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article imageVet uses medical marijuana for dogs, cats, seeks legalization

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 6, 2013 in Health
Had you thought of it, you might have figured this day was coming - a veterinarian is treating dogs with THC. Not only that but California vet Dr. Doug Kramer seeks to have medical marijuana legalized for animals.
"A client first brought it to my attention," Dr. Kramer told Vice magazine's Harry Cheadle. "She was a bit eccentric, but she was a very intelligent woman. She had a pet that was not responding well to any of the pain medications or the steroids that we were giving it, and she wanted to talk about getting medical marijuana. The other vets at the practice were pretty dismissive, but she saw that I was willing to listen."
Medical Marijuana: Stimulates cats appetites
The vet, who has a website that focuses on alternative methods of helping animals called Vet Guru, says he's found some success using marijuana to treat both dogs and cats. His own dog, Nikita, was dying from terminal cancer and marijuana enabled the dog, Dr. Kramer said, to get back up and move around and have a far better quality of life until her death.
For cats the L.A. vet found it can successfully be used as a appetite stimulant and he believes that usage could be expanded to other animals. "We’re using it on cats as much, if not more (than on dogs), as an appetite stimulant," he said. "Cats are finicky, especially when they’re really sick. Any animal that has the cannabinoid receptors would respond the same way we do. There are studies out there that show that pigs, chickens, monkeys, and rats all have those same receptors."
Administering THC to pets
Dr. Kramer is not one to suffer cruelty to animals in any form and he becomes angry when hearing of people who blow marijuana into their pets face to get them high ("it's animal abuse, really"). He says it won't have medical benefit to administer it in that way in any case.
"A glycerin tincture is, to me, by far the optimal way to do it (administer THC to a unwell pet)," Dr. Kramer told 'Vice'. "Because it offers the greatest accuracy in dosing. It’s also sweet tasting. Obviously you can make it into butter or oil, so anything that you can cook or make with butter or oil would work, like homemade dog biscuits."
There are currently 18 U.S. states, and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and other countries, that allow for medical marijuana for humans, and a recent Pew Research poll in the U.S. found 52 percent of 1,501 respondents feel it should be legalized. Officially there aren't any that states have laws regarding marijuana and animals.
But could it be coming?
More about dr doug kramer, thc for pets, Medical Marijuana
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