Canadian veterinarians want to be able to use medicinal cannabis

Veterinarians with dogs will be coming to Parliament Hill on Wednesday to pressure MPs to allow them to use medicinal cannabis to treat animals.
Veterinarians will bring five dogs with them to draw attention to what they consider to be a blatant omission in the diets surrounding cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.

The law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe marijuana for pets, although preliminary research suggests that it could be beneficial in the treatment of pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders – as for the man.

In addition, the law requires the labeling of cannabis products to indicate that they must remain out of reach of children, but there is no similar warning to protect animals.

Sarah Silcox, President of the Cannabinoid Veterinary Medical Association of Canada, says her group was told that these omissions were probably just an “oversight”, which could be considered when revising the cannabis regime. legal in three years.

But Ms. Silcox would like measures faster.

“For our patients, they are aging much faster than us and it’s not really a problem that can wait for a three-year checkup,” said the veterinarian in an interview.

Since veterinarians can not prescribe cannabinoids for animals, or even offer advice to masters on the best products and dosages, some people are responsible for administering the substance to their animals, said Silcox. They use products sold for human consumption or unregulated “black market” products intended for animal use – which worry veterinarians about their “safety and purity”.

“Veterinarians are able to prescribe almost any other drug, including fentanyl and other opioids and (…) prescription drugs containing cannabis derivatives, and yet we are not able to allow the use of cannabis itself, “said Silcox.

Pain management

According to her, the ban on using cannabinoids for veterinary purposes made the research on the potential benefits “difficult”, but preliminary studies suggest positive effects on the management of pain related to arthritis and osteoarthritis. others, including epilepsy, anxiety, and general inflammatory conditions.

The substance would be useful for treating cats, who are more sensitive than dogs to other pain medications currently used for animals, she added.

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