Medical Marijuana for Pets
Opinions vary regarding the use of pot to medicate our pets. Dogs terminal diseases have a limited time so why not make that time as comfortable as possible? Improving the quality of life is what pet owners strive to do. I personally feel that I would prefer to use properly refined extracts of marijuana to treat my dogs especially as a last resort. My feeling is that if a dog is suffering from excruciating pain and is not responding to any conventional treatments, then one must look outside the box. The extracts of specific components of the many that make up marijuana seems worthy of consideration. I would personally prefer to give such treatment a try before euthanizing, but that’s just me.
Medical marijuana for dogs is a viable alternative to synthetic drugs especially if the animal is not responsive to conventional medicine. It is certainly something to consider before resorting to euthanasia. Dr. Douglas Kramer has become the veterinarian guru of the movement for the use of medical marijuana as a treatment for animals. Dr. Kramer’s interest in the use of marijuana for pets was piqued when his beloved Siberian Husky developed terminal cancer. He runs his own mobile practice in the Los Angeles area. He specializes in pain management and palliative and hospice care. In the picture to the left Dr. Doug Kramer administers medical marijuana to Mason who is a Vizsla who has late-stage cancer.
Dr. Kramer states, “My position is the same as the (American Medical Association’s). We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work.”
Dr. Kramer has become convinced that medical research has provided plentiful evidence to support the use of marijuana to treat animals who suffer from severe pain.
Dr. Kramer states, “Pet owners aren’t waiting on the science, however. Dr. Kramer’s survey shows they’re feeding marijuana to pets to treat behavior-based disorders, including separation anxiety and noise phobia, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and feline immunodeficiency virus infection; for management of pain, nausea, and seizures; and as an appetite stimulate. Cannabis oil is also being used topically to treat tumors. treat behavior-based disorders, including separation anxiety and noise phobia, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and feline immunodeficiency virus infection; for management of pain, nausea, and seizures; and as an appetite stimulate. Cannabis oil is also being used topically to treat tumors.”
Pot is a taboo subject amongst the veterinary community. The majority of vets are just not demanding more research. It would behoove vets to consider options beyond conventional pharmaceuticals which have shortcomings that are usually not explained to pet owners. Most vets refuse to acknowledge that there are many strains and components to marijuana which can be beneficial to treating our pets. This gives many of us the impression that pet owners are feeding their pets buds of ganja and getting them stoned. The fact that many dogs are getting into the stash of pot that medical marijuana patients neglect to store safely in their homes. Of course, in this form marijuana is highly toxic to dogs. The components for treating pets must be extracted and properly measured in order to administer correctly. There are approximately 400 compounds that make up marijuana. According to the AVMA, out of those 400, there are around 60 natural components that are specific to marijuana. These components are called cannabinoids. Only specific cannabinoids can be targeted for the use on animals.
As Ohio vet Dr. Neal J. Sivula, a vet in Ohio is a strong proponent of the use of pot for animals. He states, “I am very frustrated by veterinarians’ seeming lack of interest in exploring this potentially very useful plant, Dr. Kramer being the exception. I am gathering that most veterinarians have not followed the changes in genetic strains of MM.”
More studies need to be performed on marijuana when it is specifically prepared for animals NOT when it is administered haphazardly in full form. Such misleading studies only serve to promote ignorance of the veterinary community and pet owners. At the same time, those same studies promote the success of the pharmaceutical industry by limiting treatment options for our pets.
|Nolen , R. Scott. “Veterinary marijuana? With pet owners already using the drug as medicine, veterinarians need to join the debate.” javma News (2013): n. pag. AVMA. Web. 2 Dec. 2013. https://www.avma.org/news/javmanews/pages/130615a.aspx|
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