Be­ware of pot around pets

Ottawa Citizen - - LETTERS -

On Oct. 6, we were walk­ing our two-and-a-half-year-old, 25-kg golden re­triever named An­nie near Man­otick Pub­lic School, when we no­ticed that she had her nose down in the grass. We couldn’t see any­thing, but within sec­onds, she found some­thing and ate it.

About an hour later, An­nie was lethar­gic, could not stand or fo­cus and did not seem to rec­og­nize or re­spond to us: she was in an alarm­ing state. We rushed her to the Ot­tawa An­i­mal Emer­gency & Spe­cialty Hospi­tal in Over­brook. Staff con­firmed this was a clas­sic pre­sen­ta­tion of mar­i­juana tox­i­c­ity, which they now see ev­ery week.

For­tu­nately, An­nie im­proved steadily over the course of the evening, and will make a full re­cov­ery. It was nonethe­less a very stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for all of us, and it could have been much more se­ri­ous — po­ten­tially fa­tal — had she been a small dog.

An­i­mals can be poi­soned by mar­i­juana through in­gest­ing “ed­i­bles” and eat­ing the prod­uct in a joint or residue from a smoker. The most com­mon signs in­clude se­da­tion, lethargy, di­lated pupils or glazed eyes, dif­fi­culty walk­ing and drib­bling of urine. Tremors, seizures and/or a coma may oc­cur. Signs of tox­i­c­ity can last up to sev­eral days, de­pend­ing on the amount con­sumed and the an­i­mal’s weight.

Drop­ping the re­mains of a joint or edi­ble at the side of the road (or in a pub­lic park), or toss­ing it out a car win­dow, can pose a sig­nif­i­cant risk to dogs, cats and other mam­mals (such as rab­bits and squir­rels). This threat is likely to in­crease in the com­ing months. While as own­ers, we are re­spon­si­ble for our pet’s health and safety, you can help keep all chil­dren and pets safe, by keep­ing cannabis prod­ucts out of their reach and dis­pos­ing of them prop­erly.

Jeff & Mar­garet Rowe, Man­otick

BOB TYM­CZYSZYN

Be care­ful where you drop the rem­nants of that spliff. Cannabis can be toxic to some an­i­mals, as one Man­otick cou­ple dis­cov­ered while out walk­ing their dog ear­lier this month.

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