Beware of pot around pets
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
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.