Epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, various cancers – all of these and many more illnesses afflict not only humans, but also animals. And since every animal on this planet has the same endocannabinoid system as we do, the idea of treating their ailments with plant cannabinoids should be taken very seriously. Although illegal, more and more Czech vets and pet owners are turning to cannabis as a last resort and observe sometimes pretty incredible results.
Borysek is a thirteen-year-old Standard Schnauzer, who suffered a stroke six months ago. Otherwise healthy dog for his advanced age, he managed to recover pretty well – the only problem were occasional seizures. According to Zuzana P. from Czech capital Prague, Borysek’s owner, these seizures were almost unrecognizable and pretty rare at first, but as the time went, they became more frequent and more intense. “I was getting really scared so I took Borysek to our vet who diagnosed him with epilepsy and gave us a handful of pills. They did not really help, and the seizures were getting worse and worse,” explains Zuzana.
A Friend in Need
With every seizure being more severe than the previous one, the desperate owner started to consult all her friends and search for alternative medicines. Luckily one of Zuzana’s former classmates had previous experience with the treatment of epileptic patients with cannabis, and he recommended potent extract (with THC:CBD ratio 1:1) diluted in olive oil. With nothing to lose, Zuzana started the “illegal” treatment of her dog immediately and could not believe her eyes: “Not only has he suffered from zero seizures since then, but he is also very active, happy and playful – and he’s put on some weight, too.“
Another classic example of therapeutic potential of cannabis for dogs is Labrador Retriever called Moka. “She has serious issues with knees and joints, which is pretty typical for this overbred breed,” says Moka’s owner Gabriela H., “but her problems first appeared when she was only four years old. She began to walk with a limp and eventually had to undergo knee surgery.”
It is not really surprising that dogs, cats and other pets do not handle post-surgery time very well, and Moka is no exception. “She was in pain, tired and had no appetite. And what was even worse, she would not drink,” recalls Gabriela. According to Moka’s vet, it usually takes up to five or six months before the dog fully recovers, but the “worst” is usually over after one month.
Fortunately, Gabriela had a secret herbal weapon at her disposal to speed up the recovery. She kept applying strong homemade cannabis ointments directly on the wound as well as orally administering cannabis extract. Moka slept through the first few days, and she had to be fed and given water, but within five days she started to eat and drink on her own. “In three weeks, you would hardly tell she had serious operation not a long time ago – the wound almost disappeared and she was using all her four legs,” says Gabriela. “Our vet was also pretty amazed when he saw such a fast recovery, however he attributed it to him doing ‘great work’ during the surgery,” smiles happy owner.
Also Science Is Catching Up
Even researchers are finally taking the topic seriously (although it does not seem that cannabis will be legalized for animals any time soon in any EU country) – one example could be Czech agriculturist and researchers Frantisek Bednarik who had a lecture called Cannabis phytotherapy in human and veterinary medicine: Case reports of therapeutic effects of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in human and veterinary medicine during recent conference “Demystifying Cannabis” in Slovenian capital Ljubljana. More and more hemp products specifically for dogs and cats are also entering dietary supplements and cosmetic markets in Central and Eastern Europe – of course without THC.