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Vets lobby to expand medical cannabis laws to include dogs, cats

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OTTAWA — Parliament Hill is going to the dogs today as veterinarians lobby MPs to authorize the use of medical cannabis for critters.

The vets are bringing five dogs to the Hill to draw attention to what they see as glaring omissions in the legalized regimes for medical and recreational marijuana.

The law does not allow veterinarians to prescribe pot for pets, even though preliminary research suggests it could be beneficial in treating pain, seizures, anxiety and other disorders — much as it is for humans.

Moreover, the law requires labels on cannabis products warning they be kept out of reach of children, but there’s no similar warning that they could be harmful to animals.

Dr. Sarah Silcox, president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, says her group has been told the omissions were likely “an oversight” that can be considered when the legalized cannabis regime is reviewed in three years.

But she wants more urgent action.

“For our patients, they age much faster than we do and this really isn’t an issue that can wait for a three-year review,” Silcox said in an interview.

Because vets can’t legally prescribe cannabinoids for animals, or even offer advice to pet owners on the most suitable products or dosages, Silcox said some people are taking it upon themselves to administer cannabis to their pets. They’re using products sold for human consumption or unregulated “black market” products marketed for animal use, but about which veterinarians have concerns about “safety and purity.”

“Veterinarians are able to prescribe almost any other drug, including things like fentanyl and other opioids and … prescription drugs that contain cannabis derivatives and yet we’re not able to authorize the use of cannabis itself,” Silcox said.

The prohibition on veterinary use of cannabinoids has made research into the potential benefits “challenging,” but Silcox said preliminary studies suggest positive benefits for managing pain from arthritis and other conditions, epilepsy, anxiety and general inflammatory conditions.

It is particularly useful for treating cats, who are more sensitive than dogs to the other pain medications currently used for animals, she said.

Silcox’s group and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have lobbied the government to authorize veterinary use of cannabinoids. Silcox said they’ve been told by the policy adviser to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor that it is not a priority at the moment, but can be considered when the Cannabis Act is reviewed in three years.

However, Silcox noted the government is in the process of reviewing cannabis regulations now in preparation for adding edibles and oils to the list of legal products next year. It would take only a “few small changes” to add vets to the medical practitioners authorized to prescribe cannabinoids and to change references to people to patients, covering both the human and animal variety, she said.

The Canadian Press


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Central Alberta

Grant’s story: Amazing Improvement with Hard Work & Support

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Grant was in his mid-fifties – maybe a bit overweight but with no other cardiovascular risk factors. However, a stroke hit and hit hard. His right side was very compromised, he had little use of his hands, he was unable to walk or lift his right arm. He was hospitalized in Red Deer for 4 months and then went to the Centennial Centre in Ponoka for rehab for 6 months. His doctor had told him that he would be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life and would never walk again or be able to recover from this stroke. This made Grant angry as he didn’t want this prognosis.

Since that time, he has put a lot of work and effort into getting better. The physios and rehab team helped him make progress, but he kept asking them how he could get more training. They were able to refer him to Recreation Therapy at RDPCN. His therapist arranged to work with him at the Gary W Harris Canada Games Centre three times per week. He is doing a lot better now. He can walk with a cane and he can lift 30 pounds on the machines at the gym. He can now clap hands. He has gained strength and control, his gait has improved along with his endurance, and he has an increased range of motion and strength in his upper extremities. He can now do many more tasks of daily living such as carry groceries, cook and barbeque.

Grant states that his doctor can’t believe his progress. Other people he knows have said very similar things. Working with the Rec Therapist has been very encouraging and supportive. The Rec Therapist has really helped me to stay motivated. Having a plan for myself also helps the attendants at the Gary Harris Centre to work with me to move forward. I have highly recommended this program to others I know who have had a stroke.

My work is not done but I am proud of the progress I have made and thankful for everything I can do for myself.

To learn more about the RDPCN programs, visit www.reddeerpcn.com

Gordon: The Street Clinic Really Helped Me

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Community

SPARC Kindness Rock Garden promotes love, happiness and kindness in the heart of Red Deer

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SPARC RED DEER KINDNESS ROCKS PROJECT

SPARC Red Deer, is pleased to announce a new “Paint the Town Positive” activity designed to promote positive messaging by creating a kindness rock garden.  We have partnered with Capstone to start the rock garden beside the Riverwalk in Capstone, adjacent to the fountain in Canada 150 Square, at the end of Alexander Way. We encourage Red Deerians to participate by adding their own colourful positive rocks. The purpose is to spread kindness and encourage further involvement by our community.  We’d love to see families come together to paint rocks and then, while out for a walk or bike ride, add their kindness rocks to the site.  We encourage parents to promote these positive behaviours in their children, which in turn, helps their kids grow up great!

Capstone – Red Deer’s only multi-family, riverside community – is excited to partner with SPARC Red Deer on the Kindness Rocks project! Capstone is a vibrant, healthy, inclusive neighbourhood that’s connected to new ideas, explores fresh ways of living, and is designed for life in Red Deer today and in the future.  The Kindness Rocks garden is just one of many elements in Capstone that favours human connection, and creates a balance between living, working, and culture & recreation.

Help us grow this rock garden to see how big and positive it can get!  Come back to visit and add more rocks throughout the summer.

What is Paint the Town Positive? It is youth-driven chapter of SPARC Red Deer. The idea is for youth to give back and spread kindness in the community through various projects and initiatives that are designed and created by them. This is to engage youth in positive activities and also to allow our community to see youth in positive ways which builds assets! Youth can also use their involvement to build up their volunteer experience for future resumes. Previous activities include youth donating and distributing warm winter wear in our City Hall Park, designing kindness rocks that were distributed within the community, and leaving bookmarks with positive messages throughout the community.

SPARC Red Deer hopes to brighten our community through this simple gesture of kindness! For more information, visit sparcreddeer.ca and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

SPARC Red Deer is a local non-profit coalition designed to promote and educate community members and families about the ’40 Developmental Assets”. The 40 Developmental Assets, developed by the Search Institute, are research-proven life experiences or building blocks which all children need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Research shows that the higher number of these assets a young person has, the more likely they are to thrive and to engage in positive behaviours, and avoid risky behaviours.

To learn more about SPARC, visit sparcreddeer.ca, or contact Rania Page, SPARC co-chair at 403.896.9431 or [email protected]

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july, 2021

thu15jul(jul 15)6:30 pmthu19aug(aug 19)6:30 pmPop-up Spray Parks6:30 pm - (august 19) 6:30 pm

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