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News & Press: Rx Alerts

Pets Are Now the Gateway To Get Prescription Drugs, Could Lead to Legislative Changes

Thursday, January 17, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon Glaittli
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The reality of addiction is very clear: Stories of animals being abused and intentionally hurt only to be taken to the veterinarian, just for their owner to keep the prescription drugs to sell or take themselves.

As a forensic veterinarian, Dr. Melinda Merck is very familiar with these cases. She serves as a bridge between the veterinary medicine community and law enforcement working on animal cruelty cases.

"What we're seeing with animals is people intentionally abusing their animals to get narcotics," Merck, who practices in Austin, said. She talked about an instance in Kentucky where a woman cut her dog with razor blades to get the pet's Tramadol. She described situations where animals are given Fentanyl patches, which were taken by people to use themselves or sell. In one case, an Ohio man trained his dog to cough on command, to gag up the medication the pet had received, Merck said. Some people will go "vet shopping."

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