According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), canine epilepsy is the most common cause of recurrent seizures in dogs. Traditional treatments are known to cause serious side effects in some dogs, and even with treatment as many as 30% of dogs still experience seizures. However, promising new research from the AKC Canine Health Foundation demonstrates the potential of CBD as an add-on therapy for dogs with treatment-resistant canine epilepsy.
For twelve weeks, a small group of dogs were treated twice daily with either oral CDB-infused oil or placebo (non-infused oil) in addition to their regularly prescribed antiepileptic treatment. Nearly 90% of those dogs given CBD had a significant reduction in seizure frequency; however, the proportion of dogs considered responders to treatment (50% or more decrease in seizure activity) was similar between groups. CBD was generally well-tolerated, and no adverse behavioral effects were reported by owners.
Based on these results, additional research is warranted to determine whether is higher doses of CBD are safe and effective for treating seizure activity in dogs with treatment-resistant epilepsy. Currently, the AKC Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a second clinical trial to assess proper dosage of CBD oil in dogs.
However, the AKC stresses that the safety and risks are not yet researched, therefore care must be taken when giving CBD and other cannabis-based products to your canine friend. Although CBD is thought to be safe, THC can be toxic for dogs. Always check with your veterinarian first.
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. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Jun 1; 254(11): 1301-1308.
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