It is a painful sight to watch your beloved dog have a seizure right in front of your eyes. It feels helpless and despairing for not being able to help or explain what is going on to your pup. Although they are common in dogs, they cannot go untreated. A seizure is a neurological disorder diagnosed as epilepsy after multiple episodes.
If your dog frequently has seizures and cannot control them, the veterinarian may diagnose him with epilepsy. It is treated with anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drugs that prevent recurring seizures or aid in controlling them. Apart from these medications, the veterinarian may also prescribe CBD for dog seizures as a supplement to ongoing therapy.
Seizures in dogs include muscle spasms, losing consciousness, collapsing, drooling involuntarily, twitching, and heavy breathing. They are caused due to abnormalities in the brain, like the unusual and unregulated firing of neurons.
Symptoms Of Seizures In Dogs
If your dog is suffering from epilepsy, he may show one or more of the following symptoms:
- Losing consciousness suddenly and collapsing
- Involuntary jerking
- Stiffening and muscle twitching
- Drooling, tongue-chewing, ejecting foam from the mouth
- Loss of control of bowel movements
Causes Of Seizures In Dogs
Seizures occur when your canine’s brain is hyperactive due to excessive electrical charge. Changing blood sugar levels, fever, strokes, or head injuries may cause individual seizures.
Epilepsy can be divided into idiopathic and symptomatic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy is genetic and does not have an underlying identifiable cause, while symptomatic epilepsy is caused due to brain lesions or metabolic issues. The symptomatic reason may be anemia, brain cancer, or an electrolyte problem.
What To Do When Your Dog Is Having A Seizure?
During such an episode, it is best to keep your hands away from its mouth as it might crunch with its jaws. Try soothing your dog while maintaining distance. Do not move it unnecessarily. If you must, try lifting the hind legs first.
A seizure is likely to last for 5 minutes. If it exceeds that, get your veterinarian immediately. Consult your vet after the episode.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabinoid or CBD comes from the hemp variant of the Cannabis sativa plant. This compound is non-psychoactive, which means one does not get high after consuming it. It reduces the recurrence and extremity of seizures due to its anticonvulsant properties. It does not have the hallucinogenic compound THC or tetrahydrocannabinol found in the marijuana variant of Cannabis sativa.
The endocannabinoid system found in every mammal is responsible for regulating the bodily functions of a mammal. This system is home to many receptors that help to maintain the body’s homeostasis. When seizures occur in dogs, the body’s internal mechanisms start malfunctioning and imbalance. CBD helps to restore the imbalance and the steady internal state of the body.
Two types of endocannabinoid receptors are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are located inside the brain, nervous system, glands, and organs, whereas CB2 receptors exist in the regulatory cells of the immune system. CBD interacts with CB1 receptors to calm hyperactive neurons and prevent seizures. It helps to restore homeostasis if the nervous system has been affected by an injury or disease.
One must start low and slow. 35–50 mg of CBD oil is the recommended dose irrespective of your dog’s height, weight, and breed.
The dosage of CBD for dog seizures must be split into several doses throughout the day. It helps to maintain the CBD concentration in the bloodstream and reduce seizures. The concentration is maximum at about 2 hours and is absent after approximately 6 to 8 hours. You can administer it even when your canine is having an epileptic episode.
For the drug to work effectively, apply the dosage onto your dog’s gums directly. It can also be administered through food but will take a longer time for absorption as it passes through the entire digestive system.
Watching your beloved doggy having a seizure can be very distressful. You can help by providing the best care and treatment for the outbreaks. CBD has proved to be effective against seizures in dogs. It is supplemented with regular antiepileptic medications to reduce frequent attacks. Visit your vet soon if your dog is having epileptic episodes.