You’re probably familiar with the condition arthritis. Over 50 million adults in the US suffer from this common and painful disease. But did you know that arthritis doesn’t just affect humans?
77.2 million dogs in America suffer from arthritis. And, just as with humans, this condition can be extremely painful and debilitating for your pet. As an owner, it can be very upsetting to see your dog in pain and not be able to explain the reason.
That’s why a lot of people choose to use pain relief treatments to ease their dog’s symptoms. If you’re on the lookout for something like this, then why not check out CBD oil for dogs’ arthritis?
We know what you’re thinking – “Isn’t CBD weed?” The short answer is no, we’re not suggesting you get your dog high.
It’s actually a great way to bring your dog some relief from their ongoing pain. Read on to find out just how CBD oil for dogs’ pain works.
What Happens When Your Dog Has Arthritis?
Arthritis is a progressive disease which affects your dog’s joints. The most common kind of arthritis that affects dogs is osteoarthritis.
This occurs when the cartilage, which sits between the bones in your dog’s joints, starts to break down. Without cartilage between them, the bones start rubbing together. This is extremely painful.
This often occurs as dogs get older because their cartilage is more worn out. Bigger dogs also wear away their cartilage more quickly so it makes them more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis.
But some other factors can increase the chances of your dog suffering from arthritis.
Dogs with hip dysplasia or under-developed joints are more likely to get arthritis. Or your dog may have suffered from an injury leading to ligament damage, cartilage damage or broken bones. This will also increase their chances of getting arthritis.
Unfortunately, this disease is progressive, which means it gets worse over time. Some early warning signs to look out for are:
- Your dog walking more slowly than normal.
- Them losing interest activities such as playing, running or jumping.
- Limping when walking.
- Stiffness, especially in the morning or after exercise.
- Groaning when getting up or lying down.
- Getting up or lying down more cautiously than normal.
- Resistance to you touching the affected areas.
- Loss of muscle mass.
- Your dog is more tired or irritable than normal.
- Licking or chewing at the affected areas.
If your dog displays any of these symptoms then you should book an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
Treatment Options for Your Dog’s Arthritis
Unfortunately, if your vet diagnoses your dog with arthritis then there is no cure. The cartilage in your dog’s joints cannot be mended or replaced.
So the treatment options for dogs with arthritis focus on alleviating what is happening in their bodies. For example, some remedies focus on reducing the amount that your dog’s bones rub together.
Glucosamine, for instance, can help to improve joint mobility. This reduces the amount of friction within the joint. And chondroitin helps to stimulate cartilage’s natural repair mechanisms.
Supplements like these are common treatments for arthritis in both humans and animals.
Another result of arthritis is that your dog’s joints become inflamed. This increases pain in the area and as a result, your vet might also prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs. Reducing inflammation in the joint will also help to reduce the amount of contact between your dog’s bones.
If your dog suffers from arthritis your vet might also recommend a change in diet and exercise. Added weight puts more pressure on the joint bones, making it more painful. Reducing any excess weight can help to alleviate pain.
But as well as treating arthritis itself, you might want to explore your dog’s options for pain relief. And this is where cannabis oil for dogs comes in.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, oil comes from the marijuana plant. Specifically, it comes from the plant’s trichome glands.
These glands contain different types of cannabinoids. These are a type of chemical compound which interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in our brains. But there are lots of different types of cannabinoids.
For example, THC is a psychoactive component. This is the type of cannabinoid that will get you ‘high’. In comparison, CBD has important medicinal properties and no psychoactive properties.
The extraction process separates these glands from the rest of the plants. To do so scientists often use CO2 extraction.
In order to maximize the amount of CBD cannabinoids, the best marijuana plant to extract oil from is hemp. This has high levels of CBD and extremely low levels of THC. As such, extracting CBD from hemp is a much more efficient process than using other cannabis plants.
Extracting the glands lets scientists create the perfect balance of cannabinoids. This is then distilled into CBD oil. This can then be used as CBD for dog arthritis.
Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Dogs’ Arthritis
So let’s take a look at some of the benefits of CBD oil for dogs’ arthritis and how this works.
As we’ve already mentioned, cannabinoids make up CBD oil and these interact with receptors in your brain. These receptors are part of a bigger system called the endocannabinoid system.
This system affects a variety of processes within the body, including appetite, memory and the sensation of pain. This means that by working with the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can help to reduce pain.
This is why CBD oil for dogs with arthritis (available here) can really make a difference in your dog’s pain management. It won’t cure their arthritis but it will massively reduce the painful symptoms.
And unlike other pain relief medication for dogs, this treatment won’t cause more damage than good. CBD oil won’t affect your dog’s kidneys, liver or gastrointestinal tract. This lowers the likelihood of your dog facing complications following CBD oil treatment.
But are there any downsides to giving your pet CBD for dogs’ arthritis?
Are There Any Risks?
The biggest concern for most dog owners giving their pets CBD oil is that their dog might get high. So let’s put the record straight: giving your dog the correct dosage of CBD oil should not make them high.
This is because CBD oil uses medicinal CBD from marijuana plants rather than THC. And it’s THC that is responsible for creating a ‘high’ in people or animals who consume it. So provided you use a CBD oil with little to no THC content there is no chance of your dog getting high.
But if you give your dog more than the recommended dose then you increase the chance of this happening. And a ‘high’ for a dog can last up to seven days. If you suspect that your dog has had too much CBD oil then you should take them to the vet straight away.
The chances of CBD being toxic to your dog are also extremely low. In fact, CBD oil is less dangerous to dogs than substances like chocolate or coffee. And by giving your dog the correct dosage you significantly reduce the risk of them having an adverse reaction.
It’s important to remember that smaller dogs require smaller doses of CBD oil. If in doubt, always check the instructions on the packaging. You should also consult your vet before giving your dog any type of medication.
If your dog does have a reaction to CBD oil then take them to your vet immediately. Remember to take the medication and packaging with you as well so the vet knows exactly what your dog has ingested.
How to Administer CBD Oil to Your Dog
If you think that CBD might be the best option for your dog, then you need to know what to do next.
Administering medication for your dog can be a bit of a nightmare at times. This is because they have such a great sense of smell. So they can often detect when there’s medication mixed into their food and you can’t exactly force-feed them tablets!
When it comes to administering CBD oil you have a few options.
As with other medications, you can mix the oil into their food. Because the oil coats the food they won’t be able to eat around it so you can be sure they’ll ingest it when they eat.
You can also apply the oil topically to the affected areas. To do this in a calm way, try and get your dog into a comfortable position. The evening is a good time of day to do this is as they’re often tired and relaxed.
The affected areas will often be a little tender so make sure that you’re gentle as you apply the oil.
Buying CBD Oil for Your Dog
Getting your hands on the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis depends a little on where you live. This is because different states have different marijuana laws.
For example, in California, you cannot obtain a medical marijuana card for your pet. As such, the only way to buy marijuana products by getting a medical marijuana card from a doctor.
A vet will be able to advise anyone with a medical marijuana card of the best products to purchase for their pet.
But purchasing medical marijuana isn’t legal in all states across America. In this case, then you may have to look into buying alternative hemp products for your pet, which are legal in your state.
The Bottom Line
While it won’t cure your pet, CBD oil for dogs’ arthritis is a great way to effectively manage their pain. This will improve their quality of life even as this disease progresses.
For more information on how cannabinoids cover help your recovery from athletic injuries, check out our health posts.