Dogs are loyal and loving companions for many of us. Unfortunately, some of them may suffer from epilepsy, a condition that can cause seizures and anxiety for both dog and owner.
Fortunately, there are treatments to help manage the symptoms of epilepsy in dogs. CBD is one such popular treatment that can help reduce seizures and symptoms associated with epilepsy in dogs. Let's find out together how CBD can be used to help our four-legged friends with epilepsy.
Epilepsy in Dogs: Understand and Act
Dogs are often seen as members of the family, which is why we feel anxiety and worry when they are affected by any medical condition, especially seizures or epilepsy. Whether it's a puppy or a senior dog, seizures can be a sign of an underlying health issue and it's important to see a vet to get a diagnosis and understand the cause of the episodes. .
Seizures are temporary, involuntary disruptions to the normal functioning of a dog's brain, often accompanied by uncontrollable muscle spasms. This situation can be scary for owners, but it's important to stay calm and help your dog through it.
When repeated seizures occur, it is called epilepsy in dogs. Attacks can be occasional or frequent, single or grouped, unpredictable or regular. Whatever form your dog's epilepsy takes, it's important to understand the treatments available to manage seizures and help your pet lead a happy, healthy life.
Causes of Seizures in Dogs
There are several reasons that can cause seizures and idiopathic epilepsy in dogs. Although the most common cause is hereditary, other causes include kidney failure, brain tumors, brain trauma, toxins, and liver disease. It is therefore important to consult a veterinarian to rule out potentially serious causes before discussing treatment options.
Seizures can occur during changes in the dog's brain activity, such as restlessness, feeding, falling asleep, or waking up.
The Stages of an Epileptic Seizure in Dogs
It's important to understand what happens during an epileptic seizure in a dog so that you can better help your pet when they have one. Here is an overview of the three phases of a dog's seizure.
Pre-ictal phase (aura):
During this phase, your dog's behavior may change. He may become nervous and seek or hide from his master. This phase can last from a few seconds to several hours and precedes any epileptic activity. It's as if the dog knew something was going to happen.
The critical phase:
This phase can last from a few seconds to several minutes and can take different forms. It includes mild changes in mental awareness, such as slight tremors, wandering eyes, licking of lips, and a dazed appearance, which can lead to complete loss of bodily functions and consciousness.
If the dog has a grand mal seizure, generalized tonic-clonic seizure, or complete seizure, he loses consciousness and his muscles move erratically and spasmodically. The dog may then fall on its side and flail its paws while its entire body is paralyzed. His head may roll back and he may start urinating, defecating, and drooling uncontrollably. If the critical phase lasts longer than 5 minutes, body temperature may rise, leading to hyperthermia.
After the crisis, what should I do next?
If your pet is having a seizure, a quick visit to the vet is essential. If the crisis lasts more than 5 minutes, an emergency visit to the veterinarian is necessary.
The vet will examine your dog to rule out poisoning or head trauma. If these causes are ruled out, other diagnoses may be recommended depending on the frequency and severity of the attacks.
Occasional attacks (less than once a month) are usually less serious, but it is important to monitor them as they can become more frequent and more severe.
A CT scan or MRI may be needed to assess your dog's brain structure.
Treatment for seizures in dogs often includes anticonvulsant medications such as potassium bromide and phenobarbital. New drugs such as zonisamide and levetiracetam are being studied. Combination therapy can be used if these drugs are ineffective.
Treatment with anticonvulsants should be continued throughout your dog's life to control seizures. If you wish to discontinue treatment, speak to your veterinarian who will advise you on how to do this gradually to avoid an increase in seizure activity.
video on The benefits of CBD for dogs suffering from epileptic seizures:
CBD for treating seizures and epilepsy
Recent studies show that cannabidiol (CBD) can help reduce and control epileptic seizures in dogs. 90% of dogs given CBD experienced a reduction in seizure activity. Other doses of CBD are being investigated to see if further seizure reduction is possible.
Safe for dogs and with minimal side effects, CBD is a promising treatment for improving your pet's overall well-being.
If you wish to administer CBD treatment to your dog while he is still on anticonvulsants, ask your veterinarian to safely reduce anticonvulsants before starting CBD treatment.
Dosage of CBD for epileptic seizures in dogs
CBD dosing for dogs with seizures and epilepsy should be done in stages. Start with a low dose and increase gradually to avoid side effects.
Use a concentration of CBD adapted to the weight of your animal, for example 1 drop per 5 kg of weight, twice a day. If necessary, increase to double the dose. It is also possible to divide the dose into several doses throughout the day.
READ: Can you give CBD to a dog with medication?
Be careful, CBD does not act immediately in the event of an attack, it takes about 30 minutes to see the effects. If your dog has regular seizures, adjust the timing of CBD administration to minimize the risk of seizures. Otherwise, the duration of action of CBD can vary between 4 and 12 hours, depending on your dog's weight and symptoms.
It is important to know that every dog is different and what works for one dog may not work for another. It may take trial and error to find the most effective solution to controlling your dog's seizures.
If you find your dog having a seizure, it's important to stay calm and seek veterinary care to rule out the possibility of brain trauma, brain tumor, or toxicity.
Don't hesitate to talk to your veterinarian about CBD and its use for controlling seizures in dogs. Some vets may be CBD-friendly, but others may still have doubts about its potential.
The future of dogs, CBD, and seizure control looks bright and could offer effective solutions to help owners better manage seizures in their pets.