Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital – The Columbian

Of all the things Andy Healy worried could poison her dogs, cannabis wasn’t on the radar.That changed, though, after what was supposed to be a fun 15-mile hike in the woods ended with an evacuation and a trip to an emergency animal hospital.Healy set out Oct. 29 on the Siouxon Creek Trail in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with her friends Laura Stockton and Rick Blevins and her two 5-year-old border collies, Fen and Jil.Nearly 13 miles into the hike, Fen began to stumble and weave. She sat down and was unable to get back up. She lost the ability to move her front legs; then, she couldn’t move her back legs. When Healy reached out to touch her dog, Fen flinched. Then, her eyes glazed over.Immediately, Healy knew her dog had been poisoned. Based on the symptoms, Healy suspected cannabis poisoning. Healy, a trauma nurse, had researched the topic after recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington, but she never imagined Fen would come across cannabis in the middle of the woods.But Dr. Heather Poncelow, a veterinarian at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver, said it’s more common than people probably think.Poncelow and her colleagues frequently see THC toxicity in dogs. And while it’s more common to see poisoning in dogs that got into cannabis in their home, exposure happens in parks and other public places “relatively frequently,” Poncelow said.The good news, though, is THC toxicity is rarely fatal.“It’s extremely uncommon, or rare, that a pet would die from THC toxicity,” Poncelow said.Fortunately, Fen has fully recovered, but not without leaving Healy with a harrowing story to tell.Rescuing FenHealy often hikes alone and has thought about how she would evacuate one of her 35-pound dogs if something were to happen. But a recent hip replacement surgery, from which Healy

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