Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the hemp plant that has garnered significant attention for its potential anticonvulsant properties. This means that it may help prevent or lessen the severity of seizures. With three FDA-approved CBD medications targeting challenging-to-treat epileptic seizures in humans, the intrigue around CBD has expanded.
Many pet owners are now exploring CBD products as a natural avenue to bolster their pet's health, particularly in canine epilepsy.
In this piece, we'll delve deep into the scientific discourse in veterinary medicine surrounding CBD and dog epilepsy and shed light on how pet owners navigate this option.
But before we get into it, a quick disclaimer: this article is meant for educational purposes and shouldn't supplant guidance from your veterinarian. Always seek personalized advice based on your dog's unique genetics and health background.
With this understanding, let's unpack the nature of seizures.
How Seizures Happen to Dogs
Like humans, seizures in dogs result from sudden, abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This burst of uncontrolled electrical activity can lead to noticeable changes in behavior, muscle control, and consciousness.
Depending on where and how the electrical disturbance starts in the brain, seizures can be classified as:
- Generalized Seizures: These involve both sides of the brain from the onset. The most recognized form is the tonic-clonic (or grand mal) seizure, where the dog might fall to the side, become stiff, and paddle their legs.
- Focal (or Partial) Seizures: Originate in a specific part of the brain and can cause twitching in one limb or side of the face or unusual behaviors like sudden aggression or intense chewing movements.
- Focal to Generalized Seizures: These start in one part of the brain but then spread, becoming generalized.
Various underlying causes can make a dog more susceptible to seizures. Some breeds have a genetic predisposition, making them more prone to epilepsy.
External events such as trauma or accidents might result in brain damage, subsequently leading to seizures. Medical conditions, like liver disease, kidney failure, or brain tumors, can also be culprits in inducing seizures. Exposure to certain toxic substances, including chocolate, xylitol, or some plants, can also initiate a seizure event.
Specific infections affecting the nervous system sometimes become the root cause of seizures. There are also cases termed "idiopathic epilepsy," where no direct cause can be pinpointed — it's typically believed these arise from genetic or inherited factors.
Beyond these causes, it's worth noting that even in dogs predisposed to seizures, particular triggers — ranging from stress, dietary choices, certain medications, and even climatic changes — can exacerbate or initiate the seizure event.
Depending on the type of seizure and its underlying cause, there are various ways to treat dog epilepsy, from prescribed medications, dietary changes, nerve stimulation, or, in severe cases, surgery.
While many turn to traditional treatments, there's a growing trend of exploring natural remedies. CBD, often consumed as an oil, is one such remedy.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs with Seizures?
The landscape of veterinary medicine is increasingly recognizing the potential of CBD as a viable treatment option for dog seizures, as high-quality CBD is found to be generally safe for dogs.
A notable study conducted by researchers at Colorado State University found that 89% of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures .
However, it's important to emphasize that these promising findings are preliminary. Other factors, like the appropriate dosage and potential long-term effects, need further comprehensive investigation. While some studies underscore CBD's potential benefits, they concurrently advocate for more extensive research to comprehensively ascertain its safety and efficacy.
CBD's budding reputation in pet health underscores the importance of a balanced approach. Engaging with a veterinarian is paramount before introducing any supplement or medication into a pet's regimen.
These professionals are equipped to offer insights tailored to each dog's unique medical history, genetics, and current health conditions. Not only can they guide on whether CBD is an appropriate option, but they can also advise on potential dosage and monitor any side effects.
How Would CBD Work to Treat Seizures?
CBD is already being prescribed as an anti-seizure medication. At the heart of our understanding of CBD's potential benefits is the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within all mammals.
The ECS is an intricate network of receptors and compounds that play pivotal roles in moderating several physiological functions like sleep, appetite, pain sensation, and immune responses. When CBD enters the body, it interacts with the ECS, particularly with specific receptors, enhancing its natural functions.
This augmentation of the ECS's actions is the foundation of CBD's therapeutic potential.
One of the most significant effects under scientific scrutiny is CBD's anticonvulsant properties. This means CBD may help reduce the frequency or severity of seizures by modulating the ECS's activity.
The presence of the ECS in dogs suggests that the mechanisms through which CBD exerts its effects in humans could be replicated in canines, at least in part. However, while preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence suggest potential benefits, the precise way CBD aids in controlling seizures in dogs remains an area of ongoing investigation.
There's a consensus in the scientific community about the need for more thorough, targeted research to unravel the full scope and limitations of CBD's impact on canine seizures.
CBD Dosage for Dog Seizures: Finding the Right Balance
Determining the appropriate CBD dosage for dogs, especially those experiencing seizures, is crucial for its efficacy and safety. Although FDA regulations bind us and cannot offer direct recommendations, we can shed light on how studies have approached this topic.
One notable study on CBD's effect on canine seizures, for instance, administered 2 mg/kg of CBD to the participating dogs twice daily .
