We know it’s a bad idea to take medication prescribed for a friend of family member – but how about meds prescribed for Fido? Some drug-seeking addicts are doing just that. How dangerous is this practice?
Veterinarian and star of “Pet Doctors of Atlanta,” Dr. Arvid Edward, joins The Doctors. “It’s interesting that this has become such a new thing.” In fact, he says it has become pretty common. The most common targets are anti-anxiety drugs, but he’s even seen people intentionally hurt pets so they can get Tramadol.
“Is there an easy way to tell as a vet, if and when this is happening?” asks ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork. Dr. Edward says that veterinarians take a mandatory class every two years on how to screen for drug-seeking clients. “There are questions we can ask to try to find out if these drugs are being misused.”
Breast Surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk adds that she’s heard of patients taking their pets antibiotics as well, and she wonders if there’s a difference in the formulation that might make this dangerous. “The thing with antibiotics is quite scary, actually,” Dr. Edward tells her. Antibiotic misuse is creating drug-resistant disease strains worldwide – and on top of that, drugs formulated for different animals are not designed for human use and may under- or overdose a person.
The Doctors stress that pet owners leave your pet’s medication alone – if you think you need medicine, see a doctor.