An Ohio police officer saved the life of a dog having an adverse reaction to anesthesia by administering the overdose reversal drug naloxone, also known as Narcan.
Austintown Police Sgt. Rick John responded to the Austintown Veterinary Clinic on Friday after a Doberman pinscher named Trooper was reported to be having a severe reaction to anesthesia.
Trooper, who was at the clinic to be neutered, was in an “opioid emergency,” according to a news release by the Austintown Police Department.
An effective dose of Narcan was given to Trooper, which reversed the effects of the anesthesia and assisted in reviving him.
“Within seconds the Narcan worked,” the police department wrote.
Narcan, or naloxone, is a drug that blocks the effects of opioids, such as codeine, fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone, allowing overdose victims to resume breathing almost immediately.
When used, the drug is placed in a syringe and sprayed into the victim’s nose. According to the Ohio Department of Health, state emergency responders administered naloxone 47,274 times in 2017, the most recent data available.
According to the police department, Trooper made a quick recovery and “is now home recovering with his family.”
Police Chief Robert Gavalier told the Youngstown Vindicator his officers have used Narcan to save “a lot of [human] lives,” but this is the first time they’ve used it on a dog.
A clinic employee told Youngstown’s WFMJ-TV they do not typically keep Narcan on hand, but plan to in the future.
Trooper’s owners, Colleen Bolha and Tom Sanders, credit Officer John with saving their dog’s life. They reportedly said thanks by taking a bag of baked goods to the police department.
“Even in our little thank you card to the police department, we said we never thought our dog would be a statistic in the opioid crisis today, so that was nice,” Bolha told Youngstown’s WKBN-TV.
Trooper’s lucky in more ways than one. The vet was unable to perform the surgery and his owners reportedly said he won’t be getting fixed anytime soon.