Saturday, January 7, 2012

Veterinary Medicine is Never Boring

We got an emergency call from a guy who said his dog wasn’t breathing, so we told him to come right in. While we were waiting, we assembled equipment to treat respiratory arrest: oxygen, endotracheal tubes, laryngoscope. As soon as the doorbell rang, the tech ran up front to grab the dog and bring him to the treatment room. It was immediately apparent that he was in fact breathing, and had nice pink gums and a steady heart beat. He was pretty wobbly, though, and looked like he was hallucinating. The tech mentioned that his breath smelled, so (brilliant me) I opened his jaws wide, stuck my nose to his mouth and breathed deeply. Whoa. My nostrils were assailed by an overwhelming scent wave: sort of smoky, sort of herbaceous. I saw brown gunk stuck in his teeth, which I swiped out with a paper towel. Sniffed that, too.

By this time it was pretty obvious that the dog was showing signs of marijuana toxicity. (Dogs will eat anything, including poo, so it should be no surprise that they will eat marijuana. I’ve seen toxicities from dogs eating the raw plant, the dried product, laced brownies, and the gunk from the ashtray.) I went up front to the lobby to talk to the owner, who denied having any pot, but blamed his roommates. While the owner was trying to decide whether to hospitalize the dog, I went back to the treatment room. I was sitting there, chatting with the techs, when I realized that I was giggling and my brain felt all tingly and woozy.

Crap! I got high at work from breathing second-hand smoke from a dog.

Fortunately, the symptoms resolved before I had to treat any other patients.


  1. It's ALWAYS the roommate's pot. except for when it's the roommate's boyfriend's pot ;-)

  2. One of my friends once treated a dog for cocaine toxicity. Of course, it was the roommate's coke.

  3. A curious thing I've noticed over the years is that my marijuana ingestions have included an inordinately high proportion of chihuahuas. Maybe they're self-medicating for their hydrocephalus, but they're always the ones who come in paranoid.

  4. Had one, MJ tox, owner is middle aged woman. She had a teenage son "good kid who doesn't do drugs". It it turns out the kid and friends made MJ brownies and fed a bunch to the dog then took off to FL for the weekend. Mom was PISSED! She brought the kid by next time I was on duty for me to scare the shit out of. Who knew that terrorizing teenagers could be so much fun?

  5. I've had people tell me the pet ate drugs that belonged to the visiting friend of the people whose apartment they were staying in while they were just passing through my area, even. It's ridiculous. I do not care whose drugs they are!

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