As more states continue to discuss legalizing medical marijuana, California veterinarian Dr. Douglas Kramer is taking the drug debate even further by claiming that marijuana can be used to medically treat pets.
Kramer, the author of Sweet Serenity: A Definitive Guide to Making Herbal Tinctures for Pets, argues that medical marijuana, with its active drug THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), will alleviate pain and boost appetites for pets, just as it does in humans.
The veterinarian advocates the use of medical marijuana to reduce the suffering of chronically sick pets. He tested his theory on his dog Nikita who was diagnosed with untreatable cancer.
“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,” Kramer told Vice magazine in a recent interview.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) supports Kramer’s efforts, as long as pet owners do not abuse the idea by blowing smoke in their pets’ faces to make them high.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk told ABC News, “Our position is that anything that can help animals- if it’s truly, properly administered in the right amount [and] can relieve a dog’s pain- then they should be given the same consideration that humans in pain are given.”
Perhaps PETA actually views medical marijuana as an alternative to euthanizing the majority of animals left to its care, as 2012 statistics from the Virginia Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services show.
The thought of pet owners being able to administer marijuana to their own animals for medical reasons is dicey at best given the higher risks of an animal to lose its balance, become lethargic, and choke on its own vomit.
Most veterinarians do not even discuss the use of medical marijuana for pets, but with PETA’s support of such measures, more people may jump on board.
Kramer is a firm believer in the ability of THC to give animals with chronic illnesses more comfort.
“A glycerin tincture is, to me, by far the optimal way to do it because it offers the greatest accuracy in dosing,” he told Vice. “Anything that you can cook or make with butter or oil would work, like homemade dog biscuits.”