U.S. dogs getting high on marijuana

Weird looking dog illustration 
By: Eva Fett 

More U.S. dogs are now getting high on their owner’s marijuana stash, according to a recent study.

Dogs getting high on marijuana are a growing problem in states like Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal.

Veterinarians said it used to be a rare problem, which is increasing at an alarming rate, and the results can be deadly.

"There are huge spikes in the frequency of marijuana ingestion in places where it has become legal," veterinarian Dr. Debbie Van Pelt said.

When dogs use the marijuana from their owner, they can get very sick, staggering and vomiting.

"Basically, the dogs lose their control, have a wide base stance and are unsure about their feet," Pelt, who works at the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, said.

The dogs are most commonly sickened by eating their owner’s pot enhanced food, Dr. Stacy Meola, a veterinary clinic in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, said.

She saw two dogs die when they ate goods that were baked with marijuana butter, commonly sold in dispensaries.

"Marijuana must be treated like any other drug," she said. "If you came home with a Vicodin prescription from your doctor, you wouldn’t just leave it there for your dog," she added.

The number of dogs that have been sickened by marijuana has quadrupled in Colorado, since the state legalized marijuana in 2000, according to a study.

While most dogs that ingest marijuana have returned to normal within 24 hours of treatment, veterinarians urge pet owners to keep the drug at a safe distance from the animals.