Should Medical Marijuana be Legalized for Pets?
My readers know I think “out of the box” when it comes to pets. After all, I create music for dogs (and cats soon) that relieves anxiety issues. Canine sound therapy isn’t exactly seen as a mainstream behavior solution in the pet world. I have put my reputation as a concert pianist on the line because of my deep desire to help improve the lives of dogs and cats.
So, you can imagine how intrigued I was when I read about Dr. Doug Kramer, BVMS, MRCVS in Dogster. He is putting his professional veterinary career at risk to help relieve the pain and suffering of pets. He can’t legally write a prescription for cannabis, but he can give recommendations. He provides professional consultations that include instructions in how to administer cannabis to pets. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Kramer. “My goal is to provide palliative care and prevent accidental overdoses resulting from owners’ well-meaning attempts to relieve their pets’ pain and suffering,” he said.
Dr. Kramer saw firsthand how cannabis can benefit dogs through watching his Husky dog, Niki, when she was in the late stages of cancer. “After the first dose, she was up and about. Her appetite was restored and she was able to enjoy her last months because of a homemade tincture of cannabis I created for her. The pain appeared to be controlled and her quality of life increased dramatically.”
Dr. Kramer takes his veterinary oath very seriously: “Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.”
He believes he is living up to that oath when he includes cannabis consultations as part of his overall treatment plan for pet patients through his veterinary practice Enlightened Veterinary Therapeutics.
Cannabis, sometimes referred to as MM (medical marijuana), can work as an appetite stimulant and has even been used effectively for cats with behavior issues and dogs with arthritis. Dr. Kramer shared, “At the end of life, it is so painful to see a pet whose mind is fully there, but their body isn’t. Cannabis can offer great relief and make their final days of life so much more comfortable.”
Dr. Kramer shared with me a common expression used widely in veterinary practices, “Never let the sun set without steroids.” He’d like to change that to, “Never let the sun set without cannabis.”
What ailments does it help?
Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte, a holistic vet living in Australia, told Dogs Naturally Magazine that medical cannabis has few adverse side effects, as long as you get the dose correct and don’t overdose.
He’s had experiences of treating cancerous canine tumors with CBD oil along with some other herbal medicines and the tumor shrank to nothing in three months time. His patient, a Staffy, had previously had three surgeries, but the tumors kept coming back. At writing, it’s been six months, and no tumors.
Another patient was a Jack Russell Terrier with a severe heart murmur and painful arthritis. He was treated with THC-A. After a month, he was a different dog… going for long walks, running again and the heart murmur was much less severe.
Bassingthwaighte says, “The best marijuana products for medicinal use are whole plant extracts processed from organically grown plants. The cannabinoids in CBD oil extracted from medical marijuana strains are powerful anti-inflammatories. CBDs also have anti-cancer properties and multiple other health benefits.”
While marijuana is legal in Australia, it might be more challenging to obtain medicinal marijuana for our pets in other parts of the world.
Where Can You Find Cannabis Products For Dogs?
Canna-Pet claims to have the only facility of its kind in the world, specifically configured to develop and produce cannabinoid and terpene products for animals, guaranteed safe for pets.
The Bark reported that the American Holistic VMA is the first veterinary organization to officially encourage research into the use of cannabis in animals. They said, “There is a growing body of veterinary evidence that cannabis can reduce pain and nausea in chronically ill or suffering animals, often without the dulling effects of narcotics. This herb may be able to improve the quality of life for many patients, even in the face of life-threatening illnesses.”
What do you think? Should medical marijuana be legalized for pets?
Photos on this page courtesy of Dr. Doug Kramer