Dog left blind after swallowing prescription medication while on a walk with his owner

This pet owner had the fright of her life when her beloved dog accidentally ingested oxycodone on a walk last week. She is counting her blessing after her pup survived the horrifying ordeal. The incident happened when she went out to meet a friend last Sunday. She had brought her young rescue dogs, Chance and Banksy, along for the walk. Approximately 20 minutes into their stroll, Chance “just collapsed,” recalled Lori while speaking with PEOPLE. “It wasn’t hot out but he was panting, looking almost aimlessly into the sky.”

She assumed that her dog was just tired and thus gave him some time to recover. Unfortunately, his health only went downhill from there and when she realized this, the pet owner quickly placed her pets in the car and set out to find the nearest emergency pet hospital. Once there, she handed her pup to the vet for a temperature check, assuming that he was overheated due to the weather. Chance’s body temperature had risen to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the owner shocked. “They started by icing his body, giving him oxygen and an IV, and running blood and urine tests,” she recalled. “I looked at the vet in disbelief and asked, ‘Is he going to be okay?’ and the vet said, ‘I don’t know at this point. It’s really serious.'”

When the urine test results came in, they showed traces of oxycodone in his system. With nothing left to do at that point, the vets waited and observed Chance as the drug slowly exited his system.

Lori thinks that her dog may have ingested the drug during their walk as she doesn’t have a prescription for oxycodone or even keeps it in her home. “I don’t know what form it was in, I didn’t notice him eat anything. I don’t think he’d just eat a pill? He’s pretty picky. We didn’t even stop moving,” she shared. 

When Burns finally heard from the doctors, they had some good and bad news. Chance managed to survive the ordeal but was unfortunately blinded due to the drug. “They’d kept using the words ‘his eyes aren’t tracking’ while talking to me during his recovery but truthfully I wasn’t thinking about what that meant,” Burns said.

“The vet said there is some activity in the retina, so that’s their ray of remaining hope that it’s possible some vision could come back. But we just don’t know. It’s wild that something that happened so quick has changed his life,” she added. 

Lori is now doing her best to help her pet adjust to the new normal by keeping him close and talking to him whenever she leaves the room or steps outside. “He’s adapted nicely,” she said. “And he is very happy. But I don’t want him to be by himself.” Although she doesn’t plan on taking any further medical or legal action, she shared her story to help other owners stay aware of their surroundings when out with their pets. “I think about what would’ve happened if I’d driven him home to relax instead of going to the hospital,” she added. “It’s terrifying. He could’ve died.”

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