CBD Oil for Dogs Seizures: Here’s What Science Tells Us

cbd oil for dogs seizures here's what science tells us

Few frightening experiences match seeing your beloved dog experience a seizure.

If it’s a subtle episode, your dog will most likely stare and appear dazed, whine, twitch, breathe heavily, jerk about, or have some unusually rapid eye movements.

But when your dog’s seizures are distressingly severe, she’ll have uncontrollable fits and tremors, and she might even lose consciousness.

An abnormal firing of neurons in your pet’s brain causes seizures. Since there are various causes of seizures—whether they’re mild or severe, it’s advisable to see your veterinarian to help figure out their root cause.

We understand watching your favorite pet experience a seizure can leave you feeling anxious and desperate, especially if you don’t know how to help.

And since about 5% of dogs experience seizures, knowing the right ways to ease your pet’s pain and discomfort can go a long way to making both you and your dog feel a lot better.

Fortunately, there’s quite a bit of anecdotal evidence from many pet parents that indicates CBD oil might be an effective treatment for dog seizures, among other conditions. Indeed, only 5.7% of dog owners feel that CBD oil is not effective at all as a remedy for their dog’s condition.

But is CBD for dogs the right way to deal with seizure control and treatment, as well as the ensuing canine anxiety? Read on to understand what CBD oil is, and how it can help you manage canine epilepsy.

What Is CBD Oil?

 CBD Oil organic hemp oil

CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a derivative of the hemp plant. It’s one of  more than 100 cannabinoids or chemical compounds that are found in cannabis plants.

It’s important to clarify that CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound famous for the intoxicating ‘high’ that weed or marijuana users experience.

While CBD doesn’t give off the intoxicating effects on humans and animals that THC does, it still has as many medicinal uses as marijuana.

THC, like CBD, helps calm, soothe, and manage pain. But unlike CBD, THC also causes euphoria, vomiting, staggering, and lethargy, among other negative effects, in dogs.

There have been no documented ill effects on dogs from the use of high-quality CBD oil products. Steer clear, however, of THC products, as these can be toxic to your pet. We definitely know that no one wants a “high” dog.

Some scientific evidence suggests that CBD treatment for pets can be helpful for a range of conditions, including:

  • Pain
  • Low appetite
  • Stress and anxiety relief
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Joint pain
  • Allergies

There have been a limited number of clinical trials and scientific studies on factors such as the safety and efficacy of CBD oil. The results so far, however, continue to be very promising.

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What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs?

sleeping dog

Dr. Jerry Klein, the American Kennel Club (AKC)’s Chief Veterinary Officer, explains that seizures in dogs are signs, not a disease. They are manifestations of some abnormal motor activity taking place in the brain.

Before a seizure occurs, you might notice your dog looking unsteady or confused, or even staring into space. During the episode, your dog might pee or poop, or even fall to the side before moving its legs in a paddling motion.

After the seizure, you might notice your dog looks disoriented, wobbly, and is temporarily blind. There might be lots of drool on their chin, and they might even try to hide. Additionally, dogs that have just had a seizure may walk in circles and bump into things.

This table shows some of the possible causes and symptoms of seizures in dogs:

Causes of Seizures in Dogs Symptoms of Seizures in Dogs
Anemia Collapsing
Brain cancer Stiffening
Head injury Jerking
Encephalitis Chomping
Electrolyte problems Muscle twitching

Other potential causes of seizures in dogs could include:

  • Low/high blood sugar
  • Kidney disease
  • Eating poison
  • Liver disease
  • Strokes

What Types of Seizures Can Dogs Have?

There are quite a few types of dog seizures that could affect your pet, including generalized or grand mal seizures, focal seizures, psychomotor seizures, and idiopathic seizures.

Idiopathic Seizures

Idiopathic epilepsy is a kind of seizure that stems from unknown causes. It’s most common in dogs that are older than 6 months but younger than 6 years.

While idiopathic epilepsy is more common in Australian shepherds, German shepherds, beagles, border collies, Labrador retrievers, and Belgian Tervurens, any dog breed can experience it.

Psychomotor Seizures

Psychomotor seizures, for their part, last a few minutes and involve strange behavior. A dog experiencing this seizure might attack an invisible object or chase its tail.

