Canine epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder seen in dogs, but as owners know, it can be difficult to manage seizures and other symptoms associated with the disorder. According to the American Kennel Club, about 30% of dogs with epilepsy who take medication still experience seizures. Owners often find that anticonvulsant drugs can also cause a range of side effects, making things even harder for canines with this disorder.
Many dog owners are now turning to CBD as an alternative treatment for canine epilepsy. CBD has had success reducing seizures in humans, and it may be able to help your pet as well. CBD dog treats, CBD oil, and other options are easy to administer and can help your dog relax and regulate symptoms that result in seizures. If you’re considering using CBD for your dog, here’s what you need to know.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant that can be extracted and used as a key ingredient in wellness supplements. CBD has proven effective in alleviating symptoms associated with a range of conditions. CBD products are usually derived from hemp with low levels of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. Unlike marijuana, these products will not have a psychoactive effect.
In humans and dogs, when CBD and other cannabinoids enter the body they interact with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the nervous system and other systems in the body.
Dogs, however, have a slightly different endocannabinoid system than humans, with more receptors, which results in dogs having a higher sensitivity to THC than humans.
So, although administering CBD to your pet is generally considered safe, you should be careful to give your canine the proper dosage of a low-THC product. Giving your dog a product with too much THC could create a psychoactive effect and increase its anxiety. This is just one reason to seek out reputable CBD companies who engage in third party testing and take precautions to ensure their products yield the proper effects.
Although CBD can help you or your pet regulate the physiological effects of certain conditions, it shouldn’t be used in place of professional medical help. If your dog has epilepsy or another serious condition, talk to a vet about how best to relieve the pet’s symptoms and what they think about using CBD as an alternative treatment.
Although CBD is now a mass market phenomenon and anecdotal evidence of its benefits is plentiful, scientific research on its effects is still ongoing. Veterinary medicine is steadily gaining more knowledge of CBD and how it can help pets feel better. A new study in particular shows CBD’s promise in providing relief to dogs with epilepsy.
Preliminary data from clinical trials at Colorado State University, presented in early July, suggested that CBD may be an effective treatment for dogs with epilepsy. In the study, nine dogs were given CBD while seven received a placebo over a period of 12 weeks. Researchers found that 89% of the dogs who took CBD experienced a reduction in the frequency of seizures. As more research is done, keep an eye on the results scientists are finding, and how it can help you understand your dog’s needs.
When buying CBD for your dog, be sure to look for CBD products that are specifically aimed at canines. It’s also important to remember that CBD has not been approved by the FDA to treat, cure or prevent disease in dogs or humans.
The FDA has only approved one product containing a cannabis compound. Epidiolex, a CBD-based oral solution, was approved to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy in humans. This drug as well as the CBD products you give your dog for seizures will have a higher concentration of CBD or need to be taken in larger doses than CBD that’s being used to treat other less acute symptoms.
CBD products for dogs often come in the form of CBD oil, CBD biscuits, and dog treats. Treats normally have lower concentrations of CBD, so your dog may need to eat a few of them to experience proper relief. If you’re thinking about using CBD oil for dog seizures, you should know that some dogs don’t like the hempy taste of CBD oil. Thankfully, some brands offer bacon or peanut butter flavored oil. Another option is mixing the oil into your dog’s food.
It’s a good idea to talk to your vet about how CBD will affect your dog, especially if your pet is taking any existing medications it might interact with. If you take the time to find the right product, the effects of CBD use can result in the reduction of seizures in dogs. With dosage, it helps to start small and work your way up incrementally. Do research to find what brand is best for your dog and what dose will give your pet the proper relief.