Mikayla Saepoff came home discovering something was very wrong with her dog.

“It seemed like he had had a seizure,” she said. Saepoff took Yogi, her 14-year-old labradoodle, to the hospital, putting him through X-rays to detect if he had cancer. He was minutes from being put down and then Saepoff heard a noise coming from the back: a bark.

The labradoodle started acting fine again, though “we hadn’t done anything yet,” Saepoff said. After the episode, Saepoff decided to give Yogi CBD oil. “He hasn’t had anything happen after that,” Saepoff said, after giving Yogi the extract for three months now. “Sometimes he’s even puppy-like, it’s crazy.”

Local veterinarian Dan Bowen, of the Animal Medical Clinic of Punta Gorda, has seen a couple dozen of his fluffy patients be administered the oil from their owners. “I have not seen one bad effect,” Bowen told the Sun Friday.

“I would use it on my own dog,” he said. Bowen has a 14-year-old golden retriever named Daisy back home. Daisy takes three different pain medications that she takes due to one of her hind legs being missing, causing her to now drag her remaining back leg. “It would make her feel better and that’s the goal.”

Bowen suggests pet patients still adhere to their daily regimen with the addition of the oil, if so needed.

Representatives from Provida, which makes CBD oil, said their oils can help canines with digestion, nausea, anxiety, phobias, joint pain, epilepsy, general aging pains and their coat health. Saepoff is a brand ambassador for Provida, as well as a certified health coach.

CBD oil is not FDA approved, so Bowen asks his patient to look for reputable, well- researched products, otherwise “the dose can be up in the air.”

Since the oil is unregulated, there are many brands on the market and “people can put anything in them,” he said, noting they may not even contain the oil.

According to a lab test conducted by ProVerde, a medical marijuana testing laboratory, Provida’s CBD pet drops have a concentration of 10.22 milligrams of CBD per milliliter, or are 1.16 percent CBD, and have 0.42 milligrams of THC per milligram, or are 0.04 percent THC.

The hemp extract is infused into coconut oil, hemp seed oil and salmon oil.

“I don’t want to see dogs stoned,” Bowen said. “This is something that helps them and can be a godsend” to a dog in pain.

Bowen has seen CBD oil help with arthritis, epilepsy and behavioral problems in his patients. “They act normally,” he said, “they just lose their anxiety.”

Wait, but isn’t cannabis illegal?

As a result of Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, an institution may grow or cultivate industrial hemp, which is a specific species of cannabis sativa, if it’s concentration of THC is not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Cannabis is still classified as a federal Schedule I drug, according to the DEA.

Though Bowen has heard many highlights of CBD oil use for dogs, he’s not so sure about cats.

Typically dogs and humans have a strong correlation on how drugs interact, to an extent. However, cats metabolize drugs in a completely different way.

For example, a dog and human can take Tylonol every once in awhile, but that same pill will do significant damage and even be life-threatening to a cat, and could be fatal for a ferret, Bowen said.

“There’s just not enough research,” he said about giving the oil to felines or ferrets. Bowen wants to see successful lab testing before he potentially recommends it for his those patients.

Overall, Bowen thinks this is the tip of the iceberg for new medicines. “I predict CBD oil to be some of the drugs of the future.”


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