A Massachusetts puppy was saved after it accidentally ingested an opioid with an antidote used to save humans from overdoses, according to WBZ-TV.
While owner Peter Thibault was walking his yellow lab puppy Zoey early last Friday morning in Andover, Massachusetts, Zoey picked up a cigarette box. He promptly pulled it out of her mouth and continued their walk. But moments later Zoey collapsed.
“She was a normal dog just like this, within seconds she keeled over and fell right on her side,” Thibault told WBZ.
Thibault carried Zoey home, but when she became unresponsive, he rushed her to a local veterinary hospital.
The veterinarians determined that the box Zoey picked up contained an opioid, and she had overdosed.
“Just the combination of an otherwise healthy dog who had suddenly collapsed eating something on the street, those were the keys,” medical director Krista Vernaleken told WBZ.
They gave Zoey naloxone, the generic form of narcan, a drug used to save humans who overdose on opioids. The puppy needed several doses but was able to return home 12 hours later.
Thibault said the veterinarian “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.
‘Little kids are out here all the time’
Thibault said he remains concerned because the street corner where Zoey found the drug is the same place his 6- and 9-year-old children wait for the school bus.
“It could have been one of the kids in the neighborhood and that would have been devastating. Little kids are out here all the time,” he said.
The veterinarians who treated Zoey said her case isn’t unique. They have treated at least three other pets for overdoses just this year.
Thibault said it made him realize how close the opioid epidemic is to home.
“You hear about it on the news, but until I was impacted by it, I never took it seriously. Now it’s on the forefront of my mind,” Thibault said.