CBD Oil For Treating Seizures & Epilepsy In Dogs
Dog seizures and epilepsy in general are scary for anyone to witness, but when it is your dog, it is emotionally wrecking to watch. It leaves you feeling helpless and distraught, which is the opposite of how we like to feel when it comes to our babies. We want them to know they are safe with us and that we will take care of them, no matter what.
Dogs seizures and epilepsy in dogs can be difficult to treat because there are many possible causes for them. CBD is a discovery that has proven to help with seizures in humans. It’s not a big jump to think that it could help pets as well. Many people have been using CBD oil as a natural therapy for dog seizures of all types with promising results.
What is CBD Oil?
Canine CBD oil is an extracted from hemp plants. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants (hemp is in the cannabis family). CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is equally as familiar to most people as tetrahydrocannabinol THC is.
Tetrahydrocannabinol THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that is responsible for the head high experienced from using it. But CBD products derived from a hemp plant are free of toxins, psychoactive properties, and other high related side effects. Hemp is free from THC because the hemp plant itself contains less than 0.3% of THC in the first place.
With such a small amount of THC, hemp is considered free from it because this value is considered a trace amount. All canine CBD products are free of low quality ingredients and any related toxins.
Luckily, CBD doesn’t have that impact on the brain, but it still has many of the same medicinal uses as marijuana. Dogs, however, cannot have tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s toxic for them, so you should avoid THC products. High quality CBD, however, is safe for them. So far, there have been no documented ill-effects from the use of CBD for dogs, or humans for that matter.
The Many Treatment Options for Dogs with Epilepsy
Before we dive into the benefits of CBD oil for dog seizures, let’s explore medications used to treat dog seizures that aren’t CBD products. CBD oils are an all natural way of helping dogs with seizures and seizure control but there are many other treatment options for dog seizures, including:
- Potassium bromide
- Anticonvulsant drugs
- Treatment for pain relief
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dog Seizures?
So, if there are already many different treatment options for seizures in dogs, then why do people turn to CBD oil for dog seizures? Well, it all comes down to the way CBD oil offers numerous benefits, the first of which is the fact that CBD products don’t contain any unnatural ingredients. In other words, everything about CBD is natural.
CBD comes from a hemp plant, which is part of the cannabis plant family. However, hemp is not the same as the cannabis everyone assumes it is. While cannabis can get you high, a hemp plant is different because it doesn’t have enough THC to cause those psychotropic side effects. Instead, hemp can be used to treat pain from a head injury, offer relief from pain, and provide you with a way to manage your dog’s symptoms from seizures in dogs.
Plus, dog owners should know that a dogs body is already equipped with the internal processes that allow them to consume CBD oils for dog seizures. In your dog’s body, there are what’s known as CB1 receptors which are responsible for breaking down CBD molecules. They play a role in making CBD dog effective for seizures in dogs and helping dogs with seizures find relief from seizure discomfort.
CB1 receptors are a natural receptor in the body. But what is a receptor? Essentially, they are a main player in the overall functionality of the brain. They make it possible for compounds, molecules, and other elements that pass through the brain-blood barrier to be broken down effectively. There are numerous different kinds of receptors in the brain, and they all serve their own unique function.
Basically, these receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is similar to the nervous system. However, the main difference is the purpose that these systems are designed for, with the endocannabinoid receptor being responsible for breaking down CBD and the nervous system existing for the purpose of regulating your dog’s homeostasis.
Is CBD Legal for Dogs?
One question that pops up all the time asks if cannabidiol is safe in the first place. Well, thanks to the signing of the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD has been legal, coast to coast, in the USA since January 1st, 2019. Before that, there had been an easing of regulations. However, before then, CBD still wasn’t legal worldwide. Did you know that one of the first places to legalize CBD is Colorado State? Many other US states followed suit.
Speaking of Colorado, many studies have been conducted regarding CBD for dogs at Colorado State University. Awhile back, researchers at Colorado State University, including Dr. Stephanie McGrath, started looking into the effects of CBD on canine seizures in dogs. Currently, researchers are continuing to conduct research in an attempt to better understand how CBD is absorbed by the bodies of cats and dogs.
We already know that the endocannabinoid system makes it possible for dogs and cats to consume, digest, and make use of cannabidiol CBD. Also known as the ECS receptors, the endocannabinoid system is like a nervous system for cannabidiol CBD. Just like the nervous system, the ECS is a natural system in our bodies that contains cb1 receptors and other related receptors.
