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Tag: coma

Should dogs eat grass? Not this kind

drugdogA dog owner thinks her 11-year-old Labrador mix, Jack, got sick after accidentally eating marijuana at a Seattle park.

Jack, after being unleashed in Seattle’s Seward Park, wandered off for about three minutes. About three hours later, “his head was rocking back and forth his eyes were glassy,”  said his owner, Jen Nestor.

Nestor  thinks her dog must have happened upon some marijuana stashed somewhere in the park greenery, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. 

According to his medical records, Jack appeared dizzy and disoriented, was staggering and fell over when trying to sit. He also vomited large amounts of plant material and liquid that smelled like marijuana, his owner said.

Police say the story sounds legit, and point out that a wilderness guide playing hide and seek with kids in Seward Park discovered a duffel bag packed with five and a half pounds of marijuana on April 3.

Jack, after $1,500 in medical bills,  has recovered from his May 17 experience.

Marijuana can be toxic to dogs and, depending on a dogs’ size and the amount consumed, ingesting it can send them into a coma.

Dogs getting into their owners’ stashes — be they illegal or medically approved — isn’t really as rare an event as you might think. Figuring there are dogs in 43 million U.S. homes, and people who have smoked marijuana in the past year in 25 million homes, there’s got to a multi-million overlap there.

In parts of Northern California, vets face such cases regularly, with some attending to several zonked-out dogs a week, according to a 2005 Los Angeles Times story.

(Photo: Rocky, a Nebraska drug detection dog, sits atop a large haul in 2007, courtesy Douglas County Sheriff’s Department)

Karma and the angel in a paramedic’s uniform

Back in October, a registered nurse at a Memphis hospital handed a paramedic a folded-up note she had removed from the wallet of a patient whose identity she was trying to learn.

The patient had been hit by a car and was unconscious.

The note said: “I have two dogs that need to be taken care of. You will need animal control because one of the dogs is a Rottweiler. She is a good girl. Her name is Karma, six years old. The other dog’s name is Jasmine, 10 years old.”

The note also listed three contact names, and had a hand-drawn map showing how to get to his house. It concluded: “Thank you. Someone please take care of my babies.”

The patient’s name was Michael Short, a loner with no family in Memphis. His coma would last for weeks. And as it turned out, the note he scrawled on notebook paper and stuffed in his wallet couldn’t have landed in better hands.

Paramedic Pamey Hunter, 46, an animal lover, worked the nightshift at The Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

When her shift ended at 7 a.m., Hunter found Short’s home. She was greeted by Karma, the Rottweiler, who barked, snarled and lunged at the chain-link fence. Hunter left, returning a few minutes later with dog treats. At first she tossed them to Karma. Before too long, she had Karma eating out of her hand.

Then she ran out of treats and went to get some more food.

Karma greeted her with a wag of the nubby tail when she returned, let her in, and permitted her to go check on the other dog, Jasmine.

Hunter found the older dog in the hallway. She fed both dogs and promised to return that evening before she went to work.

And that’s exactly what she did — for two months.

She also  bought them dog beds, fresh hay for a doghouse and treats, took Jasmine to the vet for an ear infection, and gave her arthritis medicine every day. Hunter checked several times on Short, the 34-year-old man who spent weeks in a coma. It turned out to be his second major head injury, the first occuring when he was hit by a van at age 17. He couldn’t hear her, but Hunter assured him the dogs were being cared for.

When Short awoke from his coma, he asked about his dogs right away, and Hunter told him she’d bring them for a visit.

After Short went home, Hunter stayed in touch, and on Christmas, Short told her that Karma and Jasmine had been shopping and bought her a gift. She stopped by and Short handed her a small wrapped box. Inside was a necklace and a cross.

Hunter said she cared for Short’s dogs because didn’t want to call animal control. That’s what she told Cindy Wolff, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reporter who unearthed this story — the kind we don’t hear about nearly often enough.  

“I knew because of the note that these dogs were the most important things to this man,” Hunter explained. “These dogs were all he had in the world and he wasn’t going to lose them if I could help it.”