A Drug Problem: Sioux Falls Vet Sees Animals Test Positive For Marijuana

A terrier named Bubba is making national headlines after his owner was arrested on drug charges in California and the dog tested positive for meth and heroin. But is Bubba’s situation unique? We talked with a local veterinarian, who says he’s seen similar problems with a few of his animal patients.

“They’re limp. They don’t move. You can see ’em breathing and stuff normal and their eyes are open, they’re kind of able to look around but they can’t do anything else,” said All Animal Pet Hospital Veterinarian Dr. Dayton Williams.

Dr. Williams, who has been a vet for about 30 years, says he’s never seen a case like Bubba’s, where an animal has tested positive for meth or heroin, but he has treated several for marijuana.

“It’s not any fun to see that because it’s really difficult on them and can cause really severe problems,” said Williams.

Williams says just last fall, the same owner brought in a cat and dog 24 hours apart. At first, he thought the cat got into something outside when it tested positive for marijuana. However, the dog had an even higher toxicity in its system. Williams says he’s required to report the incident to authorities.

Williams said, “They went over to the place and found that the owners were using marijuana and had some of the marijuana brownies there and the animals got into those.”

Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, Williams says veterinarians there have seen a huge increase in animals eating the drug. He says if Sioux Falls continues to see a rise in meth and heroin use, a case like Bubba’s could be the next one he treats.

“It’s not if but when it becomes something bad,” said Williams.

Williams says vets also have to be careful when treating animals. Just like humans, they get addicted to pain killers. Like humans, they also have to be weaned off certain drugs.