Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Cannabis poisoning warning for beauty spot dog walkers

Dog walkers are being urged to take extra care whilst walking their dogs around the Dovestone Reservoir and Tanners Mill areas of  Greenfield, near Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, after a number of dogs have suffered cannabis poisoning. Neil Rogers, from Greenfield wants to warn others after his dog Patch, had been mysteriously taken ill soon after ingesting a substance it had found in the grass alongside a path near to Tanners Mill. The path is used as a popular short cut up to the Dovestone Reservoir by ramblers and dog walkers. Mr Rogers said: “My dog Patch started eating something that was in a bag.

“I managed to grab him and pull him away to stop him eating any more of it, I pulled out what was left on his mouth. He had already eaten about a fistful of whatever it was. It looked like a ‘Seed fat ball’ that people hang out for birds in the winter – I did think at the time that this could be anything dangerous. We continued on our way and all was fine as I showered Patch outside, but as soon as we got inside the house he just collapsed. He was totally unable to stand up, or walk and was unresponsive, although his eyes were open and his breathing and heart rate seemed fine.

“My daughter arrived and we took Patch to the vet. Patch then spent the weekend being treated for toxic poisoning which required an IV drip for two days and various injections. They thought it may be rat poison or something similar he had eaten. As a family we were distraught and thought we were going to lose him as it was touch and go, his heart rate had dropped very low and his temperature was also low and this combined with being ‘lifeless’ and unresponsive was extremely worrying. I went back to where Patch had eaten the substance to collect what was left in order to avoid the same fate befalling any other animal, it was clear that what was left there was definitely ‘weed’ and I took the bag home.”

Veterinary Surgeon, Joanna Bednarska, of County’s End Veterinary Practice in Lees, said: “The dog’s condition was very serious and life threatening, the treatment we gave involved the use of charcoal and IV drips. He was very sleepy and showing neurological symptoms such as falling over and twitching. Although we didn’t know the exact poison that was ingested at the time, the treatment we gave would have been the same for cannabis poisoning anyway. It was only after the test results came back we knew for definite it was cannabis poisoning.” Mr Rogers later called the police who came and collected the substance, they confirmed it looked and smelt like cannabis.There have now been at least four cases of cannabis poisoning in dogs walked in this area in the last few weeks. Fortunately all the dogs have now made a full recovery.

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