Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join or Create An Account
Blog Home All Blogs
The Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) is the only statewide professional membership association dedicated exclusively to the profession of veterinary medicine and the interests of the veterinary team. The focus of our association is professional development, advocacy, and practice vitality to ensure the continued success of our members.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: veterinarian  pets  veterinary medicine  animal  cats  usda  avma  award  canine  disease  dog  dogs  fda  members  pa  Pennsylvania  pet focused brands  profession  recall  survey  united states  veterinary profession  ahaa  animals  Awards  eating  health  Kvc  laboratory  Legislation 

Mental Health Survey

Posted By Jaime Markle, Thursday, May 17, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mental Health Survey

You are being invited to participate in a research study about mental health experiences and attitudes toward seeking mental health services among veterinary professionals. This study is being conducted by Kerry Karaffa, PhD and Tamara Hancock, DVM, MS, DACVP, PhD. Dr. Karaffa is a licensed psychologist and Mental Health and Wellness Coordinator for the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Hancock is a veterinarian and Assistant Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri. This study will provide information that may ultimately be used to better understand mental health concerns and barriers to seeking mental health services among veterinary professionals.


Take Survey


Participation involves completing a 100-item electronic survey about your personal mental health experiences and your attitudes and perceptions about mental health services, including potential barriers to seeking services. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  Participation is voluntary and there are no direct incentives for participating in the study. However, information gained during the study may help improve mental health services for veterinary professionals. You may choose not to participate or discontinue participation at any time without consequence. 

Due to the personal nature of some of the questions and to encourage honest responses, you will not be asked to provide your name or employment affiliation. Computer IP addresses will not be collected, and any demographic information (such as your age, ethnicity, or years in practice) will be presented in summary form when findings are reported. The data will be password-protected, and only the researchers and individuals responsible for research oversight at the University of Missouri Institutional Review Board will have access to the records. 

Completing the survey may produce minor discomfort as you reflect about your mental health experiences. Otherwise, there are no risks involved in participating in the study in excess of those you would experience in everyday life. Your participation in this study will not affect any professional opportunities. 

Your consent to participate is granted by selecting that you are over 18 years old, and by acknowledging that you have been fully informed about the procedures listed here, and you are aware of what you will be asked to do and the benefits and risks of participation. If you have any questions or concerns about this study you may contact the researchers. If you would like a copy of the results of this study, please contact the researchers and arrangements will be made. 

Kerry M. Karaffa, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine
1600 Rollins Rd, Columbia, MO 65211 
Phone: 573.882.4629
Fax: 573.884.9607

Tamara S. Hancock, DVM, MS, DACVP, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor
University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine
1600 Rollins Rd, Columbia, MO 65211 
Phone: 515.771.9376

If you have any questions regarding your rights as a participant in this research and/or concerns about the study, or if you feel under any pressure to enroll or to continue to participate in this study, you may contact the University of Missouri Institutional Review Board (which is a group of people who review the research studies to protect participants’ rights) at 573.882.3181 or

If you would like to participate in this study, please select the link provided below: 

Take Survey


Tags:  depression  help  medical  members  mental health  mental well-being  pa  Pennsylvania  profession  survey  united states  veterinarian  veterinary medicine  veterinary profession  well-being  wellness 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

FAQs about Medical Marijuana in Companion Animals

Posted By Jaime Markle, Friday, August 25, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2018

Medical Marijuana

FAQs about Medical Marijuana in Companion Animals

By Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neurology) 

With the rise in popularity of medical and recreational marijuana in humans, it follows that people will be curious about using these products in their pets. This is still a tricky subject for the veterinarian, as evidence is lacking and legality is questionable at best for our patient population. 

As a practicing neurologist in San Francisco, it’s a conversation I have frequently. This prompted me to research the efficacy, safety and legality of these products for veterinary patients. Here’s what my investigations have shown: 

Is it legal to prescribe? 

The short answer is medical marijuana is not legal to prescribe for companion animals anywhere in the United States. There has yet to be a state that included veterinarians in the legal language for their medical marijuana laws, so regardless of the laws for human consumption in your state, veterinarians are in no way excluded from the federal law. 

It is equally important to note that the AVMA and the FDA state that these products are not known to be safe nor efficacious. 1, 2 When I contacted the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Board about their recommendations, they stated that there have been no specific policy or regulations made on this subject. 

What about supplements? 

