Cannabidiol as a treatment option for seizures in pets

Many people are now aware of the wide range of benefits that medical marijuana offers. Medical cannabis has been helpful

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Many people are now aware of the wide range of benefits that medical marijuana offers. Medical cannabis has been helpful to countless patients suffering from various medical conditions and ailments. Medical marijuana has been especially helpful for people who suffer from epileptic seizures. Weed strains and concentrates that have high cannabidiol (CBD) concentration are being used more and more to reduce and to manage the number of debilitating seizures that overwhelm people suffering from epilepsy and Dravet’s syndrome. The great news in recent years is that human beings may not be the only creatures who can benefit from cannabinoid therapy. It is becoming more common for animals to receive high CBD treatment, too.

  • CBD dog treats

About 1-5% of all dogs suffer from either idiopathic or symptomatic seizures. Symptomatic seizures are commonly caused by abnormalities that may exist in or outside of the brain (e.g., head trauma, encephalitis, lead poisoning, metabolic health problems). Idiopathic epilepsy, on the other hand, has no known underlying cause, in most cases, it may be genetic. Dog breeds that are more prone to inheriting symptomatic seizures include English Springer spaniels, German shepherds, Hungarian Vizslas, dachshunds, beagles, Belgian shepherds, Irish wolfhounds, collies, Keeshonds, and border dogs. Other breeds that can have a high incidence of seizure disorders include Welsh springer spaniels, American cocker spaniels, Irish setters, golden retrievers, Alaskan malamutes, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, wirehaired fox terriers, miniature schnauzers, poodles, Saint Bernards, Labrador retrievers, mastiffs, Siberian huskies and boxers. 

Dogs that suffer from symptomatic or idiopathic epileptic seizures are typically treated with a prescription of phenobarbital, a medication usually used for the treatment of seizures. Phenobarbital is recommended by the World Health Organization in developing countries to treat certain types of epilepsy. However, it can cause some serious side effects on humans and pets. Side effects include confusion, increased appetite, long-term liver damage lethargy and dizziness. 

More cannabis companies are producing dog-specific CBD formulations that are derived from hemp. Pet owners who are wary of the side effects of phenobarbital are exploring CBD as an alternative therapy option for their dogs. Although there is certainly an increased interest in CBD therapy for pets, the thought of treating an animal with hemp-derived CBD is still considered too radical by many animal lovers and veterinarians. 

Even in progressive and cannabis-friendly communities, the issue of treating dogs with CBD oils is met with a wide range of reactions ranging from genuinely open and curious to outraged. We reached out to a number of veterinarians Washington which is a cannabis-friendly state in an attempt to discuss CBD treatment for pets, but many people who responded didn’t know what CBD actually. They were quick to disengage as soon as they found that it was a non-psychotropic chemical constituent of cannabis or hemp. One respondent was completely floored, they confused CBD consumption for pets with “feeding an animal marijuana.”

What is clear is that veterinarians still need to be educated about the medicinal properties in cannabis and CBD that can potentially provide much-needed relief to animals. For this treatment to grow in popularity there is a need to conduct more research on the benefits and side effects of CBD treatments for pets. There are anecdotal testimonies from many dog owners about how their dogs’ conditions were vastly improved with CBD treatment. However, if you happen to be considering treating your pet with CBD oil extracts, you will need to do so under the supervision and guidance of an experienced veterinarian who is equipped to make informed recommendations that will be both beneficial to your pet and safe. 

CBD medication for pets is by and large still in its infancy. There is a lot more to be learned about the efficacy and risks of such treatment. Even though there is much research that still needs to be done, it certainly is exciting to be part of the generation that gets to witness a frontier of therapeutic options opening up to improve the quality of life our beloved furry friends’.

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