So I doubt this will happen too often, but there was an interesting case over the weekend that merits discussion, and not why you would immediately think.
The dog presented with tremors and was very lethargic. It did not want to eat or drink, and had vomited a large amount the night before. The owner admitted to accidently allowing the dog to eat an ENTIRE PAN of brownies with marijuana baked into them.
The owners had called the emergency clinic the night before with this report, and the clinic said that the amount of marijuana ingested would likely only cause dowsiness, sedation, and an intense desire to watch Scooby Doo all night.
However, due to the size of the dose and the size of the dog, the main problem upon presentation here was the chocolate toxicity.
To review chocolate toxicity…
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because of the Theobromine. It causes problems because it stimulates the “fight or flight” wing of the sympathetic nervous system. Because of this, mild exposure results in vomiting and diarrhea (think about what happens when you get stressed…). Moderate exposure results in tremors – this is essentially the “fight or flight” in overdrive. Severe exposure results in an irregular heart beat and coma/seizure/death.
Our pup was not having a bad drug reaction, but rather was showing moderate levels of Theobromine in his system. With a muscle relaxer and some fluids, we got the toxin out and stopped the side effects. He did great!
The moral of the story is this: marijuana can have side effects, but chocolate can kill your dog. We don’t recommend feeding either.
– Drs. Freihaut and Cleland