Arthritis in Dogs
Dogs living with Arthritis will often be battling with pain and discomfort, even with the most basic of tasks. Unlike humans, they cannot describe their pain to us and so pet owners are often left feeling helpless.
Because Arthritis is a common ailment that our four-legged friends suffer with, many people are turning to alternative treatments such as CBD. If you are reading this article, then you are probably wondering whether you should give CBD a go, but you might have some questions like, does CBD really work for Arthritis? Are there any side effects? And how does it actually help?
Let’s take a look at how CBD could be used as a treatment for dogs living with Arthritis.
Before we get started, let’s clear something up: CBD is not a treatment for Arthritis itself (there simply isn’t enough research to claim this) but has shown potential for the symptomatic relief of many conditions, including Arthritis.
How Does Arthritis Affect Dogs?
Inflammation in the joint tissue leads to pain and discomfort. Several factors could cause this, and for this reason, it is almost impossible to identify a single trigger. The following are some factors that are contributing causes for Arthritis:
- Previous injuries or traumas to the joints
- Immune system disorders
- Joint defects
The most common way that Arthritis affects dogs is in the form of hip dysplasia.
According to petMD, this is “partly due to the abnormal conformation and misaligned stress points of the coxofemoral joint. The cartilage is adversely impacted and wears away faster than it can regenerate. The bony layer beneath the cushioning cartilage can be exposed and becomes inflamed; the joint capsule surrounding the joint members becomes thickened, less elastic, and highly sensitive. Blood vessels to and from the area of the joint dilate, and the joint becomes swollen and inflamed. Elastic tissues of the joint stiffen, calcium deposits can build up, and nerve endings send pain signals to the brain. Motion becomes more and more restricted due to the joint degeneration, and the discomfort and pain prompts the patient to reduce the use of the joint.”
Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs
Although we often can communicate with our canine friends when they need a cuddle, some food, or want some playtime, they cannot tell us when something is hurting them. Instead, we have to pay attention and notice any signs or symptoms that tell us that our furry friends are struggling or in pain. If you see your dog displaying any of the following symptoms, it could be an indication of Arthritis:
– Problems with walking, such as staggering, especially when getting up.
– When your dog is lying down, he or she takes time to change position and usually whines or groans when doing so.
– You notice that your dog is stiff when lying down or getting back up.
– Your dog becomes less enthusiastic about going out for a walk or playing.
– Stubborn to go up and downstairs.
– Panting, crying, or whimpering when inactive.
– Sleeping more than usual and reluctant to move from the sleeping position.
If you see your dog displaying any of the above on a regular occasion, then you should take your dog to the vet. Showing the above symptoms does not necessarily mean that your dog has Arthritis, but it could be an indication that your dog needs some help. Do not simply ignore these symptoms- arthritis is a degenerative disease, and if left unattended, it can rapidly worsen, causing extreme pain and discomfort.
Can I Prevent Arthritis with Exercise?
Exercise is vital for the healthy growth of bones and joints, so it can go a long way towards preventing or delaying conditions such as Arthritis.
While your dog will need some form of exercise, you need to ensure that it is the proper exercise which will not cause injuries later on. Exercise is essential for a growing puppy, and the right kind of activity can assist with proper bone development.
According to Dr. Knabe (PetMD), prolonged running on hard surfaces can impact correct bone growth, and a more suitable form of exercise would be playing, especially with another puppy.
According to Dr. Jessica Ennis, medical director at Cherry Hill Animal Hospital, New Jersey, allowing your young dog to swim is a great way to give your young dog exercise because swimming is comfortable on the joints.
Take your dog’s build into consideration, as not all breeds are suited for running or swimming.
The Endocannabinoid System in Dogs
The endocannabinoid system is found in most mammals, so that means that dogs also have an endocannabinoid system that is almost identical to the one found in your own body.
How CBD Alleviates The Symptoms Of Arthritis
The endocannabinoid system is a complex communication system that sends and receives messages throughout the entire body, including the central nervous system and the brain. When your body is under attack by an infection or a virus, the endocannabinoid system receives this message and then fires off signals to other systems in response and to balance and essentially fight off the infection.
When CBD is introduced into the body, the endocannabinoid system can respond more efficiently. Researchers are seeing that it can help to reduce inflammation, pain, and many other symptoms.
According to this study, CBD relieved the pain caused by a variety of conditions.
Other studies such as these also show how CBD provided pain relief from fibromyalgia.
If you are in the mood to read up on more research and studies relating specifically to CBD and Arthritis, take a look at these studies:
– 2011 study on inflammatory pain
– 2014 review on animal research and CBD treatment for OA
– 2016 study on how to topical application of CBD can relieve the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis
– 2017 study for CBD as a safe and highly effective treatment option for the pain relief of OA
How to Give CBD Oil to Your Arthritic Dog
Remember, although you and your dog share similar endocannabinoid system, the tolerances of substances are different. Always consult with a vet (preferably a holistic vet) before administering any CBD or alternative treatments.
Administering CBD to your furry friend can be done in various ways. You can use oil or tincture in a syringe if your pet is relaxed enough for that. You can also give CBD-infused treats or simply mix the oil into some food.
This will depend on how big your dog is.
Always start with a low dose and increase the dosage in small increments until you can see that your pup’s condition has improved. Once again, always let your vet know if you intend to give your dog CBD.
Best CBD Oil For Dogs With Arthritis
The most important factor when it comes to CBD for dogs is to look for high quality, THC-free product. Not all CBD products have been created equally, and you have to know how to identify a quality CBD product. Always look for a product that has third party lab reports to back up their claims of being THC-free.
These are our favorites for pets:
– Lola Hemp
Lola Hemp offers one of the top-rated CBD oil for dogs. Their CBD is organic, full-spectrum, and provides vet approved dosing guidelines. The best part? For every four bottles of their CBD oil sold, they donate one to a pet rescue center.
– Joy Organics for pets
Joy Organics offers some of the top-rated CBD treats for your pets. Their CBD is also organic and is certified THC-free.
Both of these companies have a track record of happy customers and quality products. Lola Hemp offers one of the top-rated CBD oil for dogs.