We had an eventful day at the office today. The names must be changed to protect client confidentiality, but at 11am, a call came in from one of our favorite clients. I’ll call her “Penny” and she’s always been a respectable, rather well-to-do businesswoman, who takes excellent care of her two mischievous dogs. “Harry” is an adorable 14 month terrier mix, and his sidekick “Olive” is a 12 month old Chihuahua mix. I can’t count the number of times they came to see us in 2014 for getting into the trash, ingesting this and that, and it’s always both at the same time because they always do all their mischief together.
Today, Penny called and specifically asked to speak to the surgery tech. “Hi, Penny. What can I do for you?” Penny said she had an emergency on her hands, and our tech asked what it was. “It’s Harry and Olive. They got into a basket of marijuana candies!” Astonished to learn that this particular client was into that sort of thing, our tech sort of stammered out a question about when it happened, and Penny assured her that it happened just a few minutes ago. Our tech told her to bring them both in immediately, and Penny said they were on the way.
The housemaid arrived with the two culprits a few minutes later, and dropped them off. She reluctantly handed over a package, hesitating briefly to ask if she was going to get in trouble, and our office manager assured her that we are not in the business of narc’ing on clients. The package was a 10mg THC peppermint sugar packet, torn up and gnawed on. An undetermined amount of THC peppermint sugar remained in the packet
which I confiscated for closer inspection and the maid hurried away in terrible embarrassment.
The canine cannabis aficionados were hustled to the back and treated to an oral chaser with hydrogen peroxide, and all six of us then stood around watching and cracking jokes as the retching commenced. Pretty soon, Penny arrived, flushed with color, having had to leave a real estate closing. (Wonder how she explained that one!) She came straight back to the treatment area, and hurriedly explained that her brother had visited from Colorado over the holidays, and brought with him a basket of THC-laced goodies… snickerdoodles, peppermint candies, sugar packets for tea and hot cocoa, etc. “It took about an hour and a half before I felt anything happen!” she offered. “We just had so much… too much! And… ah… well, we love our maid, and I thought it would be nice to give her a little basket, but I guess she left it on the table by the door. And you know how high Harry can jump! I’m such a bad mom! I don’t know what you all must think of me!”
Hiding my smile, I reassured her that I didn’t think this was going to be lethal, and commended her on her honesty. (We live in a college town, and have seen our share of stoned dogs. A high-profile OU football player quite recently sent his totally high pit bull puppy in with his girlfriend, and we never did get any kind of admission out of either of them, despite obvious clinical symptoms of marijuana intoxication.) In case anyone is wondering- it’s not my job to report this type of stuff- I would never do it, and as a general rule, most vets never would. Animal cruelty, yes. Illegal substances, no. We’re here to help pets, not play police.
Before long, we had a pile of snickerdoodle cookies in Olive’s cage, and a very pepperminty pile in Harry’s cage. We then gave both pups some activated charcoal to bind any remaining THC, and some subcutaneous fluids to further flush their delinquent little systems. I told Penny we’d hang on to the
devils pups for the rest of the day, and monitor them closely. I advised her to call us later to see if they could go home, and she left, apologizing repeatedly for her error.
The pups were fine, although Harry did seem a little dazed all day… he was not at all his usual peppy self. At 5pm, Penny called the clinic for an update, and it was a classic. I love this client. “I was just checking to see if I can come and get Cheech and Chong!”