Dog hospitalized for PCP after walk at popular Vancouver beach
A Vancouver man is speaking out after one of his dogs somehow ingested hard drugs during a routine walk at the beach this week.
Jean-Francois Houde said his three-year-old dog, Loretta, starting acting funny after they returned home from Kitsilano Beach on Wednesday.
"We realized she was really not able to stand at all. She was walking like she was drunk," Houde said. "She became kind of paranoid."
The usually outgoing dog suddenly seemed afraid of bright lights and any kind of noise, so Houde took Loretta to the 24-hour Burrard Animal Hospital.
Testing revealed the dog had eaten phencyclidine, or PCP.
Though the hospital sent them home with medication, Loretta still seemed unwell, so Houde decided to bring her back for further treatment. She ended up spending all day Thursday hooked up to an IV.
Amanda Gawor, a senior animal care technician at the hospital, told CTV News they see several cases of drug toxicity in pets every week, but the bulk of them usually involve marijuana.
They have recently seen an increase in harder drugs showing up in dogs' systems, however.
"It's a bit of a head-scratcher as to why we're seeing this spike," Gawor said. "It is quite alarming."
Over the summer, another local dog, Floffy, ended up in hospital after ingesting PCP. Her owners believe she found it while they were picnicking near Third Beach. (LINK)
According to Burrard Animal Hospital, the best way dog owners can keep their pets safe is by watching them closely during walks, and monitoring for unusual behaviour afterward.
"You really just don't know what your animal can be picking up, so it really comes down to owners being able to see their animal and notice signs that are out of the ordinary," Gawor said.
Houde admits he sometimes lets his two dogs off-leash at Kitsilano Beach to scavenge, but Loretta's frightening ordeal might make him think twice.
"I was really scared because I never saw her like that," he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Scott Hurst