When Shell walked through the front door, his 13-year-old mini Australian shepherd was lounging on the couch, looking confused as hell. At first, he thought the dog was having a glaucoma flare-up because she was “looking kind of hazy-eyed.” But when Stella slid off the couch and started stumbling in Shell’s direction, unable to walk properly, he knew something was seriously wrong.
Concerned, Shell put her back on the couch. That’s when he noticed that his office door was open, the remains of his torn backpack strewn across the middle of the room.
He realized he’d come home to an absolutely blazed dog — a growing problem as legal weed makes increasingly potent and enticing edibles more accessible across America. Even in states where weed remains illegal for any sort of use, the presence and consumption of the drug is becoming widely accepted.
According to the ASCPA Poison Control Center, the 24-hour hotline received 208 marijuana-related calls in 2008, 979 in 2016, and 1,486 in 2017. In 2018, the center received 1,800. That’s an increase of 765 percent over the 10-year period.
The 24-hour hotline received 208 marijuana-related calls in 2008. In 2018, the center received 1,800. Dr. Tina Wismer, the ASPCA call center’s medical director, says that in the past, the majority of callers were pet owners whose cats and dogs got into “plant material” like discarded roaches or wayward dime bags. She attributes some of the uptick in cannabis-related cases to the destigmatization in recent years, acknowledging that pet owners may be more willing to call the hotline now that weed is more widely accepted.
But Wismer also blames the widespread availability in edibles for the uptick in emergency calls. Legal edibles smell like normal baked goods, and what pet can resist tasty treats? (Cat parents, take note: Wismer says that felines still tend to go for straight bud.)
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Published: January 29, 2019