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Cannabinoids in Veterinary Medicine

A recent CBC radio documentary on using medical marijuana in dog makes this blog very timely.

Canadians have had access to medical marijuana for years and yet veterinarians, even holistic practitioners, have been slow to incorporate this herb into our treatment plans for aging pets or pets with chronic pain or with cancer.  In part, this reluctance is due to the extreme sensitivity dogs exhibit to the THC molecule which is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant as well as questions about the consistency of product, safe dosing and legality. There are, however; veterinarians who feel strongly that we should use and study non-THC cannabinoids in our veterinary patients.

Animals as primitive as a sea squirt have an endocannabinoid system, where naturally occurring molecules activate receptors in the nervous and immune system causing modulation of the nervous system, embryologic development and neural plasticity. Neuroprotection, improved immune response, reduced inflammation, abnormal cell death (apoptosis), improved metabolism and pain relief also occur when this system is activated.

Cannabis plants are rich in non-toxic cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids which are all molecules known to be medically useful in herbal medicine.  Veterinary oncologists are advocating for use of cannabinoids in improving the quality of life in cancer patients.  Also, there may be a role for cannabinoid use in allergic skin disease, and some epileptic patients might benefit.

Cannabis products can be formulated with very minimal levels of the THC that causes toxicity in dogs.  In the United States, there are several products available in the veterinary mileu, and we anticipate a hemp product chew for pets to reach the Canadian market soon.  If you are interested in exploring cannabinoid treatment for your pet, visit your holistic veterinarian for assistance in working out safe forms and safe doses of this intriguing plant.

Written by Full Circle Veterinary Alt. 

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Last updated: June 28, 2021

Dear Clients,

With the recent changes for businesses related to Covid, we want to reassure you that we are continuing to provide our full range of services with the safety measures listed below. We will update this page regularly as the safety measures change.

We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only. This includes Canine Rehabilitation appointments, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine appointments for acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui -na, Animal Chiropractic, Nutrition referrals, and specific blood testing referrals.

If you have questions, please contact us by phone at 902-461-0951 or email us at careteam@fullcirclevet.ca.

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Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We look forward to seeing you with your furry family members when Covid subsides!

- Your dedicated team at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives Inc.