CBD Oil for Mad Cow Disease in Dogs – How Cannabis Tincture Can Help

Mad cow disease is a layman’s term for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This condition is a negative and serious neurodegenerative disease that occurs to cattle. For the sake of this context, the word “neurodegenerative” indicates any type of disease that leads to the eventual loss of function and complete destruction of neurons, or brain cells. Although mad cow disease impacts cattle, it can spread to other kinds of mammals, such as dogs.

The cause behind this degenerative disease is a protein that’s deformed which is known as prion. When this prion is present within a mammal’s body, it makes other proteins begin to replicate its structure, which is deformed. This leads to a chain reaction that begins to wreak havoc. It can be very concerning when an animal contracts mad cow disease–especially if it’s your dog.

Luckily, there are some ways to treat the symptoms of mad cow disease, and a derivative from cannabis known as CBD, or cannabidiol, is a viable solution if you need to help your pet. Unlike traditional medications that come with negative side effects, this compound is completely natural and absolutely safe. Dogs tolerate CBD very well, and you can give it to your pet in the form of a supplement; sprinkle CBD oil in your dog’s food during mealtime, or feed them CBD treats so they can experience the medicinal benefits this compound has to offer. Your dog will begin to feel better in no time.

What Happens When An Animal Has Mad Cow Disease?

Mad cow disease is the type of condition that infects the spinal cord and the brain, which are important aspects to the central nervous system. Formally, mad cow disease is known as BSE, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The term “encephalopathy” refers to any condition or disease that leads to dysfunction of neurons and of the brain.

Cows get mad cow disease because it’s transmitted to them through the food they consume. As cattle herders attempt to cut the costs of their operations and increase the volume of what can be fed to their cows, they give the animals MBM, or meat-and-bone meal. This led to a mass outbreak of mad cow disease in the United Kingdom during the late 1990s, and is also the most well-known outbreak of the condition. The source of this infection possibly could have come from a disease, scrapie, which is carried and transmitted by sheep. Once scrapie was transmitted to some cows, these cows were killed, and their meat and bones processed into MBM that was fed to other cows. This led to the mass outbreak of mad cow disease.

The incubation period for mad cow disease lasts quite a long time. What this means is that once the transmission has taken place, it takes a long while for the animal that’s been infected to actually develop symptoms and signs that they have the condition. The period of incubation for mad cow disease is four to five years, usually.

Are There Safety Precautions Against Mad Cow Disease?

After the outbreak happened in the UK, there were many precautions that were put into place all throughout the world to ensure safety against mad cow disease, and to prevent cows that were infected from getting into food chains that involved humans. However, it’s important to know that these safety precautions are not the same for your pet’s food; while you will not buy ground beef that contains the disease at the grocery store, there’s no guarantee that the beef product that’s an ingredient in your dog food does not have any trace of it. Beef products that are of low quality and slaughter byproducts, which are known as “offal”, are commonly put into dog food in order to cheaply increase the volume of the food sold. These products and byproducts could potentially contain meat that has been infected.

Despite all the safety precautions that have been put into place, there have also been further outbreaks of the disease. In Alberta, Canada, a cow received mad cow disease in 2010. An examination that was performed post-mortem was actually held off because the cow was declared to be a “downer”, or 4D–diseased, disabled, dying, dead–and it was supposed to be sent off to the slaughterhouse. Instead, it was delivered to a rendering plant and was incorporated into dog food. When this was discovered, there was a voluntary (not mandatory) recall that was conducted by Champion Pet Foods, the manufacturer of the potentially affected dog food.

However, many people have claimed that a protocol such as this isn’t enough when it comes to protecting dogs and other kinds of pets from contaminated food and potential exposure to mad cow disease. There have been many cases of mad cow disease impacting cows throughout the last fifteen years within the United State. The most current one happened in 2018, in Florida.

What Are The Symptoms of Mad Cow Disease?

It’s absolutely essential that you keep an eye out for symptoms of mad cow disease in your pet, and that if you suspect that your dog has the condition, to take them to the vet immediately. Unfortunately, mad cow disease is fatal. Even though the incubation period for the disease takes a very long time, as soon as the condition is actually developed, the animal that has it will be killed in six months or less.

Symptoms of mad cow disease include:  

  • Disorientation
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness and/or agitation
  • Dizziness  
  • Aggression because the animal is so irritated
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Seizures and/or tremors

Your animal cannot speak, so what they’re going through will merely have to be observed by you, their owner. The trouble with many of the symptoms of this disease is that they’re also symptoms of many other common conditions. If your dog seems to be in pain, they’ve suddenly become aggressive, or they’re weak, take them to the vet so your vet can determine exactly what is going on, and whether the way your dog is acting is due to something as serious as mad cow disease.

