Can CBD Help IVDD in Dogs?
When I was approached to join the CBD Dog Health team, I didn’t hesitate for even a second to say yes. Cannabis had changed my life and when I learned it could help change animals’ lives too, I knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Since I’ve joined, CBD has dramatically improved the life of my own beloved dog, Blanche, who suffered terribly from acute separation anxiety, but I have been so grateful to be able to witness countless other pets who could barely walk, start to RUN. Seizures, allergies, all levels of anxiety – GONE!
It’s been an incredible journey, but I have to admit how difficult it can be to hear of so many animals suffering and these poor pet parents who are so scared to try this all-natural medicine because of the stigma surrounding it. I’ve spent HOURS on the phone with stressed-out pet owners doing my very best to educate and guide them into being comfortable using cannabis medicine. It’s simply a matter of education and understanding. As exhausting as it can be, it is ALWAYS worth it when I get to hear all of the incredible success stories from all over the country. Happy, healthy pets and relieved owners! So now, I want to share some of these stories with you.
One of our favorite stories was with a beautiful dog named Olivia who we helped live out her very best life, pain-free for her last year. A few months ago, Olivia’s mother contacted us to let us know that her sweet girl had passed away peacefully. It was so sad to hear. I took a breath and told her that because she decided to share Olivia’s story with our audience, she’s been able to help hundreds of other dogs live healthy, happy, pain-free lives. Her story has helped other pet parents understand the benefits of using CBD for their pet’s health needs. Because sometimes, all you have to do is see it for yourself, and that gives you the faith you need to dive in on something like CBD. So Olivia lives on in each of those animals’ lives. She has impacted them through her story and has helped so many other animals who needed a solution. And that’s why we do what we do. My hope in writing these success story blogs is for you to see how much CBD can improve other pets’ lives to help you take the leap of faith and start healing your animals NATURALLY too. Sharing real stories, from real pet owners is the best way for us to demonstrate the true success and effectiveness of CBD. So let’s get this storytime started!
CBD FOR IVDD
Success Story: Toothless
“This is Toothless! He is a gem and stole our hearts as soon as we met him. We rescued him 4 years ago, but the past he left behind is catching up to him. The little fella suffers from IVDD (disc disease), and sadly he collided with his big k9 sister coming in from outside. It was the worst “flare-up” we have ever seen. We went to the emergency vet twice and after he was fully loaded with SO MANY drugs, it just wasn’t working. He was spending his days whimpering and yelping out in pain.”
“Heads hung, feeling defeated & preparing for the worst, we decided to try alternative and less invasive methods. I found a local vet that thinks more holistically and got our boy in for a consult. We’re now on a path to recovery with acupuncture, laser therapy, and you guessed it – CBD oil! EASE, to be exact!”
“Since his first porcupine sessions and applications of the oil, our boy is finally able to rest and let his body heal. Inflammation is decreasing and his ears are finally standing upright again. There’s no doubt that we are early in this process, or that we have a ways to go, but we are so relieved to have found something that seems to provide relief and isn’t pumping him full of contradicting medicines!”
WHAT IS IVDD?
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a degenerative disease where the cushioning disks between the vertebrate of the spinal column bulge or burst into the spinal cord space. When this happens the disk will press against nerves that run along the spinal cord. It is one of the most common neurological issues seen in pets and unfortunately, is something that can come at any age and can happen at any time. This can lead to extreme pain, nerve damage, or even paralysis. Depending on the location of the damaged disk, problems can occur anywhere in the body (though in cats it’s mostly found in the neck and upper back).
IVDD is most commonly found in short-legged breeds like dachshunds and beagles and especially in obese and out-of-shape dogs.
A few ways to tell if your dog is suffering from IVDD:
- Unable to move neck
- Back Pain
- Crying when touched
- Abdominal tenderness
- Dragging their leg(s)
- Falling over
- Reduced Appetite
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Arched back
- Unwillingness to jump
HOW CBD CAN HELP YOUR ANIMAL WITH IVDD?