It can be tricky to identify psychomotor seizures since it isn’t always easy to differentiate normal, odd behavior from seizure-influenced behavior in dogs with epilepsy. A tell-tale sign, however, is that your dog will always perform the same odd act during every episode.

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Focal Seizures

When there’s some abnormal electrical activity in only one section of your dog’s brain, your pet may experience what’s known as a focal seizure. This type of seizure might only last a few seconds.

Nonetheless, you can tell when your dog is experiencing a focal seizure if you notice that he’s making some unusual movements on one side of his body or in one limb. Focal seizures sometimes transform into generalized seizures.

Generalized or Grand Mal Seizures

The most common kind of seizure in dogs is the generalized or grand mal seizure. These seizures are triggered by abnormal electrical activity taking place throughout the brain.

During a grand mal seizure, which can last anywhere from a few seconds to even a few minutes, your dog might convulse and lose consciousness.

How Does CBD Oil Help with Seizures in Dogs?

Illustration of a canine’s cannabinoid receptors

Anecdotal evidence from veterinarians and pet parents suggests that CBD oil helps reduce the number of seizures dogs experience.

While your local vet might be hesitant to talk about CBD oil for dogs, there’s promising scientific evidence, such as Colorado State University’s study, which indicates that 89% of dogs who received CBD in their clinical trial experienced a reduction in the frequency of their seizures.

Cbd oil for dog seizures

The field of veterinary medicine has often relied on a cocktail of traditional medicine known as anti-seizure or anti-convulsive medications to treat canine epilepsy. These drugs may have harsh side effects and, unfortunately, aren’t always effective. They include:

  • Phenobarbital
  • Potassium bromide
  • Levetiracetam
  • Zonisamide
  • Premidone
  • Diazepam (Valium)

A CBD treatment, on the other hand, is highly effective as a therapeutic anti-convulsant in rodents, which means it may be just as effective in treating seizures in dogs with epilepsy.

CBD oil works by supplementing a mammal’s (in this case, your dog’s) endocannabinoid system with the phytocannabinoids found in hemp.

The endocannabinoid system comprises a network of receptors whose task is to regulate bodily functions. For a mammal’s body to maintain homeostasis, which is a stable internal environment, endocannabinoids must be synthesized on demand.

Seizure activity interferes with homeostasis, thus forcing the body’s internal mechanisms to lag behind its needs. Cannabis products, particularly those with CBD content, benefit both CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors.

CB1 receptors are predominantly located in the brain, nervous system, glands, and organs; while CB2 receptors mainly exist in the regulatory cells of the immune system.

The ability of CBD oil to calm overactive neurons and control seizures, therefore, is the result of its interaction with CB1 receptors.

It’s important to note that, since cannabis products affect the brain, your dog should see the vet before taking them to make sure her brain is developed enough to handle their effects. This is why it’s also recommended that your dog be at least 12 weeks old before you feed her CBD treats.

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How Can I Treat My Dog’s Seizures with CBD Oil?

Cbd oil for dogs seizures

You can reduce the frequency and severity of the seizures your dog experiences by giving your pet CBD regularly. Additionally, CBD for dogs can also provide pain relief, especially following the pain that results from the intense cramping of muscles duringa seizure episode.

While pain relief and seizure reduction can be typically achieved by dosing your pet twice a day, the dosage amounts you use can vary from one situation to the next. We recommend spacing out your dog’s doses by 12 hours.

Many CBD oils base their dosage guidelines on your dog’s weight or size. Smaller dogs will usually require a smaller dose than larger dogs, but a little experimentation may be needed to find the right balance.

Dog seizures vary in frequency. Some dogs with epilepsy might require two to three doses every day if they have a higher frequency of seizures, whereas others with less severe seizures might only need a single dose per day.

You might need to increase your dog’s dosage over time to maintain the positive effects that the recommended doses of CBD have on him, but ensure you make any changes slowly and gradually so that you can give his body time to adjust.

Can My Dog Overdose on CBD?

Thankfully, since there’s no toxicity related to CBD, it’s impossible to overdose on it. It’s possible, however, that CBD for dogs may result in some side effects, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Dizziness
  • Mild drowsiness

Stop administering CBD oil if unwanted side effects happen. Wait until they’ve worn off, and then reduce your dog’s dosage when you restart the treatment. This will give him time for his body to get used to the cannabis products you’re treating him to.

What Form of CBD is Most Effective for Dog Seizures?

