Chicago vet warns of pets getting high on pot, becoming sick

Careful with those pot brownies, cookies and marijuana buds, because your pets apparently find them just as appealing and it's making several around the city sick.

- Careful with those pot brownies, cookies and marijuana buds, because your pets apparently find them just as appealing and it's making several around the city sick.

A Chicago veterinarian told FOX 32 they're seeing a spike in "pot pups."

“They will find whatever they want wherever it is, especially if it's chocolate or cookies,” said Dr. Jayme Hoffberg.

There’s been an unexpected side effect of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes in Illinois, and that’s the number of pets getting high and very sick on the drug.

“I would say over the last 3-4 weeks, we've really seen a higher case load of dogs who've ingested marijuana,” said Dr. Hoffberg.

Depending on the size of the dog, and how much they've eaten, symptoms can range from just being quieter, to a drunken walk, to trouble breathing or even getting up.

In mild consumption cases, give a dog 12-24 hours and the THC will leave their system on its own. More severe cases might require an overnight stay and a lipid solution from an I-V.

The symptoms can stump a pet owner, who right away can't put a finger on why their animal might be acting strange. But vets know what they're looking for.

“Most of the time they think back and say I didn't think that my dog could get to that cabinet or we thought we had it in a safe spot,” said Dr. Hoffberg.

Doctors at Med Vet aren't here to play police. They want owners to feel comfortable, explaining misplaced pot may explain their pets’ bizarre behavior.

In fact, with more conditions being added to the list just last month like PTDS and terminal illness, they expect numbers of accidental pet ingestions to keep rising.

Illinois was in the top 10 states for pot-ingestion calls to ASPCA's poison control hotline in 2015: California, New York and Pennsylvania topped that list.

Overnight treatment for severe cases could be costly to pet owners, and the vet bill might run you upwards of three thousand dollars.

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