August 31, 2023 7 min read

One of the most distressing experiences of being a dog owner is witnessing your beloved dog experience a seizure. 

This is where the concept of giving CBD to pets enters the picture. But what do vets have to say about using CBD for dog seizures? Let's explore the insights of veterinary professionals.

Table of Contents
Understanding the Basics of CBD
Efficacy of CBD for Dog Seizures
How to Give Your Dog CBD
Does CBD Work for All Dog Breeds?
What Do Vets Say About CBD for Dogs with Seizures
Vets' Take on CBD: A Word of Caution
Conclusion

Where to Buy CBD for Dogs
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • CBD for dog seizures is a topic of increasing interest among pet owners and veterinarians.
  • Vets are grappling with the surge in CBD inquiries but remain cautious due to legal and quality concerns.
  • Studies look promising, but lack of regulation and uncertainty in CBD products raise questions about pet safety.

Understanding the Basics of CBD

Before we delve into the role of CBD in managing dog seizures, it's important to grasp some basics.

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous cousin, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD doesn't make you or your pet high. Instead, it's known for its potential therapeutic benefits.

How Does CBD Work?

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in both humans and dogs. This system plays a pivotal role in regulating various bodily functions, including mood, appetite, and pain sensation. CBD's interaction with the ECS may offer relief for a range of health issues, including seizures.

The Efficacy of CBD for Dog Seizures: What the Studies Reveal

Let's explore the empirical evidence surrounding CBD and its potential to manage seizures in dogs, as uncovered by recent studies:

1. Cannabidiol May Have Antiseizure Effects

An overall review of Cannabidiol in canine epilepsy reveals promising findings. It notes that:

  • Cannabidiol has demonstrated antiseizure effects in rodents and human patients.
  • Cannabidiol doses used in canine studies have been well-tolerated.
  • Oral bioavailability is influenced by factors like pharmaceutical formulations and food intake.
  • While two studies have assessed the efficacy of Cannabidiol in canine drug-refractory epilepsy, larger clinical trials are needed to draw definitive conclusions about its therapeutic potential.

2. CBD Pairs Well With Other Antiseizure Medications

Led by Gabriel Garcia, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology) at the University of Florida Veterinary School, a two-year study examined the effects of a three-month treatment involving CBD oil in dogs.

  • The research involved a placebo group and a CBD oil group.
  • The results showed a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of seizures for 40 percentof the dogs receiving CBD, as compared to the placebo group.
  • Notably, all dogs in the study were also on concurrent seizure medications, with no reported adverse events.
  • This study highlights the potential of CBD as an effective and safe addition to existing treatment regimens for refractory seizures in dogs.

3. CBD May Work By Reducing Neuronal Excitability

An animal study suggests that CBD's anti-seizure effects might be attributed to its ability to reduce neuronal excitability by acting on two receptor groups known as GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors. This mechanism may contribute to CBD's efficacy in mitigating seizures.

4. CBD May Work Quickly, But Long Term Studies Are Needed

In a study led by neurologist Stephanie McGrath, the short-term effects of CBD on seizure frequency in 16 dogs were assessed.

  • The dogs were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or hemp-derived CBD for 12 weeks.
  • Remarkably, 89 percent of the dogs who received CBD experienced a reduction in the frequency of seizures during the clinical trial.
  • McGrath also identified a significant correlation between the degree of seizure reduction and the concentration of CBD in the dogs' blood, highlighting the importance of CBD concentration.

These studies collectively shed light on the potential of CBD as a viable option for managing seizures in dogs. While the results are promising, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian before considering CBD as part of your dog's treatment plan.

Your vet can provide personalized guidance to ensure the best possible care for your furry companion. Remember, your pet's health and well-being are always a top priority.

How to Give CBD to Your Dog

Now that we understand the potential benefits, let's discuss how to safely administer CBD to your dog.

Choosing the Right Product

When it comes to CBD for pets, one size doesn't fit all. Consult your vet to determine the best product for your dog's specific needs. There are many different types of CBD oil, including CBD oil, treats, and capsules for dogs with seizures. Always look for CBD products that have a third-party Certificate of Analysis to prove label accuracy.

Proper Dosage

Determining the correct dosage is crucial. Vets emphasize starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it until you observe positive effects. Your dog's weight, age, and the severity of their seizures all play a role in finding the right dosage. Read “How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?” to learn more.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Monitoring your dog's response to CBD is essential. Vets recommend keeping a journal to track any changes in seizure frequency or intensity. If necessary, your vet can help adjust the dosage accordingly.

Does CBD Work for All Dog Breeds?

CBD's effectiveness can vary depending on a dog's breed and individual factors. Here's a brief overview:

  • Physiological Differences: Different breeds have distinct physiological traits, affecting how they process and respond to CBD.

  • Health Conditions: CBD's impact depends on the specific health issue. While it may help with common problems, complex conditions may vary in their response.

  • Dosage Matters: Proper dosing is essential. Smaller breeds may need less, while larger ones may require more. Consult a vet for personalized guidance.

In summary, CBD's effectiveness varies among dog breeds. Consulting a veterinarian ensures the best approach, considering your dog's breed and unique needs, especially for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy.

