Remember the film Marley & Me? It’s a charming tale of how a pet dog named Marley becomes an integral and indispensable part of their owner’s life.
What I remember the most about this film though is shedding a copious amount of tears, when Marley slowly starts showing symptoms of old age like Arthritis and deafness. His conditions progressively becomes worse as he is diagnosed with Gastric dilation or twisted stomach and fails to recover in spite of medical attention and is euthanized.
The heartbreak I felt when they bury him is the story of many pet owners who see their beloved pets suffering from various medical conditions, which unfortunately may not have a suitable treatment.
We all know that CBD is safe for human condition and has innumerable benefits. It does not come as surprise then that CBD now is also being used for Pets to treat varied ailments.
How does CDB work for pets?
An endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a combination of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid molecules and metabolic enzymes that helps the vital functions of the body to work in equilibrium or their ideal state. CBD stimulates the molecules without altering their state, so that they work efficiently, making it the focus of studies that seek to use ECS as a potential gateway to treat illnesses.
ECS is not only present in humans but animals as well. It is in charge of pain management, memory, mood, appetite and for maintaining homeostasis. Research shows that unregulated ECS can cause illnesses in canines, specifically those that are inflammatory and affect the central nervous system.
Unlike THC which has psychoactive properties, CBD is safe for use in canines.
CBD as a cure for many ailments
CBD is used for treatment of a plethora of conditions that afflict canines such as
- Maladaptive Stress with symptoms such as severe separation anxiety, aggression and irrational fear of noises. These are manifested by way of crying / whining, being extremely vigilant, hiding, panting, loss of appetite, drooling etc. In some cases it can lead to destructive behaviour and self-harm. Anecdotal evidence abounds to show that pets can be calmed down by administering CBD oils in appropriate doses.
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1 in 4 dogs develop neoplasia (Abnormal cell or tissue growth) during the course of their life and almost half of dogs over the age of 10 are at a risk of developing cancer. Approximately 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs each year according to Animal Cancer foundation. CBD is already known to suppress growth of cancer cells and cause apoptosis (cancer call suicide). It also helps in treating nausea and vomiting induced by cancer therapy and is effective in pain management and stimulating appetite as well.
- Arthritis is an age related malady that afflicts dogs, but is rarely detected until late, as it is not easy to detect the early warning signs. The treatment in such cases looks to alleviate the inflammation of the joints and reduce pain. There are a number of pharmaceutical options like pain relievers , steroids , anti-inflammatory drugs but they all come with undesirable side effects such as further joint damage , gastrointestinal upsets , interacting adversely with other medications etc,. CBD oil which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can offer relief in a completely natural and safe way. In a study titled “Pilot Study on Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs” undertaken at Cornell University College of Veterinary medicine shows that dogs that receive CBD oil are more active and at ease with minimal side effects.
- Seizures are another ailment that can be managed with the use of CBD oil as it has anticonvulsant properties. CBD is known to help manage tremors, spasms and epileptic seizures. In a research headed by Dr.Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University, it has been proven that there was a decline in seizures in about 80 percent of dogs that were administered CBD.
- It stimulates appetite by relieving symptoms of Nausea and Vomiting.
Research is underway to explore the possibility of using CBD in areas such as allergies, chronic pain, and pancreatitis and skin conditions.
How much is too much?
One golden rule to follow is to start with a low dose and see how it affects your dog. Monitor for a week and increase or reduce the dosage as needed. An increasing number of veterinarians are now getting on board the CBD oil bandwagon. Please speak to you doctor to arrive at the optimal dosage as factors such as body weight , severity of the condition and earlier history play a very important role in determining the right dosage.
How can I use CBD oil?
CBD is available in varied forms such as oils, vape pens, topical balms , rubs, pills and tinctures. It is safe to use CBD oil made for human consumption for canines as well but dosages will be much lesser than for humans and hence it is to be used with caution.
There are also companies that manufacture doggy treats that are infused with CBD oil.
CBD is non-psychoactive and is tolerated extremely well even in high doses , however there are certain side effects that are noticed in case of very high doses like lethargy and drowsiness , dry mouth , sluggish metabolism etc,. The risk of overdosing is negligent and the side effects are minimal when weighed against its benefits, especially in comparison with pharmaceutical options.
Have you used CBD oils or other derivatives before? How has it helped you? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.
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