DEAR DR. FOX: I have been reading your Animal Doctor columns for years, and I am so glad you have been showing how politics can harm animals as well as the environment. We should all be involved. You have gotten flak from some readers demanding you just “stick to pet health issues,” but all things are connected! You make the connections and help us think about and see the “big picture.” -- T.U., Minneapolis, Minnesota
DEAR T.U.: I appreciate your words of support. I am sure you would enjoy my book “Bringing Life to Ethics: Global Bioethics for a Humane Society,” wherein I lay the groundwork for what I call trans-species democracy.
Those who advocate for democracy commit the hypocrisy of human-centeredness and supremacy when they put their own interests over the rights and interests of other species. Such speciesism is of the same currency as racism. The political corruption of the ethics and spirituality of such democratic principles is at the root of the cultural, socioeconomic and environmental crises that we face today.
DEAR DR. FOX: Just wondering your thoughts on using CBD oil to manage seizures in dogs. We have a 10-pound dog on phenobarbital to help with her seizures, but she still has several each week. I’m wondering if there are any studies that support the use of CBD oil for dogs. -- W.B., Alva, Florida
DEAR W.B.: There are many reasons why dogs have seizures. In many cases, dogs have fewer or no seizures when given a whole-food diet without corn, wheat or added chemicals, as per the home-prepared recipe posted on my website (drfoxonehealth.com). And recent veterinary reports show some benefits in reducing and even preventing seizures when coconut oil, with its medium-chain triglycerides, is the main fat ingredient in a dog’s food.
My veterinary friend Dr. Rob Silver is perhaps most widely known for his pioneering work on CBD in veterinary medicine. He’s found that CBD can help dogs that suffer from conditions such as anxiety, seizures, pain, inflammation, digestive problems and cancer. (His book, “Medical Marijuana and Your Pet,” is considered an excellent resource on the subject.)
THC content may have some adverse effects for dogs, so pure CBD is advisable. Silver finds that it’s best to start out with low doses of CBD for a few weeks; you can always increase it slightly down the road. Conditions like anxiety, in particular, respond well to low doses of CBD, because it seems to help the brain make better use of serotonin -- the happiness compound.
CANNABIS EXTRACT (CBD) HELPS ARTHRITIC DOGS
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Immunology, dogs with osteoarthritis improved after being given cannabidiol for four weeks. Mobility and signs of pain did not improve in dogs given a placebo or a low dose of CBD, but both improved significantly in dogs given the highest CBD dose or a CBD liposomal formulation, said study leader Matthew Halpert. (Full story: Forbes.com, 7/1)
TEXAS A&M RESEARCH PROJECT IDENTIFIES COVID-19 POSITIVE PETS IN BRAZOS COUNTY
The transmission of COVID-19 to pets has been the source of much discussion within the scientific community. Reports have confirmed a small but growing list of positive cases among companion animals and exotic cats in the U.S. Now, new efforts within The Texas A&M University System are beginning to shed additional light on the topic.
A team led by Sarah Hamer, Ph.D., DVM, associate professor of epidemiology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is further exploring the degree to which pets are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
In and around Brazos County (home to Texas A&M), the team has found evidence that the pets of people who have COVID-19 may also become infected. So far, the team has identified two asymptomatic cats that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The cats, from different households, were both living with a person who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“At the time we collected samples from these cats at their houses, the owners did not report any signs of disease in the animals coinciding with the human diagnosis, but one of the cats had several days of sneezing after we sampled it,” Hamer said.
“Our study was not designed to test the directionality of transmission of the virus (whether pets become infected from owners, or vice versa). But what this does tell us is that pets can become infected in high-risk households,” Hamer said.
“The American Veterinary Medical Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 One Health Working Group emphasize that people who test positive should isolate from their pets or wear a face mask around their pets, just as they should do with other people,” she said. “We know that is probably really hard if you are quarantined at home and just want to snuggle with your pet, but it is important to do.”
Hamer reiterated that the veterinary and scientific consensus still maintains people shouldn’t be afraid if their animals test positive, and there is no indication that infected pets should be surrendered. To learn more about the project, visit tx.ag/BCSCovidResearch.
I hope that veterinary colleges around the world will set up similar projects, which will be of value in the years to come for other zoonotic diseases.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)