Medical Marijuana for Dogs? Vet Says it Could Help Some Pets Cope with Pain and Serious Illness

| by Denise A Justin
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Should medical marijuana be legalized as an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication for dogs? Well, maybe not, but Dr. Doug Kramer, a veterinarian, says he believes dogs suffering from chronic pain or other serious medical conditions should be allowed the opportunity for the benefits of cannabis.

“Any animal with cannabinoid receptors, including pigs, chickens, monkeys and rats, could feel the effects of THC,” Dr. Kramer told Vice Magazine in a recent interview. . Veterinarian Kramer is among a small number of experts who believe THC could help canines cope with debilitating and chronic conditions just like it helps humans.

The non-human marijuana users would not smoke it. They would receive it in a glycerin tincture for greatest accuracy in dosing, or in food cooked in oil or butter made from cannabis, according to Dr. KramerHe also suggests it can be added to homemade dog biscuits.

In 21 states, consumers can legally buy marijuana for medicinal or recreational use even though it is still illegal under federal law. New laws have legalized recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado, demonstrating changing public attitudes. Dr. Kramer believes this opportunity should be used to explore the potential benefits suffering pets could receive from its medicinal effects.

"A client first brought it to my attention," Kramer told Vice. "She had a pet that was not responding well to any of the pain medications or the steroids that we were giving it, and she wanted to talk about getting medical marijuana."

Dr. Kramer says he can personally testify to the potential of using pot for relieving animal suffering in some serious diseases. After he 'dosed' his own beloved dog Nikita, who had been suffering from terminal cancer, she was up and about and enjoying a better quality of life until she reached her end.

His pot-for-pets campaign may be gaining interest in veterinary circles for other than dogs. “Medical marijuana can also be used to give felines the munchies when they’re not feeling hungry, Dr. Kramer explains. ‘We're using it on cats ... as an appetite stimulant,’ he told Vice, noting how picky cats become about what they eat when they’re sick.

Dr. Kramer does not approve of blowing smoke in pet’s faces or using it for other than strictly medicinal purposes, “To me, it’s animal abuse, really. It kills me because it devalues what I’m trying to do.”

Read more: The Vet Who Wants to Legalize Medical Marijuana for Dogs | VICE

Source: Vice, UPI