“Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system.” When I first started looking into using medical cannabis for myself, that’s what the research said. It wasn’t until I’d achieved such remarkable results using medical cannabis for my intractable pain that I started to notice my four-legged family members in their own discomfort and wanted to bring them relief, too. This article is their story.
I started with my 17 year old hound, Jebadiah. In 2012, when Jebbie was 12 years old (and had already lived what most would call a full dog’s life,) he got in a fight with a brown bear…and lost. He dragged himself home, and it took several months before he could stand on his hind end–and, even then, it was both back legs working as one. It was no wonder to us that, as he aged, his back end was a source of pain and decreasing mobility for him. He had also developed glaucoma–his eyes were clouded over, and he moved like he couldn’t see very well, if at all. When I started to give him an infused-oil medical cannabis tincture, it was primarily–I thought–to give him relief in his last days…
The results were far better than I had even hoped. On 5mg twice per day, he began to stand on all four legs, even putting weight on his hind end to lift his front legs and play with the other dogs. He became more sociable and affectionate and alert. He started gaining back some of the weight he lost in the bear fight. The most astonishing result: I watched over the course of a week as his eyes leaked a cloudy liquid through his tear ducts… until his eyes were clear. He can see again! He’s still 17 years old with all of the associations that carries, but he’s living a life he enjoys. For as long as he’s living, that’s gold.
Princess Boochosky (Boochie for short) is our 12 year old labradoodle. Many years ago, she started getting fungus in her ears. (It’s a labradoodle thing :P) Over the years, it got into her bloodstream and causing fungal infections on her skin. I’d tried all sorts of remedies that worked from “not at all” to “somewhat” so it seemed that what was miracle for Jebadiah might also do some good for Boochie. It took longer to see results with Boochie, and she ended up on dose of 7mg twice per per day as I slowly titrated up to find a result… it took about three weeks, and then her skin started to heal. Now, she has a full coat of fur again, and her ears are slowly improving as well. She also got a lot more affectionate and less grouchy growling at the other dogs.
Brother Manna is my 27 year old Arabian horse. Like Jebbie, he’s winning longevity records. I noticed he was walking stiffly–like an old man–so I figured why not…as long as I kept the dose really low so as not to stimulate an action he didn’t like and couldn’t tell me about, right? So, I put my 1000 lb horse on the same dose as my 55 lb dog–5mg twice per day. Within days, he was reaching further when he walked and more likely to break into trot or canter. For Manna, though, the most startling result was how affectionate he’s become. Manna has–for the twenty some years he’s lived with us–been a fellow who preferred “air hugs” to touching. Now, though, he’s the first in for a scratch…and the last to leave.
My testament to the importance of keeping our endocannabinoid systems healthy–and supporting that health with phyto-cannabinoids from medical cannabis–is further strengthened by the happy and relaxed expressions of my beloved, elderly four-leggeds. From my own experience, I know it works for serious nerve pain caused by a spinal cord injury. I know it works like magic for anxiety and/or depression. I know it will stop an incoming headache in its tracks. I know it relieves joint pain and modulates the immune system. And now, I can say with the same conviction that it brings relief for dogs and horses, too. I guess I’ll have to chat with my kitty and see if he wants some next ; >)
Questions? Comments? I’d love to read them in the comments section below.