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Dr. Jo
Dr. Jo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 2808
Experience:  DVM from Iowa State University in 1994; actively engaged in private regular and emergency practice since that time.
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My dog is throwing up, stumbling, lethargic, dialated pupils

Customer Question

hi my dog is throwing up, stumbling, lethargic, dialated pupils and drooling. she may have had access to marijauna. does she need emergency care
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

I'm Dr. Jo and I'm here to help you with your question about your border collie. I'm so sorry you're having this problem, but glad you're looking for the information you need. My practice is in Colorado, and we see a lot of dogs with marijuana toxicosis. The signs you've described are certainly consistent with that, but could also fit with other things.

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Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my daughter, who had the pot (not legal here in GA) swears the dog did not have access, but I am not sure what else it could be since I cannot think of any other substances or poisons to which she (sadie, the dog) had access.
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Another thing about pot is that to a dog, it's really yummy. A dog will eat ALL of the marijuana it finds.

I am assuming your dog is otherwise healthy and on no medications?

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

And do you have a way to take Sadie's temperature (rectally?)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she is healthy, although been itching quite a bit, I think she has a flea allergy. She is on a topical, but the last dose was three weeks ago. Also....the daughter was cooking pot in butter outside for brownies. she says there was no trash from it but it seems pretty coincidental
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her breathing is very slow. She appears to be dozing, with her tongue hanging out (not a usual occurance for her)
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Got it.

Eating butter could also cause a severely upset stomach, but not the stumbling/sleeping signs.

Most of the time an otherwise healthy dog who ingests pot is able to simply sleep it off and goes back to normal, but - if the dose is large enough - it can be potentially lethal.

Because of that risk, I'd advise emergency care.

(typing more)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She HATES anything near her rectum. I have an old mercury thermometer, but otherwise no mechanism for taking her temp. Her nose is dry and very warm
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

I understand. The reason I bring it up is that over the weekend I had a pot ingestion dog who I ended up hospitalizing and treating in a critical care manner for 36 hours because his temperature was life-threateningly low. His body temp of <90F was my key indicator for NOT just sending him home to sleep it off.

(typing more)

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

In your case it's a relief that Sadie is already throwing up. That helps to remove some of the pot (or whatever it is) from her system. At the vet they can also administer charcoal to help prevent absorption of any pot remaining.

So... safest bet is the emergency center. I'd rather have you be safe than sorry.

Does this help to answer your question tonight?

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Is there any other reason that she would very suddenly exhibit the symptoms I have outlined?
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

In all honesty, it's classic for pot. Other possibilities include mushrooms and food poisoning, as well as other toxicants (chemicals, pesticides, etc.).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

Happy to help! Good luck with everything.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.

And please do remember to indicate a rating so I may receive credit for helping you tonight. Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Jo replied 1 year ago.


Just checking in to ask how things have gone for your border collie pup. Is she back to normal now?

I've been hoping everything is okay.