Policemen from drug divisions are often at risk of overdosing on potent drugs, since narcotics can now be lethal only if you touch them. However, these are dangerous not only for them, but for police dogs as well, so their handlers are now trained to use overdose antidote on dogs.
Fentanyl overdose among police dogs
Last October, a case of overdose among dogs brought this issue to the policemen’s attention. Three police dogs from Florida entered into contact with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug, but their handlers were not able to tell what was happening with them.
Fortunately, they went to a veterinarian just in time to receive the antidote, naloxone, which reversed the effects of fentanyl. However, if they had waited longer, it would have cost the dogs their lives. Now, police decided to train police dog handlers to identify overdose symptoms and to use naloxone, also known as Narcan, when necessary.
Police departments are introducing trainings on how to deal with overdoses
The College of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois recorded a video on how to administer the antidote to the dog in case of an overdose. This training was necessary, as drugs have become more powerful, and therefore more dangerous for police dogs. In fact, only a small quantity of fentanyl is enough to be lethal for a dog.
Also, the State Police in Massachusetts added a practical lesson on antidote administering in their police dog training program. This happened after some of their dogs were exposed to lethal drugs, and policemen realized they were in danger only sniffing or touching the substances.
However, police offices need to find a way to deal with this dangerous exposure to drugs. It is true that dogs are more vulnerable, since they get into contact with the substances more often, but police officers remain at risk as well. More police department are now implementing overdose training for both their dogs and their officers.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons