An Edmonton woman said her small dog was running in the off-leash dog area of Edmonton Grads Park near 109th Avenue and 121st Street last weekend when the dog started acting strange and had trouble breathing.
After rushing her to the vet, it turns out the dog ingested methamphetamine, opioids, and THC.
The dog is fine after spending the night in a clinic and receiving medication, charcoal and IV fluids.
But it has raised concerns for vets like Dr Nick Barbaza, who works at the nearby Glenora Family Veterinary Clinic, particularly with the approaching spring melt.
“It was an unusual type of story, being exposed to multiple drugs at the same time,” Barbaza said.
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“I was worried because we have dogs that use cannabis, for example, but when you have three drugs it’s definitely worse, so 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 are easily startled, they may tip over and fall…but it can vary…it can go up to shaking, convulsions, heart pounding, being extremely lethargic and unresponsive,” Barbaza said.
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The Edmonton Police Department said it happens often, but the situations they usually see are related to animals ingesting drugs because they entered their owners’ hideouts.
“It happens more than you think,” said Const. Ted Dyck with the EPS Animal Cruelty Investigation Unit.
“For the most part the dogs that are brought into the vet office are on meth, or THC is what we see the most – the owners themselves have some kind of addiction issues.
“They kind of go hand in hand.”
Officers want to remind dog owners to be aware of what your pet might get into and to keep an eye out for them at all times, but know that it’s not a major issue in the parks.
“I don’t want to create panic or anything because there isn’t,” Dyck said.
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If you run into a situation with your dog in a park or see drugs on the ground, report it to the police. EPS also said veterinarians are required to report any suspected animal abuse.
Edmonton Police can be contacted at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a cell phone. Anonymous information may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.
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