SEATTLE: A dog owner thinks her dog got sick after accidentally eating marijuana at a Seattle park, and the theory may not be so far-fetched, according to police records.

Jack, a Labrador mix, hasn't had a single health problem since Jen Nestor adopted the stray 11 years ago. But Jack's recent run through the woods at Seward Park caused quite a scare.

Jack's owner said on May 17, Jack wandered off for just three minutes on his own. But three hours later, "his head was rocking back and forth his eyes were glassy," she said.

Nestor is convinced her dog got high on marijuana at the park. She believes the pot must have been stashed somewhere in the green landscape where she unleashed her dog.

Jack's veterinary bills added up to $1,500. His medical records state he was dizzy, disoriented, staggering left to right and falling over when trying to sit. He also vomited large amounts of plant material and liquid that smells like marijuana.

"She (the vet) was like, 'So he did vomit large quantities of marijuana?' She was smiling, I think trying to make me feel good, too, (but) trying not to laugh because I was like, 'My baby is in the emergency vet!"' Nestor said.

Nestor said the vet jokingly told her to remind Jack to "just say no" to drugs.

Three weeks have passed since the incident, and the couple's friends laugh at what they call a random situation. But the event was traumatic and costly. And apparently not so random.

According to Seattle police, a wilderness guide playing hide and seek with kids in Seward Park discovered a duffel bag packed with five and a half pounds of marijuana on April 3. The stash might have been worth as much as $22,000, police said.

(from: KING-TV, http://www.king5.com/)

In recent times we've seen several accounts of dogs who have ingested marijuana. One item was a question from someone who uses Medical Marijuana and has caught her dog trying to steal the bag. Since medical marijuana is legal in 13 states, having this drug available where dogs can get it is concerning.

We asked ourselves "What happens when dogs eat marijuana?"

We did a little research on the matter. It turns out that marijuana can be very toxic to dogs if consumed in a large enough quantity (sometimes even causing death, though this is rare), and can make them intoxicated and sick in smaller amounts.

Here's a good explanation we found at MarvistaVet.com

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Marijuana, known by many names, needs very little introduction; we all know it is a popular recreational drug smoked illegally by millions of people worldwide. Its psychoactive ingredient is delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly called “THC.” Regular marijuana is typically 1-8 THC. Other properties of THC give it controversial medicinal properties: appetite stimulation and nausea control.

THE VICTIM

The usual pet toxicity case involves a dog that has inadvertently eaten a stash of marijuana. In the dog, clinical signs typically begin 30-90 minutes after the marijuana has been eaten. Because THC is stored in the body’s fat deposits, the effects of marijuana ingestion can last for days.

SYMPTOMS

Signs include: incoordination and listlessness along with dilated pupils, slow heart rate and sometimes urinary incontinence. Marijuana toxicity can look similar to intoxication with numerous other sedatives. It is very important for all the relevant information to be presented to the veterinarian if the pet is to be helped. Veterinarians are not obligated to report to local police. If you know marijuana was involved in an intoxication it is important to make this information known. Obviously this goes for other recreational drugs as well.

Urine testing similar to that done with humans can be done in dogs to make the diagnosis of marijuana intoxication.

TREATMENT

If less than thirty minutes have passed since the marijuana has been eaten it may be possible to induce vomiting but after symptoms have started, the nausea control properties of THC make it very difficult to induce vomiting. Further, if the patient is extremely sedated, vomiting can be dangerous as vomit can be inhaled and cause a very serious and deadly aspiration pneumonia.

Activated charcoal is a liquid material used in the treatment of poisoning. Activated charcoal is given orally and as it passes from one end to the other, toxins are trapped in the charcoal so that when the charcoal passes from the patient, the toxins pass, too. This technique of detoxification may be used in the treatment of marijuana toxicity.

Fluid support and keeping the patient warm may also be needed in treatment. If the patient has lost consciousness, the more intense observation and support is needed. The chance of fatality is statistically small but possible.

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