Dope-sniffing dogs

Dogs love marijuana,

but cats more picky

DURANGO, Colo. – Tiffin, a 4-year-old Schnauzer-Yorkie, ate an apple in a backyard, but it was no ordinary apple. The apple had been used as an improvised marijuana pipe. The dog, veterinarian Stacee Santi told the Durango Herald, exhibited the symptoms of cannabis poisoning.

Amounts of marijuana that would be fine in adult humans can be fatal in dogs, she said. “It’s a dosing issue,” she said. “That dog is 10 pounds.”

Marijuana can depress a dog’s heart rate and blood pressure enough that it can become hypothermic and even slip into a coma-like state, the veterinarian said.

Tiffin seems to have survived, but the Herald notes that veterinarians have seen a dramatic increase in cases of marijuana poisoning in the past two years.

“We see about one a week,” said Santi, echoing estimates from Telluride.

While dogs are strongly drawn to marijuana, cats are more selective, she said.

What to do with dope-sniffing dogs?

BEND, Ore. – With marijuana becoming legal in Oregon on July 1, what happens to all the doper dogs, wondered the Bend Bulletin?

Zoey, the Belgian Malinois trained to detect marijuana for the Bend Police Department, will probably be without a job or may be sold to a police agency in a state where possessing even a small bit of marijuana can send you to jail.

Then there’s Ditto, an employee of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department for 12 years. While still sniffing with the best of them, the dog’s stamina isn’t what it used to be, and agency personnel tell the Bulletin it’s probably time for Ditto to retire.

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About Allen Best

Allen Best is a Colorado-based journalist. He publishes a subscription-based e-zine called Mountain Town News, portions of which are published on the website of the same name, and also writes for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
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