Germany: Drug Users' Faeces Causing Pet Dogs to Overdose

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By Hannah Osborne | October 25, 2013 12:35 AM EST

Dogs in Berlin are overdosing on drug users faeces (angela n/Flickr)

Dogs in Berlin are increasingly getting high and overdosing after eating the faeces of drug users in the city's parks.

Vets have said they have experienced a rise in the number of dogs being brought in having ingested drugs through junkie excrement, according to local press reports.

Tests show the dogs have ingested illegal drugs, including heroin, still present in the users poo.

Dog owners who walk their pets in the Treptow and Krezburg areas have been warned to be vigilant about what their four-legged friends are eating.

Parks in these parts of the city see groups of drug users gathering, some of whom use the bushes as a toilet.

Difficulty walking

Vet Reinhold Sassnau told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that symptoms of a dog which has ingested drug-laden faeces include dehydration, shaking, difficulty walking and a rapid heartbeat.

One dog owner, called Malte, said he took his 10-year-old pet to an emergency vet after walking him through Görlitzer Park. "We thought he was going to die," he said. 

Jörn Bischof, the vet at the Charlottenburg clinic who treated Malte's dog, said cases of drug poisoning are becoming more frequent and advised owners to try to stop their pets from eating any waste they come across while outdoors.

Sassnau said that while fatal cases were rare, they were not unheard of. He said most cases are brought in during night shifts and if the animal is brought in early, a drug can be administered to make them vomit up the faeces. If not, the dog has to be kept in the surgery until they stabilise.

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