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Opioid prescriptions from veterinarians on the rise, study suggests

January 29, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Having a pet is seen is a source of comfort and relaxation for many. 

There is no doubt that the companionship of a pet is helpful from a health standpoint as well, and numerous studies have shown this. 

When our pets feel pain, we want to help them. A report based on work from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine has found that over a 10-year period, the number of opioids prescribed by vets has grown.  

During a 10-year period, the number of visits also rose by 13 percent each year — but the number of opioid prescriptions for pets rose by 41 percent. 

The researchers suggested that with an opioid epidemic, the pain medicines given to pets may be used much like the pain medicines given to people — meaning in the wrong hands, they can feed addiction.