The kratom community is filled with various individuals who have found the plant through online conversations that deal with pain management. Pain is an inevitable part of life. One cannot hide from it. The older you get, the more discomforting sensations start to plague your life. Plus, once the pain begins to set in, the more difficult it becomes in the future to make the necessary changes to fix or treat the ailments responsible for the devastating tragedy.
According to one study performed by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the severity of pain prevalence of Americans showed astounding results. The data provided estimates around 25 million people suffer from daily pain. And of the millions of Americans that suffer from category 3 or 4 pain levels, they were more likely to have worse health status than others in the country.
You may know someone in your family who suffers. But it’s not only our blood relatives that deal with battles of immense pain. In America, pets are considered a part of the family, too. On social media, you’ll likely see a person uploading pictures of their pooch or cat as often as you see a portrait of children. And animals go through pain just like we all do. In 2018, the global market size for veterinary pain management in the US was estimated to be around 1.15 billion dollars. Americans care deeply for their four-legged family. But their pet’s options are more limited than what is available to us.
When your dog has symptoms that show it is dealing with pain, over-the-counter medication can be found in the nearest pet store. Most of these will be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that mitigate pain your pooch is feeling while helping to alleviate the swelling and stiffness in your dog’s joints. But you need to pay attention to your dog when it’s taking these meds.
These drugs have a long list of side effects for your pet. Some of these common problems include vomiting, a decreased appetite, lack of energy, and even upset stomachs that lead to your dog having diarrhea. But these meds can cause even more severe damage, too. Prolonged usage or too high a dose might cause liver damage or kidney failure. So it’s best not to give these to your dogs if you can help it.
There are other pain medications your pet can get if the pain is more serious. But you would need to get them prescribed from a veterinarian because they carry narcotic properties. One such pill is Tramadol: a synthetic opioid that is less powerful than the opiates it mimics. However, this opioid still has a few side effects that can affect your pet’s health. But one significant fact about Tramadol is that the drug acts as an atypical opioid analgesic in the body. And that’s exactly how kratom reacts, too. So the experimentation of kratom on an animal’s body was something that was bound to happen at some point by scientists.
Looking at the research of kratom, you’ll find quite a few experiments that show the effects of kratom on animals, but all of those studies were performed on rodents. While that certainly gives scientists necessary information about the drug, those results fail to address the properties of absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of kratom in much larger animals.
Sure, we could always assess the data that researchers have collected over the years with human subjects, but the toxicity level of specific substances can change from one species to the next. And we’ve already addressed how Americans take their pet’s healthcare seriously. So figuring out how kratom would affect a canine would be the next logical step for treating pain in our pooches. Some dog owners have already thought about it.
In the past, one online experiment was conducted informally by pet owners in a Facebook group that has since been shut down, allowing everyone involved in the group to supply the results they witnessed. Out of the 66 dogs that ingested kratom products, according to those pet owner’s remarks left on the Facebook page, 62 of those pets supposedly showed noticeable signs that their pain symptoms were improving. But the results of that experiment were hearsay. And since it was anecdotal evidence supplied to the audience, it gave little facts for anyone to pull from. The observations and data provided was less than stellar proof for an argument to decide whether to allow one’s pet to try kratom products.
The results of that experiment were uncontrolled, and the parameters were left wide open for the owners of the pets to decide how much and often to dose their dogs with kratom. So each pet was given what the owner felt was appropriate. But the dog owners had no studies or suggestions to pull from. At that time, no scientists had performed any experiments that supplied any pharmacokinetic information for mitragynine on an animal that was a non-rodent species.
But all of that changed at the beginning of 2020 when scientists studied the effects of mitragynine on a group of female beagle dogs. When the beagles were given an oral dose of mitragynine, the first peak plasma concentrations were witnessed within 30 minutes of ingesting the drug. After that, a reading of 7-hydroxymitragynine, as it broke down in the body, took approximately an hour or two to reach the maximum concentration of the drug in the beagle’s system.
The plasma concentrations for the intravenous study happened to fall Below the Limit of Quantification (BLOQ) for the pre-specified range selected in the experiment, so the initial study didn’t provide any information regarding those results; however, that provides a bit of insight for the next experiment—should any researcher try a second experiment. And there were not any negative side effects witnessed from the kratom in the beagle’s systems, so we should expect them to perform other research in the future to better understand the alkaloid’s effects in a dog’s system.
While the results of the study did provide us with information suggesting that kratom would be a viable supplement to give our dogs to help them deal with daily pain problems, I would wait before I started rushing to give your pets a diet with kratom included.
First off, this was the very first scientific study that used dogs for the subject. So we need more experiments to be completed that show the safety of these animals ingesting such a plant. Just because a plant or type of food is safe for humans does not mean it’s completely safe for animals to eat.
For instance, if you were to feed your dog a good amount of onions, garlic, grapes, or chocolate, then there’s a point the toxicity levels could make your pet extremely sick or lead to a fatal consequence. And the breed and size of the dog are formulated into the equation when understanding the deadly amounts in those formulas. Sure, you might be able to give them a small serving before a trip to the veterinarian is necessary. But if it has the potential to be fatal, should you even risk a small amount of any of those foods?
Those are the types of dangers you might risk when giving kratom to your family pet. Without studies that delve into the kratom toxicity levels of your furry friend, you will never be certain about the damages it poses over your pet’s happiness or the longevity of its life.