CBD Oil for Seizures in Dogs - the first thing to try?

Using CBD oil for seizures in dogs is something that is being suggested more and more frequently online. Is it something that you should definitely be giving your dog with seizures? Does it matter if they have epilepsy or if the seizures are caused by another condition?

Today I’m discussing some things you need to think carefully about before giving your dog CBD oil to treat their seizures.

dog with caption cbd oil and seizures

Okay, so let's get onto the first question and the first one is from Payal who's got a seven-month-old Beagle who says, for the last month he started to get seizure attacks and within the last two months he's had six seizures, six attacks and he’s asking, can I help him know how he can use CBD oil to treat the seizures?

What amount of CBD oil should be given? Any brands that I can recommend? Can I recommend which CBD oil would be best to help this dog?

Causes of seizures in dogs

So the first thing I'm going to say is that we really need to try and determine the cause of the seizures.

There are a number of different causes of dog seizures:

  • organ disease

  • infections

  • poisoning

  • brain lesions

  • epilepsy

So in a younger dog, epilepsy is definitely one of the main differentials, although this dog is quite young. Normally epilepsy starts maybe from about a year old although it can be from six months so it certainly fits in from that point of view.

When to start epilepsy treatment

Now, if we're talking about epilepsy as a whole, then we also need to think about when do we want to start treatment for these seizures.

So generally, that's if a dog has had two or more seizures in a six-month period. Certainly if they're having more than one seizure a month, we also want to think about treating them if they've not recovered between seizures or if they're having severe seizures or if the recovery in general is very long. So that's kind of some triggers to start treatment.

Treating other seizure causes

If the seizures aren't caused by epilepsy, then we really need to try and address the underlying cause.

So we also get development problems and anatomical problems in younger dogs. So that can be things like fluid on the brain, water on the brain, and we need to be addressing those causes. It could be a liver shunt or something like that, which can also cause seizures.

So we don't want to assume that just because it is a young dog or maybe they otherwise seem to be pretty normal, that epilepsy is the cause. We also need to think about trying to find out the underlying cause, because if it's not epilepsy, then often they won't respond as well to anti-seizure medication alone. We will need to give other treatments, give other drugs, use other interventions to try and get these pets seizure free, or certainly to reduce the frequency and the severity of the seizures.

The best epilepsy and seizure medication?

Now next, when we're thinking about treating seizures, we need to think about choosing the best anti-seizure medication for that individual. So with drugs like phenobarbital and imepitoin, they're our first line of drugs that we use to treat certainly epilepsy in dogs. We know how effective they can be, we know what to expect with long-term administration, we know how to monitor for potential side effects and that's really important.

CBD oil for Seizures in Dogs

So if we think of CBD oil, the research actually into its use to control seizures is just in its early stage. There are some current investigations going on, some current studies being run, we don't know exactly the details yet and we don't know which dogs they're going to be most effective in.

Do we need to use the CBD oil with additional medication? Are there concerns with giving it? Will it actually make things worse? Are there side effects that we need to know about?

So although these studies are starting to run, we need to think about why we're going to try a drug that we don't know much about. We don't know how well it's going to work and all those other things. Why are we thinking about using a drug like that when we've got other drugs in our arsenal, if you’d like to treat seizures and certainly to treat epilepsy.

Treating other conditions with CBD

So we need to be clear. There's a lot of information online, there's a lot of hype, there's a lot of people who are very enthusiastic about the use of CBD oil and about its treatment for any number of conditions from epilepsy, which is certainly one, from arthritis and pain and we've actually got a little bit of information about its use as a painkiller, from an anti-cancer drug, from an anti-allergy drug, and from an anti-anxiety point of view.

CBD oil is being touted as the next big thing to treat pretty much anything.

We really need to be careful and if you want to know more about this topic then I've actually written about it in a lot of detail in my review of the use of CBD oil in dogs based on the actual evidence available to us, not just the hype!

I've also got another article about the risk of marijuana poisoning. So if you're thinking well, medical marijuana might be an option. Well, that's something we really need to consider because actually the THC in that can be dangerous. So you definitely need to know about that if you're thinking of using any kind of medicinal marijuana products.

CBD oil dosing

As for what dose to use and what supply to use, supplies are really going to depend on where you are in the world. If you're thinking of using a CBD oil, we definitely want to be using a product that has had some independent analysis done to confirm that actually it's got what it says it's got and it's got low to zero THC in it.

That's going to vary depending on where you are in the world, so I wouldn't like to give you any kind of brand.

And as for dose, I make a point of actually never giving doses for drugs because I don't think that's the place for me. I don't think it's the place for anyone online. I think dosing, and individual treatment plans should be overseen and recommended by an individual vet after examining that patient. I think that's the only sensible way, that's the only safe way to go about treating an individual.

The above is a transcript taken from “The Dr Alex Answers Show”.

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