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Vets: Dogs overdose on drug-user poop

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Photo: DPA
13:52 CEST+02:00
Drug-users' excrement is making dogs in Berlin high. Vets in the capital are warning about an increase in the number of pets falling ill and being unable to walk properly after eating the faeces in the city's parks.

Parks in the Treptow and Kreuzburg areas of the capital see groups of drug users gathering – some of whom go to the toilet in the bushes. The results of which, the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Monday, are proving dangerous for dogs.

Vets told the newspaper that they had seen a rise in the number of dogs being brought in that had eaten human waste. Tests revealed that they had been poisoned by illegal drugs, like heroin, still present in the excrement.

Vet Reinhold Sassnau told the paper that symptoms include dehydration, shaking, an inability to walk properly and a rapid heartbeat. He sees a lot of these cases during his night shifts, he said.

If owners take their dog to a vet in time, the animal can be given an emetic which forces them to vomit up the faeces. If not, treatment can require staying in a clinic for some time to stabilize. Sassnau said fatal cases were rare.

One student, identified only as Malte, told the newspaper that he had to take his 10-year-old dog, Bob, to an emergency vet after walking him through Görlitzer Park, an area well-known for drug-dealing. “We thought he was going to die,” he said.

Jörn Bischof, the vet at the Charlottenburg clinic who treated Bob earlier in October, told the paper: “This is becoming more frequent.”

He added that although dogs are often tempted to eat waste they come across outdoors, owners should try to train them not to.

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