**Dr. Churchill recently had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Conference earlier this month and brought back a TON of interesting information! One topic that was covered is the coming legalization of marijuana and what that means for veterinary medicine. This is a conversation we have regularly with clients and having the most up to date information is critical. **
So Doc, can’t we use pot for Fido?
While this is a frequently asked question, Veterinarians were excluded from legislation allowing the prescription of medical marijuana. So…. the current answer is no, we can’t prescribe or recommend Cannabinoids in Fido because it is illegal.
Currently, there are no legally approved products for our beloved pets. Veterinarians are scientists, by nature we want to know the answers to our questions before we prescribe anything! I was impressed with the amount of research that is currently going on surrounding medical uses for marijuana. However, in dogs treated with purified CBD, it appears not to be strong enough on it’s on own to control pain (unpublished data, but coming soon!). A study based out of Colorado State looking at dogs with seizures also has not shown that it will prevent or even necessarily reduce the medications used in epileptic dogs, although it appears early treatment with in dogs with uncomplicated epilepsy may benefit. Stay tuned as more research is coming!
However, a real problem that increases with legalization is marijuana toxicity. According to data from the ASPCA-Pet Poison Control, there was a 1268% increase in calls regarding toxicity from 2002-2017 (legalization began in 2012). While it is rare to have seizures and there have only been a couple of reported deaths, most animals require hospitalization, fluid therapy, and supportive care for several days.
Smoke is never good for your pets, so if you smoke or vape, please send your pets to another area to keep them safe.
- Dr. Vanessa Churchill, DVM
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital