What do police K9’s and the things in your yard have in common – besides dog pooh? Well I’ll tell you.
Our local paper ran an interesting article on how the human half of the k9 patrol was learning the signs of opioid overdose in their dogs. It apparently occurs often enough that officers are now being schooled on how to identify the early clinical signs of canine overdose and how to administer Narcan™, a drug used to counter the opioid so they have time to get their partner to a veterinarian for further treatment. (Narcan is also used in human overdose.)
The dogs are absorbing toxic levels of opioids through their paws and noses when on patrol or ‘drug busts’ as they do their civic duty throughout America and it is nice to know that the police department is keeping up with new demands put on their officers, human and canine alike.
In of itself, the article in very interesting, but it also serves as a reminder to civilian guardians.
Currently the number one killing diseases of dogs is cancer. For dog guardians, if it is not the first health concern it certainly is in the top three. Breeders, researchers, and future puppy guardians all work at trying to get the odds of vanquishing this particular disease in their favor. We feed natural foods, we try to breed from ‘clean’ lines, we look to genetics and markers and these are wise choices. But do we pay enough attention to environmental factors?
If a canine officer can overdose by walking through a contaminated site – what is being absorbed by our home companion on a daily basis? Most people I know are a little nutsy about the diet of their dogs and rightfully so. But there are other potential dangers. What was the dog bed washed with? What is the carpet made of, what is the glue used and what products cleaned the carpet and rugs? What was used to wash the kitchen floor? How about the furniture polish or the dusting product? Exactly what is out there on the lawn?
Consider how much time the dog’s feet are on the ground, how many things they ‘taste’ and how much they are absorbing into their systems. It very well could be that the environment plays a bigger role than we might think. Take a day to review just what is in your home.
A little spring house-cleaning could go a long way in to a longer, happier life for your companion.
 Wausau Daily Herald. Wednesday, February 21, 2018. ‘Dangers in Dogs’ Meg Jones. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. USA TODAY NETWORK- WISCONSIN