CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis – How Cannabis Hemp Tincture Can Help with Dog Joint Pain
Our dogs get arthritis the same as we do. And like us, there are many things that can make it worse including gaining weight, cold or wet weather and trying to do too much without resting. Certain dog breeds are at higher risk for bone and joint disorders including arthritis but all breeds can end up developing it with time.
In this article, we will learn about cannabis tincture for dogs and how it can help dogs arthritis. However, we must first educate ourselves to know what arthritis is and what the symptoms are.
What is Arthritis in Dogs?
Arthritis, which can strike any joint in the body is inflammation that erodes a specialized connective tissue called cartilage. Cartilage is very flexible but firm and forms in various parts of the body to do many functions. One of the most important of these functions is the cushioning of the joints as they move in their sockets. Cartilage acts as a shock absorber and keeps the bones from crashing into one another. As it erodes, there is more impact which creates pain. Eventually, the cartilage may be so deteriorated that it is bone on bone and the pain can become unbearable.
There are a number of different types of arthritis but the most common is osteoarthritis also known as Degenerative Joint Disease or DJD. It is estimated that 25% of dogs have some form of arthritis at varying levels. It might even be affecting your own dog and you might not even know it.
Common Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs
Because a dog cannot tell you that he has pain of any kind, we have to rely on visual cues. Your dog may have arthritis if you see any of these symptoms:
- Limping or trouble walking
- Slow getting up or laying back down. Groaning whenever he does either.
- Refuses to take walks or cuts walks shorter than usual.
- Stops sleeping on the furniture because he doesn’t want to jump up.
- May stop climbing the stairs.
- Sleeping more than usual.
- Excessive panting.
Because it is a degenerative disease, once you notice the signs it is important to get your dog to the vet so that he can be examined and started on treatment right away. Seeing the vet is key because it could be something other than arthritis like an injury that was not noticed until now.
The Vicious Cycle of Arthritis
As the joint deteriorates further and causes more pain your dog might start doing less and less. If his appetite stays the same, you are going to end up with weight gain. For every additional pound that your dog puts on, it is that much pressure on the joints that are already hurting. He will do even less, continue eating and the cycle goes on and on. Unless you can do something for him that will let him resume some of his regular activities, he will continue to gain weight and exacerbate the arthritis pain in the process.
The Problem with Traditional Medications that Treat Dogs Arthritis
Most vets will prescribe medications that are meant to target the inflammation in the joint and help relieve some of the pain. But, like nearly all medicines, the common treatments are prone to causing side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Changes in bowel habits. He may have diarrhea. He may also have black, tarry looking stools.
- He may start acting differently which may mean doing things that he didn’t do before. He may have more or less activity.
- He may be uncoordinated or clumsy which puts him at risk for injury.
- He may have skin irritation.
- He may have yellowing of the eyes called jaundice. Jaundice is a primary sign that the liver is in trouble.
- He may have stomach ulcers.
- He may have vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss.
- He may have dehydration.
- He may have changes in his drinking and urinating habits which may include more frequent urination, sudden urges to go. He may also have changes in the appearance and smell of his urine as well.
Most seriously, these meds may react with other medications and may cause serious damage to the liver, kidneys and other organs in the body.
There are Other Suggestions to Help Heal Joint Pain & Arthritis in Dogs
Most dog owners would prefer not having to give medicines that are going to make their dog miserable or worse, make him even sicker than he already is. That is why so many dog owners are considering the alternative therapies instead of using dangerous pharmaceuticals. Hydrotherapy, which lets a dog walk in warm water gives him the flexibility and mobility that he once had without any of the impact on the joints. Many dogs love being in the water while others are less than thrilled.
Physiotherapy, which is similar to the same therapy used for humans uses a number of different techniques to help maintain or improve current levels of mobility and to lessen pain in the process. The physiotherapist may also suggest things that you can do at home to help the dog to continue to progress.
Massage which may be done as part of physiotherapy helps to stimulate blood flow and may help prevent inflammation and further damage to the joints. Most dogs enjoy this very much.
Acupuncture is an ancient, Chinese traditional medicine that involves inserting many small, thin needles in to various places on the body. Only a vet can do this type of treatment. Some may be “certified” but it is not required. For added confidence, look for a vet that has the certification because it means he has gone through additional training to learn all of the various acupuncture techniques.
