COLORADO SPRINGS – Nationwide, pet owners have faced cases of people trying to poison dogs with tainted treats. But in Colorado, it’s taking a new twist, with pot edibles.
The issue made its way to one pet owner’s own backyard in Colorado Springs.
“It was like the most stressful puppy parenting night of our lives,” said Courtney Olson.
Olson and her husband had just finished dinner and let their 13-year-old dog, Sophie, outside in the backyard.
“At 7:30pm we noticed she started acting all crazy, like it looked like she was having a seizure,” said Olson.
Things only got worse from there.
“She kept shaking uncontrollably and every time we would pet her she would wince and she couldn’t stand up and it was just horrible to see her that distraught,” she said.
Not knowing what was wrong, they took Sophie to an emergency veterinarian hospital.
“We walked in and they were like “do you have recreational drugs in the house?” And we’re like no, and the only thing she had done is she was out in the yard, we let her run around at night,” said Olson.
The vet put Sophie on an IV to flush her system and did blood work. The results showed traces of marijuana in her system.
“We are seeing a lot more cases of marijuana toxicity in our area,” said Dr. John Sudduth.
Dr. Sudduth works at Northwest Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs and said in most of the cases he’s seen, the marijuana consumption is an accidental. He said either a pet owner has marijuana edibles in the home that the pet got a hold of or the edibles were discarded somewhere outside.
“Most of the time it doesn’t result in death but there can be cases where you have the small animal that they get enough of the marijuana it can result in death,” warned Sudduth.
In Sophie’s case, it’s likely the pot treat was thrown over the fence.
“Either someone was being reckless and thought it would be funny, or someone was just tossing something when they were supposed to not have it on them,” said Olson.
Olson hopes no one was trying to harm her dog, but feels violated by the whole incident.
“That someone would do that, like this is my own personal property and we have a fence just for our dog to feel like they can wonder around,” said Olson.
In the Olson’s case, there isn’t much they could have done to prevent it, Olson said she never thought she needed to check her own backyard for hazards but might start doing so.
Sudduth said if you know your pet consumed marijuana you should contact your vet. He said he if they’re showing signs of marijuana toxicity, such as seizures, depression, vomiting, loss of coordination or extra salivation, you should also call your vet and bring them in to see a doctor if the symptoms become severe.