When Dr. Jen Gunter returned home from the grocery store she knew something was wrong with her normally boisterous 3-year-old Labrador retriever, Hazel.
“She was on the couch. Her head was hanging over and she couldn’t lift herself up,” Gunter, a gynecologist in Marin County, California, told NBC News. “I got out the tennis ball, which she ignored. Normally, you get out the tennis ball and she is just all over it.”
Hazel began shuddering when touched and couldn’t hold herself up or keep her eyes open. Then she lost control of her bladder.
“I thought ‘Oh my god, my dog is dying from poison or she had a stroke,’” Gunter recalled.
Staff at the emergency veterinarian clinic immediately knew what was wrong.
“The nurse came over and said, ‘This looks like this could be marijuana poisoning; we see that all the time,’” Gunter said.
A urine toxicology text confirmed it: Hazel had THC in her system. Gutner suspects her dog accidentally ate an edible or a joint when on a run earlier that day.
Gunter posted the story on Facebook last week, urging people to properly store and discard their marijuana to protect their pets.
Calls to the Veterinary Services Poison Helpline about accidental marijuana ingestion in pets has surged 448 percent over the past six years, according to a statement provided by the American Veterinarian Medical Association.