Is CBD an effective treatment option for dogs that suffer from seizures? New research says yes!
The first drug based on CBD oil, Epidiolex®, was approved by the FDA in 2018 for the treatment of rare forms of drug resistant childhood epilepsy. This was a cause for celebration for many parents indeed. However, since as many as 1 in 133 dogs also suffer from epilepsy, many dog owners are anxious to learn if CBD oil may offer some help for their canine companions’ seizures.
Clinical trials on CBD for dogs with seizures
In the first clinical trial looking at CBD for dogs with treatment-resistant epilepsy conducted in 2019, researchers found promising results. The study included 26 dogs and the results showed significantly less frequent seizures with 1.1 mg/lb of CBD oil administered twice daily. The design of the study included cannabidiol combined with a traditional anticonvulsant, and a control group treated with a standard anticonvulsant medication alone.
Reporting the results as “promising”, the AKC Health Foundation has funded a second clinical trial on a larger number of dogs, hoping to learn more about the safety and anti-seizure efficacy with a larger dose of cannabidiol.
Although more research is still necessary to learn more about the right dosing and safety at larger doses, pet owners do have some cause to hope that, in the not too distant future, CBD-based medicine may make its official debut in the veterinary world.
Talk to your veterinarian
Dog seizures can be caused by a number of serious and potentially life threatening underlying conditions. As such, immediate veterinary care is warranted for a full diagnosis and a veterinary approved treatment plan. In addition, since CBD oil can interact with medications, it is important to check with your vet before giving it to your dog.
Your vet may recommend traditional anticonvulsant drugs or decide that the downsides of these medications (including heavy sedative effects and long term dependency) are not warranted in mild cases where a serious underlying cause has been ruled out.
If you are hesitant to start your dog on pharmaceutical anticonvulsant therapy due to potential side effects, it may be worth consulting with a holistic veterinarian. Trained with all of the same training as traditional vets – with the addition of extra studies in natural remedies and non-invasive therapies – holistic vets tend to be more open to the use of nutraceuticals and may offer you another perspective on your dog’s case.
How to find quality CBD oil for dogs
Thanks to the surge in research over the last two decades, as well as word of mouth from satisfied dog owners, CBD oil has become a major health trend. An increase in demand has made it lucrative for some companies to offer low quality products, some of which do not even contain any CBD. It is important, therefore, to do your research.
Here’s what to look for in a quality CBD product:
- Third party lab tests for each batch of oil produced, verifying both quality and concentration of CBD
- Organic hemp used as the source ingredient (contaminants from pesticides and herbicides can concentrate in plant extracts)
- Full spectrum hemp oil which contains the full range of cannabinoids found in hemp
- A money back guarantee if you find the product does not work for your dog