Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Some medical marijuana enthusiasts in Colorado are taking the "holistic approach" by giving their pets pot to deal with pain.
As animals age, it’s harder for them to do things like fetch, run and play, prompting some owners to prescribe marijuana to help fix the problem.
"Arthritis is the really big thing for our pets as they get older, for being able to move about and get their exercise,” pet owner Barbara Novey told local Fox affiliate KXRM.
"So medication of any type that will help someone that is natural will help their pet as well, and I think that maybe our pets can help us purge this reefer madness mentality and realize that it's not the dangerous drug that you think it is."
Novey thinks pot is therapeutic for her pooch, but NorthWest Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. John Sudduth asserts that giving a dog medical marijuana can be deadly.
"There just hasn't been enough research that has been presented to the medical community that would inform us to how to safely use medication such as marijuana. You're really playing with fire. You don't really know what you're giving and what kind of side effects it could have. It could result in serious illness and it could result in death in some cases."
"Pets are not necessarily people in fur coats," Sudduth added. "And how they metabolize medications and utilize medications those are all separate issues that have to be determined."
It is still illegal for veterinarians to prescribe medical marijuana pills.
"We need to know about the indications, the usage, the side effects the toxicities and all of those things would have to be worked out before any of these medications, like marijuana might be used," Sudduth said.
According to Sudduth, toxicity cases in dogs have risen dramatically in Colorado since recreational marijuana was legalized in the state.
[KXRM Fox 21]