Pooch ate your pot stash? Hazards of marijuana poisoning in dogs

As Canada moves towards legalizing marijuana, more dogs and cats could end up accidentally ingesting the drug.

Secondhand smoke can also be a problem

Dog owners should be aware the risks that marijuana poses to their pets, according to veterinarian Dr. Ted Morris. (CBC)

As Canada moves towards legalizing marijuana, more dogs could end up accidentally ingesting the drug. 

That is the warning coming from Dr. Ted Morris, a veterinarian who was a guest on CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend.

People do not like to admit that their dog might have got into some pot. We are not the pot police. We just want to get your dog better.- Dr. Ted Morris

"It's definitely not an epidemic, but I would say a few times a year. Long weekends when everyone is partying is when we tend to see the most of them," Morris said.

Secondhand smoke can become a problem if a dog is in a room where several people are smoking, but Morris explained that ingesting marijuana continues to be the biggest culprit of illness.

"Dogs who are eating either the owner's pot stash or, if they're really small, eating some roaches or butts from the ashtrays. The worst poisonings I've seen have been when dogs have got into pot butter."

What are the symptoms?

Dr. Morris said the biggest challenge in treating dogs is diagnosing them in the first place. (CBC)

A dog experiencing the effects of marijuana will be wobbly on their feet, have enormous pupils, a slow heart rate and will frequently urinate. The symptoms will usually begin 30 minutes after a dog has consumed the pot and can last up to a few days depending on the amount in their system.

Dr. Morris said the biggest challenge in treating dogs and cats is diagnosing the issue in the first place.

"People do not like to admit that their dog might have got into some pot. We are not the pot police. We just want to get your dog better."

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend