Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: June 22, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Big mainecoon cat lies on leaves of hemp near CBD oil

Two weeks ago, we introduced you to the benefits of CannaVet, a cannabis (hemp) supplement for pets developed by two Seattle veterinarians, Drs. Sarah Brandon and Greg Copas, who pioneered the use of medical marijuana for pets two years ago. I was so intrigued with the many benefits of this product, I asked Dr. Brandon to share one of her many success stories of using CannaVet as part of an integrative approach to treatment.

13-year-old Morgaine has been a patient of Dr. Brandon for more than 10 years.  In 2012, Morgaine started having appetite issues. Dr. Brandon ran diagnostics, including blood work, urinalyses, x-rays, and ultrasounds. All results were normal. Morgaine’s guardian and Dr. Brandon chose to not pursue additional diagnostics at that time, and tried traditional appetite-enhancement medications to get Morgaine eating again. They were having no effect. A series of other allopathic therapies, while doing nothing to harm Morgaine, also did not help to improve her appetite. In 2013, Morgaine began to take CannaVet, “and voila!” says Dr. Brandon, “She ate and ate well!”

However, despite her excellent appetite, Morgaine was losing weight. In early 2014, Dr. Brandon performed an exploratory laparotomy. Morgaine had small cell lymphoma in her intestines, but everything else looked good.

Morgaine received chemotherapy (low dose chlorambucil), as well as prednisolone and an appetite stimulant. She also gets a few other supplements including probiotics and lysine (she’s prone to kitty colds.) She is tolerating her chemotherapy amazingly well.

Despite all of these medications and supplements, she still seemed to need a nudge.  Dr. Brandon increased her hemp dose, giving it twice daily. Within a few months, Morgaine was back on her feet. “Since she didn’t respond well to typical pain control, the cannabis really helped her post-operative pain needs,” said Brandon. “Now she’s symptom-free and has reached 9 lbs 11 oz, holding steady.” Morgaine even pushes her younger brother out of his dish! The next step will be to reduce the dosages of her allopathic medications.


“We’re trying to wean her off of her appetite stimulant as her most recent exam shows she’s doing quite well in the weight department,” says Dr. Brandon. “We’re also weaning her off of prednisolone.” Morgaine is officially in remission, so she may be weaned off famotidine (a medication that helps prevent gastric ulcers) as well. “Nadya and I want her on the lowest effective combination of medications/supplements, but we know it will take time,” adds Brandon. “We don’t want to undo all the great progress, so we’ll take it slow

Morgaine’s guardian is thrilled at how well Morgaine is doing on Cannavet. “I’m so impressed with how she’s returned to being her sweet cuddly self, purring, and eating much better now, vs. hiding under the bed, nauseous, and depressed,” says Nadya Swafford. “She’s back to her lovingly affectionate self and is also quite active watching the birds and rabbits from her window perch. Her coat is much improved and her eyes are brighter.” Since switching to the higher dose, her appetite improved further and she’s now at a healthier weight and loves to be brushed. “She never liked being groomed before, being so thin,” says Swafford.

Swafford mixes the contents of the capsule into a very small amount of wet food and has Morgaine eat that first before giving her the rest of her wet food. Sometimes, Swafford will wait for Morgaine to eat a bit of wet food before popping the whole capsule into her mouth, an option that seems to work best for Morgaine.


I asked Nadya how her friends and family reacted to Morgaine taking medical marijuana. “They’ve been extremely positive and supportive about Morgaine’s treatment with CannaVet,” says Swafford. Responses have ranged from “that’s so cool!… If it works for people, then why not for animals” to “that’s wonderful!” and “I want to check into it to see if my cat or dog would benefit as well.” Everyone understands that this is an adjunctive and palliative supplement, not something to get Morgaine “high”.

“Morgaine and I have shared 13 years together and she means so much to me,” says Swafford. “I would not just give any supplement that makes claims suggesting it’s beneficial for my kitty’s health. The tremendous amount of research that CannaVet has done, the fact that it’s organic and non-GMO, and seeing the positive results of its application with other companion animals gave me complete confidence in trying CannaVet with Morgaine.” Swafford knows that CannaVet is not a cure-all, but “I’m so glad this option is available and Dr. Brandon recommended prescribing it, as it has certainly improved Morgaine’s quality of life and I’m so grateful for that.”