REDUCE PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
What matters most with an animal suffering from IVDD is preserving their quality of life! We want to reduce the pain and inflammation as much as possible. Generally, a veterinarian would recommend or prescribe an NSAID like Rimadyl. Unfortunately, these drugs are tough on our animal’s bodies and can cause things like stomach ulcers, kidney failure, and liver toxicity. CBD is a natural, side-effect-free solution to help your animal with pain and inflammation.
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation. For millions of years, the endocannabinoid system has existed in almost every living organism from humans to animals and even some insects. This universal system’s overall function is to regulate homeostasis within the body.
CBD provides communication between varying types of cells within our bodies using receptors. These communications regulate certain cells to act in defense of the body. For example, if you are injured, CBD helps instruct cells on how to handle the injury.
A Baylor College of Medicine study, using In vitro and in mouse models, found that CBD significantly attenuated the production of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α while elevating levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10. In the veterinary study, CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion among animals with an affirmative diagnosis of OA.
Another study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology also states that cannabinoid receptors have shown therapeutic value against inflammatory and neuropathic pains and also concluded that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes.
Did you know that the U.S. government has a patent on cannabis as a neuro-protectant? As a neuro-protectant, CBD helps reduce damage to the brain and nervous system and encourages the growth and development of new neurons. A condition such as IVDD can create permanent neural damage, but studies have shown that CBD is able to protect against this damage and improve recovery.
A recent study suggests that “the endocannabinoids acting through CB1 and CB2 receptors are part of an early neuroprotective response triggered after SCI that is involved in the spontaneous recovery after an incomplete lesion.”
Another study done on mice concluded, “Cannabidiol improved locomotor functional recovery and reduced injury extent, suggesting that it could be useful in the treatment of spinal cord lesions.”
IVDD can be a very scary and traumatic time for your cat or dog. Dealing with chronic pain and possibly losing the ability to walk is very challenging and upsetting for your pet and for you as well. If your animal has had to go through surgery for IVDD, they are confined to a crate to keep them immobile for a few weeks afterward which causes a great deal of stress and anxiety for many pets who may be unaccustomed to being crated. Using CBD to help ease their anxiety is an excellent way to help your animal rest peacefully during their recovery and every day.
alleviate MUSCLE SPASMS
Muscle spasms are a common side effect of IVDD. Unfortunately, these spasms can be very painful to your animal so it’s really important to control them as much as possible. Full Spectrum CBD can help with these muscle spasms and keep your pet more comfortable.
DOSING CBD for IVDD
It may seem strange, but It’s very important to understand that the dosing of CBD has very little to do with the size or the weight of the animal and more to do with their particular ailment and the animal’s specific needs. For example, a small dog suffering from cancer would need a lot more than a big dog with anxiety. Studies have demonstrated the safety of using CBD, even in extremely high doses, so you have nothing to worry about.
Finding the correct dose of CBD for IVDD may take a little bit of trial and error. I recommend keeping a daily journal to document and moderate how much you are giving and what dose is making them feel better. Remember, while CBD isn’t proven to cure the issue, it is all about improving your beloved pet’s QUALITY OF LIFE!
Decide on the starting daily dose (based on our experience, I would start at around 20mg a day) and check in after a few days. Have you noticed a difference in their mobility and comfort level? Do you think they need more? Are they doing great and you want to see if they could do just as well with a lesser amount? Log these details and you will be able to discern the exact dosage that you need to see the desired results. Each pet is unique and different so get comfortable with making adjustments as needed. Think Goldilocks and the subtleties in her choice of the ‘just right’ bed. Tweak the dosage until you find that sweet spot that works just right for your fur baby. Because of the chronic nature of the IVDD condition, we advise that you continue administering CBD daily in order to keep your pet pain-free, relaxed, and comfortable.