Supplements for Dogs Arthritis
One of the easiest things that you can do for your dog with arthritis is to supplement his diet with healthy compounds that will help fight inflammation and can help the body to heal damage. Some common supplements include Glucosamine, Omega 3 fatty acids and CBD Oil.
Glucosamine is a substance that is found in the dog’s own body. It produces another substance which then works to repair and rebuild damaged cartilage. During the aging process, the production of glucosamine slows down dramatically. Supplementing is simple and can be done in a variety of methods including in chewy treats. There are rarely side effects but the most common are increased thirst and urination and even more rarely, allergic reaction. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, start at the lowest dose possible and go up slowly.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in things like eggs and fatty fish. Often added to certain brands of dog foods, using these fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and may help increase joint mobility as well.
CBD oil is a suspension of a compound found in the cannabis plant in an oil carrier. CBD, or cannabidiol can come from any cannabis plant but is typically derived from hemp which helps to render it devoid of psychoactive qualities.
How CBD Oil Works for Your Dog’s Arthritis
CBD has been studied in a variety of ways, especially in recent years. As more and more people realize the benefits of this compound for themselves and their pets, there is likely to be even more studies. The two most encouraging benefits are pain relief and reduction/prevention of inflammation. The key to treating arthritis is to treat the inflammation that causes it while preventing future damage. The secondary benefit of pain relief may allow your dog to get up and move around which will also provide benefits as well. The more active your dog can stay the less additional risks he may face. An active dog may be able to keep from gaining weight.
CBD works by reacting with sensors in the body. These sensors are part of the endocannibiod system which is present in dogs, humans and every animal with a spine. From there, the sensors send a message to the brain that sends pain relieving signals, triggers the immune system or activates other systems as needed.
How To Give CBD Oil to Your Dog with Arthritis
There are a number of different ways to give CBD to your dog with the most common being oil. In this method, the active ingredient (CBD) is suspended in an oil that is either animal or plant based. A common oil for this use is red krill which has Omega 3 fatty acids and other nutritional benefits. The oil can be given directly in to the dog’s mouth by using a dropper or it can be mixed in with his food. A dog that is still willing to eat should be encouraged to do so.
For dogs that are unable to eat and are reluctant to swallow the CBD oil there are topical treatments including balms and sprays. The balms are thicker and are rubbed on to the affected area while the sprays are thinner and are sprayed on. The active ingredients are then absorbed through the skin, into the bloodstream and then carried along to do its tasks. Because they may take longer to absorb the sprays and balms may not be as effective as the oils and the crunchy treats.
Dosing may depend on the type of CBD delivery system you have (oil, treats, etc.) as well as the size of your dog and his condition. You may also want to consider his overall health and whether he is on other medications before introducing anything new in to his routine. CBD can interfere with certain medications so always be open and honest with the vet about your intention to start supplemental treatment.
For most dogs it is appropriate to start at the low end of the dosing chart and then work up if needed. It is important that you try to stay consistent with dosing so that you can see how it is working. Follow the Assess, Adjust and Stabilize plan and you should be fine. With this plan you start at a low dose and assess to see how well the dog does. If there is no change or the change is only slight, you adjust by going up a small amount. You continue to do this until you see the results that you want to see. At this point you stabilize the medication by continuing at this effective dose at the same time every day.
Arthritis is degenerative but CBD is an anti-inflammatory so hopefully you get the added benefit of stopping further joint damage from ever happening. That would mean no additional pain and no need to increase the dose. However, if you do find that you need to increase the dose at any time, do so slowly and watch for any signs that the dog is not tolerating the change.
What you Should Know about CBD Oil for Dogs Arthritis
First and foremost you should know that it is safe to give to your dogs. While a veterinarian cannot recommend it for legal reasons, he can make suggestions regarding CBD. Vet groups are working to change some of the laws surrounding cannabis in general but specifically CBD for dogs because of all of the positive studies that are coming out.
Second, you should know the type and the strength of any supplement that you are giving to your dog. In the case of CBD, it should be listed as “THC free” and should come from hemp only. You should also look for products that are certified organic.
Third, always buy from a trusted company and always look for suggestions and recommendations from professionals who know what they are talking about. Ask friends who have recently tried CBD for their own dogs how well it worked and where they got theirs.
Finally, if you choose CBD oil make sure that you know what kind of oil is used. In most cases, it is an allergic reaction to the oil that causes a problem and not an issue with CBD itself. Most dogs have very positive results and are returned to happy, healthy tail-waggers who are ready for walks and might even be up for a good game of chase the ball.