Dude, Where's My Kennel?

While not surprising to many observers, the recent legalization of marijuana for recreational use in the states of Colorado and Washington has brought with it some unintended consequences.

And it's become increasingly evident that a Rocky Mountain High is not a good thing these days for the canine population in The Centennial State.

Veterinarians in Colorado are reporting a surge in the number of dogs brought for treatment after ingesting edible forms of pot, such as cookies, brownies and butter. And, because a dog's metabolism is significantly different than a humans', they feel the effects of marijuana much longer, and far more intensely.

Further, marijuana poisoning in dogs can cause disorientation, seizures and temporary comas, vets say. And, unlike with humans, the symptoms in dogs can last for days — up to 4 — instead of just a matter of hours.

As a result, when owners see their dogs stumbling and glassy-eyed, they often panic, believing the situation could be life-threatening to their best friends.

Some vets say they're treating several cases involving dogs ingesting pot-laced products daily. "We see dogs stoned out of their minds for days. They're a mess," Tim Hackett, director of the ColoradoStateUniversity veterinary teaching hospital, recently told USA Today. "The pot goes in cookies and butters. Dogs love that stuff, and they won't eat just one.

One vet tech interviewed for the USA Today article mentioned that when first questioned, many owners deny there was pot in the house until veterinarians recommend a series of expensive tests to rule out more exotic causes. "That's when they come clean," said Chynel Dobbs with Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in suburban Denver.

It's not large amounts of pot buds that threaten pooches, because they're generally not attracted to the dried plant. But when it becomes an aromatic delicacy left where they can access it, well, that's different. Any dog owner knows that!


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