CBD For Dogs With Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Posted on April 5th, 2021
CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, is a popular product in the health and wellness sector. CBD is an active compound found in abundance in the cannabis plant alongside several other cannabinoids, including the infamous THC. THC (tetrahydro cannabinoid) is popularly known for its psychoactive properties and the reason for the feelings of ‘high’ after consuming CBD. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant to produce CBD concentrate with less than 0.3% THC in it, making it safe for humans and pets (dogs included).
CBD has long been used by people living with various conditions, including epilepsy, anxiety, stress, and chronic pain. Researchers thus believe CBD to be as effective on dogs as it is with humans, and for a good reason. Most dogs have shown significant improvement in their performance, and especially for arthritic canines. Researchers believe CBD interacts with the canine’s ECS system to treat arthritic pains and act on elements that might be worsening the condition, such as toxins. CBD might thus be ideal, especially if your beloved dog is suffering from arthritis, which might be impeding his/her ability to move around freely and painlessly.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis can be termed as inflammation of the joints. This mainly happens when/if there’s a reduction in cartilage quantity and quality on or around the joints. The cartilages help provide lubrication in the joints and act as shock absorbers as we/dogs move or jump around.
Types of Arthritis in Dogs
Several different types of arthritis can/do affect dogs, among other canines. The most common is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. This condition may manifest when/if the immunity system attacks the joint cartilages, causing degeneration of the same. It may also develop as a result of:
- Joint instability (hip dysplasia or CCL rupture)
- Joint incongruity (elbow dysplasia)
- Trauma (joint fracture)
- Osteochondrosis (occurs due to a cartilage flap)
A CT or MRI scan may be required to detect cases of arthritis in dogs, especially if they show minimal to no signs of the same. He/she might, however, have to be sedated for the vet to get a clear X-ray.
Why Do Dogs Get Arthritis? Known Risk Factors
A number of factors may be to blame for the development of arthritis in dogs. Outlined below are some of the factors and reasons why dogs get arthritis.
Some of the conditions caused by either a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection, including Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, may affect the joints, leading to arthritis. You thus ought to be careful if your dog is diagnosed with either of these conditions and have the vet test for arthritis.
An overweight/obese dog is at a higher risk of developing arthritis as compared to more athletic and leaner dogs. Ensuring your dog has the recommended weight and exercises regularly can help reduce onset arthritis risk.
Canine hip dysplasia is one of the leading causes of osteoarthritis in dogs. The abnormality puts unnecessary stress on the dog’s joints, putting it at an even higher risk.
Studies show that more than 70% of specific breeds of dogs, including golden retrievers, German shepherds, and Labrador retrievers, to be vulnerable to arthritis.
Most dogs over the age of 7 have arthritis. This also included dots with Cushing’s Disease and diabetes.
Is Arthritis Fatal?
While arthritis might not be life-threatening, it is one of the most painful conditions anyone/dog can have. The more damage and inflammation the cartilage suffers, the more painful the condition is. Left unchecked, the condition becomes debilitating, making the joints more rigid, limiting movement even farther. The vet might administer conventional medication to help manage the pain and manage the degenerative joint disease. Diagnosing arthritis early may, however, help prevent the condition from progressing. Left untreated, the condition may progress to stages 3 or 4, causing severe pain and very limited to no mobility. At this point, the condition becomes life-threatening as the dog might not be able to walk or get up from its resting position.
CBD For Dogs With Arthritis: How It Works
CBD has proven to be quite effective in targeting and even helping manage various conditions in dogs and other pets. It seems to be especially useful in managing persistent pain, mobility issues, and inflammation from arthritis, among other conditions. Here are some of the ways arthritic dogs can benefit from CBD oil.
Like every other mammal, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates various processes and functions, pain management included. CBD binds onto CB1 receptors inhibiting pain signals from reaching the target part of the brain that translates the signal as pain. This way, the dog may have fewer painful episodes and walk about freely with very little, to no effort. Introducing CBD to his/her system, preferably orally, helps keep the pain minimal, improving its quality of life. In addition to this, CBD packs potent antioxidative properties that help fight inflammation in the affected joints, fighting the pain off even further.
Inflammation is often to blame for arthritic conditions in dogs. Inflammation can even be worse on aging and/or overly active dogs, one of the reasons many of these suffer from arthritic pains. Numerous studies have, however, shown CBD to be an effective remedy for inflammations and even fighting off arthritis. One of the reasons why is the rich nutritional profile of CBD, which contains potent antioxidant properties. Thus, CBD helps fight inflammation on the cellular level and inhibits the condition from progressing to more dangerous stages. Some researchers also believe CBD might help restore the cartilages’ normal health and functioning, improving joint lubrication significantly.
Studies on the effects of the same on arthritic mice, have shown CBD to be effective in reducing inflammations and improving their mobility. The same can be said for men and women with the condition too. Many have attested to feeling much better, with less pain, especially after taking and applying CBD on the affected joints.
Mobility can be an issue for dogs with aging dogs, and especially those who have arthritis. Studies, however, show CBD to boost mobility in these dogs. The potent analgesic and antioxidative properties of CBD not only take the pain away, but also induce cellular repair on the affected tissues. These are some of the reasons most dogs will start getting on their feet and even walk around painlessly after a few days on CBD products.
CBD For Dogs with Arthritis: Does It Work Well?
Numerous studies have shown CBD to be effective in reducing inflammation and arthritic pain in mice and even humans. The presence of cannabidiol in the system helps trigger a state of homeostasis, though the ECS allows for cell regeneration, thus slowing down the degeneration of the affected tissues. Some researchers also believe CBD interacts with GPR55 receptors, thus might come in handy in slowing down arthritic degeneration. While these tests were currently run-on mice and people with arthritis, researchers believe CBD might hold the key to treating this debilitating condition.
Benefits Of CBD For Dogs With Arthritis
There are numerous reasons why you, too, should consider CBD for your pet dog. For starters, CBD is purely natural. It shouldn’t pose any threat to the health of your pet dog. In addition to this, CBD doesn’t contain the psychoactive properties of THC, again making it safe for your dog. Unlike most drugs used for pain management, CBD isn’t addictive, nor will it trigger undesired effects on your beloved dog. Administering CBD to him/her is relatively easy too. You can either put a few drops of CBD oil under his/her tongue or just mix it with its food. Most dogs will start showing signs of improvement a few hours after their first dose.
Unlike pain management drugs that wear off with time, the effects of CBD linger on for longer. This is because CBD not only helps with pain management but also sets the recovery process in motion. This means your dog will even go for weeks after the last supply of CBD. CBD in the system continues to act on the endocannabinoid system while promoting faster recovery from the condition.
Should You Consult A Vet Before Using CBD For Dogs With Arthritis?
The short answer is YES. While you might be able to get CBD without a prescription, it would be advisable to talk to your veterinary officer first before giving it to your dog. This is especially important if he/she is already on another form of medication. This is because CBD might not react well with some of the drugs the dog is on. In addition to this, CBD might interfere with the dog’s metabolism, especially for aging dogs. However, your vet should advise you on the best way to administer CBD or if it is safe to use alongside the other drugs.
It wouldn’t be wise to replace CBD with the meds your vet prescribed for your dog. With the vet’s approval, you can administer both the drugs and CBD oil for improved efficiency and faster recovery. Be sure to get your supply of CBD oil from a trusted source. The product should contain pure CBD with less than 0.3% THC or none. Anything with higher THC levels wouldn’t be safe for your beloved pet.