READER REPORT: The sidewalk-snack scare

Karen and Jennifer wanted you to know about a scare they had today with their dog Grover:

We just had quite an experience I want to share so others are aware of this potential issue. I was walking our dog Grover this morning and he found something small and ate it. Pretty common for dogs to find random things on a walk. Grover has found cheese, hamburger, etc. This time, it looked like a small piece of paper and I could not get him to spit it out. We continued our walk.

We got home and he seemed fine. After about 30-45 mins, I ran an errand to pick up groceries at Amazon Fresh. When I returned home, there was vomit on the ground and Grover was very unresponsive. His pupils were dilated, he could hardly sit up and was scared of any movement near his face or head. We had just been to the vet last week and knew that all was ok with him. After a few minutes of this behavior and him actually falling over on the couch, I called Lien Animal Clinic and they took him immediately.

Apparently, he ingested cannabis. They stated there has been an increase in this happening. We now assume what he ate was the end of a joint. He has been admitted for the day and is getting fluids to make sure he does not dehydrate and to work the cannabis through him. It was terrifying to see this happen. Please be aware that legal weed leads to more chances of critters finding it. The act of tossing a spent joint on the ground can have impact. Just wanted to share this so others know this can happen.

Big thanks to Dr. Jody Zawacki and the team at Lien for being the best!

Looking around before publishing this, we saw many references suggesting cannabis is not automatically toxic to dogs; much has been written about therapeutic use, which would involve controlled circumstances and doses. So the main point of this is, think of Grover and other pets before you toss anything unconsumed – which of course goes for other intoxicants and medicines too.

28 Replies to "READER REPORT: The sidewalk-snack scare"

  • Kristen July 11, 2017 (5:14 am)

    So incredibly sorry this happened to you. Glad your pup is going to be ok. Thank you so much for this warning. This is not something I have thought about much. I too have pups who like to vacuum the sidewalk. 

  • JCTN July 11, 2017 (7:17 am)

    I’m glad the dog is ok. I hope this isn’t going to get blown up just because it’s weed though. You have to be careful of many other human foods and objects getting into your dogs mouths. Even puddles can give your dog terrible viruses and patches of grass can have parasitic worms and other nasty bugs. The world isn’t always safe, so again, just because this is weed, don’t make a big deal out of it. People should be mindful of littering no matter what the material.

    • So Admiral July 11, 2017 (9:09 am)

      This is not meant to admonish weed use at all.  I fully support it.  It’s a reminder for people to be careful.  This is not intended to condemn anyone.  Just a safety note to folks walking their pets.  

      • WSB July 11, 2017 (9:22 am)

        And that’s why I added the info below the report. Before publishing this, I looked around to see what sort of information already exists about dogs and cannabis. As for the reader report itself, as well as being a “safety note to folks walking their pets,” as So. Admiral describes it, I also considered this could serve as a reminder to people to not just casually discard what they don’t use … in particular, any kind of potentially poisonous litter (like the beer cans, sometimes not entirely empty, that someone used to regularly toss on the planting strips in our neighborhood) … TR

  • waikikigirl July 11, 2017 (8:27 am)

    OH poor Grover! you would think a dog has a stomach made of steel but they do not and I too am glad he is going to be OK.

    So sorry for your extra expense for a vet bill…but our babies are worth every cent aren’t they!

  • T Rex July 11, 2017 (8:36 am)

    Weed could do the same thing to a small child, so yes it’s a little bit of a big deal. 

    Glad Grover is ok. 

  • Westside45 July 11, 2017 (9:02 am)

    Weed smokers are just as much pigs as tobacco smokers, tossing butts wherever they wish.

    • Rick July 12, 2017 (8:08 am)

      Yeah,weed smokers are all the same, except doctors,lawyers,your Seattle city attorney(no names here),neighbors,parents,even a non-inhaling former president. I know of plenty upstanding self righteous sanctimonious who are entitled to just drop (whatever it is) when they’re done with it. I tend to police my area and pick up larger objects on my daily walk to my business as I have for the past 15 years. Before I quit I even used to field strip my butts. But that’s just me. And yeah, sometimes I smoke weed.  You’re welcome.

  • Morgan Junction Dad July 11, 2017 (9:44 am)

    How about instead of this – “I also considered this could serve as a reminder to people to not just casually discard what they don’t use” and this – “think of Grover and other pets before you toss anything unconsumed“…. let’s actually encourage folks to place unconsumed items into an appropriate trash bin instead of just strewing it about on the ground.

    That’s basically saying it’s ok to just toss stuff on the ground as long as you think about it first. What? Is this still Seattle?

    Don’t be a jerk, through your stuff away.

    • WSB July 11, 2017 (10:22 am)

      No, I was not condoning tossing stuff on the ground in any circumstance. It’s illegal. But thanks for words of reinforcement.

  • unknown July 11, 2017 (11:13 am)

    WSB…I did not take it that way as MJ Dad did, I knew what you meant.

