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Local veterinarians are seeing more cases of pot poisoning in pets in recent years

WSBT 22

More pets are getting sick after eating marijuana, and at least one dog has died from its side effects.

Calls about pot poisoning to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center are surging.

Local veterinarians are seeing cases of it, too. Dr. Lindsey Candey at Magrane Pet Medical Center says she wouldn’t be surprised if there are even more instances out there because people are embarrassed and choose to not bring their pet in for treatment. But she encourages all owners get their dog checked out if it’s suspected they could have eaten any marijuana.

They can exhibit signs of depression, fatigue, dribbling urine, low body temperature or a slow heart rate.

Further, if they get into a product with a higher concentration, more serious concerns are possible. Your pet may show signs of low blood pressure, agitation, seizures or even aspirate.

“The main thing is if you think that could’ve happened, call your veterinarian right away and be forthright about it," says Dr. Candey. "There’s nothing legally that we are going to do if this were to happen, especially as marijuana laws become a little bit more lax in all the states and what not. That helps a bunch, but we don’t care where this came from, how much of it, what the circumstances are. We just care that your pet gets better and so if that’s going to happen. Same thing for other embarrassing things like if your pet eats underwear or tampons or whatever, I promise you your veterinarian will not judge you. They will just want to help your pet and the sooner we can do that the better they can feel and the better we can do our job so I just tell people don’t be coy about it. Don’t be embarrassed. It happens. We’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. So don’t worry about that so much.”

The good news -- Dr. Candey says with monitoring and treatment, most dogs should be just fine. She says the best thing to do to prevent your dog from getting a hold of pot while you’re out and about is by using a shorter, non-retractable leash. That offers more control over what your pet is doing.

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