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420 Vancouver and the Risks to your Dog

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Thursday, April 20th, 2017 (commonly known as 4/20) was this years’ International day of celebration and protest for supporters of the cannabis culture. Cities around the world have events, or “smoke in’s,” where thousands gather to get high.  In recent years, 4/20 Vancouver has taken place at Sunset Beach in the West End.  It is like a farmers’ market of sorts, with dozens, and dozens, of tents with a wide range of products on display.  From live music and food vendors to books, clothing and other paraphernalia, to marijuana itself, and the many marijuana by-products.  You can buy and consume just about anything at this event.

CBC News reports that city workers found roaches and other marijuana items on the beach after the event and that an intense cleanup was expected to be done sometime Friday morning.  The City noted that they don’t want to expose pets using the area to the risk of ingesting the items.  It is important that dog owners using the area be vigilant in observing what their dog may be getting into.

Dog owners need to be aware of the serious effects marijuana can have on dogs.  It’s no secret that dogs like to explore with their mouths, so it’s not hard to imagine a dog ingesting a dropped roach, pot cookie or brownie.  Vancouver dog owners should also note that Sunset Beach Park also hosts a popular off-leash dog beach which is immediately next to the 420 Vancouver Event.

The pet poison helpline lists the level of toxicity for Marijuana as “Moderate to Severe”.  Symptoms of ingestion include severe depression, walking drunk, lethargy, coma and many others.  If you your dog is showing any of these symptoms and there is a possibility that it has ingested marijuana it is important that you take them to your vet immediately.  Treatment may range from charcoal to remove the toxin from your dogs system, to IVs or more serious treatments depending on the amount consumed and the symptoms your dog is showing.  The size of your dog will also determine the impact that the toxin will have.

For more information and some Q&As on pets and marijuana see the following article from the Pet Poison Helpline, Pet Marijuana Intoxication on the Rise.

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