by Paul Kemp
The use of the herb kratom in pets has been a subject of much interest, due to the amazing results pet owners have reported and credited to the botanical. Much of the research to determine the safety of kratom has been done on animals, generally on rats and mice, but occasionally on dogs and cats. The good news, though limited, is that — even at absurdly high doses of the pure principle alkaloid, Mitragynine or standardized extracts of the whole plant, all the animals survived. Only at the highest doses of pure Mitragynine was there found to be any damage to the animals’ kidneys and/or livers.
Anecdotal reports by those who care for pets have been very encouraging for dogs with hip dysplasia, other injuries, anxiety, and age-related low energy, etc., as you’ll see below.
The comments of several veterinarians and care-givers in pet rescue facilities have been supportive of giving kratom to dogs in small doses. For some unconfirmed reason, veterinarians are apparently universally opposed to giving kratom to cats. Nobody has been able to tell us why or to direct us to research that would confirm this.
We can only speculate on whether kratom supplementation in other pets, such as rabbits, donkeys, and reptiles would be healthy for them. By deductive reasoning, those that are able to digest plant matter should be fine. The owners of pets should keep in mind that kratom, even with all fiber removed, still has the effect of slowing digestive motility, so it’s important to keep doses to a minimum and watch for signs of constipation.
Having said this, let’s allow the pet owners tell what they have seen in their Pets:
Dominique: My 3 legged pit bull gets Kratom when he’s in pain. 1/8tsp does it and you can see the relief both in his expression and movement within 20 minutes.
Kristie: I wet the part of my finger they take your finger print from and then press it into my dogs kratom. Then rub it on their gums and whats left rub on their tongue. I use it on my beagle for her seizures. They have stopped since I started her on kratom. Then I give my pit kratom for pain. She has cancer. I only give them reds with just a tiny bit of yellow kapuas. With the pit I will add just a tad of white if she is having a good day and wants to go and do doggie things.
Katie: We had a dog named Red, he was an old boxer with terminal bowel cancer, in his last few days before he was to be put down I gave him a dose of Kratom, I figured that it helped me feel better, and his pain meds were doing nothing. Lo and behold, the old bastard got up from his somber sad corner of the world and started playing for the first time in months, and he ate for the first time in a couple of days, it was like he was a totally new dog. I only wish I would have given it to him much sooner maybe it would have slowed the whole process down or even stopped it. He was still put to sleep, because it was 2 little too late, but at least he was able to enjoy his last few days, I definitely would recommend kratom to literally anyone or any animal. I hope this story helps.
Bekkah: My Winston, he’s a little Jack Russell/Javanese mix and the biggest baby you’ve ever seen. We thought he had sprained a paw or something, he was limping around all afternoon so for dinner I took about an eighth of a teaspoon or a little less and sprinkled it on his food. Took a little coaxing but he ate it. About 45 minutes later I noticed him jumping on the couch without trouble.
Connie: I used it for my Jack Russell for several months before we let her rest. She was hurting a lot and 1/4 tsp on her good morning and night helped her get through the day with her tail wagging. I alternated red Sumatra at night and bentuangie in the mornings.
Stormy: I use it for my two chihuahas all the time. The past 3 weeks my female is in heat so my male has been running around house nuts whining 24 hours a day. I give him half gram Green Indo[a type of kratom] and he relaxes and is not in misery anymore.
Kerra: This past summer an old stray dog showed up here. In bad shape! Hungry, covered in fleas, ticks, and some sores. Missing teeth and arthritic, we took him in, bathed and pampered him. He got real bad at one point. Wouldn’t or couldn’t get up to go outside or eat. We sprinkled just under 1/4 teaspoon Red Bali [another type or “strain” of kratom] in his breakfast for three days. Day 3 he got up, running around like a young pup. Doing fine since then. Haven’t had to give more at this point.
Julie: I have been giving kratom to my senior dog for his arthritis for about 4 months now. He was at the point where he could hardly get up or walk. I hate the arthritis meds the vets give for dogs (really damaging to liver and expensive). I mix a 1/4 tsp Red Borneo or Bali in a tsp of coconut oil, morning and evening, and he laps it right up. I’ve even started to mix in a pinch of turmeric. (He’s about 50 lbs) Everybody has noticed the difference in him, in fact my husband was getting a little annoyed because now he’s up and begging in the kitchen again lol! If I am late for a dose he will come and find me to remind me, so I know even he knows it’s helping him. I don’t know anything about using kratom in younger dogs, but for these older dogs who aren’t going to be around much longer, it sure is nice to know there is something to help them feel comfortable in their senior years.
