Longmont dog recovering after ingesting THC at dog park

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LONGMONT --  A Longmont woman is warning other dog owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms after her dog was likely exposed to THC at a local dog park.

Laura Romey says her Mother took 3-year-old Hank to a dog park off Airport Road and St. Vrain Road on Thursday.

Romey's mother started noticing he was acting strangely before they even got home.

"All he wanted to do was sleep," she says. "I tried offering food, his favorite food, lunch meat. He wouldn't have anything to do with it."

"He was very dizzy, seemed like he was light-headed, and couldn't stand on his feet very well," she adds.

Romey quickly took Hank to the Aspen Meadow animal hospital.

"While we were there, he started losing control of his bladder," she says. "The vet came in and said he was showing all the signs of THC toxicity."

Veterinarians at Aspen Meadow weren't available to comment on the diagnosis this weekend, but Dr. Rachel Galluzzo says it's not uncommon to see dogs with THC complications.

Dr. Galluzzo is a veterinarian at Evans East Animal Hospital in Denver.

"We probably see at least one case per week," she says. "Some owners don't even have marijuana in the household, but their pet will have been at the park or out on a walk with a dog-walker. These tend to be the pets that eat and everything."

Romey says her family doesn't have any marijuana products at home and believes Hank somehow ingested some at the dog park.

"I hate to think that anyone would do it deliberately, and I don't think that," she says. "I've been thinking maybe it was in somebody's pocket, and it came out, and they didn't know."

Hank is resting at home and expected to make a full recovery.

Dr. Galluzzo says dogs typically recover with lots of fluid and rest.

"I have never seen a fatality, but it's not out of the realm of possibility," she says. "In very high doses, it can cause respiratory depression and even lead to seizures. We have had cases where they need to be on a ventilator."

Dr. Galluzzo recommends knowing the symptoms, even if you don't use THC products, or have them around the house.

"Your dog might have an uncoordinated gait, very dilated pupils, they may be hyper-reflexive to stimuli. They may be dribbling urine, and sometimes they'll vomit."

Romey says she doesn't plan on avoiding the dog park but says she's hoping Hank's story can help educate others.

"It's important to know that this is toxic for animals, and we're very fortunate he's a bigger dog. If it was a smaller dog, or maybe a dog that wasn't as healthy, I really hate to think what could have happened," she says.

Longmont Police say they are not aware of any additional reports, and believe this is an isolated incident.

They say it's a great reminder to keep marijuana products locked safely away from children and pets.

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