Meet Moose. Moose is your typical lovable spoiled old guy owned by Stacey Perez. He, like any Weim that lives past 10, has arthritis and spinal spondylosis causing an inevitable rear end weakness.
Moose has been on Adequan and Meloxicam for about a year, which has been very helpful, but his rear would still drop a lot when he was just standing. So, Stacey started researching CBD.
Caveats When Considering CBD Use
Stacey is a nurse and needed to do all the research, especially for a product that is NOT currently regulated. This is a very important caveat!
CBD is not regulated, and there have only been a handful of studies done. Please see the Whole Dog Journal’s article which discusses some of the studies.
CBD for Dogs is NOT Tested and NOT Approved
- No CBD medications are approved by the FDA for animal use.
- Labeling, or lack of accurate labeling, can be a huge issue.
- Veterinarians are not allowed to dispense or administer CBD or any cannabis related product.
- Lack of oversight; it’s still the “wild west” out there!
Stacey’s Research Criteria
With all that said, how in the world do you know where to start? Like everyone else, Stacey was overwhelmed, but with the help of various guides, Stacey looked at the following:
- Cost. The ones you can get for 20 bucks online are likely nothing more than olive oil. The good ones do cost more.
- Extraction Method. Only buy CBD only that has used these two methods of extraction, ethanol and/or supercritical CO2 extraction. This information can be found on the manufacturer’s website.
- Hemp from USA. Only buy CBD from hemp plants grown in the USA to avoid unnecessary toxins.
- Label. Check label for the words, “whole plant” or “full spectrum” to get the secondary constituents in the hemp plant that work with the CBD to bring out the best health benefits.
- Lab Results. Only buy products that have third party lab results available on their website to ensure the actual mg of CBD advertised is indeed in the product, and the THC level is < 0.3%, as THC is what makes you “high” and can be very harmful to dogs.
She chose Blue Bird Botanical’s Companion CBD Capsules for Moose (Neither Stacey nor JW are in any way associated with this company.) and gives him 2 capsules a day, at a cost of approximately $75 a month.
CBD’s Potential Benefits for Dogs
After starting CBD, Stacey watched in amazement as Moose ate his whole breakfast with his rear up the whole time! Now, 3-4 weeks after starting, Stacey has been able to take Moose for a hike and a swim at the pond, and he was able to be out for 2 hours, and he walked 2.5 miles and his rear didn’t drop once even when tired. And he continues to improve daily! Wow!
Of course I went into this not really expecting it to work, but once you see your old dog standing tall in the rear when he couldn’t previously, it makes you a believer. He will still get weak and drop some right after exercise when he’s fatigued but can at least now stand at his food bowl or walk around the yard without his rear giving out.
It’s not a cure and I don’t expect it to fix him totally as he’s aging and has spondylosis and arthritis, has had two CCL repairs 7 years ago, but the quality of life it’s bringing him at this very moment is priceless, and we will ride the train as long as it seems to help.
How Does CBD Work to Help Dogs?
We don’t know. All we know is that humans and dogs have cannabinoid receptors which means that many think it can potentially be used with animals as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, or anti-neoplastic (tumor) medication.
This means that it is usually used to alleviate pain, nausea, anxiety, depression and seizure activity.
CBD Clinical Trial for Dogs
CBD research is more advanced for humans, and there is one (compared to zero for animals) FDA approved CBD derived medication called Epidiolex used to manage seizures in humans.
But this is an article about dogs, not people! So what about research on cannabidiol in dogs?
Well, the AKC’s Canine Health Foundation recently sponsored a clinical trial to study CBD use in dogs with seizures. This was a double-blind study looking at not only the effectiveness of CBD oil versus a placebo, but also explored possible side effects.
With this funding, Colorado State University’s Dr. Stephanie McGrath found that 89% of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. There was also a correlation between the level of CBD in the blood and the degree of seizure reduction.
Results were published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Jun 1;254(11):1301-1308. doi: 10.2460/javma.254.11.1301).
Thinking about Trying CBD for Your Weimaraner?
While it’s important again to emphasize that there are no guidelines or even legal uses for veterinarians to prescribe any type of CBD, including FDA approved human medications used off label for dogs, there are so many anecdotal stories like Stacy’s that CBD is becoming hard to ignore!
Not only has it helped Moose, we have heard many stories of other Weims who have benefited from the use of CBD to help with seizures, separation anxiety and overall pain management.
Be aware that there are a lot of companies out there selling products that range from useless to helpful. Please do your research!
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