CBD Oil For Dogs with Seizures
Some would say the recent rise in popularity of CBD for dogs is due to the failure of contemporary veterinary medicine to fully care for and manage modern canine disease diagnosis and treatment. Others would argue CBD is trending because of the desire of pet parents to offer a more natural, holistic approach to caring for their sick or ailing pets. I believe the upsurge in the accepted use of hemp CBD oil for dogs can also be attributed to the documented clinical successes, promising data and positive favorable outcomes experienced by pet parents who are the leading edge of real-time, empirical research.
Now, more than ever, people are taking the health and well being of their beloved pets into their own hands to combat ineffective and often detrimental medicine for their dogs by using a natural medical alternative that demonstrates better therapeutic outcomes for diagnosed conditions like Idiopathic Epilepsy and canine lymphoma but without the negative side effects of traditional veterinary medications.
Epilepsy in Dogs Symptoms
There are numerous benefits for dogs consuming CBD oil and the science of its effects speaks volumes for its specific application to Canine Refractory Epilepsy. Canine seizures occur in four distinct phases: Stage One – Prodome – This phase is characterized by short episodes of odd behavior that can go on for years without obvious signs of seizures. Stage Two – Aura – This phase presents with symptoms of shivering, drooloing, pacing and anxious verbalization. Stage Three – Ictus – This is the actual seizure phase marked by a dog falling to one side and beginning to paddle, kick and convulse uncontrollably. Stage Four – Post-Ictus – This phase begins with the start of a seizure episode but continues for a period of time after the seizure. At this point your dog may be dizzy, disoriented or even temporarily blind. There is no set time for this post-seizure phase as all dogs will vary in their episodic recovery.
Idiopathic Epilepsy in Dogs
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterized by sudden and recurrent episodes of sensory disturbances. Epilepsy can cause seizures. Seizures can be defined as uncontrolled brain electrical activity that can produce minor physical signs, thought disturbances, physical convulsion, or a combination of the symptoms. Seizures are a common problem in veterinary medicine and control of canine epilepsy is only possible in 70-80% of cases using a combination of prescription drugs.
Though major causes of epilepsy and seizures include head injury and tumors, the most common cause of canine seizures are due to Idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is an inherited disorder, but its exact cause is unknown. Other causes of epilepsy in dogs include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, or environmental toxins.
Epilepsy and seizures can be quite debilitating and they usually interfere with a dog’s ability to lead a happy and full life. Not to mention the hardship and sorrow this condition can bring to a loving pet owner having to watch their family member be tormented by this desperate situation. Feeling powerless and frustrated many pet owners turn to CBD as a last resort.
Does CBD Work For Dogs?
Marijuana as a whole has a rich history as a medicine for quelling seizures and convulsions going back thousands of years. CBD oil has been known to reduce the number and severity of seizures both in humans and in dogs. In addition, CBD along with THC can prevent further serious brain injury during seizures and shortened the recovery period.
In the mid-19th century, the U.S. Pharmacopeia listed cannabis tincture as a treatment for epilepsy, and subsequent scientific studies have documented the anticonvulsant effects of CBD, THC, and whole plant cannabis.
Many pet parents of epileptic dogs have learned through trial and error that augmenting CBD-rich oil by adding some THC or better yet, THCA (the unheated, non-psychoactive form of THC that’s present in raw cannabis flowers and leaves) helps with long-term seizure control. As with all cannabis substrates, proper dosage is important.
Natural Treatment For Dog Seizures
Is CBD Safe For Dogs?
Pet parent testimonials and formal research show that cannabidiol to be an effective alternative therapy in reducing epileptic seizures and the negative aftermath. According to numerous studies, CBD has strong anti-epileptic properties. Some research attribute this down-regulation of the nervous system to CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation; others deem it effective at the cellular level of neuronal regulation–perhaps it is a combination of both.
Nevertheless, even though the exact biological mechanism by which cannabidiol mitigates this effect remain unclear, studies have shown that CBD performs better when compared to standard anti-epileptic and seizure therapies for certain dogs. In fact, CBD has proven to be as effective as traditional prescription medications for certain types of seizures.
As such, scientists are now discovering what dog owners have been saying–using CBD along with other antiepileptic medications has reduced the number and frequency of seizure episodes & diminished the impact in the aftermath of a seizure. Either way, as a community of canine caring people, scientists and loving pet parents are on the right path to finding a truly effective natural therapy for canine epilepsy and seizures.
Dog Seizure Medication
Is CBD a Cure For Canine Epilepsy?
Numerous studies have provided evidence to prove that CBD has beneficial therapeutic effects when it comes to relieving epilepsy and seizures. All medications have inherent side-effects but CBD has minimal side effects when used to relieve epilepsy and seizures than currently approved medications for these same conditions. This makes it a better therapeutic aid than conventional medications.
Studies have also shown that CBD provides unique advantages when it comes to relieving canine epilepsy and seizures when compared to the currently available prescription anticonvulsants. According to research, CBD shows not only anticonvulsant activity of the cannabinoids that are applied exogenously, but it also limits seizure duration through the activation of CB1 receptors.
However, what constitutes successful anti-convulsant therapy will vary among clinicians opinions, dog (patient) experiences and will inevitably be defined by dog owner satisfaction. Eradication of seizures may not be an attainable goal; while decreased frequency, severity, or duration of the seizure episode may be considered a success for many animals. Adjusting your expectation for a more positive outcome rather than a complete cure is a realistic first step.
CBD Oil Dosage For Seizures
Since every dog is going to have a different reaction to CBD it’s important to be vigilant in the beginning to measure starting dosage and document his response. This is a period of trial and error. CBD is not so much ‘condition-specific’ (Ie. arthritis vs epilepsy) as it is an individual dog specific medication. You, the Pet Parent, are the best source to determine actual effective dosage. This is an experiment so go-low & go-slow.
Start with a low amount and titrate up until you find the effective ‘sweet spot’. A good starting point is to base a daily dose on the weight of your dog–For example, a 50 lb dog would have a beginning CBD dose of [50/2.2=22.72 kg’s] X 0.25 mg’s = 5.6 mg’s CBD per day. Divide the total into two-equal portions (2-3 mg’s) and give to your dog 30 minutes before meals.
Since there can be potential pharmacokinetic interactions with other anti-epilepsy drugs (AEM) that can alter or interfere with drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination, CBD should be given 2-4 hours away from other medications.
A Holistic Approach To Canine Care
If you’ve tried several traditional ways to help a dog with arthritis, allergies, pain, digestive issues, or seizures and haven’t seen the success you hoped for, a more holistic approach may be the right answer. In fact, many veterinarians today use traditional methods like lab tests and prescription drugs in conjunction with holistic remedies and procedures. People often turn to alternative therapies when their pet doesn’t respond to traditional medications and procedures. A more effective holistic approach to veterinary medicine that focuses on the the animal as a whole mind, body & spirit using several different practices, including acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, chiropractic treatment, nutrition, acupressure, and even sound therapy to address a variety of ailments and conditions.
Indeed, dogs with epilepsy and seizures can gain significant benefits from using natural CBD supplements to decrease or prevent seizure incidences. The take-home message for those dog owners who are considering CBD as a potential treatment for epilepsy: using a low-THC cannabis oil product like CBD oil by itself may not work for every dog. Canines, like people, need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies–not just high CBD oil supplements. Take this knowledge to your veterinarian so you can have an educated conversation about figuring out the best way to add Cannabidiol to your pet’s holistic therapeutic aid regimen.