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Delray Beach police K9 handlers carry anti-overdose medicine for their dogs

Posted at 2:45 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 17:56:00-04

Police in Delray Beach are taking action to protect their K9s from opioids. Handlers now carry overdose reversal medicine for their dogs.

It’s the same medicine first responders use to treat human overdose patients. But instead of administering naloxone via the nose like in humans, K9 officers inject it into the muscle of their dogs when necessary. Naloxone is sold under the brand name Narcan

Sgt. Adam Margolis explained dogs use their noses to find narcotics which puts them at risk for exposure. He added even the smallest amount of a drug like fentanyl on a dog’s nose, paw or mouth can lead to an overdose.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” Margolis pointed out. “Their respiration may slow down, they’ll become very lethargic, clumsy. Once we notice those signs, we have to immediately administer Narcan.”

So far no police dogs in Delray Beach have needed the medicine. The city’s police department has four K9s, three of which are trained to search for narcotics.

The Coral Springs Animal Hospital trained dozens of K9 handlers in the tri-county area to treat their dogs when necessary. Leaders at the hospital decided to offer the training after a Broward County Sheriff’s Office K9 was exposed to fentanyl.