When pets develop cancerous tumors that eventually metastasize to other organs, veterinarians frequently prescribe tramadol for pain and a prognosis of a few weeks to live. However, more pet owners complain that tramadol makes their pet sleep all the time and lethargic. Such was the case with Denise’s 12-year-old Labrador Retriever-mix, Miles, who suffered from a splenic tumor which metastasized to his lungs and liver. Denise didn’t like the affect tramadol caused in Miles. That was until Denise’s friend suggested she try a tincture made from marijuana sold from a medical marijuana dispensary as a pet medication. Mile’s appetite returned and he stopped vomiting in an hour after being given the tincture and Denise believes this isn’t a coincidence. She believes that when Miles was on the tramadol, he would be sleeping in bed, not eating or possible dead rather than running on the beach and being which he’s now doing.
Miles had terminal cancer and would die shortly, was the rationale Denis turned to when she felt reluctant about giving Miles an unapproved drug. She further concluded by saying people don’t overdose on marijuana and is used on people suffering pain and nausea from cancer and cancer therapy. Denise never would have considered giving Miles bud had the tramadol worked and now she’s a”true believer” in the therapeutic effects of marijuana and will recommend it to other who have pets suffering a few aliments that would benefit. It’s a matter of better quality of life for your pet, not getting your pet high.
Federal prohibition on medical marijuana has been a battle of contention since 1996 when a referendum, approved in California, enabling lawful personal growing, possession and use of marijuana for patients who have a physician’s recommendation. The federal government, however, is not on the same page. Federal law prohibits the use of marijuana in all forms and breaking that law leads you to face serious legal consequences. This includes the states where medical marijuana is legal. But public attitude is changing, showing that for the first time in 40 years, 52% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana while 77% said marijuana has legitimate medical uses. Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration considers that marijuana isn’t safe nor effective for treating any animal or human disease. There are 60+ cannabinoids unique to bud and though it isn’t approved for any medical use, cannabinoid-based drugs like Nabilone, used as an ant emetic and adjunct analgesic for neuropathic pain, in addition to treatment of anorexia and weight loss in AIDS patients, can be found in the USA by prescription. Because regulations are so high for clinical study on schedule I drugs, many doctors and health care organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, and National Association for Public Health Policy are requesting to reschedule marijuana so more research could be performed that could create new cannabinoid-based drugs.
Some veterinarians have had their own personal pets fall victim to illnesses that, after exhausting ever avenue of legal, conventional treatment, including steroids, only medical marijuana could alleviate. They believe there’s strong evidence to support the use of medical marijuana in veterinary patients as an adjunct treatment or other treatment for chronic pain, post-operative pain and palliative care. Veterinarians encourage the AMA’s position and believe that marijuana requires further investigation to find out if case reports are accurate or whether there is a placebo effect taking place and what are the risks involved. But pet owners are not waiting for science and are feeding marijuana to their own pets to deal with behavior-based disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, pain management, nausea, and appetite excite while cannabis oil is used topically to treat tumors. It’s illegal for a veterinarian to recommend the schedule I drug to patience even in states where medical marijuana is sanctioned and doctors are exempt from prosecution by the state.
Although a lot of veterinarians sympathize, they are hesitant to think about marijuana as a potential veterinary drug. For many veterinarians, the only experience they have had with pets and bud is treating the pet for ingesting toxic amounts of the medication. It is apparent that pet owners are providing their companions marijuana with both positive and negative effects. But the veterinary community does not wish to address and talk about a place with real and potential impact on animal welfare. The predominant view is that marijuana is only a toxic plant. Veterinarians should not discount marijuana’s potential as an animal treatment just because it’s a controlled substance or a plant as the exact same can be said about morphine, however, morphine’s pharmacological effects on animals and humans have been thoroughly researched and researched; medical marijuana hasn’t, therefore, placing an animal at risk when giving it to them as a drug. Do not assume that marijuana affects animals and humans in the same manner nor if the assumptions be made that because marijuana is a natural substance it is not harmful. Those in the veterinary profession can’t sit ideally by as the rest of the country makes decisions on medical marijuana.
Cannabis is currently a part of the fabric that makes up our society but the in the heated battle between the federal government keeping it a schedule I drug and the public’s desire to make it lawful both medicinally and recreationally, it is bound to cause casualties. Is it a price you are willing to pay with your pet? Get the facts.