Dear P.P.: More veterinarians are using medicinal components of cannabis/marijuana to help alleviate chronic, painful conditions in companion animals. I am glad that your human doctor urged you to try this on your dog—not as a cure, but to improve his quality of life. Another natural herbal product, kratom, is gaining recognition as providing similar benefits for animals, especially those suffering from painful arthritic and spinal conditions, and other debilitating conditions like cancer. I would like to hear from readers who have had personal experience with some of the available strains of this herb, on themselves and on their animals, and especially from veterinarians. Kratom seems to be a safer alternative to conventional analgesics for humans and nonhumans alike. For details, visit speciosa.org and read Paul Kemp’s article, “Kratom Use by Pets: Anecdotal Reports by Pet Lovers.”
Clinical trials by veterinarians and veterinary college hospitals on this particular herb are called for, even though the federal government sought to take it off the market recently—probably under pressure from the big drug companies now under investigation for flooding the country with highly addictive synthetic opiates.
Dear Dr. Fox: I’m wondering what you would substitute for grains in your home-prepared food, since my dogs are grain-free.—L.S., Silver Spring, Maryland
Dear L.S.: A “grain-free” diet is not mandatory for all dogs. Specifically, it is for certain breeds and individual dogs who may get inflammatory and other bowel problems, allergies, pancreatic enzyme deficiency and even epilepsy, and whose maladies improve on grain-free (and GMO-free) diets. A small amount of grains are good for most dogs, but all things in moderation. It is the excess in cheap dog (and cat) foods that have made many animals ill over the years. The pet food industry, which has always flatly denied any connection with its products and