CBD for Dogs with Seizures and Epilepsy
Idiopathic epilepsy is the most prevalent neurological condition seen in dogs. It affects a significant proportion of canines, with up to 5% of dogs experiencing seizures as a result of this condition, and appears to have no identifiable cause.
Despite the use of anti-seizure medication, up to 30% of dogs with epilepsy continue to experience seizures, and all common prescriptions such as phenobarbital, potassium bromide, diazepam, and other anticonvulsant drugs, carry the risk of severe side effects.
Seeing your beloved dog have a seizure can be a frightening experience. We understand your desire for reliable information, so let's delve into the science and explore if CBD can potentially be a supplementary route to helping your furry companion.
What can cause seizures in dogs?
A seizure occurs when the cerebral cortex of the brain malfunctions, resulting in a loss of control over their body. The results can range from being very subtle to causing violent convulsions. Seizures in dogs can occur once and never occur again, or they can occur repeatedly. There are a multitude of factors that can cause a seizure, generally separated in two types of causes: Extracranial or Intracranial.
Extracranial causes of seizures originate elsewhere in the body but are still able to affect the dog's brain and cause seizure activity. The most common extracranial causes are hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, hyperthermia, hypothyroidism, liver disease, or ingested poisons such as caffeine or chocolate.
Intracranial causes of seizures are diseases that cause either structural or functional changes inside the dog's brain. The most common intracranial causes are genetic epilepsy, trauma to the brain, tumors, nutritional imbalances, autoimmune disease, or infectious diseases such as canine distemper virus (CDV).
How effective is CBD in treating seizures?
CBD has gained a lot of attention in recent years for its potential benefits in treating dog seizures. Anecdotal feedback from pet parents shows promising results in decreasing both the frequency and severity of seizures in dogs. This positive feedback has caught the attention of reputable institutions such as the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, which is currently conducting research on CBD’s effectiveness in treating seizures in dogs.
Preliminary in vitro studies of CBD show anticonvulsant effects, and researchers like Dr. Stephanie McGrath – veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University and the principal investigator for the AKCCHF research project – hope that CBD will offer better control of epilepsy with fewer side effects.
The exact way CBD contributes to a reduction in seizures and affects the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is still unknown. One theory is that CBD affects the receptors that calm the neurons that fire during a seizure. But there’s still further investigation needed.
How to safely try CBD to help relieve dog seizures?
You can try regularly giving your pet CBD to reduce the severity and frequency of their seizures.
Be patient when experimenting with dosage to find the right amount and frequency, as it can vary - check out our CBD Dosing Guide 101 for more guidance on dosing. We strongly recommend you look for lab-tested CBD products with no THC to ensure the best natural relief for your pet.
Why not start with our Dog CBD Starter Bundle to experience the therapeutic benefits of CBD without breaking the bank.