So, after a long and fairly challenging run, my dog and I return home for a drink and a rest. His rest is significantly deep. Like five hours deep. Hardly moving deep. I notice that when I pass him or there’s some kind of noise, he jerks his head up and then lolls back down. He seems, off. Six hours post run my son bounds past, startling him into a standing position which quickly becomes a crouch, which quickly becomes a flopping back to the ground. I’m now officially concerned.
I offer him water. He doesn’t take it.
I offer him food. He doesn’t take it.
He’s a lab. Not taking food means something is seriously wrong.
After much coaxing, he stumbles up and ambles towards us, his balance clearly off. “That’s it”, I say, “he’s having a stroke.” Within several tense moments we have him into the car and in front of the vet’s office. It’s after hours. Emergency fees apply. I don’t care. I just want my dog to be better.
“Do whatever it takes!” I plead. “Cost is no object!”.
I’m not allowed into the clinic so I sit nervously in the car, awaiting an update. Ten minutes pass, then fifteen. I’m fearing the worst. Finally the vet comes out, her mask covering up the expression on her face that I’m hoping to read. She pauses in front of me, wipes her brow and says,
“Your dog is stoned.”
“It’s surprisingly common,” she says. “Did he eat anything while you were on your run?”
Walking a lab is like walking a tiger shark, they eat everything in their path, so I’m guessing he found something that was dropped accidentally. Dogs are hit hard and quickly with THC. They have a test in the clinic and she shows me the results.
“We’ve given him some fluids and helped him ingest a charcoal based substance to bind the drug for removal. Take him home, give him 2 bags of Doritos, and a dark place to sleep it off.”
Ok, she didn’t add the Doritos part but she may as well have.
He crashed when we got home and didn’t wake again until 12:43am. I know the exact time because I slept beside him, knowing he’d need help at some point during the night.
I’d like to think he’s learned from this but I know better. Heck, he may have even enjoyed the experience. I’ve learned something though, a stoned dog looks a lot like an ill dog and for $400 you can confirm the difference between the two.