Until she introduced “magic cheese” to her sick and aging bulldog, Laura Bugni-Daniel watched him suffer for two years. He’d spend his days lying down or throwing up.
Today, at age 12, he plays like a puppy through the day, his fur is soft and he sleeps at night, soothed not by magic but by the dose of marijuana in that cheese.
Bugni-Daniel is part of a growing movement to give medical marijuana to pets in pain. Many urge caution until there’s better science behind it. But stories abound about changes in sick and dying pets after they’ve been given cannabis — even though it isn’t a proven painkiller for man or mutt, and it’s an illicit drug under federal law despite being legal for people in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Leading the charge is Los Angeles veterinarian Doug Kramer, 36, known as the “Vet Guru,” who thought it was his duty to speak out while he has no family who would feel a verbal or financial backlash.
“I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn’t doing everything I could to make their lives better,” he said. “I felt like I was letting them down.”
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Ryan O'Meara is group editor at Total Pet Publishing. A former professional dog trainer, Ryan is a frequent commentator in the media on a wide variety of canine issues including dog attacks, animal welfare and dog behaviour.