Medical Marijuana for pets.
It's become the latest trend - with more and more dog owners turning to Cannabis to help treat everything from their animal's pain to anxiety.
Littleton resident Leslie Padzick is one of them.
For the past few years, her aging Schipperke, Luca -now 12- has suffered from anxiety.
This spring, Luca's vet found a large tumor growing in his body.
Padzick contemplated an expensive surgery but worried Luca wouldn't make it through such an invasive procedure at his age.
“I really wanted to find another option to help him,” said Padzick.
She hopped online and began researching alternatives to help with Luca’s discomfort. She found a growing trend inside of medical marijuana shops: pot marketed towards pets.
They're In the form of Cannabidiol or CBD oil- which is derived from both Cannabis and Hemp, but don’t include THC, the ingredient that produces the high.
“When I get woken up at midnight by Luca, and for two hours I just try and calm him down, it’s hard. I feel like I have a sick kid and I just want to help him,” said Padzick, “And why go through all of that when we have another option? Pot is in our news every day so obviously more and more research is going into it—so why not try it?”
It’s a growing mindset among pet owners.
“I wish a veterinarian could prescribe it for my dog, I wish I knew just how much to give him,” said Padzick. “It’s not like I’m giving my dog a joint, that’s not what I’m doing. It’s not a big party- it’s another medicinal option. And I want to know more.”
Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald says there is still much research to be done on the impacts and side-effects of pot used on pets before he can get behind the idea.
He’s not alone. The ASPCA and PETA have not endorsed Cannabis for animals due to a lack of research and veterinarians, like Fitzgerald cannot prescribe medical marijuana for animals.
“Can this stuff hurt them? I don’t know. How much should you give? I don’t know. Does it work? I don’t know” said Dr. Fitzgerald, “If it works, I’ll be the first one to get behind it, but until more trials are done and we know, I am not willing to gamble with the health of our patients.”
Meanwhile, Padzick is willing to try it out. She has heard several success stories on CBD oil use on dogs.
“I have a friend who has been using CBD oil on her aging dog and she says it is working, he is sleeping better.”
As for Luca, Padzick just wants to do whatever she can to help him feel better.
“I feel like if it's not getting him high, there’s got to be other benefits, so let’s give it a try at least. At this point, don't have very many options.”
Padzick’s goal now is to figure out how to get it. Some people who already have medical marijuana cards are able to buy pet-marketed products at medical marijuana shops.
Some pet-marketed products are sold at recreational pot shops, but products there that contain CBD oil also have THC in them.
According to the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, pet owners are able to buy pet-products with CBD’s derived from Hemp online. There are also special boutique stores that sell Hemp products for pets as well.