Portland, OR – The drug addiction epidemic is impacting dogs in Portland, Oregon. According to multiple sources, veterinary hospitals in the area are treating more and more dogs who have been accidentally exposed to fentanyl during their everyday outings with owners.
As reported by KPTV News, Emily Englebright was walking her two Chihuahua puppies last week when one of them paused to sniff at something on the sidewalk. Within minutes of returning to her apartment, the puppy was showing signs of a serious problem. Englebright rushed her pup to Dove Lewis Veterinary; by the time she arrived, the puppy was unresponsive and near death.
She recounted the terrifying situation to the news agency:
“By the time we got there, he was completely unresponsive, he was white. I thought he was dead when I handed him over actually, it was awful.”
The emergency veterinary staff administered Narcan and the puppy quickly rebounded from the drug’s toxic effects. Englebright explained why the Narcan was given by the vet:
“She thought most likely fentanyl, and she actually already had three fentanyl cases that night,”
Tess Payne, the Director of Community Engagement for Dove Lewis, said, “It’s becoming more and more common, and we have seen an increase recently.” Describing the symptoms a pet owner might observe if their cat or dog has been exposed, “Lower respiratory rate, maybe difficulty breathing, your pet might have difficulty walking, some animals’ pupils might change, so a dog’s pupils might be a pinpoint while a cat’s might be dilated, it might even go as far as having seizures.”