Beagles are notorious for their noses. Our powerful sense of smell can both help and hinder our lives — and in extension, the lives of our humans.
This weekend my nose got me into some trouble.
While up in Muskoka for the Easter long weekend, I spent some time enjoying the company of my best friend, a yorkie-poo, and some decent humans. There was good food, fun activities and hilarious anecdotes that left us all laughing for hours. Every being in that lovely little cottage had their hearts on full and had a time.
It was the last morning before we left for the city when my nose caught a scent. Overwhelmed by instinct, I was consumed by this powerful, delicious smell. In true hound fashion, my snout glued to the ground — I was pulled to the source of it by an almost-gravitational force. That’s when I located them: the pot cookies.
Of course I ate them.
A human quickly found me. Never forget, I’m still a dog. I may have more sense than most humans — but on occasion, I’ll still submit to my canine cravings. It takes over. I was only one cookie in when the humans got all up in my business. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.
A walk and a leg lift later, I was high.
With a mild case of the munchies, I went after garbage. Experienced a bout of lethargy. Felt dopey the entire car ride home. Passed out for hours.
The humans talked about another occasion when this other dog they knew ate some pot butter — just got a bit sleepy, they said. They agreed the amount was little enough to get away with. They weren’t wrong. I only woke up a little thirsty but totally fine the next day.
My human, being a hypochondriac, opted to call Queen West Animal Hospital to sniff out the situation anyway. She spoke with the practice manager, Deborah Caira, who offered excellent advice to dog moms everywhere in that situation.
“Marijuana is toxic for dogs,” Caira said, “The doctor would recommend, for now, if that ever happens again — to get them to the vet fast enough.”
The kind animal hospital representative explained that they’d be able to put these drops in a dog’s eyes to induce vomiting. As a 26.6lb beagle who only ate one small homemade pot cookie — I wasn’t at a terribly high risk. But she did share an anecdote about this time a blood hound had got into a fairly decent amount of it and ended up in emergency.
Caira encouraged my human to look up some things online to find out more — just to know. Apparently, the issue with marijuana and dogs is kidney function. A doctor would typically examine the furry friend to see if they seem okay — run a kidney panel to make sure that the function is all right.
The human lucked out with the friendly practice manager who offered helpful advice without judgement. She also mentioned that there are some facilities in the states that are using very small quantities of marijuana to treat pain in dogs. While there are a few facilities here in Canada that have figured out how to get the pills as well — she’s skeptical on how they’re getting them to Canada (she’s pretty sure it isn’t legal).
The bad news is, I’m stuck going for a check up next month. April is the time in which vets recommend doing the heart worm and ticks testing. It turns out that this season is especially bad for dogs and their humans in the GTA. “If you do the wellness blood work,” she encouraged, “It includes the kidney.”
But she was super helpful and supportive when it came to my own situation.
“You wouldn’t believe the things I see dogs ingest,” Caira said, referencing a time she knew a beagle who went after remote controls and batteries, “They eat the craziest things!”