Monday, Apr. 2nd 2018

Pets and Pot: is CBD Oil safe for my pet?

Events and Announcements:   Dr. Leonard will be out of the office April 20, 27, and May 4.  Depending on our staffing situation, we will either be open for limited hours (usually 9-3 for purchases and phone calls only), or closed for the day. 

While our hours can be found on Google, Yelp, our website, and our Facebook page, we feel it might be helpful to remind you what they are to save you accidentally calling when we aren’t yet open trying to make an appointment.  Our clinic phones forward to Dr Leonard when we are closed and while she is happy to answer your questions if you have concerns, she can’t make an appointment for you on her cell phone.  So, to make an appointment, call us during office hours on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday 9-5; Tuesday 12-5, or Thursday 1-7. 

We currently have our canine massage therapist scheduled to be here May 18.  We have plenty of appointments open so give us a call if you’d like to schedule your pup for a real treat!  This is great for sore muscles, stiff joints, old dogs that just need pampering, or just to let your dog know how much you love them!  The massage lasts about half an hour, and most dogs really relax and enjoy it.  Call us at 816-331-1868 if you’d like to schedule an appointment.  Michelle is certified in canine massage and often works at canine performance events in the area.

We have several new staff in training.  Please be patient with them as your request or question may be the first time they’ve heard it.  Sarah is our full-timer, and Alex is our part-timer.  We also still have Bailey, our part-time vet tech student.  Come in and meet them and introduce yourself if you like!  Have a cup of coffee, relax, and help them get used to us!  In future issues, we’ll introduce them more completely.

Pets and Pot:  

We frequently get asked about using marijuana or hemp products in pets.  CBD Oil is the most common product.  This product is supposed to be mostly a non-addicting and non-psychoactive compound derived from either the hemp or marijuana plant (they are closely related in the cannabis family).  Sometimes, our patients are already being given this product.  Sometimes, our clients are just asking if it would be helpful.  Here are some of the facts we know.

  1. There is no state that legally allows the use of cannabis in any form in pets.  Therefore, veterinarians cannot legally prescribe it.  At some point, it’s likely this law may change (probably state-by-state, since technically marijuana is illegal nation-wide according to the federal government. They have just chosen to ignore states that pass laws to legalize it) but for now, even if legal for people it’s not for animals.
  2. While there are some studies underway, so far there has been no completed research regarding either safety or effectiveness of these products in our pets. In other words, we don’t know if there might be long-term organ or brain injury or even if these products work in animals.  If they do work, we don’t know yet what conditions they may help with.
  3. There is no regulation of CBD oil or related products. Companies that market them do so without any regulatory oversight or inspection or testing of their products.  As consumers, we have no way of knowing if the bottle contains any actual therapeutic levels of CBD and if so, how much.  We also don’t know if the plants used were moldy, damaged, or even the right plant. We don’t know if the product may be contaminated with heavy metals or other toxins. If you purchase one, make sure you find the company trustworthy.
  4. CBD can inhibit certain enzymes in the liver that can affect metabolism of other medications. This can cause drug interactions that may harm our pets if they are given medications that use these enzymes to be broken down.  This can even create an “overdose” of the other medication because it isn’t being broken down properly in the liver.
  5. Despite all this, there are indications that CBD may be useful for anxiety, pain, nausea, inflammation, seizures, or other conditions. This mostly comes from human experience, however, which can’t always be applied to animals.

In summary, we can’t prescribe it.  We don’t sell it.  We can’t say if it’s safe or not.  We can’t say if it will help your pet or not.  But we also can’t tell you NOT to try it, because it’s your pet.  If you trust the company you purchase it from, and see positive results in your pet, we won’t stop you from using it.  But we did want you to be fully informed. 

In general, with nutritional supplements, pain medications, or other products used in a more supportive manner rather than to treat a specific problem (like antibiotics might be), if you aren’t sure if it’s helping the pet or not, wean them off gradually.  As you decrease the dose, if the pet’s condition worsens you know the product was helping and you should put them back on the full dose.  If you see no change, it probably wasn’t doing anything, or their condition has resolved.  This is frequently our recommendation when asked if the pet should remain on CBD oil products.


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Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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