Dog rushed to vets after swallowing ‘cocaine wrap’

Stewart Vogal, his stepfather Ian Janman and Max
Stewart Vogal, his stepfather Ian Janman and Max

A DOG was rushed to the vets on Friday (April 18) after swallowing what is believed to have been cocaine.

Max, a golden Labrador retriever, was enjoying his walk with 15-year-old Stewart Vogel, his owner, along Emmanuel Road up to the West Hill.

But within an hour of returning home nine-month-old Max started having fits and had to be rushed to Coopers Vets, on The Ridge.

Stewart’s stepfather, Ian Janman, said: “Max started acting strange and was very agitated. He didn’t recognise us whatsoever and was nodding his head from side to side. He was fitting and we rushed him up to the vets who did their best to calm him down.

“They had to sedate him with three times the normal dose, hose him with cold water to try and keep his temperature down. It turned out that Max had injested a wrap of cocaine someone had dropped in the street or on the hill. It was touch and go for a while and Max was taken to Greenleaves Veterinary Centre in Bexhill for the night to recover before we picked him up on Saturday.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen for Stewart, as he is mildly autistic and Max is his companion and his mate. You don’t expect to find narcotics on the street and if this had involved a three-year-old kid it could have been a fatality.”

Paul Cooper, clinical director of Coopers Vets, said: “It was really dreadful and horrendous. All of Max’s symptoms absolutely confirmed that he had swallowed cocaine. I really did not think he was going to survive. He was fine before displaying all of the symptoms and then rapidly deteriorated. Most dogs die in these cases but luckily Max was treated quickly and he pulled through.”

Mr Cooper said he believed Max had swallowed the drug while it was in a wrap and the bag had burst inside his stomach. He added: “Nothing else fitted the symptoms Max had, as they came on suddenly. He was running around, unaware of his surroundings and banging into things. All of the muscles work really fast and the body temperature rises so much when a dog is poisoned by a narcotic.

“The dog also becomes heavily excited and starts fitting. Max’s body temperature rose five degrees above normal which was quite serious and we had to hose him with water to cool him down.

“He went under anaesthetic to counter the effect of the drug. He must have had just enough to sedate an elephant. I have never seen a dog have that much anaesthetic and live.”

Mr Janman reported the matter to police on Friday. Officers are now investigating.

Inspector Chris Veale said: “We will not tolerate the use or dealing of illegal drugs in Hastings. I’m glad that the dog in this case is recovering but it highlights the problems that drugs can cause in the community. Drugs are not a harmless diversion used by people in their own homes. They cause misery to communities through anti-social behaviour and crime and we will not accept them.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting serial 1041 of 18/4.