ANDOVER, Massachusetts — The opioid epidemic has really gotten out of control.
Vets in Massachusetts were forced to give a puppy an overdose drug after the curious pooch picked up and chewed a cigarette box containing the powerful narcotic Fetanyl and nearly died.
Owner Peter Thibault told he was walking his yellow lab Zoey in Andover Friday when she grabbed the box off the ground and began chewing.
“She was a normal dog just like this, within seconds she keeled over and fell right on her side,” Thibault told WBZ-TV.
At first, he took the dog home, but when she grew even more unresponsive, he rushed her to the Bulger Veterinary Hospital.
There, doctors immediately knew what they were looking at.
“Just the combination of an otherwise healthy dog who had suddenly collapsed eating something on the street, those were the keys,” said medical director Krista Vernaleken.
So they quickly administered a shot of Nalaxone, which helps reverse the effects of opioids in humans and has saved countless lives.
“She asked me to leave the room and within five minutes I was told to come back in. The dog was upright, alert, responsive, it was unbelievable,” Thibault said.
Zoey received several more shots over the next few hours, but was home within 12 hours, he said.
Sadly, the hospital said this marked the third time they had to treat an animal for an opioid overdose this year.