A woman affectionately petting her husky after his daily CBD dose for seizures.

What Do Vets Say About CBD for Dog Seizures?

In recent years, CBD has surged in popularity as a potential treatment for various canine ailments, including seizures. However, the veterinary community is grappling with a complex landscape when it comes to CBD for dogs. Here's a glimpse into what veterinarians think about using CBD for managing dog seizures:

1. Growing Interest in CBD Among Pet Owners of Dogs with Seizures

Dr. Wong, a Veterinary Neurologist at Southeast Veterinary Neurology, highlights the growing interest in CBD among pet owners. "I used to get a question on this once or twice a year; now I get a question on this once or twice a day," he shares. This surge in inquiries reflects the heightened curiosity and hope surrounding CBD's efficacy.

2. Not All Dogs Will Respond In The Same Way

Pet owners are very optimistic about cannabis products, perceiving them as both safe and scientifically proven to cure canine epilepsy. This belief is often rooted in the notion that cannabis is "natural" and, therefore, couldn't pose harm.

Dr. Wong notes, "A lot of people come to me and say, 'I don't want to give drugs. I want to give something natural.' But CBD is a drug—a chemical taken into the body with the hope of causing a positive effect. Basically, that's what a drug is. It's just that CBD has been marketed as not being one."

For this reason, pet owners are advised to proceed with caution. Not all CBD is the same and not all dogs will respond to CBD in the same way. 

3. Legal Complexities and Quality Control Concerns

The legal landscape surrounding cannabis products for veterinary use remains murky. Cannabis products, including CBD, are generally not legal for veterinary use, leading to a lack of regulation in the industry.

Dr. Carrera-Justiz from the University of Florida raises a concerning issue: the uncertainty and unreliability of quality control in available CBD products. Many CBD products lack regulation, meaning that what's stated on the label may not align with the actual contents.

This lack of transparency extends to the ingredients and quantities within these products. For pet parents, this uncertainty can be unsettling, particularly because THC, another component of cannabis, can be toxic to dogs.

In essence, while some veterinarians acknowledge the potential value of CBD for managing dog seizures, the lack of regulatory oversight and quality control concerns make it difficult for them to wholeheartedly recommend these products. 

The legal complexities surrounding CBD further compound the issue, leaving pet owners and veterinarians in a challenging position when considering CBD as a treatment option. Always consult with your veterinarian for guidance tailored to your dog's specific needs and health status, as their professional insight is invaluable in navigating this evolving landscape.

Vets' Take on CBD: A Word of Caution

While CBD shows promise, vets emphasize the need for caution and professional guidance:

1. Consult Your Vet

Before embarking on a CBD journey with your dog, consult your veterinarian. They can provide personalized advice based on your dog's unique health profile.

2. No Guarantees

CBD is not a miracle cure. Vets stress that while it may help some dogs, it's not guaranteed to eliminate seizures entirely. Each dog responds differently.

3. Potential Drug Interactions

CBD can interact with other medications your dog may be taking. It's vital to inform your vet of any existing treatments to avoid adverse interactions.

Conclusion

In the realm of pet health, CBD for dog seizures is a topic that's gaining traction. While promising, it's essential to approach it with care and under the guidance of a qualified veterinarian. The wellbeing of your furry companion should always be the top priority.

Remember, your vet is your best source of information and guidance when considering CBD for managing dog seizures. They can help you make informed decisions to enhance your pet's quality of life.

So, if you're considering CBD for your dog's seizures, consult your vet, start slow, and keep a watchful eye on your faithful companion. In the journey to better health, your vet is your trusted guide.

Introducing the Vida Paws CBD Pet Tincture – Your Pet's Path to Wellness!

At Vida Optima, we understand that your furry companion's health and happiness are of utmost importance. That's why we've crafted our Vida Paws CBD Pet Tincture with love and care, designed specifically to enhance your pet's overall well-being.

Vida Optima CBD Tincture for Dogs

Our premium CBD tincture is a natural, safe, and effective way to support your pet's vitality. Sourced from high-quality hemp, it's packed with the purest broad spectrum CBD and free from harmful additives. With precise dosing instructions, you can easily tailor the tincture to your pet's unique needs.

Whether your pet faces anxiety, joint discomfort, or you simply want to promote their overall health, our CBD Pet Tincture can make a world of difference. It's easy to administer, and its fast-acting formula means your pet can experience relief in no time.

Give your beloved pet the gift of wellness with Vida Paws CBD Pet Tincture. Because when your pet thrives, so does your heart. 

Resources

  1. “Cannabidiol in canine epilepsy”https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090023322001289
  2. “Safety and efficacy of cannabidiol-cannabidiolic acid rich hemp extract in the treatment of refractory epileptic seizures in dogs”https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.939966/full
  3. “CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs 'encouraging'”https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521101450.htm?_ga=2.84415962.2110976157.1693425126-1165171163.1693425124#google_vignette
  4. “CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs 'encouraging'” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190521101450.htm?_ga=2.109450694.2110976157.1693425126-1165171163.1693425124


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