An Edmonton woman said her little dog was running around in the Edmonton Grads Park off-leash dog area near 109 Avenue and 121 Street this past weekend, when the dog started acting odd and had trouble breathing.
After rushing her to the vet, it turns out the dog ingested methamphetamine, opioids and THC.
The dog is ok after staying overnight at a clinic and getting medications, charcoal and IV fluids.
But it’s raised concerns for veterinarians like Dr. Nick Barbaza, who works at the nearby Glenora Family Vet Clinic, especially with the spring melt around the corner.
“It was an unusual type of story, to be exposed to multiple drugs at the same time,” Barbaza said.
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“I was worried because we get dogs that get into cannabis, for example, but when you have three drugs it is definitely worse, so then we’re thinking about the safety of that particular patient.”
Barbaza said pet owners should be aware of the symptoms of drug poisoning.
“They may start urinating on themselves, they get startled easily, they could tumble over and fall….but it can vary…it can go to tremors, seizures, heart racing, being extremely lethargic and nonresponsive,” Barbaza said.
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The Edmonton Police Service said this does happen often, but the situations they usually see are related to animals ingesting drugs because they got into their owners’ stash.
“This occurs more than you think,” said Const. Ted Dyck with the EPS animal cruelty investigation unit.
“For the most part, dogs that are brought into the vet office are on meth, or THC is what we see the most of — the owners themselves have some sort of addiction issues.
“They kind of go hand-in-hand.”
Officers do want to remind dog owners to be aware of what your pet might be getting into and keep tabs on them at all times, but to know this isn’t a major issue in parks.
“I don’t want to create any panic or anything, because there is none,” Dyck said.
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If you do run into a situation with your dog at a park or see drugs on the ground, report it to police. EPS also said veterinarians are mandated to report any suspected animal abuse.
Edmonton police can be contacted at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.
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