Last Updated on December 7, 2021 by Dogs Vets
How CBD Helps Control Seizures in Dogs
Imagine you adopt a dog. You’re going along, taking Fido on long walks, taking him to the park to play fetch, going on car rides, doing dog things. Then, one day Fido collapses and falls to the ground, shaking uncontrollably. You run to him only to find his eyes rolling to the back of his head. Fido is having a seizure.
Why? There could be several reasons why your dog is having seizures, including:
- Underlying health conditions, such as kidney or liver disease or cancer
- Electrolyte problems
- Topical flea and tick products
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Head injury
As soon as you recognize that your puppy is having seizures, you must go to your veterinarian so that he can find out the type and cause of Fido’s seizures and treat him. The most common type of seizure in dogs is idiopathic epilepsy.
Treatment for seizures in dogs historically has been using pharmaceutical medicines, such as phenobarbital, potassium bromide, and other anticonvulsant medications, which cause side effects. Today, however, pet parents have another option — cannabidiol (CBD).
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What is CBD?
CBD is one of 113 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive properties that THC does.
In other words, CBD won’t get Fido high. CBD is clinically safe for dogs because it doesn’t contain THC, as THC is highly toxic to dogs and other furbabies.
Like THC, CBD works with the endocannabinoid system found in all mammal bodies, including humans and pets.
The endocannabinoid system includes cannabinoid receptors that cause homeostasis, or balance, in the body. It manages functions, such as immune response, cell communication, appetite and metabolism, memory, energy storage, and nutrient transport.
CBD binds to the cannabinoid receptor CB1, making the nervous system perform better.
To get the most benefits from CBD for Fido, always check the CBD product labels to ensure less than 0.3 percent of THC in the products. If the title says Isolate or Broad Spectrum, it’s safe for your dog. If the label says Full Spectrum, stay away. Full Spectrum contains THC. If you’re looking for CBD for Fido CBDfx is an excellent place to start.
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels
Does CBD Help Manage Seizures in Dogs?
Researchers are working hard to demonstrate how CBD helps dogs with seizures. With several studies under their belt, it’s indicated that CBD can manage seizures either through prevention (when CBD is taken regularly) or while your dog is seizing.
In 2017, a study was launched to investigate CBD effectiveness on 60 drug-resistant dogs with epilepsy. The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF) awarded the research $356,022.
The purpose of the study was to determine if CBD is effective at reducing the frequency of seizures in dogs.
The study was funded for research from December 1, 2017, to May 31, 2021. The outcome of the study is yet to be determined. However, based on other studies on CBD’s effectiveness at treating dogs with seizures and preliminary evidence, researchers indicate that CBD is highly effective for managing issues with dogs.
In 2019, another randomized study on dogs with seizures was conducted. This time, 26 dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy were given CBD. It was indicated that CBD reduced seizure frequency. The study also determined that higher doses may be necessary to keep seizures under better control.
How Does CBD Help Control Seizures in Dogs?
The research shows that CBD is astonishingly effective at managing seizures in dogs. But, how does CBD work in dogs?
CBD works the same way in dogs as it does in humans, as both have an endocannabinoid system, which was mentioned earlier. Some studies suggest epilepsy and seizures alter the endocannabinoid system.
Through a process called “external modulation,” CBD works to repair and regulate the endocannabinoid system to prevent or stop seizures.
The exact way that CBD helps control seizures in dogs is unknown.
Photo by Viktoria B. from Pexels
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Dog?
Research hasn’t precisely determined the dosage of CBD to give to dogs for seizures.
However, research has indicated that the dose should be determined according to the size of Fido.
Smaller dogs need less CBD, whereas larger dogs need more. Scientists are also studying the effects of larger doses of CBD. They want to determine if more significant quantities of CBD can prevent seizures better than smaller doses.
Always follow the instructions on your CBD product’s label for dosing purposes. Generally speaking, you may want to give Fido two doses per day. It’s essential that you give CBD to your dog on a regular, daily basis, or it won’t work.
CBD is an effective alternative or complementary medicine for dogs who suffer from seizures. If you’re considering using CBD for your pup, speak to your veterinarian before administering CBD or any other medication.
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