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Sunshine Coast veterinarians say they regularly see drug-affected dogs that have eaten cannabis.

Vets have urged pet owners to watch what their dogs pick up while they are outside and to  keep their stash out of reach if they use it.

An emergency veterinarian said it was “common” to see dogs that had ingested cannabis, while another said it “easily” happened once a month.

Doctor Naomi Hansen, of North Coast Emergency Veterinary and Critical Care at Chancellor Park, said cannabis-affected dogs was “something we see kind of continually”.

She said the owners often did not know where or how their dog managed to get hold of the cannabis, or they were perhaps reluctant to let on.

“We always say we’re not going to report you to anyone, we just want to know,” she said.

“Most of the time, the dogs come in and they have regular symptoms. We can tell when we see the dogs.”

She said dogs that ingested cannabis could be unsteady on their legs, have a lower than normal heartbeat and be confused or anxious. In extreme cases, they might have trouble standing or be almost comatose.

While some dogs with minor symptoms could be sent home to be monitored, others required fluids or were given charcoal to absorb the cannabis in their stomachs and reduce the effects.

Dr Hansen said she had not seen any noticeable increase in cannabis-affected dogs despite the trial use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and the availability of cannabis oil.

Dog owners have been warned to keep their pot out of their pups’ reach. Photo: Shutterstock

Most recovered within 24 to 48 hours.

Doctor Danielle Huston, of Animal Emergency Service at Tanawha, said dogs appeared to be drawn to the smell or taste of cannabis, or both, and would often eat if they could find it in any form, be it leaf, cookies or even plants.

”I had one dog and I don’t remember the exact details but I remember the owner has put something into the compost and the dog has got into the compost,” she said.

She said a drug test could establish if a dog had ingested cannabis but was not always accurate as the tests were meant for humans and dogs were smaller and could therefore be affected by a small amount.

Dr Huston said cats were also known to ingest cannabis.

“There was one I know of where the (cannabis) butter was left on a bench,” she said.

The vets said dog owners should keep an eye on their pooches when out walking to make sure they did not pick up anything they should not, and to keep alll drugs, including cannabis and cannabis products, secure.

“Keep it locked up, keep it very safe. Remember that pets can seek it out,” Dr Huston said.

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