Vets seeing more dogs on drugs

Langley vet says she treats at least one dog a month that ingests pot

In the last couple years, veterinarians have seen an increase in the number of dogs that have ingested harmful drugs, mainly marijuana.

“We have seen a notable increase in the last few years of dogs coming to the hospital having ingested pot. We get at least one per month,” said Langley veterinarian, Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountainview Veterinary Hospital.

“Unfortunately, it is becoming common that dogs eat pot or drugs while out on a walk or at a park,” she said.

“The most important message from vets is that if you think your pet has consumed any drugs, either recreational or your prescription, get them to your vet as soon as possible and be 100 per cent honest about what you think they’ve ingested,” said Ferguson.

“We are not here to judge or lecture you or contact authorities, all we want to do is help your pet.”

The warning comes after a Surrey pet owner rushed her senior dog to hospital because it had a serious reaction after ingesting cocaine and marijuana at Tynehead Park July 28.

“Marijuana is not a major attractant for all dogs, but certainly dogs that like to sniff stuff out and eat it are at a much higher risk of ingesting it,” said Ferguson.

That Surrey dog owner is warning others.


Hours after a trip to a popular north Surrey park, Will Cooper’s 15-year-old shepherd cross Bran suffered a drug overdose.

Cooper shared his story in the hope another furry friend doesn’t have to suffer like his has.

“Last night, I went on a walk with my wife and my two dogs in the Tynehead Park area of Surrey, B.C. This was a great place to take them, as it was a nice shady area with access to the river and streams.…. We did not notice the effects until later that evening,” Cooper wrote in a Facebook post, describing his “fury” over what transpired.

Bran soon suffered what they thought was a seizure, “going from practically comatose to alert and wide awake almost at the flick of a switch. One nervous night later and we took him to the vet this morning,”

“Samples were taken and we find out that he has a large amount of marijuana and cocaine in his system.”

At Mountainview Veterinary Hospital, staff can quickly test for THC or other drugs in the dog’s system.

Mountainview has provided a list of symptoms that may indicate a pet has consumed marijuana:

• Anxiety, panting, and agitation *however* in some pets it results in significant lethargy bordering on unconsciousness;

• Impaired balance (staggering, stumbling falling);

• Drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur;

• Some pets may lose bowel and bladder control;

• Extreme response to sensory stimulation such as noises, movement, light. Their response may be trembling, jerking of the head or their legs; and, in severe cases the pet may have a reaction similar to a seizure.

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