Doug Robinson: Drug abusers really going to the dogs

Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 11:09 p.m. MST

Ask Hagloch about solutions and he tells this story. Years ago, in Iowa, where Hagloch was practicing veterinary medicine at the time, the FDA conducted a sting in which agents posing as dairy farmers were able to convince 17 veterinarian hospitals to give them prescription drug medication for their cattle without examining the animals. The clinics were cited.

"Utah is very lax on this, too," says Hagloch. "I see it all the time – vets prescribing meds for people without seeing their pets. I've seen vets who didn't see the pets and never did a follow-up. They just kept sending drugs out the door with the person. There needs to be a doctor-patient relationship. It's not enforced much in this state. The FDA should come in here and do a sting."

Cunningham thinks vets are "an easy target" and need to change their protocols. He suggests that vets work more closely with pharmacies to take more control over narcotic prescriptions.

"The problem is very frustrating," he says. "The bottom line: Animals are neglected and used so that people can get their fix. That is the part that angers me most."

email: drob@desnews.com

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