Pets are accidentally ingesting marijuana, requiring emergency treatment

DENVER - Veterinarians tell 7NEWS they have noticed a steadily increasing stream of cases where pets need treatment after accidentally consuming marijuana or pot-laced edibles.

"The cases have been increasing as the number of medical marijuana licenses are being given out to people," said Dr. Leilani Way, a veterinarian at VCA Alameda East Animal Hospital in Denver.

"We see these cases very frequently," Dr. Way said about her practice. "They often come in on an emergency basis."

A veterinary practice in Aurora also reported seeing increased numbers of stoned pets.

In most cases, Dr. Way says, the animals consume their owner's supply of the drug.

"It's mostly dogs. But they usually come in acting disoriented, stumbling when they walk," she said.

Vets can do a test, to see if the animal tests positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

"The medical marijuana tends to have a higher concentration of THC, so the intoxications that we see are much more severe than they used to be," said Dr. Way.

In most cases, the animals are hospitalized overnight, until the drug wears off. However, Dr. Way says it can be deadly in some situations.

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