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Alcohol/Marijuana and your dog

December 30, 2016

It takes a much smaller amount of alcohol to kill your dog than it does a human. Just a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, and death.  So regardless of how cute it may be to see your dog going bonkers over your Fat Tire, resist your urge to give him a sip!

Marijuana is also toxic to dogs! Ingesting or breathing second hand smoke can cause symptoms of toxicity. I've seen many dogs brought into the emergency clinic for this, and most often it was from ingestion. Almost all exposed animals will exhibit neurological signs like depression or alternating depression and excitement, falling over, hallucinations with barking or agitation, seizures or even coma.  While death is not a common side effect, it does occur.

Approximately 1/3 of exposed animals will exhibit gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, or drooling).  They may also develop a high or low body temperature, breath fast, have a high or low heart rate, have dilated pupils and they will almost always leak urine. Dog's who are chronically exposed to marijuana may have symptoms of incontinence or difficulty with potty training because they leak urine.

If a dog is exposed to alcohol or marijuana it may need IV fluids and monitoring. It is much easier for your dog to go into acute liver failure than you think, and a dog can have brain and liver damage for months before you see the symptoms. With Marijuana toxicity, dogs may need medication to counter the depressive or hyper-stimulating effects.

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