Marijuana made our dog sick

 Keep sweet toxins from pets

If you read Keep Sweet Toxics from Pets, you know our dog Sydney had an emergency Vet visit. Sydney had all the signs of poisoning. His ears remained down. He showed no interest in being his usual social self. He would not drink water. Worst of all, he kept jerking back as if we might hit him. We worried he had eaten something toxic, but we did not have a clue as to what.

Canine reactions after ingesting a toxin

He behaved like dogs do when they lap up radiator fluid. Whatever had happened to our dog, it looked life threatening. We located the nearest 24-hour veterinarian hospital, we rushed over. After waiting two hours, biting our nails, and worrying like crazy, a Vet examined him and ran tests. She said, “The good news is that your dog will be fine in a few days. You must keep him from falling off beds and sofas and away from pools of water. He tested positive for THC.”

Our dog ingested marijuana. REALLY?

  • But how could he have gotten the drug?
  • We do not use drugs.
  • We do not have friends who do.
I feel horrible. I can't drink or eat.
Sick as a dog

Medical marijuana is legal in the state of California. Local teens and adults believe if marijuana is legal and used as pain management, then it must okay. The next morning after searching outside our fence, Marc found brightly colored and shiny Swisher wrappers. Our guess is that someone tossed “weed” wrapped inside sweetened tobacco leaf into the yard. Of course, we could not see anything, but Sydney like most dogs loves sweets. Wrapped in a sweetened tobacco leaf it must have smelled yummy to him.

Local reasoning among teens and young adults tends to go like this. “After-all if marijuana grows here and people smoke and eat it. It’s natural and organic.”


This drug contains 60 active ingredient toxic to pets. THC is the most toxic. All of these 60 active toxins, especially THC, cause the same reactions in dogs as poisoning. Those dogs stumbling around in YouTube videos do not experience being high. The toxins in the drug make dogs feel anxious, fearful and like vomiting. “Cannabis also has great therapeutic potential and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. However, cannabinoid-derived drugs on the market today lack specificity and produce many unpleasant side effects, thus limiting therapeutic usefulness.”  Cannabis: pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans by Adams IBMartin BR.


Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298, USA.

People who work to make marijuana legal comment on YouTube that the dogs are “high” and that very few dogs die. Nearly all dogs that ingest cannabis have been helped by veterinarians.

  • Get the facts
  • Get informed.
  • Read scientific research on marijuana.
  • Ingesting sweetened baked cannabis increases side effects in pets.
  • Dogs exposed to marijuana smoke need medical care.

Dogs may vomit and need hydration

"...technicians working at other (Vet) clinics are reporting an increase in toxic reactions to marijuana. Meanwhile, cases in Colorado have quadrupled over the past six years in strong correlation to the number of registered medical marijuana users there. And, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen cases nationwide triple over the past decade.

While ingesting marijuana is not usually fatal for dogs (only 2 percent during the six-year Colorado study), Waldrop said it can have dramatic effects, including depression, tremors, twitching, wobbliness, vomiting, coma and more.

She said owners should immediately take their dogs to a vet if they see any of those signs. Dogs may need IV fluids, anti-nausea medications and other treatments."

"Don't wait to bring your dogs in," Waldrop said. "The reason these dogs end up OK is because vets intervene." 

They often choke because their gag reflex is paralyzed by the drug.

What not to do when a dog ingests marijuana
  • Never force a dog to drink or eat.
  • Never let a dog sleep it off alone because that dog is scared to death. The drug raises anxiety and fear.
  • Dogs that have ingested marijuana fall off furniture, stairs, etc.
  • Dogs drown in ponds or pools under the toxic effects.
  • Get the dog to a Vet A.S.A.P. because that dog is in danger of dehydrating, choking and hurting itself due to lack of coordination.

Once people thought that a safe level of radiation could be determined. Now research shows no safe level exists. Not for unborn babies, children or adults. Get the facts on marijuana ingestion and inhalation for dogs. Do the research and you will find, like I did. Marijuana inhibits a dog’s gag reflex, so he can’t swallow. He needs to be given an injection of water under his skin in just the right place so his body can absorb it. The water helps flush toxins out. Without water, the dog is at risk of dehydration.

This is why all veterinarians should now drug test dogs for THC.

There is no safe level of marijuana for pets.

Please help educate others. Dogs can find sweetened drugs on the ground in parks, baked “medicinal marijuana” in visitors’ handbags or THC laced oils and butter left in kitchens.

Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French

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