The debate around the use of medical marijuana has transitioned from people wanting the ability to use the product for themselves to wondering if it could help their sick pet. As in the world of human medicine, there is much debate amongst veterinarians and pet advocates as to the benefit of this type of treatment.
Veterinary marijuana is still a very new treatment and has only recently begun to receive the media attention it deserves. Many vets are now leading the way to bring their profession into the national dialogue. It is a complex topic due to the many different strains of marijuana available and the various potential methods of treatment.
Anecdotal evidence strongly supports the immense potential of cannabinoid treatment for dogs. Owners have reported remarkable improvements in the quality of life for their pets that simply wasn’t available with traditional medicine. Another benefit that is often discussed are the minimal side effects experienced by dogs with this type of treatment as opposed to standard medical treatments.
Treating Medical Conditions
Veterinarians have begun to treat several conditions with cannabinoid nutrition and therapy. Two of the most promising are canine arthritis and canine seizures.
Canine arthritis can be especially devastating for dogs because they are still mentally interested in physical activity but simply unable to enjoy their favorite activities due to pain. The standard treatment for dogs with arthritis is typically tramadol or gabapentin, both of which can make dogs feel lethargic or simply not provide the needed pain relief. Whereas cannabinoid nutritional supplementation has been found to help relieve the pain without the side effects.
The traditional treatment for dogs who are having seizure varies depending on the cause of the seizures. It can be as simple as a diet adjustment or it may require medications that have the potential to harm some of the dog’s internal organs. One of the interesting effects of CBD is that it can decrease seizure activity in dogs. Other studies have shown that this type of treatment can work to make other anti-seizure medications even more effective when given in tandem.
There are many medical conditions being actively researched by veterinarian scientists. The field is expanding and preliminary findings have been very promising.
While cannabinoid treatment can be extremely beneficial for dogs who are suffering from a medical condition, ingesting marijuana can be dangerous for your canine friend. As marijuana becomes legal in much of the country, instances of dogs eating their owner’s product has become more problematic.
Poison centers are beginning to report a greater rate of calls regarding this phenomenon. Some of the serious side effects that may occur if your dog does eat a significant amount of marijuana can include excessive drooling, dilated pupils, vomiting, extreme lethargy, muscle twitching, difficulty balancing, unconsciousness, involuntary urination, decreased heart rate, and even death.
It is important that owners not share their own supply as this can be very dangerous for a dog. The medicinal part of the plant needs to be properly prepared for use in canines to avoid unwanted and often dangerous side effects. If your dog does eat marijuana and experiences these types of side effects they should be taken to a veterinarian for care.
A dog isn’t simply a pet, he becomes a beloved member of the family. Owners want the best for their canine friend and go to extraordinary measures to ensure they are happy and healthy. For many canine medical issues, cannabis treatment is the best option with the fewest side effects.