HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Two boxers are back home with their owner after a veterinarian said they swallowed synthetic marijuana.
Last week one boxer was rushed to the VCA Palmetto Animal Hospital in Conway after it collapsed at home. While that dog was being looked over, another boxer from the same house was showing the same symptoms, so he too was taken to the animal hospital.
"Dog gets here, body temperature was actually not very high but the dog was basically comatose," Medical Director Dr. Laurel Berger-Bishop said.
Dr. Berger-Bishop said the dogs were in bad shape when they were brought in, one second they'd be comatose, and the next, they would be "hyper-reactive," Dr. Berger-Bishop said. "She started struggling and thrashing and then right back down to being completely non responsive again."
Dr. Berger-Bishop said both dogs showed signs of low oxygen saturation, which means they weren't getting enough oxygen to their brains.
"If that's the effect that that particular substance has on dogs, I wouldn't want to put it in my body," Dr. Berger-Bishop said.
Dr. Berger-Bishop said the owners found synthetic marijuana, which was determined likely to be what the dogs ingested.
"The owners were devastated about it, needless to say," Dr. Berger-Bishop said.
Attorney Brad Floyd with the Floyd Law Firm said based on the facts given to him by WMBF News, this situation does not meet animal cruelty based on South Carolina law, because unlike similar laws with regard to humans that only require proof of negligence, there must exist facts that support intentional conduct.
Dr. Berger-Bishop said if you have synthetic marijuana or any other potentially dangerous chemical at home, this story should catch your attention.
"Children could get into it. Other animals could get into it. I don't know how much those dogs ingested but I don't think anybody really knows what type of chemicals go into that product," Dr. Berger-Bishop said.
Dr. Berger-Bishop said it's hard to treat animals when the substance they ingest is uncommon, so they're treated based on what their symptoms are. These two boxers were given IV fluids, oxygen and medication for the seizure-like symptoms. They were released back to their owner in good condition one day after they were brought in.
Dr. Berger-Bishop said the dogs are previous clients to the animal hospital and have never been brought in for anything like this in the past. Dr. Berger-Bishop said aside from ingesting the synthetic marijuana, the dogs were otherwise healthy.
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