WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Another twist to the opioid epidemic. Veterinarians say some addicts are abusing pets to score drugs. Veterinarian Steffani Morris has been helping our four legged friends for over 10 years.
“Can you sit, good boy, good boy,” said Morris.
Doctor Morris treats and loves animals of all shapes and size, which is why she is outraged that people across the country are purposely hurting their pets, so veterinarians prescribe pain pills, which their owners take.
Tramadol is often abused in this fashion, which gives an opioid like effect.
“We’ll use it for dogs that either have acute or chronic pain,” said Morris.
In Kentucky, a dog had to get stitches after police say his owner cut him open so she would be prescribed the pain killer. It’s stories like that, that keep doctor Morris vigilant.
“If we see an animal, treat them for a condition and the owners are calling back very frequently for refills of these same medications or controlled substances those are kind of big red flags,” said Morris.
Addicts going to the extreme to get their fix.
“I don’t think a slap on the wrist and a fee or a fine is enough,” said Morris.
She says this type of abuse needs lawmakers’ attention, to ensure animals end up in a happy home. Now because of this issue, some veterinarians have stopped prescribing Tramadol altogether, in hopes of preventing an addict abusing their animal.