COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — The cannabis craze in Colorado is going in another direction, and this time it’s involving our pets.
Many medical marijuana users are taking what they call a “holistic approach” by giving animals pot under the table, to help them deal with pain.
The reality is a man’s best friend does get older, making it harder for them to do what they do best, like fetch, run, and play.
Barbara Novey, owner of a one-year-old mut, is all for the pot movement if it means saving her pooch’s life.
“Arthritis is the really big thing for our pets as they get older, for being able to move about and get their exercise. So medication of any type that will help someone that is natural will help their pet as well, and I think that maybe our pets can help us purge this reefer madness mentality and realize that it’s not the dangerous drug that you think it is.”
Barbara believes this controversial movement will not only revolutionize the pot industry in Colorado, but also be therapeutic for dogs needing treatment. But the question is, is it safe?
Dr. John Sudduth from NorthWest Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs says giving your pet, or in this case your dog, medical marijuana can actually be deadly.
“There just hasn’t been enough research that has been presented to the medical community that would inform us to how to safely use medication such as marijuana. You’re really playing with fire. You don’t really know what you’re giving and what kind of side effects it could have. It could result in serious illness and it could result in death in some cases.”
Not to mention, unlike us, these dogs can’t verbally tell you how much is too much.
“Pets are not necessarily people in fur coats. And how they metabolize medications and utilize medications those are all separate issues that have to be determined,”
In Colorado, it is illegal for veterinarians to prescribe pot pills.
“We need to know about the indications, the usage, the side effects the toxicities and all of those things would have to be worked out before any of these medications, like marijuana might be used,” Dr. Sudduth adds.
Still, Barbara stands by the movement, and she’s not alone either. Others say if it’s going to reduce their dog’s pain, instead of putting them on morphine or something of that nature, then they would definitely give the drug to their pet.
Ultimately, long-term supporters are hoping clinical studies will help move this cannabis campaign forward.
According to Dr. Sudduth, in order for it to move forward, major funding would be required to approve this drug for animals and that would include basic clinical trial.
The veterinarian also adds that since recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, the toxicity cases in dogs have risen dramatically, which have resulted in death.
Ultimately, without the proper research, doctors say it is unclear how the dog will react to the substance, and that’s a risk no responsible pet owner should take.
by Kristyn Leon