Does CBD Help Dogs With Seizures?
The short answer is yes, but there are things to consider before beginning treatment with CBD.
If you've ever had your dog suddenly collapse, stiffen up, develop a thousand yard stare, and possibly make unearthly sounds, you know the panic of watching your beloved fur baby having a seizure. As with humans, all you can do is sit with them until they come out of it themselves. Rather than try and cover it here, check out this article on how you can help your dog while they're having a seizure. If your dog suddenly begins having seizures, you should immediately make an appointment with your vet. Sudden onset of any symptom needs to be checked out to rule out life threatening conditions.
The most common underlying cause of seizures in dogs are:
Low blood sugar levels
Ingested poisons such as caffeine/chocolate/THC
Injury to their head
Infectious diseases such as distemper/rabies
The first step should always be a full checkup with bloodwork to determine if there is an acute reason for the seizures. Most of the items on this list need veterinary intervention. For instance, if the seizures are caused by heart worms or distemper, the CBD may reduce the seizures but will not touch the underlying condition, and without veterinary attention the disease will progress and they will die. Once your vet has eliminated any acute conditions that require treatment, and has determined that your dog suffers from a chronic seizure condition, then CBD can help.
Okay, once you’ve decided to put your dog on CBD, how does it work? According to testing done on seizures in humans,
CBD works by affecting the CB1receptors in your dog’s brain, calming the “excitability’ of neurons. As we know, dogs have the same endocannabinoid system as humans, so the working theory is that it should operate the same way. As with most natural treatments there has to date been no controlled clinical studies done, therefore the feedback that CBD works for seizures is anecdotal in nature, coming from regular people who have tried it.
According to the American Kennel Club, “Canine epilepsy is the most common cause of recurrent seizures in dogs. Unfortunately, the medications used to treat epilepsy, such as phenobarbital, potassium bromide, diazepam, and other anticonvulsant drugs, can cause serious side effects in some dogs. Even with medication, up to 30 percent of dogs with epilepsy continue to experience seizures.“ This leads to many pet owners looking to either supplement traditional medication, or replace it with a more natural alternative, and CBD is their treatment of choice.
There are no known reports of negative interactions with traditional seizure medications, but as always, when a dog is currently being prescribed medications for a condition we do recommend that you speak with your vet before adding CBD to their routine, and if your dog exhibits unusual behaviour after receiving the CBD, discontinue use and speak to your vet. CBD is a powerful, plant based treatment, and every dog is unique.