A good Samaritan found Ernest (AKA Ernie) and brought him to the BC SPCA Sunshine Coast Branch as a stray. Staff noticed that the senior chocolate Labrador retriever was very uncoordinated and in about two hours he became almost unresponsive.
“We rushed him to the vet where they did a drug test and found he had ingested THC and high levels of cocaine,” says Marika Donnelly, branch manager at the Sunshine Coast SPCA.
Ernie was hospitalized overnight to recover from the drugs in his system. Unfortunately, the vet found that Ernie had other problems including terrible, painful untreated ear infections. “Ernie’s ears were so bad that he had a horrible odour emanating from him. The vet could not see if his eardrums are intact as there was so much pus and debris in the ear canal. With treatment, he is doing much better,” Donnelly says.
The chocolate Lab also has a benign mass on his right leg that needs to be removed and two of his lower canine teeth and incisors roots have died and those teeth will need to be extracted.
His medical treatment and care is expected to cost about $2,890 and Ernie will have to stay at the SPCA for two months before he’s ready to find a new home, but his great personality is already showing through. “Ernie is very lovable and friendly. Great with other dogs! Never met a stranger,” she says.