How Cannabis Is Helping Teach Old Dogs Some New Tricks
For a number of pet owners, giving cannabis to their pets has become a serious reality, especially as they age. Can it help them?
Have you ever thought about giving you pet pot? Be honest, the thought has probably crossed your mind. For a number of pet owners, giving cannabis to their pets has become a serious reality, especially as they age. Can it help them?
Treating pups with cannabis
For Michael Fasman and his pup Hudson, it became a reality. Hudson is a 12-year-old dog, still trying to do all of the normal dog things. Unfortunately, arthritis and an amputated toe have recently caused him a few hiccups and a lot of pain.
Veterinarians in California, where Fasman and his dog live, are barred from recommending or prescribing, cannabis use for pets. When Hudson’s vet could only offer painkillers to numb her pain, Fasman refused, saying “they just knock her out,” and began looking for alternatives.
That’s when Fasman discovered cannabis – cannabis extract specifically. Cannabis extracts contain cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a cannabinoid found in cannabis that has no psychoactive effects.
Fasman gives Hudson a daily dose of a few drops in his morning breakfast. Fasman now describes Hudson as a happier dog,
…it’s really lifted her spirits and made her a happier dog […] It’s not that she’s changed. She’s just back to her good old self.
Like Fasman, Lynne Tingle gives cannabis products to the older dogs at her pet adoption center and sanctuary. At home, she does the same thing for her own elderly dogs. Of the results, she says
You just see a real difference in their spirit. They’re just not in pain, so they’re happier and they’re moving better […] They just get a new lease on life.
Veterinarians want answers
Cannabis for humans and pets is very much alike; both are unregulated. Under federal law, cannabis is still an illegal substance, so very little research has been done in the United States indicating the benefits and possible side effects of cannabis on humans and their pets.
Due to the lack of research, and the unknown regarding the effectiveness of cannabis on treating the ailments of animals, some veterinarians will not endorse its use.
Ken Pawlowski is the President of the California Veterinary medical Association. He is well aware of the growing trend of pet owners using cannabis to treat animals. Of the situation, he says,
We’re getting more questions from clients asking about it for their pets, but unfortunately we don’t have any answers for them.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things are going to change anytime soon. Under Federal law, cannabis is a Schedule One drug, meaning that it is highly addictive and has no medical use.
Also on this list: heroin. Additionally, Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general has recently stated that marijuana is “only slightly less awful than heroin.”
In the future, we can only hope that further research on cannabis will be able to be performed. Until then, it doesn’t look like anyone is going to stop treating their pets with cannabis. Why would they when so many animals are getting “a new lease,” or leash, on life?