Conway veterinarian sees first two cases of dogs overdose on synthetic marijuana

Two dogs almost overdosed and died after ingesting synthetic marijuana.

The dogs, two boxers, were brought in to VCA Animal Hospital in Conway last week and displayed strange symptoms.

"They both had low body temperatures, very low heart rates, we had them on oxygen," said Medical Director Dr. Laurel Berger-Bishop.

The dogs' owner went home to try and find what the dogs got into.

"It was after they got home and looked around that they decided that apparently the dogs had gotten into some synthetic marijuana."

The drug is also known as spice and is a legal form of marijuana.

Despite Congress' recent attempts to ban the substance, makers have found new chemicals that create the same potentially lethal effects.

Medical director Dr. Laurel Berger-Bishop said this is the first case of this kind that she encountered.

She explained that the dogs were treated the same as if they'd eaten any other dangerous drug.

"The treatment is usually symptomatic and then just trying to support the kidneys and the liver so that they can deal with whatever the toxin is," Dr. Berger-Bishop said.

She added that the hospital sees several overdose cases a week, everything from prescription to over the counter drugs.

Dr. Berger-Bishop reminds pet owners, "It just needs to be kept away, kept securely away in bathroom cabinets and those sorts of things."

The woman who owned the dogs didn't want to be identified but wanted pet owners to be aware of the dangers. She explained that it was a substance she didn't even know was in her home.

Dr. Berger-Bishop said if your pet has strange symptoms, call your vet, they'll help you figure out if you need to bring the pet in.