There are supplements widely available on the internet, many are based on cannabidiol or CBD. There are several pet focused brands. The legal definition of these products is still under debate. In December of 2016 the DEA announced a new definition for marijuana that included CBD as a marijuana extract, and therefore a Schedule 1 substance.3 The Hemp Industry Association has responded, and there is legal action pending, that this designation violates Sec 7606 of the Farm Bill which allows for the legal sale of cannabis based products with less than 0.3% THC.4

Is it safe?

Marijuana is a fairly safe product in terms of fatal toxicity. There have been only 2 reported fatalities from marijuana toxicity in 338 clinical cases in the veterinary literature, although one of these studies noted that the volume of cases seen for toxicity has risen sharply with legalization.5,6

It is also important to note that across many studies in human medicine there are consistent reports of adverse effects associated with medical use. Doses and formulations that would be well tolerated in our veterinary species are still not known. 

An additional concern are reports of pesticides in dispensary obtained marijuana products. In one such report 84% of tested samples had unacceptable levels of pesticides.7 Legal regulation and enforcement of pesticide use on marijuana is still in development in most states.  

Does it work? 

There is interesting and emerging research on a variety of uses for medical marijuana for conditions like pain, seizures, nausea and cancer. Many of these studies do show statistically significant therapeutic action of these substances. As a neurologist, I have been particularly interested in the current research of CBD in pharmacoresistant epilepsy in children, for which there have been successful trials.8, 9 However, it is important to note there is no current evidence for efficacy in veterinary species. The limited bioavailability data we have in dogs does suggest that dogs metabolize these products differently than humans, so we should be cautious when directly translating the human literature to our patient population. 10, 11

The Clinical Pharmacology lab at Auburn University is currently offering free cannabinoid monitoring in hopes of establishing an assay for toxicity and efficacy. You can submit samples via their webform

What do I say to my clients? When asked about these subjects from clients I say the following:

“I understand there is a lot of interesting information out there about marijuana. The truth is that we do not yet know what doses and formulation are safe or have any positive effect in pets. We do know from years of experience that pets can have some negative side effects from marijuana ingestion, so that makes me cautious. The research in humans is really interesting, but very new, and no research has been done in dogs (cats, horses, etc). Additionally, it is illegal for me to prescribe it, as veterinarians are not included in state medical marijuana laws.”


Dr. Carrie Jurney

Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neurology) 
President, Jurney Veterinary Neurology, Redwood City, California


  1. AVMA@WorkEditor. "A Sign of the Times: Medical Marijuana Use and Veterinary Medicine."AVMA@Work Blog. AVMA, 16 July 2013. Web. 01 July 2017.
  2. Office of the Commissioner. "FDA and Marijuana: Questions and Answers." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Office of the Commissioner, 30 June 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  3. Drug Enforcement Administration. "Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract." Federal Register. Office of the Federal Registrar, 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  4. Hemp Industries Association. "Hemp Industries Association Responds to DEA Final Rule Regarding ‘Marijuana Extracts’." Hemp Industries Association News & Press Releases Hemp Industries Association, 16 Dec. 2016. Web. 01 July 2017.
  5. Meola, Stacy D., et al. "Evaluation of trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana: 125 dogs (2005–2010)." Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care 22.
  6. (2012): 690-696. 6. Janczyk, Pawel, Caroline W. Donaldson, and Sharon Gwaltney. "Two hundred and thirteen cases of marijuana toxicoses in dogs." Veterinary and human toxicology 46.1 (2004): 19-20.
  7. Angle, Patrick, and Steep Hill Labs, Inc. | Ste. "Steep Hill Launches New High Detection Cannabis Pesticide Testing in California." Steep Hill Press Release (n.d.): n. pag. Steep Hill Labs, 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 1 July 2017.
  8. Devinsky, Orrin, et al. "Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open-label interventional trial." The Lancet Neurology 15.3 (2016): 270-278.
  9. Cross, J. Helen, et al. "Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces convulsive seizure frequency in Dravet syndrome: results of a multi-center, randomized, controlled trial (GWPCARE1)(CT. 001)." Neurology 88.16 Supplement (2017): CT-001.
  10. Samara, E. M. I. L., M. E. I. R. Bialer, and R. A. P. H. A. E. L. Mechoulam. "Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs." Drug metabolism and disposition16.3 (1988): 469-472.
  11. Samara, E. M. I. L., and M. E. I. R. Bialer. "Pharmacokinetics of the dimethylheptyl homolog of cannabidiol in dogs." Drug metabolism and disposition 16.6 (1988): 875-879.

Tags:  avma  cancer  cbd  companion animal  distribution  does  legality  marijuana  medical  medical marijuana  nausea  oil  pain  patient  pet focused brands  pets  pharmacy  prescription  products  seizures  supplements  toxicity  veterinarian  weed 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)