There’s little that scares a pet parent more than watching their beloved pup tremble and shake from a seizure. You feel helpless and wonder if there’s anything you can do to help. You see the fear and discomfort in your pet’s eyes but can’t explain what’s happening to them. Is it possible to eliminate seizures or at least make them less frequent and less intense? Because so many of the treatments come with side effects or provide little help, CBD oil for dogs with seizures is being examined by researchers, veterinarians, and pet parents alike.
Recognizing Dog Seizures
Depending on the dog, a seizure can range from minor twitching to uncontrollable shaking. It can last mere seconds or go on for several minutes. And the cause can vary. For instance, dog seizures can be caused by:
- Physical trauma, such as a head injury
- Toxic exposure, including to topical flea and tick products as well as other herbicides and pesticides
- Brain tumors
- Epilepsy, or uncontrolled bursts of electricity in the brain, which affects 2 to 5% of all dogs
- Health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease or cancer
- Genetic abnormalities
- Blood or organ issues
- Idiopathic (i.e., unknown) reasons
- Vaccine reactions
- Electrolyte problems
- And more.
There are three main types of seizures, including:
- Focal (i.e., partial) seizures, which affect just a small area of the brain and may only affect part of the body, such as one limb, one side of the body, or the face. Unfortunately, if these seizures continue, they’ll likely progress and become grand mal seizures later in life.
- Generalized (grand mal) seizures, which affect both sides of the brain and thus the entire body. They typically look like the dog is involuntarily jerking or twitching and can cause the dog to lose consciousness.
- And focal seizures, which are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain and typically only affect one area. While they typically resolve on their own, they can also progress in some instances.
If a dog is about to seize, they may appear worried, stressed, confused, or frightened. Once seizing starts, they may fall over onto their side, get stiff, and chomp or bite at nothing, salivate, bark (or growl), or twitch their limbs. They may even lose control and urinate or defecate. Most dog seizures occur at night or early morning, while the dog is resting. And though they typically only last up to 30 to 90 seconds, they can be followed by:
- Aimlessly wandering or pacing
- Compulsive behavior
- Increased thirst or appetite
These behaviors can last up to 24 hours before they resolve. Unfortunately, the older the dog and the more frequent the seizures, the more likely it is to lead to damage of the brain neurons and the more likely the dog is to continue seizing.
It’s important to monitor the dog to ensure they’re not likely to get injured or killed during a seizure. For example, avoid taking the dog to swim to avoid accidentally drowning. The one positive is that while seizures can look scary and even violent, your dog is likely not experiencing any pain. Still, it can be confusing and scary for you and your pet.
Treatments for Dogs Seizures
The treatment for dog seizures varies depending on the cause. Drugs like corticosteroids, anti-epileptic, and anti-convulsant medications are commonly given to help reduce the frequency.
It’s important to speak with your veterinarian about the possible side effects and how to best support your dog, including blood and serum chemistry profiles. Also, many pharmaceutical options can lead to weight gain, so weight should be monitored, and you may need to put the dog on a special low calorie, low salt diet.
Despite the complications and concerns for dogs with seizures, there is currently no cure. However, there are natural solutions that may help you better manage the condition. One that is gaining attention is CBD.
CBD for Dogs with Seizures
Because of the way CBD is structured, the compound affects the brain, spinal column, nervous system, and the endocannabinoid system throughout the body. And both researchers and pet owners are now talking about how effective CBD oil may be for helping manage dogs with seizures.
It appears that the CB1 Receptors found in the nervous system respond to CBD oil. Some research suggests it can reduce or even stop seizures from happening. For example, one study found dogs given CBD oil experienced a reduction in the frequency of seizures with no reported behavioral side effects. 1 While it is theorized that CBD works to calm neurons to help suppress the effects of the seizure, further studies are underway.
CBD Oil for Dog Seizures Dose
CBD dosage depends on the size of the dog as well as how acute the symptoms are. Smaller dogs need less, and larger dogs will require more to see effects. Dogs that regularly experience seizures or have more active seizures may also require a larger acute dose. How CBD is consumed can also affect the dosage and frequency. For example, CBD oils have the highest bioavailability. Treats can be easier to give to dogs, but they can also act more slowly. For more information on how much CBD oil to give a dog, visit this page.
Where to Buy CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures
The best CBD for pets meets a variety of criteria. For example, they are:
- Free from artificial sweeteners, flavors, and additives
- Made specifically for dogs
- Made only from certified hemp CBD
- Grown without pesticides or herbicides
- Provide the correct dosage for their size and condition
- Appealing to your pet, such as naturally flavored with salmon, chicken, or bacon
- Third-party tested
- Reviewed by real customers
- Transparent (including who’s behind the company)
Ready to see how the best CBD for dogs with seizures—ABSC Organics—can help your pet live a more vibrant, comfortable, healthy life? Get started here.
- CBD Oil for Small Dogs
- CBD Oil for Medium Pets
- CBD Oil for Large Dogs
- CBD Oil for Dogs
- CBD FAQs for Pets
- Pure CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs
References: 1. McGrath S, Bartner LR, Rao S, Packer RA, Gustafson DL. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2019 Jun 1;254(11):1301-8. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/254/11/javma.254.11.1301.xml