Wollongong dog left brain damaged after eating cannabis

Meet Greg. The four-legged battler left brain damaged after consuming marijuana. 

The amount of cannabis the 16-week-old staffy-cross ingested, or how, isn’t known – but the damage caused by the drug is clear. 

Greg suffers seizures – often in clusters – which leave him blind, deaf and disorientated.

When the fits start they are difficult to stop. Day-to-day activities are a struggle and his future is unclear.

He was suffering one of those seizures, and could have been for days, when he was brought in to Dapto’s Companion Animal Veterinary Hospital in early April. 

“It [marijuana] was certainly part of the picture when he arrived,” explained associate veterinarian Melissa Beardmore.

“We all noticed the smell around his head.”

Greg – who was given his moniker by the Ms Beardmore and her team – spent three days in emergency as the vets worked around the clock to save him. 

The seizures eventually stopped, but they have since returned.

Now, Wollongong Animal Rescue Network (WARN) carers work constantly to keep Greg safe and ensure the fits don’t last too long.

He has to be bathed after each seizure, because he loses control of his bowel, and also requires supervision when he struggles to see, hear or maintain balance.

Although some might view him as a lost cause, his WARN carers see a “happy, sweet boy” who can have – and deserves – quality of life. 

WARN founder Naomi John said, while it was likely Greg would be permanently damaged by his ordeal, the future looked bright.

He doesn’t need us to feel sorry for him, he needs us to help.

Wollongong Animal Rescue Network's Naomi John

“We really want him to get to a point where he can be adopted,” Ms John said.

Wollongong Animal Rescue Network (WARN) founder Naomi John with staffy-cross Greg who is being cared for around the clock after ingesting marijuana. Greg has brain damage and suffers seizures. Picture: Adam McLean

Wollongong Animal Rescue Network (WARN) founder Naomi John with staffy-cross Greg who is being cared for around the clock after ingesting marijuana. Greg has brain damage and suffers seizures. Picture: Adam McLean

“Yes he’ll be special, yes he’ll have his quirks, but we literally can’t have him desexed or do any of that sort of vet work until we have those seizures well under control.”   

After going three weeks without a seizure, Greg deteriorated on Thursday.

“We’re just trying to get a balance of medication that stops the seizures but that doesn't leave him too groggy. So he has quality of life,” she said. 

“It just takes a while to get that mix happening and I think we’re nearly there.

“He doesn’t need us to feel sorry for him, he needs us to help him.”

Ms John couldn’t say how long Greg would need help from the WARN. 

“For however long it takes, we’ll be there for him,” she said.

To make a donation, visit: warn.org.au/donate.