Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Researchers funded by Morris Animal Foundation will assess whether adding cannabidiol (CBD) to standard protocols will improve pain management in dogs after orthopedic surgery.
The study will investigate CBD’s efficacy in managing canine pain following a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy.
“We need evidence to either support or refute the use of CBD in veterinary patients,” said Dr. Alan Chicoine, an assistant professor leading the work at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine. “This study hopes to objectively answer whether, in this situation, CBD provides some benefit.”
Morris Animal Foundation noted that only a few controlled studies have closely examined CBD’s efficacy as a pain management tool. CBD has been used to treat arthritic pain, neuropathic pain, seizures, nausea, inflammation, anorexia, cancer, anxiety and fear-based aggression.
Dogs enrolled in the Canadian study will receive the standard pain-control regimen and either a placebo or CBD. Their owners and veterinarians will be blinded to the dogs’ treatment group, and the pain will be assessed using surveys and physical examinations.
The research team hopes to complete the CBD study by late 2024.
“Finding ways to better manage pain in companion animals has been a top research focus for the foundation,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Morris’ chief program officer. “This project has the potential to provide important guidance to veterinarians and dog owners on a crucial topic in pain management.”
Cannabis is legal in many U.S. states but remains classified as a Class 1 drug federally. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.”