Medical Cannabis Can Significantly Help
Extend The Life Of Your Four-Legged Friends!
The use of cannabis extract is a growing trend in treating pets.
High summer is hell for my Golden-doodle, Monty. At the park, grass seeds and burrs catch in his woolly mop of black fur. The pollen and dust set off his skin allergies. The heat – more severe every year in the Pacific north-west – cuts fetch time in half. Worst of all, in our hometown of Portland, Oregon, July is the month of fireworks. Monty is usually affable and calm. But in the weeks around the 4th, and even sometimes into early August, he’s regularly sent skittering down the stairs to the garage by the pop of a rocket or the sizzle of a fountain of sparks. Sometimes he’ll stay down there in the dark for hours, resisting treats – even bacon.
At my local bar, where Monty is allowed on the patio, one of the staff told me months ago that she fed her Pomeranian treats made from CBD, an extract from cannabis plants. She used them around the 4th “to calm him down” and beat the heat. No stranger to the products of Oregon’s burgeoning pot industry myself, I wondered if her prescription might work with a rather larger dog.
Internet searches seemed promising. Advocates, entrepreneurs and even scientists have advocated CBD as a treatment for a wide range of canine and feline maladies from allergies to anxiety. There are widely-repeated industry claims that the pet market for CBD doubled between 2008 and 2014, with further projections of 3-5% annual growth in the market.
Cannabis Poisoning In Dogs On The Increase.
BEND, Ore. (AP) — The legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon brought a significant increase in pot poisoning in animals, a more serious problem than it sounds. Dr. Adam Stone, a veterinarian at Bend Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center, was working at a Portland animal hospital when recreational marijuana retail sales became legal.
“We saw more cases of marijuana toxicity in the first couple months of 2016 than we had in the previous year,” Stone, 31, said. “There was a pretty severe increase once it was legalized recreationally.” Central Oregon is no exception; “We see anywhere from one to three in a 12-hour shift that present with signs of toxicity that could be attributed to marijuana,” Stone said of the Emergency Clinic in Bend, where he now works. “We usually see it solely in dogs. There’s a very classic subset of signs that we see in dogs. Cats (are) not nearly as common, although sometimes it’s suspected.”
Pet Poison Helpline, a 24-hour animal poison control service, reported a 448 percent increase in marijuana cases over the past six years. Dr. Curt Nitschelm, a vet at the Redmond Veterinary Clinic, said “it’s definitely more frequent with the recent laws. It’s usually dogs, and it’s usually the edible products. From what I understand they have a higher concentration of marijuana, or the active ingredient.”
Some pet owners are using medical cannabis when vets warn against doing so.
For about a year, Kalee Hooghkirk has been giving her dog Bodhi a hemp-based oil to treat situational anxiety that’s typically brought on by thunderstorms or fireworks. In the past, Hooghkirk’s 5-year-old German shorthaired pointer mix would cry uncontrollably and experience bouts of tremors and rapid breathing in those situations. Now, she simply drops some CBD — or cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating drug compound derived from the cannabis plant — under Bodhi’s tongue when he’s triggered and his anxiety usually fades within minutes.
“It allows your dog to be more comfortable without altering how they feel,” said Hooghkirk, who uses a product that contains CBD and other cannabinoids, including a hint of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind-altering ingredient in cannabis that’s said to boost the healing effects of CBD.
Hooghkirk runs Entourage Clinical Services, a pair of wellness centers in West Dundee and Mundelein that sell and distribute CBD products for both human and animal consumption. The products — which mostly come from Colorado, Kentucky and California — are tested by a third party before being stocked.