A DOG which became wobbly and collapsed had been poisoned by cannabis during a riverside walk in Bournemouth.

German Shorthaired Pointer Hudson almost died after becoming seriously ill during a walk along the River Stour near Northbourne.

Baffled owner David King rushed the four-year-old dog to the vet and he was referred to a specialist.

Toxicology tests revealed cannabis poisoning and Mr King was told a smaller or less fit animal would have been killed by the drug.

Now he has warned other dog owners to be on their guard following the frightening episode on Friday July 3.

Mr King, who lives in Northbourne, said he takes Hudson and his other dog Jenny along the river towards Throop every morning.

On Friday they were heading home when Hudson appeared to be unwell.

"He is a dog who normally likes to be in front but he started lagging behind" said Mr King.

"He was very wobbly on his legs and it was obvious there was something seriously wrong with him. He looked like he was really drunk.

"He collapsed and I had to carry him. I put him in the car and drove straight to the vet."

Hudson's usual vet was unable to diagnose the problem, initially thinking he had had a stroke or injured his back.

Blood tests were carried out and pain killers given but staff were at a loss.

So they referred them to Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists in Ringwood where tests revealed cannabis poisoning.

"They phoned me and said they did not have the expertise to deal with him - I thought he was going to die" said Mr King.

He added: "I know groups of young people hang around by the river and I quite often see drugs paraphernalia down there but I never expected something like this.

"I didn't see him eating anything so it came as a total shock. It had an immediate effect."

Mr King, Hudson and Jenny walk for around six miles every day, early in the morning.

The incident happened at around 7.45am, about five minutes walk from Brecon Close.

He added: "I know people clear up down there on most days but we go early so it may be that there hadn't been a chance to tidy up.

"I imagine someone must have hidden cannabis there. Hudson is a 30kg dog - if this had happened to a little one it would have killed it."