Featured Image Credit: Kreminska, Shutterstock

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21 Comments on How Medical Marijuana Helped a Cat with Lymphoma

  1. I’m in so much shock. Took my Gump 2 the vet. They felt something. Took blood, did x-rays, etc. Talked 2 them the next day. I fell 2 the floor screaming and crying. My Gump has an enlarged . He has a bad liver, kidneys and spleen. I couldn’t even talk 2 the vet anymore. A few days has passed and lots of tears. I went last night 2 talk 2 them about the quality of life. Without doing a MRI she is only assuming he has lymphoma. They r putting him on prednisone. I asked about Milk thistle. I take it 4 liver disease. She is now going 2 prescribe Milk. Both these r going 2 cost me $84 a month. I don’t care. My 3 cats r what has kept me alive and kicking all these years. Gump and his sister r almost 11. I watched them being borrn. I also had there mom. There grandmother and uncle/dad. Then I have little Henry. I know I’m going 2 completely lose it when it’s time. Don’t know how much longer I have with my babies. I’ve always loved them but now—– well it’s so, so, so much more. I didn’t even think that was possible. I don’t know how much the medical marijuana is but if it will make him better, it’s worth it.

  2. Hi There

    I am so happy I saw your story our baby Marley has a type of lymphoma and were in a incredible state thousands spend on tests their still not 100% sure what type it might be, she has a lump/growth in her neck that make is sore to eat whole food my baby is only 3 years old she deserves a long life she is our anchor, would you deffintly advice a light chemo with it? So its ok to use with chemo? Were in South africa I really someone to tell me that she will be ok she my whole life!!

  3. My cat just this week after 6 months of testing was diagnosed with Lymphoma… :'( He is 8 just started the treatment for small cell lymphoma and saw this. I am wondering about looking into this.

    • So glad to see you write this! Yesterday I was given the official news that my cat has either lymphoma or mast cell cancer. The lab doesn’t even know yet without conducting more expensive tests and then the doctor told me not all chemo drugs are effective on individual cancers. A true dead end! So far I’m administering the steroids and LifeGold supplement. I’ll try this cannabis next. Thank you.

  4. What a great story. Thanks for this info that may help many cats and their caregivers.
    Timmy and Dad

  5. Hi!

    My cat Bella, 7 in July, looks almost exactly like Morgaine and she has some back trouble. What breed is she?
    What type of dosing does she get?
    Is it safe for longtime use??

    With the Warmest Regards and Respect,

    • I would contact CannaVet to get your questions about dosing and safety answered directly, Ka. I believe Morgaine is a domestic longhair cat. She is a beauty, isn’t she?

  6. It can work miracles- glad it’s helping!! I’m glad I saw your post – I’ll share CannaVet info with others.

  7. I’ve had my 18-year-old cat, Siouxsie, on CannaVet for about a year and a half now. It’s done wonders for her arthritis pain — in fact, I wrote an article about Siouxsie’s journey with CannaVet (Canna Companion) for Catster, complete with before and after video.

    I’m grateful to have actually met Dr. Brandon, and that she was my cats’ vet until she left her practice to work full-time on the CannaVet business. She’s a fantastic vet all around.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with CannaVet, JaneA. I thought I remembered you writing about it!

  8. Hi Ingrid. Morgaine’s journey is so inspiring. My Pepper has been on CannaVet for approx a week since reading about it on your site. I would tell anyone not to hesitate because it works! Pepper had to stop Gabapentin due to urinary retention and as a result endured backlash pains. Since starting CannaVet his pain episodes have decreased significantly. It is so important to treat a cat or even a person on a holistic level. Dr. Brandon has been an angel to Pepper and myself with her communications and advice. This is not a cure for Pepper’s disease but with the help of CannaVet I am able to give Pepper the time that he needs to help heal using another natural product all the while improving the quality of his life. Ingrid, Pepper is using NEM(Natural Egg Membrane) to build cartilage in his joints. Have you any experience with this product or know of something else that is more effective? Thank you. Your posts make such a difference in the lives of cats and their guardians. Warm Regards, Robyn

    • Thank you for your kind words, Robyn. I’m so glad CannaVet is helping Pepper. I have not heard of NEM, but I will look into it.

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