For animals who suffer from this condition, in particular, seizures and tremors, on top of discomfort and pain, are very apparent and chronic, meaning that these symptoms are consistent and won’t seem to go away. You’ll also be able to plainly see that the animal suffers from contractions that are involuntary and that their tissues of muscle are having spasms. Overall, the animal suffers from extreme pain, and once the mad cow disease is in its last stages, the animal might not even be able to walk. Their ability to move at all and their whole coordination will be entirely removed as the mad cow disease progresses.

How is Mad Cow Disease Caused?

A kind of deformed protein, called a prion, is what causes mad cow disease. Proteins are basically the building blocks for any animal’s body because they’re complex and very large molecules that contain lengthy chains of what’s known as amino acids. These chains are very long, and they need to be folded up into certain shapes so that the protein can function as it should. Obviously, this is a very specific process, and when it works correctly, the animal is healthy and functional.

Prions are a kind of protein that’s been improperly folded, which leads to a shape that’s very deformed. Prions are able to exist only in tissue that is involved with the nervous system, such as neurons in the spinal cord and in the brain. However, once it’s present, this leads to other proteins within the system to begin to improperly fold as well. Eventually, there will be many deformed proteins in the nervous system. All of this comes together to lead to the development of mad cow disease, which has a disastrous effect on mammal’s bodies. If this happens to your dog and their proteins begin to become deformed, it is very serious.

Experts are not wholly sure how the prion involved in the UK outbreak transmitted from a single sheep to a cow. However, it’s clear that using MBM to feed cows, while a common practice, can lead to a large outbreak of mad cow disease and that the easiest way for the condition to spread is through infected food being consumed by uninfected cows. This is exactly what occurred during the major outbreak in the UK in the 1990s, which ultimately resulted in thousands of cows being euthanized.

An extra danger to this serious condition is that it is possible for it to go from animals to human beings. In this case, mad cow disease is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or vCJD. If you cook meat such as ground beef, this does not destroy the prion, so it’s possible for people to be infected, even when they consume meat that’s prepared and cooked properly.

What Are the Beneficial Aspects to CBD?

There are many medicinal benefits that CBD can offer for any mammal that consumes the supplement. CBD isn’t just for humans; it’s for any kind of mammal, including dogs. This is because CBD is able to interact with cannabinoid receptors, which are located in mammal’s brains. These receptors belong to a system that regulates and controls many functions throughout the body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Ultimately, the ECS regulates a mammal’s homeostasis and keeps the body balanced in a healthy manner.

There’s a lengthy list of beneficial properties CBD has to offer, and many of them are symptoms of mad cow disease. These benefits include:

  • Controlling and alleviating pain
  • Alleviating inflammation all throughout the body
  • Preventing nausea and treating vomiting
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Treating agitation and other types of restlessness
  • Controlling levels of blood sugar and appetite
  • Improving levels of “good” fat and overall heart health
  • Reducing the occurrence of tremors and spasms in muscles

It’s clear how CBD can support your dog’s overall health. CBD has a central role in many systems of the body and in regulating homeostasis overall for any mammal. Rather than thinking of CBD as another kind of medicine that will help your pet with a single ailment or symptom, you can regard it more as a supplement that will boost your dog’s overall health. If your dog consumes it, it won’t help in just a couple of ways; it’ll result in your dog improving their homeostasis and overall well being.   

How Can I Use CBD To Help My Dog with Mad Cow Disease?

CBD is able to tackle a wide variety of symptoms, which makes it the perfect way to help your dog alleviate the symptoms that can occur if they have mad cow disease. One of the best ways you can use CBD effectively is to reduce muscle tremors and spasms. This is due to the way CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors specifically. These receptors are all throughout a mammal’s body, and you can find them in many different tissues. Once these receptors are activated, you can decrease your dog’s tremors and even treat their seizures.

In addition, CBD is very effective when it comes to treating restlessness and agitation. Because it activates CB1 receptors, which are within the brain, the animal becomes very calm and relaxed. This can also help to decrease any aggression your dog is exhibiting because they’re agitated or disoriented. In all these ways, CBD can help.


Mad cow disease is a very concerning disease. However, if you detect the symptoms early in your dog, you can help your dog restore their health and wellbeing as you help to alleviate some of these symptoms. CBD is very well metabolized within the dog’s digestive system in an easy and effective way.

You can begin with a smaller dose of 2-4mg if your dog is medium sized, about 50 pounds. It’s recommended that you start slow, and slowly increase the dosage. This way you can see how your dog reacts. Because CBD is non-toxic, you won’t risk accidentally overdosing. You can give your dog CBD oil as tinctures or within treats. Either way, your dog will soon be experiencing all the benefits, and you can help them as they experience mad cow disease.

CBD Oil for Mad Cow Disease in Dogs
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