Colorado Pooches Get the Munchies

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 11:54 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Veterinarians in pot-legal Colorado are warning pet owners: Be careful, your dogs get the munchies too!

Curious canines are chewing on cannabis cakes and hash brownies and getting their own Rocky Mountain High, ABC News reports.

More pets than ever are being brought into the state's clinics and emergency animal hospitals, suffering from marijuana poisoning after they've eaten the pot snacks.

According to Bri Pasko, of the VRCC Emergency Hospital in Englewood, Colo.,before marijuana was legalized in the state, vets only saw an occasional incident.

Now they're seeing between 2-3 cases a week of pets eating the pot edibles, with 97 percent of those cases involve dogs.

Story continues below video.


ABC Entertainment News

But Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, of the VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver says there have also been cases of a stoned iguana and a baked turtle.

Fitzgerald says he is now seeing cases on average every other day.

Marijuana edibles is that they're prepared like other foods, except cannabis oil is added to recipes. So the brownies, cookies and other foods taste like any other sweet treat, but have high doses of TCH, the chief psychoactive substance in marijuana.

And with legalization, there are more pot-laced edibles on the market — even beef jerky is being sold with cannabis oil added.

But it's not a party when dogs and other animals eat the laced foods. High levels can lead to seizures and even death. Vets say that dogs with dilated eyes, hypersalivation and that appear drunk may have gotten into their owners' stashes.

"The problem is a person will have one brownie, but a dog gets up on the counter and eats the whole tray," said Fitzgerald. "Their natural instinct is to gorge."

Pot also takes a long time to get out of a dog's system, he said. An average person can be clean in 24-26 hours, but the drug can take three to four days to pass through a dog's system.

Baked marijuana edibles also often include chocolate, which is highly toxic for dogs, says WebMD

Vets say pet owners should hide their pot edibles in air-tight containers, and call the local poison center if they suspect their dog has gotten to them.

"There’s no antidote for marijuana," said Fitzgerald. "The only way we treat is just be supportive, we watch for seizure and measure body temp and then put them on fluids to try and expel it quicker."

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