September 20, 2013

    Photo: Amy/Flickr

High Incidence of Dogs Eating Marijuana

Legalization brings unforeseen consequences

America’s dogs are getting high. Dangerously so. Owners are coming home to find their pooches nearly comatose, their eyes glazed over and their bodies twitching after ingesting large quantities of marijuana.

Evidently, cases of marijuana poisoning in dogs have been on the uptick as more states decriminalize the substance or at least pass bills permitting its full use for medical purposes. Many users consumer their weed in the form of baked goods and it's not uncommon for a dog to steal a brownie or two and end up with more than they bargained for.

In a post for the Los Angeles Times, Teresa Watanabe described coming home to find her own dog, Monte, nearly dead from an overdose.

“He tried to walk, but dragged his hind legs. He couldn't sit up on his own,” she wrote. “I was terrified that he'd had a stroke and was paralyzed. Or was dying.” Monte recovered but had to spend the night in the hospital with an IV drip. The whole ordeal ended up costing Watanabe over $700.

Watanabe also spoke to Bruce Castillo, an emergency veterinarian technician at an Eagle Rock clinic who says he usually treats two or three stoned dogs a night. He says that while most recover from an overdose, it can still be lethal for some dogs. Castillo cited the case of a Jack Russell terrier that died after ingesting “a huge amount of pot.” Two dogs listed in the Colorado study also died from eating marijuana-laced butter.

A five-year study on the subject found that incidents of marijuana poisoning in dogs quadrupled in Colorado after the state voted to legalize medical weed in 2000.

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Flooding in Illinois     Photo: Robert Kaufmann/FEMA

Flooding Threatens Colorado Farming

Corn crop at risk

Though the rains have ended, farmers fear that flooding in Colorado may damage the agricultural industry. Harvests are facing a double threat: rot from standing water and distribution issues following the destruction of key infrastructure, Reuters reports.

The flooded South Platte River has swamped nearby cornfields, preventing farmers from reaching their crops and increasing the likelihood that they will rot. Beyond standing water, farmers must contend with a series of storm-related difficulties, including damage to irrigation systems and wet ground that's too muddy for combines to handle.

But some wheat farmers may get a boost from the rain. About 25 percent of the state's wheat farms are in the southeastern corner, an area impacted by drought. The extra rain may lead to a positive impact in the future by recharging soils and filling reservoirs used for agriculture, the Associated Press reports.

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