Tonawanda News — Earlier this month, I saw an Associated Press article by Sue Manning on the subject of medical marijuana for pets. I was curious. With online research I could only find her article regurgitated by all the other news outlets.
Manning reported on Dr. Doug Kramer of vetguru.com. Under the press section of his website it offers 22 media reports on his “extraordinary work,” including fine media resources such as The 420 Radio Show, Perez Hilton and Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”
I do not want to dismiss the fact that medical marijuana could have positive benefits to your ailing pets. However, humans compared to other animals, react differently to drugs and further medical, peer-reviewed research should be done on the topic.
Kramer does have a do-it-yourself book titled “Sweet Serenity” on how to administer medical marijuana to your pets. The book did make me wonder, is this even legal?
The quick answer is no.
The use of medical marijuana for pets is illegal in all states, said Dr. Ahna Brutlag, the assistant director of Veterinary Services from the Pet Poison Helpline. Brutlag is a veterinarian specializing in small animal clinical toxicology. In addition to having a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, she also has earned a master’s of science in toxicology and is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
Brutlag also warns of the possibility of overdosing.
“Thankfully, marijuana has what’s referred to as a ‘wide margin of safety.’ This means that the therapeutic dose (dose used to treat disease) is very far below the toxic dose. This is a good thing because it means that small overdoses are unlikely to result in severe poisoning or death.” Brutlag said.
Dr. Eric Barchas, a full-time emergency veterinarian serving the San Francisco Bay area, says that in his experience most dogs did not react well to marijuana and very often required hospitalization and treatment to prevent dehydration and other complications.