Pet owners and their pets alike all have an endocannabinoid system. Within the ECS, there are endocannabinoid receptors which bind to CBD molecules found in CBD products. Without endocannabinoid receptors, a doga wouldn’t be able to break down CBD oils.
Researchers in Colorado are taking it a step further by looking at dogs seizures and how CBD is digested by a dog’s body. Through a clinical trial, researchers are able to look more closely at the effects of CBD on seizures in dogs and cats, too.
The new bill addressed the issue in a far more direct manner, making hemp products legal to manufacture and possess/use. The bill opened the door for CBD oil, produced from hemp, to be sold anywhere, in all 50 states within the US. Some places in the world still haven’t made CBD use legal, so it is best to check before you pack it for traveling out of the country. You should only use it and take it where it is legal or risk legal repercussions in those countries.
What Effects Does CBD Have on a Dog?
Dog owners should do their thorough research before giving dog CBD oil to their dogs with epilepsy. Even though a CBD product is considered safe, the health of your dog is a priority and you should always look into the quality of CBD oil for dogs with dog seizures before administering CBD oil to your dog.
In terms of the effects that CBD oil has on a dog, it has been shown in more than one CBD clinical trial that CBD oil has been used as a pain reliever and seizure reducing supplement when given to dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Many owners report that it has lessened the severity and frequency of dog seizures. Many times, there is pain that follows seizures because of the intense cramping of muscles during seizures. CBD can also help manage this pain.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects for Dogs?
There are very few, and rare, side-effects from using CBD oil for dogs. The thing most reported is diarrhea. Issues with digestion only seem to happen if the dog or cat ingests too much right away. It takes time for them to adjust to the oil in its system. If diarrhea starts, lower the dose or even skip it for a day or two until it regulates. Then start the treatments again at a lower dosage.
Cannabidiol treats anxiety in many cases, which gives your pet a sense of control again. Anxiety can have physical symptoms that heighten the side effects of a seizure, so adding CBD as part of a dog’s seizure treatment plan can help alleviate anxiety stemming from every seizure, too!
How Much CBD Should You Give a Dog with Seizures?
Speaking of dosage, a dog with seizures will not need the same amount of CBD as every other dog with seizures. Rather, a dog with seizures will require a unique dose based on their body weight. Your dog’s CBD dosage will also depend on existing health problems beyond the seizure they experience frequently, but a seizure will also play a role in calculating the right dosage for your dog with seizures.
When preparing the administer cannabidiol to a dog experiencing seizures, it’s important to read the label on the bottle. Some labels will encourage you to administer a dog’s dosage twice a day, while others will recommend one daily dosage instead.
With seizures, a dog’s frequency may differ. It all comes down to how your dog’s brain responds to each frequency of CBD. For instance, some dogs with seizures may benefit from a higher frequency of two or three doses per day, whereas dogs with less severe seizures might just need one dose per day.
The health of your dog is all that matters, and it’s important to get their health under control, which CBD treats, oils, and supplements can help with! Dogs should be at least 12 weeks old before taking treats or other products. Since seizures stem from the brain, and CBD affects the brain, your dog’s vet will want to make sure your dog’s brain is developed enough before taking it.
How Can I Get a Hold of CBD Oil?
The first thing that you should do, especially if your pet is receiving treatment for any medical issues, is to speak to your veterinarian. Because you work with your veterinarian as a team for your pet’s health, you should both be on the same page. Find out what your vet thinks about using CBD oil and get his permission first.
You also will want to do some research. As fast as you learn about CBD dog, there is new information coming forth. The sheer speed at which research is coming out is mind-boggling. It’s essential to learn as much about it as you can, what is a suitable type of oil, what is the best CBD oil for dogs, and which delivery method you feel is best for your pet. There are treats, edibles, drops, and more that you can choose to give doses to your dog.
Is CBD the Right Option for My Dog?
It is possible. There’s no way to know for sure until you try it and use it long enough to get to the right dose. The research done so far shows that CBD can have a tremendous positive impact on seizure activity. Follow the recommendations, speak to your vet, and do your research. Learn as much as you can so that you can choose a high-quality oil. The more you learn, the better odds you’ll have at helping your dog with CBD.
