Ask The Vet – Dr. Travis Gray

My dog was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve heard very good things about people giving their dogs Cannabis Oil with wonderful results. Some people also give it to their animals with other pain related issues. Please tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of giving my dog Cannabis Oil.

 

Cannabis oil contains Cannabidiol (or CBD), which is an extract of the cannabis plant which does not have psychotropic effects. Research into the therapeutic benefits of CBD in human medicine has undergone an incredible surge in recent years. There is even an academic journal dedicated only to articles involving the use of clinical cannabis!

Naturally, if there is any merit to the claims of CBD helping with cancer and pain, we would want our animal companions to benefit as well. A recent article by two researchers at UC Davis School of veterinary medicine found that in a survey of 632 consumers; 93% of respondents believed that CBD infused treats worked equal to or better than conventional pain therapy. This, however, is evidence based on owner experience. There are very few controlled clinical trials which investigate the safety and efficacy of short and long-term use of CBD in dogs.

Going back to the original question; nobody knows for sure. There are many stories of miraculous returns to good quality of life after starting CBD oil. There are also reports of adverse reactions and toxicities. Unfortunately, with so many knowledge gaps and poor regulation of the product, most vets would hesitate to recommend CBD oil. This question can only be answered once further research has been done.

 

We are moving soon and my dogs can already sense that something is happening with all the packing going on. What can we do to make sure this is a stress-free move for them? Too often I’ve heard of behavioural change in animals when people move. What is the best way to make sure they settle in fast to our new home?

 

If you want to reduce this stress as much as possible, you must keep your dogs’ routine as unchanged as possible. This means: meals at around the same time as normal, preceded by a walk, if that is what your dog is accustomed to. Taking your dogs for a few walks at their new home before the move would help them familiarize themselves with their new environment.

During the move, either keep your dogs with you, or keep them enclosed in an area they are accustomed to until you are ready to be with them at the new house. Kennelling your pets at this time will only add to their stress, so avoid that option if possible. It would also be wise to make sure that your dog has a form of identification such as a collar, microchip or (ideally) both in case they are able to escape and get lost during the moving process.

Keep all of your dog’s old beds, blankets and toys for them to have in their new home. Remember your pre-move routine and continue as before. Over-the-counter calming remedies may be of some benefit. Sprays and collars containing Dog Appeasing Pheromone could also be used to reduce anxiety levels. Most importantly; be calm and patient with your dogs, spend good quality time with them through the whole process, and they will adapt smoothly.

 

It’s flu season and my whole family is sick. Should I be worried about any of our pets getting sick or catching a cold? Is it possible for a cat or dog to catch a cold or flu, and if so how can we avoid it?

The good news is that the chances of your dogs and cats catching a disease from one of the human family members is incredibly slim. Just like us, though, cold weather tends to weaken our pets’ immune systems and make it easier for them to pick up bugs. The best way to help your furry kids healthy this winter is by feeding them a good quality diet, keeping them warm, and spending quality time with them to boost their happiness and relieve stress.

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