Affecting up to 5.7% of the canine population, idiopathic epilepsy is the most frequently reported neurological health issue in dogs. But, statistics aside, seizures are a frightening experience for both dogs and dog parents.
Considering the high incidence of the condition and its high-trauma triggering factor, it is no wonder scientific circles are constantly looking into finding new ways of managing seizures in dogs. One trendy and novel way is using CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil for Dogs?
CBD oil is a hemp plant derivative containing several cannabinoids with powerful medicinal properties. And before you start wondering, the answer is no – CBD cannot make your dog “high” because CBD is not the same as THC.
CBDs are a group of compounds praised for their ability to interact with the dog’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for promoting balance and overall health. On the other hand, THC is a psychoactive compound that provides the “high” feeling.
To help differentiate between these two, remember – CBD comes from the hemp plant (leaf and flower) while THC comes from marijuana. CBD oil formulated for dogs is derived from hemp hence THC-free.
CBD Oil for Dog Seizures
A study from 2016 found out that CBD oil may help dogs with seizures; in fact, “89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures,” or as the leading researcher suggested, the results were “promising and exciting.”
Is Using CBD Oil for Dog Seizures Safe?
Yes, when used cautiously and following the recommended dosage practices, CBD oil is perfectly safe for dogs with seizures.
The exact dose of CBD oil for dog seizures varies based on the Dog’s size – obviously, a Great Dane would need a much higher dose than a Chihuahua.
The manufacturer will clearly instruct the dosing method on the package, but the general rule of thumb is that dogs need between 1 and 5 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight a day.
How Does CBD Oil for Dog Seizures Help?
Although there are registered anti-epileptic drugs (AED) like phenobarbital, potassium bromide, levetiracetam, zonisamide, their use has two significant caveats – it can cause severe side effects (ataxia, sedation, vomiting, increased or absent appetite, cytopenia (decreased blood cells numbers) and liver toxicity) and overtime dogs are prone to tolerance development. Plus, these drugs are not universally efficient in all dogs with seizures.
The use of CBD oil in dogs is rarely associated with side effects, and even if they develop, they are mild and transient. Additionally, the mentioned study from 2016 showed that CBD oil reduces the frequency of seizures and that reduction is in positive correlation with the CBD concentrations in the dog’s blood.
Another groundbreaking study showed that a synthetic CBD version is efficient for managing seizures in rat models, decreasing both the frequency and intensity of seizure episodes.
Best CBD Oil for Dog Seizures
To help you navigate through the plethora of CBD oil for dogs choices available on the market, pay attention to the following features:
- Full-spectrum. This means the oil contains cannabinoids and other health-promoting compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and essential oils. When used together, these compounds have an entourage effect.
- Organic hemp. Commercially grown hemp is heavily treated with pesticides, and pesticide residuals can have damaging effects hence the need to look for CBD oil made of organically grown hemp.
- No questionable ingredients. GMO, gluten, dairy, soy, corn are examples of the type of ingredients you do not want to see on the product’s label.
Simply put, you need to find human-grade and hemp-derived CBD oil formulated specifically for pets.
What to do if your Dog has a Seizure?
Watching your dog have a seizure episode is scary, even if you are not a first-time witness. But, for those who are, here are some helpful first-aid tips:
- Move the furniture to keep the area clean and prevent your dog from injuring itself.
- If possible, place a pillow under your dog’s head.
- Diminish the lights, be as quiet as possible, and avoid physical contact – outside distractions can prolong the episode. The average episode is relatively short – usually less than 2 minutes.
- Never attempt giving your dog medications or water during a seizure as you can cause choking or aspiration pneumonia.
- Support your dog during the post-seizure period since it will be disoriented (for around 2 hours) and provide fresh water as it will be thirsty.
If the seizure lasts too long or occurs repeatedly, your dog needs urgent veterinary attention and proper stabilization (seizures cut the oxygen supply to the brain).
Our Final Thoughts
The concept of epilepsy bridges the species gap meaning many dog seizure studies and novel treatment alternatives can be used in humans too.
With more and more studies being funded, hopefully, soon, we will be able to confirm the theory that CBD oil is the future of epilepsy management.
Originally posted 2021-06-25 20:13:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter