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RCMP warns dog owners on the dangers of ingesting cannabis…

The BC RCMP would like to remind all pet owners and, in particular, dog owners to exercise caution when allowing their pets to roam outdoors and off-leash.

Recently, an off-duty member of the Roving Traffic Unit/Specialty Police Service Dog section (RTU/SPSD) was walking his (now retired) service dog Whiskey in an off-leash recreational area. Even though Whiskey is retired, he still has a nose for the drugs he was trained to detect. Whiskey found and partially consumed a substance believed to be shatter (a form of marijuana concentrate) causing him to go into marijuana toxicity.

The officer quickly transported Whiskey to a veterinarian where he was treated for marijuana toxicity and is expected to make a full recovery. The substance Whiskey consumed was sent to the Health Canada laboratory for analysis and it was confirmed that the substance was Cannabis.

In the 2016 International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, veterinarians discussed the issue of marihuana toxicity in dogs and came to several conclusions:

1. The potency of marihuana has increased substantially over the last 25 years;
2. Marijuana exposure to pets is commonly from edibles;
3. Dogs are at increased risk of dying if exposed to higher concentration forms of marijuana, like edibles (there are documented cases of this happening);
4. Marijuana toxicity may cause low blood pressure, coma and aspiration pneumonia; and
5. There is no antidote for marijuana intoxication.

In light of this experience, the officer wanted to alert pet owners to the dangers their dogs could face when wandering off-leash. Dogs are naturally curious and will let their nose and taste buds guide them without realizing the dangers they are exposed to. Pet owners are reminded to keep a watchful eye on their four-legged friends and, where possible, keep them on a leash and make sure they do not eat anything other than yummy dog treats!

More information can be found here: Vet warns of marijuana poisoning in dogs and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Written and released by BC RCMP.

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PJXM News is a small citizen media out of Prince George, BC. PJXM dishes out Police news from BC's Central Interior and up to the Peace Region.
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