimes toxic, for dogs.

“They basically have lost a lot of their fine motor control, they have a wide-based stance and they are not sure on their feet,” veterinarian Dr. Debbie Van Pelt explained to CBS 4 Denver. “There are huge spikes in the frequency of marijuana ingestion in places where it’s become legal.”

The vets warn pet owners to be careful about smoking and even having weed around their canine friends.

Most of the time veterinarians say dogs get the medical marijuana by eating their owners food products that are laced with marijuana that were left out in the open. More and more dispensaries sell those kinds of products.

“I just want dogs, kids to be safe. It needs to be treated like any other drug. If you came home with a prescription of vicodin from your doctor you wouldn’t just leave it sitting there,” veterinarian Dr. Stacy Meola said.

Meola says at least two dogs who ate pot brownies cooked with medical grade weed butter in them died, but noted that that’s the exception. (Editor’s note: Chocolate is also lethal to dogs, so that could have also played a major role.)

Most of the time the dogs will show symptoms like staggering, lethargy, vomiting and being overly sensitive to sound and light. Sometimes they can fall into a coma.

It’s basically the equivalent of a “bad trip” for dogs. But fortunately, marijuana ingestion is rarely fatal to dogs, and after treatment, most are back to normal within 24 hours.

While the “dogs high on weed” videos on YouTube are wildly popular, and the “Stoner Dog” meme is growing, Colorado veterinarians are warning pet owners that, although most dogs survive, ingesting marijuana can be life-threatening to dogs.

“We need people to realize it is potentially toxic and potentially fatal to their pets,” said Dr. Van Pelt.

Veterinarians say when sick dogs come in, pet owners are usually reluctant to admit medical marijuana could have been the cause.

They say getting to the bottom of what’s wrong with your dog in a timely fashion is critical for them, so they are urging pet owners to fess up and admit that their dogs have ingested or inhaled marijuana so that they can be properly treated.

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