BOSTON (CBS) – Like most puppies, three-month old Zoey gets into just about everything. But what she ingested last Friday nearly cost her life.
A cigarette box on an Andover street corner was hiding what turned out to be an opioid, and the impact on the frisky yellow lab was immediate.
“She was a normal dog just like this, within seconds she keeled over and fell right on her side,” said owner Peter Thibault.
He quickly carried her home, but as she grew increasingly unresponsive he rushed her to the Bulger Veterinary Hospital in North Andover.
It didn’t take the doctors long to determine Zoey had overdosed.
“Just the combination of an otherwise healthy dog who had suddenly collapsed eating something on the street, those were the keys,” said medical director Krista Vernaleken.
They administered naloxone, the generic form of narcan used to reverse the effects of opioids on humans.
The puppy would need several doses but in what seems like a miracle to Thibault, Zoey was home in 12 hours.
“She asked me to leave the room and within five minutes I was told to come back in. The dog was upright, alert, responsive, it was unbelievable,” said Thibault.
What concerns Thibault is where the drug was found – on a corner where his six and nine year old children pick up the school bus.
“It could have been one of the kids in the neighborhood and that would have been devastating. Little kids are out here all the time,” he said.
Zoey’s case is not so unusual. The veterinary hospital has treated at least three other similar cases just this year.
For Thibault, it speaks to the reach of the opioid epidemic.
“You hear about it on the news, but until I was impacted by it, I never took it seriously. Now it’s on the forefront of my mind,” said Thibault, who is grateful a cherished member of the family got a second chance.