Benefits Of CBD Oil For Dogs With Seizures
If your dog suffers from seizures, you’ve felt the stress and helplessness. So if you’ve been researching and wondering if CBD oil for dogs with seizures is a good option … I’m glad you found this post!
It’s hard to see your dog suffer and not be able to explain to him what’s happening and why.
If you’ve visited your vet already and haven’t found any answers you’re not alone. Or maybe you’re looking for an alternative to the medication the vet prescribed?
Regardless of what brought you here today, if your dog is prone to seizures, you want a way to help … and CBD oil for dogs may be just the answer you’re looking for.
And yes, it’s legal!
Seizures In Dogs
Seizures in dogs can manifest as anything from a twitch to uncontrollable shaking. They might be over quickly, or they can last for several minutes. Causes of seizures vary from dog to dog.
There are several different things that cause seizures:
- Underlying health condition like liver or kidney disease or cancer
- Electrolyte problems
- Topical flea and tick products
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Head injury
CBD Oil For Dogs With Epilepsy
If your dog suffers from regular seizures, epilepsy might be the culprit. Epilepsy means there are bursts of uncontrolled electricity in your dog’s brain. Sometimes there’s no cure for this condition, but you can manage it naturally with CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It’s harvested from the cannabis hemp plant. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychoactive properties .. so it won’t make your dog high.
This is because of the way CBD is structured. That structure affects CBD’s impact on the brain, nervous system and throughout the body.
The psychoactive effect of THC comes from the way it binds with receptors in the brain, called endocannabinoids. CBD also interacts with these endocannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The highest concentration is in the brain, spinal column, and nervous system. And it’s in these organs and systems that CBD has the greatest potential to help dogs with seizures.
CBD Oil For Seizures In Dogs
Scientists are discovering a wide variety of uses in both humans and dogs. And one of the most important uses of CBD oil for dogs is in the management of seizures. Studies as well as anecdotal evidence have shown CBD to be highly effective at managing seizures. But you don’t want to give your dog something without knowing exactly what it is and what it’s going to do.
So … how does CBD oil work?
Earlier I mentioned those endocannabinoid receptors. And they’re important when it comes to CBD oil for seizures in dogs.
There are two types of endocannabinoid receptors in your dog’s body.
- The CB2 receptors – mainly in the immune system.
- The CB1 receptors – centralized in the nervous system and the brain.
It’s these CB1 receptors that have the greatest impact on your dog’s seizure treatment. Studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system is altered by seizures and epilepsy.
Research shows that CBD improves seizure control in patients with specific epilepsy syndromes. Seizures can have profound effects on the endocannabinoid system. This is why CBD, through a process known as “external modulation,” can reduce and sometimes stop seizures from happening.
The exact way CBD contributes to a reduction in seizures and affects the Endocannabinoids system (ECS) is still unknown. One theory is that CBD affects the receptors that calm the neurons that fire during a seizure. But there’s still further investigation needed to learn more.
But we do know that CBD oil can have a positive effect on your dog’s seizure activity. If he feels any side effects at all, it will most probably take the form of mild drowsiness.
**Note. Even big pharma has finally recognized the power of CBD oil for seizures. And in June 2018, the FDA approved the first drug containing CBD for the treatment of epilepsy.
CBD Dose For Dogs With Seizures
CBD oil dosage for your dog depends on his size. Smaller dogs require lower dosages, of course, and larger dogs will need more to see an effect. You can make these determinations based on your dog’s weight. It’s best to follow the label directions on the product you buy.
Look for CBD oil with the following features:
- Full spectrum or broad spectrum
- Preferably organic
- Extracted using C02 extraction, without solvents or chemicals
- Manufacturer provides Certificate Of Analysis from a third party lab, showing that the product is what’s claimed on the label, and is free of contaminants, additives or preservatives
Full spectrum CBD oils in tincture form usually work best. If your dog is hard to dose, chewable tablets or treats may be easier. But be aware these products may not contain sufficient levels of CBD to help with seizures.
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CBD oil for seizures in dogs is a natural alternative with minimal side effects and a very promising future.
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Kogan L et al. US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions. Front Vet Sci. 2019 Jan 10;5:338.
McGrath S et al. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Jun 1;254(11):1301-1308.
Rosenberg EC, et al. Cannabinoids and Epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):747-768.
Perucca E. Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last? J Epilepsy Res. 2017;7(2):61-76. Published 2017 Dec 31.