Zoey found the opioid inside a cigarette container left near a school bus stop

By Kelli Bender
October 30, 2017 02:26 PM

Bad news: The country’s opioid epidemic is extending to its pets, as well.

A three-month-old yellow Lab puppy named Zoey, like most puppies, has a penchant for tasting first, asking questions later. This natural canine curiosity almost cost her her life on Friday, according to WBZ.

Zoey and her owner Peter Thibault were on a routine walk through the Andover neighborhood of Boston, when the pup caught sight of a discarded cigarette container on the ground. Thinking with her mouth first, Zoey started chomping on the package before Thibault could stop her. Neither knew an opioid was inside the cigarette pack. Zoey accidentally ingested the opioid while gnawing on the container and the effects were immediate.

“She was a normal dog just like this, within seconds she keeled over and fell right on her side,” said Thibault.

The concerned owner quickly scooped up the dog and ran her home. But Zoey’s condition continued to nose dive, so Thibault left his house to rush the pup to Bulger Veterinary Hospital.

Veterinarians at the hospital quickly realized that Zoey must have ingested something dangerous and went to work. Like humans who overdose on an opiate, Zoey was given Naloxone. This generic form of Narcan helps reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Much like her rapid decline, Zoey’s recovery was equally speedy. Less than 12 hours after eating the opioid, the pup was back home bounding around like her normal self.

The animal hospital said this is the fourth canine opioid overdose it’s seen this year.

“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.

Thibault, now personally-affected by the crisis, is worried about what Zoey’s incident means for the safety of the neighborhood, in particular, for the numerous children who live in the area.

“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 regarding the spot where Zoey found the discarded opioid.