Should K9 Officer Handlers be the only cops with Narcan?

While hiding in my corner afraid of even seeing Fentanyl, let alone touching it and immediately overdosing and dying, I was looking into what training is available for Police Officers on the signs and symptoms of narcotics.  More and more stories are hitting the feeds about Officers narcanning each other before serving high risk warrants and when encountering capsules of powder.

Off to the google machine to see why there isn't any training for PD on narcan.

I came across a number of well done videos and articles showing that there is adequate training material available for Officer Gary to know the difference between a suspected narcotic overdose and a meth ingestion.  Apparently they just choose to ignore it or forget.

Then it got me thinking...if anyone on the PD is going to be exposed to opioids and possibly need some nalaxone, it's the K9 Officer.  They carry no gloves to avoid skin exposure (which isn't really a problem until you touch your lips or eyes with a contaminated glove), they salivate and smell constantly increasing the risk of exposure and they get into tight spots most Officers can't.

If you're a K9 Officer, or your Department has one, make sure they know the symptoms of exposure.  This video takes awhile to get on topic but have them listen carefully to the signs of exposure and what to do if they expect their K9 Officer has been exposed.

Caveat:  Please do not activate EMS to administer Narcan to your K9.  Many Fire Departments carry K9 specific oxygen masks which may help but we are not Vets and the method of administration for humans and K9s may cause complications.  Contact the Vet Surgeon for advice on what to do should you suspect K9 opioid symptoms are present.  They even sell K9 kits now.

Video from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Youtube Channel

Hidden late in this video are two important facts too often left out:

1, Nalaxone has not been studied in dogs.  Nalaxone is not an anti-dote and may require additional doses.

2. There are no statistics showing that working dogs are at risk of death from exposure to opioids. 

That being said, you know I'm not a fan of Officer Gary showering everyone with Narcan when someone sees white powder, but the K9 Officer presents a situation that I think merits a closer look. Also, perhaps Medics in areas where there is a high concentration of working dogs (ports, jails, airports) and illegal drugs in large quantities (ports, jails, airports) can get some training on K9 exposure symptoms.

In the meantime, make sure your K9 Handlers watch the video and talk to the Vet.