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4 Quotes From Veterinarians On Administering Medical Marijuana to Pets

By    |   Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:13 PM

Pet owners and some veterinarians believe medical marijuana may offer valuable help to dogs and other animals who suffer disease, pain, or disorders.

Most caution that more research must be done to make sure that what pet owners – and yes, a few vets – give their faithful companions is safe and not harmful. They also remind pet owners that prescribing medical marijuana remains illegal and urge caution.

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Here are four quotes from veterinarians about medical marijuana use and pets.

1. "The veterinary community needs to address the issue, but we don’t want to talk about it, even though it’s clear our clients are giving marijuana to their pets, with good and bad effects," said Dr. Doug Kramer, a Los Angeles veterinarian who fed small amounts of medical marijuana successfully to his aging dog, Nikita, in an interview with the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

"I don’t want to come across as being overly in favor of giving marijuana to pets. My position is the same as the (American Medical Association's). We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work.”

2. "My gut reaction is they do probably provide some therapeutic effect benefit… I’m never going to say there’s enough benefit that marijuana should be given to pets. I’m saying there’s enough justification that we need to study it." – Dr. Dawn Boothe, director of the Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told the AVMA journal she thinks vets will one day use cannabinoid derivatives that have received FDA approval.

She added: "When people say something is natural and therefore safe, my immediate response: 'Natural to what?' Marijuana certainly doesn’t occur naturally in animals or people, and that’s why the body develops ways of ridding itself of compounds introduced to it."

3. "These products show potential, but there’s not a lot of research at this point. No one is even sure what the correct therapeutic dosage is. For example, in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section on one of the websites, a customer asks, ‘How much should I give my pet?’ And they answer—I’m paraphrasing here: ‘Whatever you think would help.’ Well, that’s extremely vague." –Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, in an interview with Health magazine.
4. "If you get it right, it works, but the flip side is you can overdose them on it," says Seattle veterinarian Sarah Brandon. "It's not lethal, but most animals don't like to feel the high of the THC. They get paranoia, they have respiratory discomfort, just all of the things that would go along with, if you will, a human having a freak out." – Seattle vet Sarah Brandon in an interview with MyNorthwest.com.
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Pet owners and some veterinarians believe medical marijuana may offer valuable help to dogs and other animals who suffer disease, pain, or disorders.
medical marijuana, pets, quotes, veterinarians
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 12:13 PM
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