Blog by Green Roads

How CBD Can Treat Pet Seizures

Pet owners and pets have a unique relationship based on the emotional tie between the two which is what welcomes these companions as members of one’s family. In order to ensure their happiness and well-being, pet owners want the best solutions for their furry friends’ problems, especially if they have a complicated condition like epilepsy.

Pet owners and pets have a unique relationship based on the emotional tie between the two which is what welcomes these companions as members of one’s family. In order to ensure their happiness and well-being, pet owners want the best solutions for their furry friends’ problems, especially if they have a complicated condition like epilepsy.

Pets who suffer from epileptic seizures are usually prescribed anti-seizure medication like Phenobarbital and Bromide. Not only do these meds have myriad of side-effects like drowsiness, increased appetite and thirst, anxiety etc. but the danger of the side-effects increases when this medication is given to cats or smaller animals. On top of that, if not given the proper dosage, the medication’s effects can be toxic.

Fortunately, a safe alternative is showing potential and it goes by the name of Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD. This is a type of cannabinoid; a naturally occurring substance found in varieties of cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana that has anticonvulsant properties, meaning that a cannabis oil containing CBD or CBD-rich treats may help animals tackle epilepsy.

Understanding Epilepsy in Dogs and Other Pets

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects both humans and animals. It’s a brain disorder where different groups of neurons act abnormally, causing sudden uncontrollable movements of the body, temporary loss of consciousness, and confusion. There are several different types of seizures a person or a pet might experience, the main two being focal and generalized. Focal seizures happen as a result of the neurons’ abnormal activity in only one part of the brain, causing muscle contractions only on one side of the body, facial tics, saliva overproduction and so on. Generalized seizures, on the other hand, happen as a result of the neurons’ abnormal activity in both parts of the brain, causing unexpected jerking movements of the whole body usually followed by loss of consciousness.

If the seizures have a knowing cause, like a tumor or some damaging in the right area of the brain, we call it symptomatic epilepsy. On the other hand, if we can’t identify the cause of our pet’s seizures, we call it idiopathic epilepsy.

Epileptic seizures affect many animals, and our beloved canines are no exception; up to 5% of all dogs are affected by epilepsy in their lifetimes. Almost all anti-seizure medication, as well as the most commonly prescribed one, called Phenobarbital, have a plethora of side-effects like lethargy, increased appetite and thirst, labored breathing, long-term liver damage, sedation, anxiety etc. Luckily, there is a natural and potentially more efficient solution for epileptic seizures in dogs and other pets. This marvelous ingredient, called Cannabidiol (CBD), is the main cannabinoid in CBD-rich cannabis oil, hemp based biscuits, and different CBD treats.

CBD and Epileptic Seizures

CBD is completely safe for both people and animals because of the following reasons:

  • It’s not psychoactive, so it doesn’t alter one’s sensations and perceptions.
  • It doesn’t have sedative effects, so it doesn’t cause sleepiness and drowsiness.
  • It’s a non-addictive substance; in fact, it can help in overcoming other addictions.

Research from the past couple of decades demonstrates CBD’s anticonvulsant properties and its ability to dramatically reduce the number of epileptic seizures. This is because of the fact that animals have a similar endocannabinoid system as humans, meaning they also have naturally occurring cannabinoid receptor cells throughout the body. By boosting the activity of the cannabinoid receptors and activating others as well, CBD is responsible for fighting diseases associated with the brain, the central nervous system, and the immune system.

CBD and Charlotte Figi

In the last couple of years, CBD oil has been known as the most effective treatment for epileptic seizures in adults and children, especially since the release of the CNN’s story on Charlotte Figi in 2013, a child with a very rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the one responsible for shocking the American mainstream by revealing the almost miraculous effects hemp oil has had on her seizures. After Charlotte came to a point where she had around 300 uncontrollable seizures a day, her parents knew that it was time for her to try CBD hemp oil. The success was obvious; Charlotte’s seizures nearly seized and she had no side effects whatsoever. She is the youngest patient at the time to have used this product, and its benefits regarding epilepsy are undeniable.

Testimonials/Case Examples by Pet Owners

J.C. and Angie are dog owners from Portland, Oregon. One of their dogs, Weizy, was having around four seizures a week, so they went to their veterinarian clinic for some counsel. The vet prescribed Weizy some anticonvulsant medication and the treatment began. After a while, the unpleasant side-effects began to emerge making thing worse than before. Fortunately, J.C and Angie stumbled upon CNN’s story on Charlotte Figi and witnessed the almost miraculous effects hemp oil had on the little girl who went from having around 300 seizures a day to almost none. They used C.J.’s medical marijuana card to purchase CBD oil for their companion. After being treated only with CBD oil for a couple of months, Weizy’s seizures completely seized.

Sydney, a three year old Australian, went from having one seizure every three weeks to having a cluster of seizures every day. When Sydney was diagnosed with canine epilepsy, her owners started giving her the standard anti-seizure medication that most vets prescribe for epileptic dogs. Expectedly, the side-effects began to surface when her owners noticed Sydney being more lethargic as opposed to the joyful dog she was before. Anxiety became a part of her life as she was frantically pacing up and down when left alone while keeping her head down when with people. Sydney’s owners started giving her CBD oil and CBD treats after their trainer recommended CBD as a possible alternative treatment for canine epilepsy. Couple of months later and the dog’s anxiety was impressively reduced, her energy and joyfulness part of her life again, and her seizures almost completely seized.

Tycho is another dog diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed anticonvulsant medication. After being on it for a while, his owner noticed him to be more dependent, lethargic, anxious, and on top of that his appetite decreased. After noticing this change of personality in his dog, and not much change in his seizures, Tycho’s owner started with a CBD treatment. The results were not so different as the two previous cases – his energy was restored, his anxiety reduced, and his seizures greatly decreased.  

Final Words

CBD oil and other CBD products have become quite popular in the treatment of epileptic seizures in both humans and animals. As the time goes by, more and more people become aware of CBD’s benefits and positive effects when treating various conditions and diseases. However, long-term scientific research and studies are needed so that one day veterinary CBD use becomes acceptable by everyone.

Many pet owners feel helpless when facing epilepsy in their furry companions, which is why a potentially effective and natural treatment is needed as opposed to the existing anti-seizure medication and its side-effects. Veterinarians need to be educated on CBD and its positive effects so that our beloved pets can receive the best treatment they deserve.

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