Illicit drug 4: Heroin

Illicit drug 4: Heroin

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Feb 25, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

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veterinary

Heroin is a synthetic derivative of morphine that originates from poppy plants. People typically inject it intravenously, but it may be snorted or smoked. Animals, especially dogs, may be used as “pack mules” to illegally transport heroin. In 2006, a group of Labrador puppies was shipped to New York City from Columbia. Prior to shipment, the dogs had bags filled with liquid heroin surgically implanted in their abdomens. Amazingly, very few of the puppies died from heroin poisoning; although, a number did die from infections secondary to non-sterile surgery techniques.

Signs of heroin ingestion in pets include aggressive behavior (especially in dogs), vomiting, salivation, pinpoint pupils, a staggering gait, neurologic depression, unconsciousness, and rarely seizures. Life-threatening respiratory and cardiac depression is common. Respiratory depression and subsequent hypoxia are the leading cause of death.

As with many illegal drugs, the amount needed to cause poisoning in pets is very small, and all exposed animals need to quickly be evaluated by a veterinarian. Thankfully, there’s an effective reversal agent for heroin called naloxone. Many veterinary clinics carry this drug.

More in this package:
Introduction
Illicit drug 1: Marijuana
Illicit drug 2: Amphetamines, including MDMA (Ecstasy)
Illicit drug 3: Cocaine or crack cocaine
Illicit drug 4: Heroin
Illicit drug 5: Hallucinogens
Drug testing in dogs


Proceedings papers for techs

The very best behavior advice for new puppy owners (Proceedings)

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The entire hospital staff should play a role in the counseling of new puppy owners.

The technician's role creating a behavior centered veterinary practice (Proceedings)

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A focus on pet behavior in the veterinary clinic is an excellent practice builder.

Trying times--dealing with canine adolescent dog (Proceedings)

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A behavior wellness exam is an opportunity to check up on a pet’s behavioral health and answer any related questions a client may have.

Enriching geriatric patient's lives (Proceedings)

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An important time for practices to include a behavioral exam is when a pet becomes a senior.

Tubes and tracheas--all about endotracheal tubes and lesions in difficult intubations (Proceedings)

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Endotracheal tubes are usually made from silicone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or red rubber.