Veterinarians in Washington say there has been an uptick in the number of canine patients arriving dangerously stoned over the last year. After the recreational use of marijuana was legalized in the state, clinics like the Pacific Avenue Animal Hospital in Tacoma have begun seeing as many as 30 dogs a month in need of treatment for THC exposure.
"A busy week, I've seen 10-12 cases," Vet Nathanial Stewart tells news station KHOU. "I saw a Beagle once that ate an entire zip-lock baggie full of marijuana buds."
The increasing availability of edibles, marijuana-infused confections that mask the taste of pot, may be to blame for many of these new cases. Dogs who might otherwise have no interest in weed in its basic form have a harder time resisting what looks and smells like a normal treat.
And a lack of self-control can be dangerous. Veterinarians say around 3 grams of THC per kilogram of a dog's weight is the minimum lethal dose. Even smaller amounts can trigger seizures and put pets into a coma.
Vets recommend that dogs suspected of having eaten pot be taken to an animal clinic immediately for treatment. And pet owners should be reminded to keep edibles and other marijuana products out of reach of their pets.