South San Jose man's dog suffers meth poisoning

A warning for residents in South San Jose, following a rash of drug poisonings affecting pets.

Resident David Espinal said his 10-year-old Alaskan Husky, "Loki," is a bit of a trickster. But the pooch’s recent emergency trip to a vet hospital following a walk, was no prank.

"(We) come home. Eats his dinner. About 30 minutes later, he begins to pace around our apartment," he said.

The rate of the pacing increased to a full run once back outside. Espinal feared a medical emergency and took his dog to a nearby MedVet animal hospital.

"This last week, in 48 hours, we’ve had two cases," said hospital director Terra Schropp.

She said "Loki" suffered methamphetamine poisoning, from a significant amount of the drug.

"When I first saw the thing, I was like, not my baby," said Espinal.

He believed, while sniffing around brushes and brush, his dog ate meth while out on a walk Monday night. Vets say while rare, this type of occurrence is increasing.

"Historically our doctors would see a handful of cases a year. And now our doctors are seeing one to two cases per month," said Schropp.

Schropp believes such poisonings happen close to homeless encampments, where experts have said drug use is common.

"It may impact their awareness of a current situation. And their ability to understand the different risks that are present in a situation," said Dr. Erin Woodhead, a substance abuse expert at San Jose State University.

"Loki" stayed the night at the animal hospital, and was treated for the poisoning, which could have been fatal.

"If they get enough of it, we can see tremors, seizures, and eventually death," said Tina Wismer, the ASPCA poison control center’s senior director.

"Loki" has since recovered.His owner offered a warning to other pet owners, and said a walk in the park can turn into a run to a vet.

"You have to be super vigilant. You can’t even let your dog’s rummage through bushes," he said.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter @JesseKTVU and Instagram @jessegontv