Should we medicate our animals with Cannabis?
Having an animal companion comes with a lot of responsibilities, including supporting him or her through illness and the end of life can be one of the most difficult times. We want to know that the treatments we are giving our animals are effective, humane, and causing more good than harm. Since our animals may not be able to show us how they feel, we are often left to make decisions about their medical treatments based on advice and good intentions.
There is evidence that marijuana was used to treat horses by the Ancient Greeks through a treatment called Berlin Hippiatrica, which involves placing a mixture of herbs, including marijuana, on a horse’s wounds. A modern version was developed in San Diego. But topical preparations and non-psychoactive versions of marijuana are not the only products being investigated by vets.
We have a friend who is a registered veterinarian technician who told us that if NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs) did not work for our dog's arthritis, then we would have to use a steroidal drug which shortens your dog's life. Our dog continued to get worse, so we opted to try cannabis oil. After two days of having a small amount of cannabis oil, she was energized, eating, happier, and became playful. Our dog continued to life another year and outlived her average breed age by 4 years.
Conversely, some people feel that since animals can't tell you how they feel, you shouldn't give them a psychoactive drug. Just like people, dogs react to cannabis in different ways and it can be difficult for us to determine when they are having a good or bad reaction to a particular strain.
But, cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, requiring a doctor's recommendation. Do you think vets should be able to give a dog a recommendation for cannabis? What types of cannabis? Flower? Oil?