I have a lot of friends in the Veterinary industry and they have mentioned how they are seeing a serious uptick in the amount of poisonings they are treating in dogs especially with Marijuana now that medical and recreational Marijuana are legal in many states.
Then I read this frightening story from another bird dog owner today and thought it was an important time to address this new issue.
Naturally with their powerful scenting abilities French Brittanys can make excellent Narcotics detection dogs, but the important part of that training is teaching them to leave the samples alone and give a passive alert. Curious Brittanys with great noses and no training to leave the item are at great risk.
She’s going to be a small setter. Both her parents are on the short side. Fine with me. We live in New England and hunt in Vermont…there are no wide open plains, no sagebrush, though sometimes a tight little pasture or cornfield will hold autumn birds. The forest is only 45 minutes away, impenetrable and rooted in granite. Often, there is no sunlight because the northern woods are so thick. She’ll fit just fine between the brambles and hanging moss. It’s going to be good. This week we trained very early in the morning out in a swamp. The e-collar kept her from heading towards a heavily travelled road and she’s learned to “sit” and “stay”….another week of that coming up.
Phoebe needs another 20 pounds until she’s too big for a coyote attack. They’re everywhere in the suburbs of Boston, and local news continues reporting on dogs and cats hauled off bodily in their jaws just about every day. I carry a small machete around my neck while we’re together, as I will wade in and attempt to kill them and die like a good knight should.
A corridor of trees follows the Mass Turnpike through the whole state, from Albany to Needham. It’s a conduit for all the wildlife repopulating themselves within the woods…..the bears are already here. In 20 years the mountain lions will return and hide themselves among rhododendrons and ornamental Japanese trees. Nature has a way and it will prevail.
Every day….usually in the afternoon, I put a leash on Phoebe and simply walk her up the street. She has to be acclimated to the domestic world. It’s busy….lot’s of traffic. Route 27 is a main thoroughfare through Natick and heavy with commuters. Her e-collar is on. She’s not a fan of cars or trucks at all…..skittish and nervous. We pass other dogs and people….we pass construction sites that dick around all summer but go like bastards as the season heads towards winter.
Though she keeps her nose in the wind most of the time….along our walks there are tufts of ornamental grass or non-native shrubs just against the pavement. Phoebe buries her nose in them…sometimes chewing, always whiffing scent. I’ve never thought twice about it.
Unfortunately, a while ago, she collapsed in the house. Her head wobbled like a toy and her skin shivered. She vomited and passed diarrhea, then kept wobbling. I called my wife’s flower shop across the street.
“Umm…..I need help….something is wrong.”
My wife and son were home within 5 minutes.
“This is fucked up, don’t you think?
Phoebe slipped into unconsciousness, twitching and wobbling and dying….all in the span of fifteen minutes.
Our vet said to take her to the emergency pet hospital on Route 9 immediately. We called en-route and described the symptoms. Three of their people were in the parking lot when we arrived with little Phoebe…..drained….near death, wrapped in her favorite blanket.
She was rushed to their special rooms. I was sick…..sick about complaining of things, sick of my bad back, sick of civilization and sick of fear.
My little one. My bird dog. Yeah, it’s all good and tough when I speak of hunting and farming and strong children….but my puppy was inert….pulled away from her paradise in Belfast, Maine…for what….to join me here in this modern contrived life?
Please God and modern medicine….please save her. I won’t fuck up next time. I promise.
The doctor joined Jill and I within 8 minutes. We were anguishing in the waiting room.
“I need your permission to administer Narcan. I believe she’s ingested an opioid….we see it a lot lately.”
There are no opioids in our house. I took them gratefully after my spinal surgeries and there are days I wish for more. They were created for a reason. Motrin doesn’t do it sometimes.
We gave our consent. Within minutes the doctor returned to us. She showed us a video on her cell phone she had filmed moments after she treated Phoebe with Narcan.
Phoebe was bouncing off the walls in her normal demeanor ….playful, full of spunk and responsive.
“You did the right thing. She would have been dead in an hour. Do you have Perc’s or Oxycodeine’s in your house?
“We do not.”
“Do you have neighbors that might?”
“I can’t answer that. We stay out of everyone’s business.”
“Was there a gathering…..a fire pit or something anywhere near you lately…before the rain?”
In fact there was. Couple of houses up…lot’s of young people gathered a few nights ago.
The doctor was cool and calm…..not throwing accusations around.
“I can only say, because the Narcan worked immediately, that your dog consumed an opioid somewhere along the sidewalk. We get about 15 of these a week. It’s a problem with humans and it’s a new problem with dogs. Keep her on the pavement when you walk.”
