A New Low…Maiming Dogs for Drugs

Imagine this…a dog gets rushed into a veterinarian’s office due to deep, bleeding wounds to the leg. What does the veterinarian do? First, tend to the wounds, and then consider prescribing a pain medication, right?

But, wait. What happens when something just doesn’t seem right with the dog owner’s story about the injury? Or, when the injury appears to be purposely inflicted?

hurting dogs to score drugsMaiming Dogs for Drugs

Tramadol is a commonly used painkiller prescribed by veterinarians. Dogs take tramadol for arthritis, and debilitating ailments. It is also the same drug prescribed to dull the pain in human cancer patients.

When a dog is hurt, and in pain, veterinarians do what they can to help; they are not accustomed to screening human owners prior to prescribing necessary meds for the patient.

In a society full of drug addiction, we’ve now hit a new low…drug addicts are maiming their own pets in order to score drugs for themselves. Not only are they injuring their own dog, but they are then denying their pet the painkillers to help them through it. Yes, they are leaving their pets in pain, while selfishly indulging the need to feed their addiction.

I am sensitive to the issue of drug addiction. It is a real thing. It often causes people to do wildly foolish things out of sheer desperation. However, I cannot pretend to have sympathy in the case of maiming pets, and tricking veterinarians into prescribing drugs.

Tramadol, although not as powerful as oxycodone, produces some of the same effects, and it is cheap. Drug addicts have discovered that it costs far less than the widely abused opioid oxycodone, and they are using this to their advantage.

The New York Post reported that a Kentucky woman was arrested after using a disposable razor to slice open the leg of her 4 year old retriever. She not only maimed her pup once, but twice, simply to hustle her vet into prescribing tramadol.

Kudos to the vet who became suspicious of the woman after she returned three days after her initial visit claiming her child had flushed the pills down the toilet, and she now needed more (by the way, she has no kids). Upon further examining the dog’s wounds the vet determined they were not typical of cuts you would see in nature, and he called the cops. The woman was convicted on grounds of fraud by illegally attempting to obtain a controlled substance.

As more and more instances are being reported, veterinarians are starting to realize just how vigilant they need to be prior to prescribing pills.

Cops seized 100,000 tramadol pills last year outside of Portland, Oregon, and rescued 17 dogs, after the discovery of an opioid distribution ring disguised as a breeding facility for AKC-registered puppies. The dogs were found in horrible conditions, including having dead rats in their drinking water. Four people were arrested in that case.

What Can you do to Help?

The first step toward a resolution is awareness. Although the issue is being discussed within veterinarian circles, it wouldn’t hurt to bring it up to your vet. Keeping it in the forefront of our veterinarian’s mind can go a long way towards remembering to be vigilant in spotting fraudulent claims, and crazy injury claims, by reckless dog owners.

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