CBD treat

You’ll find that CBD for dogs is available in many convenient forms. But between a CBD treat and an oil tincture, the oil tincture is by far the most effective method in terms of potency and cost-effectiveness to get you the results you want.

When in oil form, you could take extracts from a dropper bottle and put them directly into your dog’s mouth. You might also opt to add a few drops to their food, rub it inside their ears or into bare skin, or drop it on their paws so they might lick it off.

Adding a few drops of CBD to your dog’s daily food or a treat they’re used to is a great method you could use. It reduces the chances of causing any digestive upset because you’re using something that your pet is already used to.

Alternatively, you might decide to go for CBD dog treats. You’ll find that dogs with epilepsy enjoy their bacon-flavored CBD soft chews or beef meatball treats just as well as those without.

CBD dog treats are great because you’ll not fail to find something that appeals to even the pickiest of eaters.

Nonetheless, this table shows some of the reasons you, too, might find an oil tincture to be a more preferable form of CBD for dogs:

CBD Oil Tincture CBD Treat
Purity Reputable CBD oils will publicly show a certificate of analysis.

This indicates the precise amount of CBD in the bottle.

Certificates of analysis are far less common.

You can’t be sure how much CBD in milligrams is contained in the treat.

Potency Used with a dropper, you can control the precise dosage you give your dog. Harder to tell what dosage is enough in a treat.

Additionally, the heat used in the cooking process may damage CBD potency.

Extra Ingredients No extra ingredients or risk of allergens.

Just add a few drops to your dog’s usual food, or apply directly to your dog.

CBD treats could contain extra calories (or you may have to give many pieces to reach an effective dose) or potentially allergenic ingredients.
Product testimonial from Pam Smith
How Long Does It Take For CBD To Work On Dogs?

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Having a Seizure?

Your dog’s anxiety might not compare to your own in case you are caught unprepared for a seizure.

Thankfully, there are a few tips that can help keep both you and your dog safe until the episode is over:

  • Remain calm—despite the impulse not to
  • Recognize that your dog is neither conscious nor in pain, even though it might sound or seem like that’s the case
  • Keep track of how long the seizure lasts. You can even ask someone in the room with you to record the seizure episode so you can show your vet later
  • Refrain from trying to grab her tongue—she might bite it, but she’s not going to swallow it during the seizure, plus you might get bitten in the process
  • Cushion his head as you gently hold and comfort him till he starts to regain consciousness. This’ll prevent him from hurting himself and you won’t have to do a lot more serious pain management
  • If the seizure lasts more than 2-3 minutes, your dog is at risk of overheating or hyperthermia. Cool him off by applying wet towels or cold water around his head, neck, groin, and paws, then get him to his veterinarian soonest possible
  • Keep a seizure journal where you document your dog’s seizures. A record of the dates, times of day, and lengths of time that she seized can be very handy for a vet who’s trying to figure out if there’s a pattern to these seizures
  • If your dog experiences more than one seizure within 24 hours, take him to the veterinarian immediately for an exam. He could be experiencing cluster seizures

Why Should I Trust Cannanine CBD Products?

Cannanine CBD products are legal in all 50 states in the USA. We manufacture them using non-GMO full-spectrum, phytocannabinoid, and terpene-rich hemp oil. Most importantly, however, these products contain absolutely zero THC.

Why is THC such a big deal? THC is bad news for your dog because it causes:

  • An elevated heart rate
  • Disorientation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Respiratory depression
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance

In severe cases, THC exposure can cause tremors, seizures, and even comas. Your pets certainly won’t appreciate the high THC gives the same way some people might.

While most other CBD oils have trace amounts of THC, Cannanine products don’t. We make them from human-grade ingredients and they’ve been tested and found to be free of harmful bacteria, mold, yeast, heavy metals, and other toxins.

So, when you give your pet CBD products from Cannanine, you can be assured she won’t get high and sick. You may take a look at our Certificates of Analysis here.

Want two more reasons? We want the very best for your pet and all the dogs out there. That’s why every purchase funds several meals for shelter dogs in need. You can see how many dogs you’ve helped feed when you checkout.

Lastly, Cannanine includes a risk-free/money-back guarantee with every purchase. So, whether you’re treating your dog’s arthritis or looking to control his seizures, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product and giving back to the community, too!

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CBD Oil for Dog Seizures