Phoebe spent the night at the hospital. She got IV fluids and never needed another dose of Narcan. It was expensive. It was weeks ago.
She came home happy and hungry and dependent on us. There was no follow-thru. We’re still paying the bill.
Today, Phoebe was a good bird dog out in the mud and the flooded streams. The coyotes were kept at bay. She’s normal after her overdose…..and thankfully, because of the quick thinking of a skilled veterinarian I hope to never see again, it’s a memory.
Goddamn suburbs. The lions are coming for us, just like they did in Rome. Sharpen your machete’s and be careful out there.
Raising Awareness and Protecting Our Furry Companions
French Brittany dogs, with their boundless energy and playful nature, bring immense joy to our lives. However, recent incidents have shed light on a concerning issue: accidental ingestion of narcotics by these beloved furry friends. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial to understand the adverse effects and potential dangers associated with recreational drug use in French Brittany dogs. In this in-depth article, we will explore the tendencies of French Brittanys towards accidental ingestion, the negative impacts on their health, and how we can prevent such incidents from occurring.
Tendencies towards Accidental Ingestion
French Brittanys, known for their curious nature and love for exploration, may occasionally encounter recreational drugs while out on walks or during playtime. Their innate curiosity, combined with a keen sense of smell, can lead them to inadvertently consume substances such as marijuana, cocaine, or even prescription medications. While accidental ingestion is not exclusive to this breed, it is important to be aware of their susceptibility to this issue.
Negative Impacts on Health and Well-being
Recreational drug use can have severe consequences on the health and well-being of our French Brittany companions. The ingestion of narcotics can cause a range of symptoms, including lethargy, disorientation, increased heart rate, seizures, and even organ failure. Immediate medical attention is crucial if you suspect your dog has ingested drugs, as the consequences can be life-threatening.
Case studies have shown heartbreaking instances where French Brittany dogs have suffered irreversible damage due to accidental ingestion. One such case involved a dog who consumed a marijuana-laced edible while on a walk. The dog experienced severe neurological effects and required intensive veterinary care to survive. These stories serve as powerful reminders of the dangers lurking within our pet’s reach.
Identifying Warning Signs
Detecting whether your French Brittany has ingested drugs can be challenging, as symptoms may vary depending on the substance and quantity consumed. However, there are common signs to watch out for:
- Abrupt changes in behavior, such as extreme lethargy or hyperactivity.
- Dilated pupils or bloodshot eyes.
- Difficulty walking or loss of coordination.
- Excessive drooling or vomiting.
- Unusual agitation or aggression.
- Irregular breathing patterns.
If you observe any of these warning signs, it is critical to seek veterinary assistance immediately.
Addressing the Consequences
When it comes to accidental ingestion, time is of the essence. If you suspect that your French Brittany has consumed drugs, contact a veterinarian without delay. They will assess the situation, provide necessary treatment, and monitor your pet’s condition closely. Prompt medical intervention can significantly improve the chances of a positive outcome.
Additionally, it is essential to keep a well-stocked K9 first aid kit on hand. This kit should include items such as activated charcoal, which may help absorb toxins and reduce their effects before seeking professional help. Consult your veterinarian to assemble a comprehensive first aid kit tailored to your French Brittany’s needs.
Preventing Future Incidents and Raising Awareness
To prevent accidental ingestion of narcotics, proactive steps must be taken by both dog owners and the wider pet-owning community. Here are some recommendations:
Secure your home: Store medications and recreational drugs securely, out of your dog’s reach. Use childproof caps and lock cabinets if necessary.
Be vigilant during walks: Keep a close eye on your French Brittany, especially in areas where drug usage is more prevalent. Discourage them from sniffing or consuming anything suspicious.
Educate yourself and others: Spread awareness about the dangers of recreational drugs for pets. Share this article, along with reputable sources, within your community and on social media platforms. Knowledge can save lives.
Seek professional help: If you suspect someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, encourage them to seek treatment. By addressing the root cause, we can indirectly protect our furry companions from potential harm.
As pet owners, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our French Brittany dogs. Accidental ingestion of narcotics poses a significant threat to their health, but by staying informed, taking preventive measures, and raising awareness, we can mitigate this risk. Let us come together as a community to protect and cherish these remarkable animals who bring us so much joy and companionship.
- American Kennel Club (AKC) – The 10 Human Medications Most Dangerous to Dogs
- Wag! – [Opioids and Opiates Poisoning in Dogs](https://wagwalking.com/condition/opioids-and-opiates-poisoning?page=3