Jeannette: I used it for our little dog that is about 30 lbs and 2 yrs old. He had abdominal surgery for a blockage. The surgery went well but the vet tech put him on a heating pad while he was still out of it and he ended up with 3rd degree burns on about 1/2 of one side of his body. He was in so much pain and tramadol was not even touching it. He just laid there and cried. I gave him 1 (00 size) capsule and it seems to really help but he was still whimpering. I gave him another and he quieted right down so he was getting 2 capsules about every 4 hrs for about a month and a half. He would just eat them like a treat. When it began to wear off, he would cry and whine. After about 2 months he is about healed up and no longer needs the kratom but he still begs for it. His scars look great and hair is slowly beginning to grow back. I really think kratom probably saved this little guy’s life. If not that, it sure helped him with recovery.
Sue: I’ve been giving Kimmie, my twelve year old Border Collie Mix three capsules of red every day. She seems to feel so much better from her arthritis.
Amy: I have a 3 year old golden with severe hip dysplasia. I’ve tried all the supplements. NONE of them worked except this one! I also have a ton of friends in golden rescue who I’ve switched them over to it as well. Not a single complaint. Only positive stories.
Jill: I’m a foster mom for the local shelter and I use kratom for scared, anxious or hurt dogs. I also use it for my 18 yr old Collie and it helps my Terrier with her nervous behavior.
Ryan: So I gave Kratom to my chihuahua. His paw was hurting for some reason. He was barely walking around.. After he ate it though, he was running around the yard like it’d never even happened. It was strange cuz he hasnt been limping since.
Robert: We utilized kratom with our 14 year old black lab, ‘Bear’. He had severe joint/hip pain (and other issues), so severe, that he didn’t jump on ‘his couch’ for 3+ years. I mixed aprox. 2 grams of a green vein, in with his wet/dry dog food mix.
ONE hour later, he had jumped his big ass on ‘his couch’ again! It may seem insignificant, but this was HYUUUGE for him, at that stage in his life!
He left us a year & a half ago, but ever since that jump, he had his proprietary blend of kratom mixed in with his dog food every day.
Our ONLY regret was not trying this ‘experiment’ sooner.
Gina: I have a 10 year old male poodle who weighs 20 pounds. He was diagnosed with arthritis in both of his back legs about 6 months ago. The vet put him on 2 prescription drugs. It helped very little. I started him on kratom 7 days ago. 1 gram of a mixture green/red. Once again kratom worked its magic! He is back to walking normal and going up and down steps. He even wants to play ball again. My only regret is not putting him on kratom 6 months ago. He’s back to being my mischievous boy!
Adan: I have a 15 year old Maltese with cancer, I’ve been feeding her kratom, turmeric, cat’s claw and graviola, needless to say the doctors were shocked to see her tumors disappearing, she was diagnosed 3 years ago. Kratom helped most of all to get her up, motivated, active and helped with her appetite. I assume it’s because of its pain relieving properties that she’s so healthy and eating well despite having had cancer.
Here is the little that I’ve been able to find in the kratom published research concerning cats:
“…it had little effect on the blood pressure of dogs, was only hypotensive in cats at high doses, and was much less of a respiratory depressant than codeine.” Referring to testing with pure mitragynine on cats and dogs. It went on to say, “Large doses in cats had stimulating effects, qualitatively different than opiates.” From “Ethnopharmacology of Kratom and the Mitragyna Alkaloids” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 231988115119, Elsevier Scientific Publishers Ltd. Ireland
The researchers’ idea of high doses was 18.4 — 46mg/Kg of PURE Mitragynine, without the moderating effects of the other alkaloids in the botanical — and no deaths or other negative side-effects were mentioned, which leads me (tentatively) to believe, pending further evidence of possible negative effects of other of the 27 alkaloids usually present in whole kratom, that kratom for cats is safe, at least for acute pain relief in the short term.
We heard one anecdotal report of a cat whose leg was broken when a car hit the cat during the winter in Maine. The cat was found by its owners with a chicken sitting on it, keeping it warm (and alive). It being the weekend and no veterinarian available, they gave the cat kratom to ease the pain, which caused the cat to stop crying and be able to eat, rest, and recouperate. When the cat began crying again, a few hours later, the kratom was given again as needed. When the cat was strong enough, the leg had to be amputated, but the cat is now healthy and no longer needs kratom.
It is my hope that pet owners can deduce for themselves a sense of the safety and efficacy that the use of kratom may provide their pets so they can enjoy life more, in spite of aging and injuries. There were many more owner accounts — all favorable — that I will use in a future article on the subject of pets and kratom.
Paul Kemp is fascinated with all the many uses people have found for the herb kratom. He has written about it frequently since 2012.
Here is a study that demonstrates that pure Mitragynine is relatively safe for rats (and we may assume other mammals) at lower sub-chronic doses.
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