This research-based approach provides a starting point for understanding how CBD might be dosed for dogs with a calculator for seizure disorders. However, this does not translate to a one-size-fits-all recommendation.
Factors such as a dog's weight, age, overall health, and the severity of their condition can all influence the optimal dosage.
For those pet owners interested in considering CBD as a potential treatment for their dog's epileptic seizures, it's of utmost importance to consult a veterinarian. They can offer individualized advice, considering each dog's unique needs and circumstances.
For a structured and more personalized approach to determining CBD dosing, you can also utilize tools like our dosage calculator page, CBD Dosage for Dogs: Calculating the Perfect CBD Dose, designed to guide you through the process while emphasizing safety and precision.
Best CBD Oil For Dog Seizures: Navigating the Choices
Among the plethora of options, our bacon-flavored 16000mg oil has garnered significant attention, and for good reason. Infused with a flavor most dogs adore, this particular product is not just palatable but also potent.
While CBD-infused treats are available and can be a convenient way to administer CBD, oils often offer more versatility and precision. The liquid form allows pet owners to adjust doses accurately, making finding the ideal amount for their pet's specific needs easier.
Furthermore, the oil can be seamlessly integrated into their regimen for dogs already on medications or other treatments, ensuring they receive a consistent and appropriate dose. The goes when looking for cbd oil for dogs arthritis pain.
That said, it's vital to highlight that while we stand behind the quality and integrity of our product, we cannot directly endorse it as a definitive solution for your pet's medical condition. Every dog is unique; what works for one might not necessarily work for another.
Our commitment lies in producing one of the highest-quality CBD oils for dogs. Crafted with human-grade CBD and top-tier ingredients, our oil exemplifies our dedication to excellence and the well-being of our furry friends.
Some of the top CBD oils for dog seizures include:
- Honest Paws CBD Oil for Dogs: Known for purity and effectiveness, it's derived from non-GMO, organic hemp plants.
- HolistaPet CBD Oil for Dogs & Cats: Favored for its full-spectrum CBD oil that doesn't contain any THC.
- cbdMD Pet CBD Oil: Recognized for its broad-spectrum formulation, it is THC-free but retains other beneficial hemp compounds.
- King Kanine's King Kalm: Packed with Omega-3-rich krill oil, it also benefits a dog's skin and coat.
- Medterra CBD Pet Tincture: This broad spectrum oil is known for its purity and effectiveness.
- Pet Releaf Hemp Oil: Made with full-spectrum organic hemp, this product is popular among holistic pet owners.
- Joy Organics CBD Oil Tincture for Pets: Known for its broad-spectrum, THC-free formula and rigorous third-party testing.
- NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil: A full-spectrum CBD oil product that is 100% organic.
- CBDfx Pet CBD Oil: Available in various concentrations, making it suitable for dogs of all sizes.
- Green Roads CBD Drops for Dogs: Formulated by a licensed pharmacist, this is an isolate-based product.
Why Your Pooch Deserves Their Own CBD Oil
Your dog isn't just a pet; they're part of the family. So when you find something beneficial for yourself, like CBD oil, it's only natural to want to share CBD with your dog or furry friend. However, when it comes to CBD for seizure control, it's essential to understand that what's suitable for humans might not be optimal for dogs. Here's why:
- Tailored for Their Best Interest: As dedicated pet parents, we constantly seek the best for our four-legged companions. Dog-specific CBD products are formulated considering their unique physiological needs, ensuring they get the full benefits without any potential harm.
- Dosage Matters: The concentration of CBD in human products might differ significantly from what's appropriate for dogs. Dogs often require a different dosage than humans, depending on their size, breed, and health conditions. Using dog-specific CBD products ensures you're providing a safe and effective dose for them.
- A Treat to Their Taste Buds: While you might not mind the earthy taste of your CBD oil, your pooch might turn up its nose at it. Dog CBD products often come in flavors appealing and familiar to dogs, like bacon or chicken. This makes administering the oil easier and ensures your pet will look forward to their CBD treat.
Avoid Harmful Additives: Some human CBD oils may contain ingredients or essential oils that are beneficial for us but potentially toxic for dogs. On the other hand, dog-specific products are formulated to ensure every ingredient is safe for canine consumption. At Neurogan, we try to cater to this for all pet related products.
The Takeaway: CBD for Dog Seizures
Navigating the world of pet health can often be overwhelming, especially when our furry friends face challenges like seizures. CBD has emerged as a promising potential solution, drawing from its roots in human health benefits.
As we've explored, while preliminary research is encouraging, it's paramount to prioritize safety and guidance. Always choose high-quality, dog-specific CBD products and consult a veterinarian before changing your pet's regimen. In the quest to support our pets, informed decisions backed by science and expert advice lead the way.
Remember, every step we take is a testament to the boundless love and care we have for our four-legged companions.
- McGrath, S., Bartner, L. R., Rao, S., Packer, R. A., & Gustafson, D. L. (2019). 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. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 254(11), 1301-1308.