Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Watching your pup struggle with their health can be one of the most stressful and worrying times of your life and not knowing how to assist them can take its toll on any pet parent. Dog seizures or epilepsy can be one of those times and seeing your furry little friend have an episode can be extremely frightening. But try and stay as calm as you can for your pup's sake, as they're very quick to pick up on our anxiety. Luckily medical science is always improving and learning new things that can change the world. In this article, I'll be covering the amazing results CBD oil is having for dog seizures.
What are Seizures?
Seizures are a common symptom of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord and nervous system and are basically caused by the abnormal firing of neurons in the brain. Neurons are behind all the internal communication going on in the body.
Some seizures can be subtle, causing symptoms such as staring, hyperventilation and rapid eye movements or blinking.
However, other seizures can be far more severe, causing uncontrollable physical fits, shaking, tremors and sometimes even a complete loss of consciousness. Seizures are temporary, but they are very distressing for both pets and their owners.
Some common symptoms of a seizure in dogs include:
“Paddling” (laying on the floor and moving the legs as if in water)
Excessive drooling and/or foaming at the mouth
Barking or whining
Loss of bowel/bladder control
Twitching and jerking
Appearing dazed or confused
Temporary loss of consciousness
There are several different things that cause seizures:
Underlying health condition like liver or kidney disease or cancer
Topical flea and tick products
Herbicides and pesticides
Diet (food allergies)
There's a very strong body of evidence showing that CBD can help control seizures caused by both epilepsy and other conditions. But you don’t want to give your dog something without knowing exactly what it is and what it’s going to do. Before I go into how CBD can manage seizures, here’s:
A quick recap on the endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is extremely important and is responsible for two basic activities. The first is to modulate pleasure, energy and well-being. The second is to nudge the body back to health in the face of injury and disease.The ECS is a network of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that exist throughout an animal’s (and human’s) body and it’s absolutely crucial to survival.
The cannabinoid receptors exist on the surface of cells and “listen” to what’s going on in the body. So far, two types of primary cannabinoid receptors have been identified, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Although both types of receptors can be found all throughout the body, CB1 receptors are more concentrated in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors can be found more abundantly in the immune system, organs and tissues. And it’s in these systems and organs, that CBD has the greatest potential for impact.
Can I Use CBD to Treat My Dog’s Seizures/Convulsions?
The short answer is... yes!
Earlier I mentioned those endocannabinoid receptors. And they’re important when it comes to CBD oil for seizures in dogs.
It’s the CB1 receptors that have the greatest impact on your dog’s seizure treatment. The exact way in which CBD contributes to a reduction in seizures and affects the ECS is still unknown. One theory is that CBD has the ability to affect the receptors that calm the neurons firing during a seizure.
What we do know is that CBD oil can have a positive effect on your dog’s seizure activity. While there’s no shortage of prescription anticonvulsants available to you for your dog, unlike many of these medicines, CBD produces no serious side effects. Actually, the only side effects some pet parents report after using CBD is some mild temporary drowsiness.
Here’s the results of a groundbreaking pilot study on cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of epilepsy in dogs and a very interesting article on seizures in dogs in general. This article also addresses the link between your pup’s diet and seizures.
The fact that CBD oil for dogs seizures is being supported by so many people goes to show how amazing CBD truly is and there's a growing number of testimonials from pet parents giving their story of how CBD has helped their furry friends get over not only seizures, but anxiety, skin conditions, inflammation and even cancer.