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Animal House: Medical Marijuana Could Help Pets

Dog on couch.
Flickr via Creative Commons
Medical marijuana can help a pet that's dealing with pain, but first it needs to be approved for use in pets.

As medical marijuana becomes more accepted across the country, some are finding the substance can help not only humans, but their companion animals.

  • According to Dr. Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal, medical marijuana, THC, or cannabis, can provide much the same pain relief for your pets as it can for you.
  • No, it's not getting your pet high. It's about managing pain.
  • Medical marijuana for pets can address pain with arthritis and other illnesses, plus nausea with cancer treatments. The substance can also help with dermatitis, inflammation, anxiety and seizures.
  • But there's a problem. Just like with prescribing for people, it's not legal everywhere to use medical marijuana to treat pets.
  • In fact, it's illegal for your veteranarian to even give advice about using the product.
  • There's ongoing research that is showing promise for pets, but Fraker bemoans the overreaction of those who disapprove of medical marijuana use that would block the use of the product and hinder researchers from finding solutions that could improve the quality of life for our pets.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.