Drug addicts hurting dogs for meds

Photo: Liliya Kulianionak/Getty Images

TAMPA, Fla. — Not all pet owners are good caretakers of their beloved four-legged friends, veterinarian Dr. John Gicking told WTSP.

“There aren’t specific training that’s done, and that’s probably one of the reasons vets are targeted in particular because we want to make sure pets are being comfortable if they are in pain.”

Veterinarians across the country have reported cases where owners are using their pets to get their hands on a drug called tramadol, an opioid painkiller.

In Kentucky, police said a dog had to get stitches after his owner cut him open so she would be prescribed the painkiller. Then in Oregon, last year, a raid led authorities to seize 100,000 tramadol pills and rescue over a dozen dogs.

It’s stories like that that have vets like Gicking on the lookout for red flags.

“Prescriptions being used up faster. Or they have been reported to being spilled multiple times.”

Some vets have even gone to the extreme not to issue the medication any longer, which Gicking said is sad because the dogs are the ones who suffer.

“Unfortunately, options we have are limited, and tramadol’s one of those drugs with good pain controlling.”

But because some addicts have gone to the extreme of using the pets to get their fix, some vets don’t have any choice.