HUERFANO — Among the consequences of legalizing marijuana are the injuries sustained to pets who have inadvertently ingested some. All dog owners know their pets often get into just about anything in your house. Doctor John Davis, veterinarian at the Rio Cucharas Clinic west of Walsenburg, said he gets as many as two dogs a month that have eaten some form of marijuana or other drug. Dogs love the smell and taste of marijuana, but they have no tolerance for THC, the active ingredient in weed. There are many other dangerous chemicals in marijuana that are harmful to dogs. If a dog ingests any of them, they will get into the gastrointestinal tract, and from there can get into the liver and be reabsorbed into the body. Other forms of marijuana, such as cannabutter, which some people use for medicinal purposes, are especially dangerous for dogs, since they contain fat which makes it more difficult for their body to rid itself of the drugs. Pot brownies are also dangerous, because they not only get the effects of marijuana, but also the chocolate which is bad for dogs. When this occurs, veterinarians must treat both problems. When dogs eat marijuana, they exhibit symptoms beginning with lethargic behavior, drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can be followed by a very low heart rate and blood pressure, and hypothermia (cold). They can exhibit an altered state, be nonresponsive to stimuli, and can develop seizures and respiratory arrest, which can lead to death. In some cases, symptoms can occur within minutes, but it might take hours. They can last for days if not treated. If your dog show symptoms, try to get your dog to vomit to lessen the effects and help get it out of their system, and get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dr. Davis said it is possible to save the animal, and he has never lost a pet that has ingested marijuana. He also said that if your pet can find these drugs, then a child could also find them, and that could be disastrous. Protect your children and pets by keeping all drugs under lock and key.