Natural Pain Relief for Dogs and Cats
Have you ever wondered “What can I give my dog for pain?” or “What can I give my cat for pain?” If you’re a pet parent, chances are, you’ve had this same question. While there are many options nowadays to help manage pain, many pet parents are searching for safe, natural pain relief for dogs and cats.
NSAIDs and other OTC pain medications are easily available, and often chosen because they treat pain quickly. However, they don’t get down to the root of the problem. They mask the symptoms, but do not help the root cause of the pain. Moreover, they also often cause unnecessary side effects.
CBD as a Natural Alternative for Pain Management
So if you’ve wondered what to give dogs for pain or what to give cats for pain, CBD from a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract offers safe, natural pain relief for dogs and cats, as an alternative to prescription pain medications. CBD and the other cannabinoids in a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract offer a wide variety of health-boosting benefits, with specific applications to help ease pain due to inflammation, injury, chemotherapy, age, arthritis, and hip dysplasia in dogs.
CBD For Pain Management
Cannabis has actually been used as an effective analgesic for thousands of years. In fact, one of the first recorded uses for Cannabis was for pain and inflammation of the joints. This has been confirmed by ongoing preclinical studies in animals, which have demonstrated that CBD reduces pain and inflammation.
CBD offers safe, natural pain relief by altering the manner in which the central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to the brain. For example, when your pet is injured, the damaged tissue will signal the inflammatory and immune cells to begin repairing the damage. These cells then release chemicals and proteins to activate nerve receptors. These signals move up the spinal cord and to the brain, causing us, or in this case our pets, to feel pain. CBD can be used to reduce pain safely and effectively, by weakening these pain signals.
CBD For Inflammation
Additionally, the cannabinoids in a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract that reduce inflammation are both abundant and diverse. The two most abundant compounds in cannabis, THC and CBD, both have strong anti-inflammatory properties. While cannabinoids CBC, CBG, and THCV have also demonstrated beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.
We know inflammation is famously a symptom of most infectious diseases. However, research suggests that chronic inflammation is not just a symptom, it actually can cause and advance many common diseases. Chronic pain, arthritis, allergies, and autoimmune disease are all examples of conditions associated with inflammation. By soothing that inflammation, we are treating the cause of the problem and also preventing the pain.
CBD vs Pharmaceuticals for Pain Management
Many pet parents, and even veterinarians, turn to over-the-counter medications like NSAIDs for pain. For more severe pain, veterinarians are often quick to prescribe Gabapentin or Tramadol. They’re chosen because they treat the pain or inflammation quickly. Unfortunately, they also don’t address the root of the problem and often come with some severe side effects.
All NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin, have the ability to cause adverse reactions, some of which can even be fatal. Long term use of NSAIDs can negatively affect the functioning of a dog’s liver, kidneys and stomach. Since NSAIDs affect the COX-1 enzymes in the stomach and intestinal tract, one of the most common side effects of these meds is vomiting.
A more serious common side effect of NSAIDs is gastrointestinal ulceration. NSAIDs cause the inability of the GI tract to send out what are basically the protectors of the body. Because the enzymes aren’t able to do their jobs, the barrier meant to protect the stomach is not able to do its job, preventing injury to cells and blood vessels. This can lead to gastrointestinal ulceration.
Related: Can Dogs Have Aspirin for Pain?
Gabapentin is also an analgesic, which means it relieves pain from chronic and neuropathic conditions. It’s most widely used to treat degenerative joint disease-related chronic pain.
Gabapentin may cause deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B1, and folate, all of which are essential for nerve repair. This may cause a delay in recovery and lead to other negative health effects. Other common side effects include sedation, lethargy, trouble with coordination, vomiting, depression, excessive sleep and diarrhea. Most dogs also develop a tolerance over time, leading to increased doses and increased risk of adverse effects.
Tramadol is an opioid, and though it’s marketed as being less addictive than other prescription opioids, it can still be habit-forming. Dogs can develop a tolerance after consistent use, needing increased doses, which can lead to liver damage, overdose and death. Tramadol has also been linked to seizures in dogs.
As with any pharmaceutical, it also has a number of possible adverse effects even without misuse or overdose. Common side effects of tramadol include sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, slowed heart rate, upset stomach, constipation, convulsions or trouble breathing.
Research on CBD For Pain Management
A 2006 study published in Current Neuropharmacology, concluded that CBD has therapeutic benefits for pets suffering from acute and chronic pain. It was concluded that compounds in cannabis were shown to have therapeutic value against inflammatory and neuropathic pain.
Additionally, in an 8-month, double-blind study conducted by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, researchers studied the effect of CBD on dogs with Osteoarthritis. They found that dogs who were given CBD saw a significant decrease in pain, as well as an increase in activity, with no adverse side effects.
Furthermore, a 2015 study involving rats, by the University of Kentucky Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, studied the efficacy of transdermal application of CBD for pain and inflammation. Results showed that transdermal CBD significantly reduced joint swelling and pain in the rats, without evident side-effects.
CBD Dosage for Pain in Dogs and Cats
First of all, determining your pet’s optimal dose of CBD for pain has little to do with size and weight. Sensitivity can range greatly between dogs, and can also change over time, based on age, chronic illness, or other factors. We believe dosage is most effectively determined by considering each animal’s unique physiological condition.
Depending on the severity of the pain, we may recommend our Ease tincture or our Heal tincture for cats and dogs, as our best CBD for pain management. We also recommend our Remedy salve for dogs, or our Soothe salve for cats, when a pet needs topical, localized natural pain relief.
Our Ease tincture is a 550mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, formulated with added frankincense and turmeric, to target inflammation. For most dogs and cats, we find that between 9-18mg of CBD is enough to manage aches and pains. Our Ease tincture is formulated so that 1mL of tincture has one standard dose, 9 mg of CBD. So if you’re looking for arthritis and joint pain relief for dogs or cats, collapsed trachea relief, or acute or temporary pain relief for dogs or cats, Ease is a great option.
Our Heal tincture, an 1100mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, is our most potent CBD oil for dogs and cats. For pain management, we typically recommend our Heal tincture for senior pets, higher levels of pain, or pets who have demonstrated a low sensitivity to CBD. This is our best CBD oil for pain management for dogs or cats with cancer, tumors, autoimmune diseases, Cushing’s disease, and severe chronic pain. For Heal, we recommend starting with a dosage of 37 mg of CBD, which is equal to 1mL of Heal.
Related: How To Determine Optimal CBD Dosage
Final Thoughts on CBD for Pain Management
Remember that every pet is different, so we recommend you start with a low dosage and adjust based on your pet’s response, to determine your pet’s optimal dose. Be prepared to experiment with dosage during the first couple weeks, to figure out what works best for your pet.
Many pet parents are concerned that they may give their pets too much CBD, causing them harm. However, when a pet is not seemingly benefitting from CBD, its often because they aren’t getting the needed dosage. CBD has been tested to be safe for dogs and cats at increasingly high dosages, up to about 640 mg! The most common adverse reaction with CBD for dogs and cats, is diarrhea, which is a common effect of adding any new supplement to your pet’s diet.
So, if you are a pet parent who feels nervous about experimenting with dosage, rest assured, it is completely safe.