Owner issues warning on class B drug

A puppy needed emergency veterinary treatment after eating cannabis at a country park. 

It’s thought the class B drug had been left behind by post-lockdown partygoers, with vets reporting a rise in similar cases as more and more people choose to socialise outdoors. 

Rye was unsteady and disoriented and, after being seen by his own daytime vet, he was sent to Vets Now’s state-of-the-art pet emergency hospital in Glasgow for overnight care and monitoring. 

Luckily, the little whippet, who is 10 months old, came through his ordeal with no long-term effects, but vets are warning the drug can potentially cause serious harm. 

Now owner Leonora Belcher is calling on dog owners to take special care in beauty spots popular with revellers. She’s also backing calls from Vets Now for owners to get urgent help if they suspect their pet has eaten anything toxic.

dog rushed to vet after eating cannabis
It’s thought the class B drug had been left behind by post-lockdown partygoers.

“I was at work and Rye was out with his dog walker at Mugdock Country Park,” said café owner Leonora, 31, from Bearsden, Glasgow. 

“He was playing with other dogs in the pack in a bit of forest when the walker noticed him behaving very strangely. 

“He was standing very still, his eyes had glazed over and he was really unsteady on his feet and couldn’t walk without losing his balance. 

“She carried him back to her van and called me saying she didn’t know what was wrong.” 

Leonora got the walker to take her puppy to her vets while she rushed straight there herself. 

She was shocked to be told that Rye’s listless, dazed, unsteady state was typical of having ingested marijuana. And that they had seen other dogs suffering in similar fashion after being around a popular car park area at the country park. 

dog rushed to vets after eating cannabis
“He was standing very still, his eyes had glazed over and he was really unsteady on his feet..."

He was quickly made sick and given treatment to counteract the effects of the drugs, but given the seriousness of his condition, overnight care was required so Leonora took him to Vets Now. 

It’s one of a nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies. 

“He was so out of it the vets had to carry him in and out of the car,” said Leonora. 

“It was really scary and horrible. I’ve got to say Vets Now were amazing, I was so touched by their attitude and care. They just so kind and reassuring and told me I could call at any time during the night if I was worried.”

dog rushed to vet after eating cannabis
“We kept him on a drip and gave him activated charcoal to absorb the toxins in his blood."

Emergency vet surgeon Cormac Dolan was on duty the night Rye was brought in.  

He said: “We kept him on a drip and gave him activated charcoal to absorb the toxins in his blood. 

“It can be difficult to detect cannabis in a dog’s fluids, but Rye’s condition was very typical of having ingested it and although he was happily okay after treatment, this can be very serious for dogs. If owners suspect their dog has eaten something dangerous, they should contact their vet straight away.” 

The most common signs of marijuana toxicosis are depression, poor coordination, slow heart rate, hypothermia, drooling, vomitingdiarrhoea, urinary incontinence, seizures, and coma. 

Leonora was delighted to get Rye back the following morning and after being a bit dopy for a couple of days, he was soon back to his old self. 

“It seems that people are going to Mugdock to meet in large groups without being caught rule-breaking,” said Leonora.  

“Rye has a habit of eating things, so I’ve taken the tough decision to put a muzzle on him now, although he wears a green ‘friendly’ collar, so people know he isn’t aggressive.  

“I’d advise any dog owner to keep their pet on the lead if they see anything lying around and ask anyone who is out partying to clear everything away. 

“This has happened to other dogs, and it doesn’t take much cannabis to make a small dog very ill.” 

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site. 

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available. 

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have. 

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.