GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Veterinarians in West Michigan say they are seeing an uptick in pets showing up after consuming marijuana.
Some of the animal hospitals that spoke with FOX 17 Thursday say they are seeing about 1 dog each day coming in showing what appears to be a neurological condition, when really the dog has just eaten some pot.
“We've actually seen that quite a bit over the last few years actually with it just being more more accessible to people,” Dr Marcia Carpenter of Family Friends Veterinary Hospital said.
“A lot of times they'll be really sedate or lethargic. They can be wobbly when they walk, less commonly they can be agitated, but oftentimes they'll say the dog looks like it's drunk.”
It's a scary situation for pet owners. One that the Wass family went through last week.
“I was afraid she was going to die," Rita Wass told FOX 17 Thursday.
“My husband I had gone out to dinner. And when we got back a little bit before 9:00, my daughter carried her out to greet us and set her down on the floor."
Their dog Tiny was moving slow and seemed completely out of it.
“Just very still and kind of this weird look on her face and I thought maybe she just needs to go out. She's desperate to go out. So we brought her outside and she kind of stood there,” Rita said.
After going back and forth between several veterinarians who were so busy they wouldn't be able to see Tiny for several hours, the pup got in to see someone at BluePearl Pet Hospital.
“They finally called back and said, Well, she's exhibiting a neurological condition. Her heart rate has dropped, her reaction time is really low. It's like she's suffered from some neurological toxin,” Rita said.
Tiny had gotten sick late Thursday but was feeling better by Friday evening. "She was eating... She was fine, but it was scary," Rita said.
Rita says there was no way that Tiny picked up the marijuana from inside their home. Telling FOX 17, "Not in our house!"
She says there has been all kinds of new foot traffic near their homes and worry somebody may have dropped the end of a joint or something else, leaving it for Tiny to scoop up.
While it's a scary situation for any pet owner, Dr Carpenter says that for the most part dogs will be just fine.
“Worst case scenario, they might actually go into a coma. Those dogs might need to be hospitalized for, you know, 24 to 36 hours and have a little bit more aggressive supportive care. But, you know, those cases are pretty rare.... most times they get into an amount that's just going to affect them mildly, Dr Carpenter said.
Dr Carpenter says if you can't get your pet in to see a veterinarian quickly, you should call the Animal Poison Control line. There is a fee for calling but they are very experienced in dealing with situations like these.