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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Public service announcement. This week we were at our cabin in the middle of the woods in Northern Michigan. Took Shofar on a long hike after breakfast, all was normal. Got home and she settled in for the usual nap. I got a little concerned when she was still sleeping three hours later, so I tried to wake her up but she was OUT. I made her get up and she could hardly stand; she couldn't even keep her head up. Walking was uncoordinated and I began to suspect something was very wrong neurogically. We went immediately to the closest Emergency Vet (1.5 hours away), one of the most stressful drives of my life. After a few hours, we got the diagnosis: Marijuana poisoning. Seems she came across something on our walk, and although I never saw her eating anything, who can keep up with all the exploring a pup does on a 3 Mike walk in the woods?
Now marijuana is legal in Michigan, and although I do not use any drugs, I am okay with the free legal choices of other adults. But to find out that my dog could be poisoned by somebody else's weed was alarming. To make matters worse, the ER vet said it is so common that they see it several times a week!
Symptoms were ataxia, lethargy, decreased heart rate and respiration, intolerance to having their head touched, and dribbling urine. Shofe exhibited all of these. Be careful out there!
Dog Comfort Carnivore Dog breed Liver
 

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yikes. poor baby. hopefully she recovers soon and no long term consequences. it is not legal in Texas, but actually one of my fears during our off leash walks that my boys would find anything like that....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She was back to her usual happy, energetic self the next day. Thank God. The vet said that the effects last about 8-12 hours with no need for further follow up, and that there are very few fatalities from marijuana. Just let them sleep it off, basically. Which is good news. But to see a Vizsla down for the count like that was terrible. They are so full of life, and seeing them any other way is so unnerving.
 

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Our Springer has a penchant for the reefer.... there's no long term issues but it is sad to see them so discombobulated.
 
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We had the same issue when Bella was about 6 months old. Symptoms as described: sudden unexplained incontinence, wobbly to falling with shaky legs, dilated pupils, general dopiness. It was a weekend evening, so we called the emergency vet. Their phone diagnosis was that it matched marijuana consumption. This seemed unlikely, as we have none in the house, but we had spent the afternoon with her at a semi-popular local swimming hole.

Since they seemed confident in their diagnosis, and since it was night and they were a 2+ hour drive away, we decided to assume that they had diagnosed correctly. One additional test they suggested was a "flinch test": push your hand quickly toward the dogs eyes and observe that she flinches severely backward. Presumably they were right: she was significantly better by the next morning, and fully back to normal after 24-30 hours.

Our best guess is that she found something with THC in it at the swimming hole and scarfed it down when we didn't notice: either a partial joint, or a dropped edible. The good part is that although marijuana can't be said to be "safe" for dogs, they do tend to recover completely without treatment as long as you can keep them from injuring themselves or choking on vomit. Definitely scary symptoms if you don't have any explanation, though.
 

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Not sure why people can carry something into a wooded area, but not carry it back out. This has been a big pet peeve of mine, even before the marijuana problem.
There’s enough things in nature that we have to worry about, without lazy people adding to it.
So glad she is back to herself.
 

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Our male got into some a while back..Not sure where. Trip to the emergency vet. A few hours and he was fine.

When I was at emergency vet a few days ago for the Muskrat encounter there was a lab stumbling around. After a few hours he was doing pretty good.

They will find and eat anything!
 

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@TrumpetBlast and others, who have had experience with this problem... THANK YOU for bringing it to everyone's attention!

Here in NYS, with the recent legalization to possess, sell and grow marijuana, I'd never thought of it being a problem, being I don't use or possess.

Aly (now 18 moths old) and I frequent numerous state parks and other "fun" areas. Aly has a tendency of liking to "eat salad" (how I refer to her eating vegetation).

Again, Thanks for the PSA!! "As if we don't have enough to worry about..." when raising a vizsla! LOL
 
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Glad your pup is A-OK. Did the vet talk about how much cannabis it would take to cause such effects? I'm thinking people are discarding joints with some left inside but I'd think that was a tiny amount. Or are people leaving substantial amounts of weed laying around? Here in NC its not legal, so hopefully I won't have to worry about it. Boggles my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Glad your pup is A-OK. Did the vet talk about how much cannabis it would take to cause such effects? I'm thinking people are discarding joints with some left inside but I'd think that was a tiny amount. Or are people leaving substantial amounts of weed laying around? Here in NC its not legal, so hopefully I won't have to worry about it. Boggles my mind.
The vet only mentioned how the amount consumed definitely will determine how long they are incapacitated. In our case, she was coming around by the time she was seen by the vet, so she probably only had a relatively small amount. I think the danger would really be in marijuana that was laced with an even stronger drug. Even just a few grains of Fentanyl can be fatal. Don't mean to be alarming, but my husband is a Leo and when they see fentanyl at crime scenes they have to fully suit up so they aren't exposed.
Right now in Northern Michigan, spring is slow in coming and there is not much growing in the woods. And being that we stayed on the trail, I can't believe it was an actual marijuana 'grow'. More likely just the leftovers from someone's personal stash. I always look out for people's gum when we are in the city (xylitol and all), but I didn't think I'd have to worry just as much in the woods!
 

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We are in Orange County, CA, where marijuana is legal. This same thing happened to our girl when she was just six months old. She must have picked it up from the lawn surrounding the playground we were at with our grandchildren. Exact symptoms as described. The most disturbing parts were that it was at a playground full of children, and that when we took her quickly to the vet they immediately knew what was wrong because they see it so often.
 
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