Treat­ing ca­nine pain with med­i­cal cannabis

Will le­gal­iza­tion clear the air for pet use?

Bayview Post - - Life -

When I first met Ralph, I was amazed by his friendly de­meanour and com­po­sure. Still, there was some­thing about him that in­trigued me. In get­ting to know Ralph, I learned that he suf­fered from arthri­tis, in­flam­ma­tion and mo­bil­ity is­sues.

Ralph has a chronic con­di­tion that had pre­vi­ously been treated with the usual phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal cock­tail of painkillers and ad­ju­vant ther­a­pies, most of them in­ef­fec­tive and rid­dled with side ef­fects. I learned that the shine of his wet nose, the perk­i­ness of his furry ears and the slob­bery pants of ex­cite­ment were due to his use of med­i­cal cannabis. Ralph is a four­teen-year-old black lab whose owner had opted to treat him with cannabis-de­rived, nonpsy­choac­tive CBD (cannabid­iol) oil. Ralph ob­tained bet­ter symp­tom man­age­ment with fewer side ef­fects through the use of med­i­cal cannabis rather than tra­di­tional phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal op­tions.

Like Ralph’s mom, pet own­ers through­out the city are turn­ing to both hemp- and cannabis-de­rived CBD oils to help ease the health symp­toms of their loved ones.

Cur­rently, med­i­cal cannabis ac­cess is re­stricted to hu­man use. The Col­lege of Vet­eri­nar­i­ans of On­tario (CVO) has is­sued state­ments on their web­site say­ing that “Vet­eri­nar­i­ans are not al­lowed to pre­scribe med­i­cal mar­i­juana to their pa­tients.”

One Toronto-based physi­cian and cannabi­noid ther­apy expert, who asked to re­main anony­mous, uses cannabis-de­rived CBD oil to treat his or her pet’s seizure dis­or­der. Bukki, a nine-year-old Yorkie has had a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in seizures since be­gin­ning his cannabis treat­ment three months ago.

Those wary of the po­ten­tial le­gal reper­cus­sions of di­vert­ing cannabis oil pre­scribed to hu­man pa­tients are choos­ing hemp-based CBD prod­ucts in­stead.

Erin, the proud owner of Mu, an eight-year-old labradoo­dle, used a hemp-de­rived CBD oil for her pooch to treat as­so­ci­ated pain and in­flam­ma­tion re­sult­ing from a hip dis­lo­ca­tion.

“His re­hab ther­a­pist was re­ally happy with his quick re­cov­ery, which took just three weeks,” says Erin, who has gained knowl­edge about the ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits of CBD oil through her in­ter­ac­tion with hu­man pa­tients who have legally been pre­scribed med­i­cal cannabis.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to one Toronto vet­eri­nar­ian spe­cial­iz­ing in holis­tic medicine, hemp-based prod­ucts are less ef­fec­tive and re­quire much higher dos­ing than cannabis-based ones to man­age symp­toms. This in­crease in dosage, which is some­times 10 times the rec­om­mended dosage, re­sults in ad­di­tional fi­nan­cial bur­dens for pet par­ents.

“CBD cannabis sativa treat­ment plans work bet­ter” says Dr. Nancy (a pseu­do­nym), a sea­soned vet­eri­nar­ian look­ing to help her clients and an­i­mal pa­tients use cannabis in a safe and ef­fec­tive man­ner.

Mu, a Labradoo­dle who takes hemp-de­rived CBD oil for pain and in­flam­ma­tion

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