Vancouver dog owner warns of cannabis hazard after pup ingests marijuana at local park
Video shows the worrying effects THC ingestion had on a Vancouver dog owner's beloved pup.
A Vancouver dog owner is warning fellow dog parents to be extra careful in local parks after her dog became ill from ingesting marijuana earlier this week.
Despite watching her pup 'obsessively closely' while out for walks locally, this is the third time that Ceci's dog Tantissimo has suffered the toxic effects of THC in the past 6 months, which is why she is telling dog owners to be extra diligent when out with their dogs.
The latest incident took place on April 20, and Ceci believes it happened while she was walking her 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel around Queen Elizabeth Park or nearby residential areas. "It was totally unexpected because it’s one of the cleanest places for taking Tantissimo to walks and we’ve been there plenty of times with no issues. Maybe the cherry blossom season brought out more visitors over the weekend than usual," suggests Ceci.
Ceci tells OhMyDog! about the symptoms her beloved dog suffered due to the incident which included a bobbing head, confusion, vomiting, and urinary incontinence. "He was hypersensitive and would freak out over small movements, and he couldn't keep his eyes open. He also had a low appetite and skipped dinner - very unusual for a dog who loves eating," she recalls. In a bid to raise awareness of the worrying effects that THC can have on dogs, Ceci shared a video to 28.5k followers on Tantissimo's popular Instagram account, where the tiny pup can be seen looking extremely drowsy and bobbing his head uncontrollably.
"Third time in 6 months"
This incident was the 3rd time Tantissimo has accidentally ingested marijuana in the city, with the previous incidents happening around False Creek Seawall and Science World. "The first time this happened was the scariest. I ran with him in my arms to the Emergency at the nearest vet hospital. The vet sees this presentation so frequently that she was almost certain he had marijuana poisoning, which was then confirmed with a urine test." recalls Ceci. "He was discharged after an hour or two of monitoring. I took him home, kept him hydrated, and had to keep changing his pee pads overnight. So far, fortunately, his symptoms have tended to subside over 9-12 hours. But I wouldn’t say he’s entirely back to normal until maybe 24hrs."
Despite watching Tantissimo obsessively closely when they go for walks, Ceci has never actually seen her pup ingest a discarded joint, which is what she describes as the hardest part, as even the tiniest amounts of cannabis left around can make dogs sick.
This is why she is sharing her story with OhMyDog! and calling for both marijuana users, and local dog owners to be extra careful. "For people who consume marijuana, please make sure to keep them away from your dogs, stash them safely at home and don’t litter on the streets. I’m working hard to train Tantissimo to walk without eating flowers and garbage off the ground, but please be careful and think about the dangers."
And what does Tantissimo have to say? “I pick up my poop, so please pick up your pot!”
The effects of marijuana on your dog
Marijuana can be lethal for dogs when a large amount has been ingested and according to the BC SPCA, THC, the psychoactive component of pot, can cause "seizures, coma and even death" in pets, with smaller dogs being at greatest risk because of their faster metabolism. On its website, the BC SPCA also share that if your dog ingests marijuana, they may display the following symptoms which can last from 30 minutes, to multiple days:
Dilated pupils or glassed over eyes
Loss of balance
Changes in blood pressure
Abnormal heart rhythm
Body temperature too high or low
If your dog has been exposed to marijuana, call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately.