Vets raise alarm over increase in emergency "pot dog" cases

Veterinarians across the country are warning marijuana toxicity in dogs is becoming more common, and advise pet owners to pay close attention to what their pets are picking up and eating while out on their daily walks.

Saanich resident Karin Heimlich had to rush her dachshund, Pixel, to the animal emergency clinic after she started experiencing concerning symptoms in July after a walk in her neighbourhood.

" She was twitching. Twitching like she was having a seizure or something. And then when I tried to put my hand near her face her eyes got really wide, like she was quite paranoid."

The clinic confirmed Pixel was suffering the toxic effects of eating marijuana.

The Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Nanaimo estimates they see 4 to 5 cases a week right now.

Dr. Chris Milligan told CTV Vancouver Island dogs can easily dogs sniff out dropped or discarded pot products:

" Probably the most common way that we see it here is people who've been out walking on trails in and around town,  all over the island really, and they'll pick it up after it's been discarded."

The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana -- THC -- doesn't make dogs high -- but can induce symptoms like wobbling, crying, and urinating uncontrollably. Depending on the amount taken and size of the pet, ingesting pot can be fatal.

As Ottawa prepares to legalize the drug this summer vets in New Brunswick are calling on Ottawa to mount public awareness campaigns on the dangers pot poses to pets .

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