Is it ever a good idea to get your dog or cat stoned? California veterinarian Doug Kramer says the answer depends on whether your pet could be classified as a medical marijuana patient.
“I do think there are therapeutic benefits to it,” says Kramer, who some years ago found that his homemade pot tinctures helped his own dog, a husky named Nikita, fight pain and regain her appetite after she came down with cancer.
Despite the spread of medical pot laws around the country, marijuana still remains taboo within the veterinary establishment; its medical journals won’t publish anything about it, and Kramer is one of the few veterinarians even willing to discuss using medical marijuana for pets. He points out that a slew of medical studies on the effects of pot have relied on rats and dogs as substitutes for humans, suggesting that “mammals have the same cannabinoid receptors as humans do” and “would benefit in the same ways.”
Perhaps the nation’s only overtly 420-friendly vet, Kramer has crowdsourced a slew of research on pot for pets. Through submissions to his website, VetGuru.com, and surveys distributed at pot dispensaries, he has amassed more than 500 case studies, the vast majority of them positive, he says. Most people use cannabis to treat their dogs and cats for pain, seizures, and inflammation stemming from arthritis. About 20 percent of phone calls to Kramer’s office now come from other cannabis-curious vets.
By Josh Harkinson
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