  • Guy Olson July 11, 2017 (11:48 am)

    Did he ask for blueberry pancakes?

  • miws July 11, 2017 (11:50 am)

    I took WSB’s comment as intended as well. 


  • steffi July 11, 2017 (11:53 am)

    This happened to a friend’s puppy not once but TWICE! I’m glad Grover is okay. I don’t condemn marijuana use either but users definitely need to take responsibility in disposing and/or hiding it. My biggest fear is a kid getting ahold of pot cookies or candy. They all look so delicious.

  • Wondering July 11, 2017 (12:29 pm)

    So, did Lien actually do a blood test to determine that the dog consumed cannabis?  

    • So Admiral July 11, 2017 (12:54 pm)

      They did. They suspected it immediately by his behavior. 

  • Marty July 11, 2017 (12:37 pm)

    Better put the Cheetos away before Grover comes home!

  • Beth July 11, 2017 (12:39 pm)

    This happened to our small dog a while ago.  Ended up at the all night emergency vet near Ikea.  They were able to diagnose pretty quickly from symptoms–and they said they are seeing this more and more.  Be careful about the suggestion to “admit for watching” because this may be an unnecessary expense.  They hydrated him subcutaneously and gave us instructions about how to watch him.  Less expensive and less traumatic for the dog to be at home with us.  He, thankfully, recovered nicely–but traumatic for us!

    • So Admiral July 11, 2017 (4:18 pm)

      He was there for 5 hours on IV. We felt it was best to leave him there as he’s a new rescue and we are still learning about him. Glad your baby was ok too!  So scary. 

  • Samuella Samaniego July 11, 2017 (4:24 pm)

    Really hope Grover is recovering well from the snack mistake. Oddly enough, I just had a small problem with the Lien Clinic earlier today.  Still, my bottom line is I completely trust their healthcare practices. My pup feels differently of course but I sincerely appreciate the quality of people on staff and their support of each other’s work. I would trust them entirely if they advised extended observation in their clinic by trained staff. Today was a simple snafu with them for which I am ultimately responsible. Again, I hope Grover is recovering well and on the road to his normal furry life.

    May I respectfully mention that Grover is a pretty handsome little guy? The photo of him conveys the soulfulness of an insightful writer or actor. Terrific portrayal. Thanks for posting! Wishing Grover’s family the best.

    • KD July 11, 2017 (10:04 pm)

      @ Samuella.. You are always so great and lucious with your words and writings. I enjoy seeing your responses here and on other social media. (You get around!) Some of your writings are very spiritual and comforting. You must be an advanced soul.

  • sgs July 11, 2017 (8:10 pm)

    Using marijuana other than on private property is illegal, so it’s more than just being considerate with disposal.  They need to obey the law and not put others or their pets at risk.

    • Swede. July 11, 2017 (10:24 pm)

      That is obviously not working so well. 

      The thing I’m thinking mostly about reading this (except it’s good the little guy is OK!) is if there is anything that anyone except the pet owners can do? 

  • Curate July 11, 2017 (11:21 pm)

    I know firsthand how quickly a dog can vacuum up something on a walk — and how damaging the ‘snack’ can be. Three years ago while on a routine walk in our neighborhood, our rescue dog Baxter snarfed up something that turned out to be a baited fish hook. Lien is our longtime vet as well and we rushed him there after seeing a fishing line hanging from his mouth. Two barbed hooks had become lodged in his esophagus and had to be removed via emergency surgery at a specialized animal surgery center.  We were so fortunate that he made a full recovery. It was truly a freak accident, but hearing about Grover’s (and others’) similar situations makes me think that this is not uncommon. 

  • Groucho July 12, 2017 (5:28 am)

    It’s almost like you need to have a muzzle on your dogs when walking. :>( just to keep them safe from ingesting something bad. Which you should not have to do!

    Our cat when we 1st got him ate a styrofoam packing “peanut”…$1000.00 plus later he is still here entertaining  us, so it is also cats that feel the need to eat things inside or out,(inside only cat) their way of figuring out what it is I guess!?!

    @Karen & Jennifer…please update us on how Grover is doing and as Samuel states…Grover is a pretty handsome dog!

  • So Admiral July 12, 2017 (8:09 am)

    Thank you for all the well wishes!  Grover is fine now, but has a new craving for Fritos! 

  • meow11 July 12, 2017 (11:55 am)

    A friend of ours would bring over their dog to our house. The dog would make a bee line for our cat’s litter box and, you guessed it, have a snack of cat poo. Yum! The types of things pets are willing to eat astonishes me. 

    Glad your dog is fine!

  • Bradley July 12, 2017 (8:49 pm)

    This really isn’t something to make light of. We took our dog to get a vaccination on Bainbridge Island a couple of years ago and we had to wait while they treated a dog for marijuana ingestion.  It ate a bag of their personal-use stash. The dog didn’t survive.

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