Ruffer Maddness

Getting your dog high might sound like a funny thing to do, but it’s ultimately no laughing matter. “The dogs that come in are not having a good time,” says Sean East, emergency veterinarian at PETS in Bozeman. Since the passage of the medical marijuana law, he’s seen a noted increase in cases—averaging six per month. With an increased availability of the drug, more animals are being directly exposed, eating food made with THC, and consuming plants and stems from growing operations. Symptoms of marijuana exposure in animals include ataxia (clumsiness), dilated pupils, excessive salivating, dribbling urine, hypersensitivity to stimulation, and acting sedated. “We administer IV fluids and induce vomiting in animals that have consumed the drug,” says Sean, outlining the veterinarian protocol for dogs that have been exposed. “They’re usually back to normal within about 12 hours.” The entire vet staff at PETS would like to encourage marijuana users to practice caution with the drug around their animals, and to remind owners that animals are much more sensitive to marijuana than humans.