This had to happen sooner or later and now it has: Medical marijuana for pets. Specifically, dogs. With the prior exception of the lovable, animated canine crime-solver Scooby, (who like his hippie human friend Shaggy seemed to exist in a semi-permanent state of self-medication), canine cannabis has finally arrived.
Or at least so hopes at least one L.A.-based veterinarian, Dr. Doug Kramer, who recently told Vice Magazine of his desire to see chronically-ill or otherwise pain-suffering dogs treated with medical marijuana. The vet supposedly got the idea after an "eccentric" pet owner brought up the idea with him and he tried out the drug on his terminally-sick German shepherd, Nikita.
"She had gone through all of the traditional pain medications, even steroids," Kramer says of Nikita. "When it became clear that she was nearing the end, that's when she had nothing to lose, as long as it didn't hurt her. At the first dosage, she was up and around. I didn't cure her. It was just a question of increasing her quality of life and putting off inevitably euthanizing her."
Next, Kramer set about treating both cats and dogs with pot–his favored method of transmission is an oral tincture–and found that it increased both appetite and mobility among his furry patients. "Cats are finicky, especially when they're really sick," Kramer explains. "Any animal that has the cannabinoid receptors would respond [to THC] the same way we do. There are studies out there that show that pigs, chickens, monkeys, and rats all have those same receptors."
Imagine the possibilities–and punchlines! Why did the chicken cross the road? To get stoned at Dr. Kramer's office. But seriously, Kramer, along with what Vice refers to as a "small group" of other vets is campaigning to make this unorthodox palliative care legal. Also–and this goes out to all you do-it-yourself stoners out there, it is not cool to blow smoke in your pet's face.
"To me, it's animal abuse, really," Kramer says. "It kills me because it devalues what I'm trying to do. Especially in the early stages, starting the dialogue with veterinary medicine, the last thing you want is for people to do that."