Police start carrying overdosing reversal drug for K-9s

--HOLD FOR RELEASE-- Mass. State Police K-9 Maximus searches a car for drugs with Trooper Brian Bonia, left, during a training session in Revere, Mass., Tuesday, May 30, 2017. During drug raids, police dogs literally follow their noses to sniff out narcotics, but now the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl could be deadly to the K-9s. Police have a new strategy for protecting their four-legged partners, by carrying Naloxone for their dog, the same drug to reverse heroin overdoses in humans. At right is Mass. State Trooper Brian Cooper. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON (AP) — Police have started carrying new protection for their K-9 partners: naloxone, a drug that has long been used to reverse opioid overdoses in humans.

Even a tiny amount of powdered fentanyl can sicken both police officers and dogs who sniff out drugs during raids.

Three police dogs in Florida were rushed to an animal hospital last year when they ingested fentanyl, a powerful painkiller often mixed with street heroin. The dogs were given naloxone and recovered quickly.

Massachusetts State Police began carrying naloxone for their K-9s in March. Police in Hartford, Connecticut, began carrying it in January.

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