In Australia, pet owners have been accidentally getting their dogs high on cannabis — but not in the way, you would think. Several dogs in Melbourne have been stoned after developing a liking for human feces, according to research published this week in the Australian Veterinary Journal.
Anyone who has a dog understands that the ordinary dog is more “combination dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, and competitive eater” than a “four-legged buddy.” Even the most virtuous of males cannot help but gulp down anything they see – whether it is a nice food you mistakenly diverted your gaze away from for a second, or, you know… 43.5 socks and $1.29 in change.
Dogs are such gluttons that tens of thousands of them wind up in animal hospitals each year with suspected poisonings (pro tip: keep your medications locked away and check your garden.) In addition, the culprit for a few of those misbehaving canines is scandalous: they are stoned.
Now, we usually think of edibles when we read of pets getting high on their owners’ supplies – like Rusty, the 1.4-kilogram (3-pound) chihuahua who ate a whole pot brownie. In addition, it is true that as cannabis is more widely allowed, some vets have seen an increase in cases of stoned pets. “The stockpile growing in the basement used to be chewed on by dogs. In 2016, veterinarian Heidi Houchen told the Washington Post, “Now they’re discovering a large bag of gummy bears.” “Dogs are vacuum cleaners.”The rock eaters are dogs.”
Gummy bears, on the other hand, would be a step up from what has been getting the dogs down under stoned. Even rocks would be an improvement. The case report states, “This retrospective case series reports a unique and unexpected source for marijuana toxicosis in dogs; possible consumption of human feces containing… [THC]”, “Medical records were reviewed from four 24-hour veterinary emergency facilities in Melbourne, Australia, and 15 canines satisfied the criteria for inclusion in this case series.”
If you are concerned that your dog is abusing narcotics, the case report includes a list of signs to check for, including ataxia, mydriasis, hyperesthesia, urine incontinence, and stupor.
Those, in order, being unsteady on your feet, dilated pupils, increased sensitivity, urinating more, and falling asleep in non-medical language – they are, in order: being unsteady on your feet, dilated pupils, increased sensitivity, peeing more, and falling asleep.
While the thought of a dog getting stoned from eating excrement may sound hilarious — and rest assured, all of the dogs in the case study survived – it may be quite stressful for the little fellas, resulting in vomiting, cardiac issues, and even seizures.
The dogs in the paper all ate the spiked excrement while out strolling in the park and the case study emphasizes the need of dog owners monitoring their pets’ eating habits, even if they do not use cannabis themselves.
“Ingestion of THC-containing human feces may cause marijuana toxicosis in dogs,” the paper warns. “When caring for these pets, veterinary workers and owners should be vigilant about utilizing adequate hygienic precautions.”