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BENTLEY'S CORNER: Herbal remedies for pets

We're taking a look at alternatives to Western veterinary medicine.

Have you ever thought about giving your dog CBD oil? It’s a growing trend.

We revisited Dr. Cooke of Cooke Veterinary in Chesapeake, who uses the best of both worlds to care for your animal.

“We call it 'carrying two black bags,'" Dr. Cooke said. "One is a western black bag for medicine and the other is an herbal black bag. There’s no reason to not use both. Some of these herbs go back 1,000 years, some of these herbs are kind of brand new at 500 years of age, some go back 2,500 years of age.”

So what types of conditions would herbal medicine treat as effectively if not better than western medicine?

According to Dr. Cooke, “I would say arthritis, weakness in their ear, there are herbs for that. Let’s say the dog cannot withstand a nonsteroidal drug, they’ve already got liver problems diagnosed, they’ve already got kidney problems diagnosed... most vets will not want to use a nonsteroidal drug, so we may go the herbal route.”

There are misconceptions, though: one is that herbs are cheap, which is not the case.

A big factor why: “They’re based on body weight," said Dr. Cooke. "So the bigger the dog, the more cost.”

The use of hemp oil is growing popularity among vets. Interesting fact: dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans, therefore they respond better to this type of treatment.

"We may use this for anxiety, nervous system tremors, for seizures, especially if the seizures are not responding to western medication,” she said.