Did you ever think you’d live to see that day that Snoop Dog and YOUR dog would have a common bond? There is increasing evidence that animals could receive the same benefits from the use of medical marijuana as humans do, but the topic is stirring up a lot of controversy in the veterinary world – probably because it IS still illegal.
According to Dr. Lisa Moses, who serves on the board of directors for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, “It actually really could be beneficial if it’s something that is well-developed.” However, as much as she is a proponent for the possibilities within a controlled setting, she is also hesitant from a “real life” logistical standpoint. For example, what’s to keep pet parents from abusing their dog’s drugs? Cannabis, in excess is actually lethal to dogs and cats (which means you should NEVER use recreational marijuana around your pets), so how can a doctor ensure dosage-control? To what end is a veterinary practice liable?
But before you pooh-pooh this “hippie medicine”, consider how it has lessened the pain for pups facing cancer. Instead of wasting away to skin and bones, the use of marijuana increases a dog’s appetite (keeping Fido at his fighting weight). Pain and nausea control, as well as a restoration of high-level energy, also promote an increased overall quality of life – and for those dogs looking toward their final days, all they could want is to run, jump and play (as pain-free as possible).
If you’re thinking that you have heard this debate before, it’s likely that you have. In 2011, the “pot patch”, Tetracan, was released onto the market (to use on humans AND cats, dogs and horses). However, Dr. Douglas Kramer, from VetGuru.com, was concerned with the outcome reported in clinical trials. As anyone with a pet knows, they are curious creatures with a lack of desire to have anything stuck to their bodies – so there were incidences of pets consuming the patches, as well as equally inquisitive toddlers putting them in their mouths (both examples resulting in unfavorable outcomes). Since then, he has been pioneering the use of medicinal marijuana as a veterinary alternative therapy by way of an herbal tincture. As I’m sure you have already gathered, the world of veterinary medicine is not jumping at the opportunity to put it in the lineup of possible medical treatment for their patients. However, it is his hope that as more states legalize marijuana, it will lose it’s “bad boy” image and gain acceptance as a “quality of life” enhancer for pets dealing with incurable cancers.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in on the topic! Do you think the use of medical marijuana has the possibility to improve the quality of life for dogs and cats with cancer? Would you consider placing your pet on a marijuana therapy if it was offered? Read more on the topic by clicking the links below.