Arthritis is common in dogs. So common in fact, that osteoarthritis affects around 25% of all dogs at some point – typically occurring in older age, but risk factors like extra weight can exacerbate existing arthritis or bring it forward to earlier years in a dog’s life. We get enquiries all the time about dogs and arthritis – can hemp oil assist with senior dogs and their arthritis? What about hemp cream? Let us look at these questions, exploring how hemp products assist pets like dogs with pain and arthritis, getting them back on their paws. We will help you understand whether it makes sense to use for your dog as well as how to use it. This article will give you the tools to be able to decide and gives you a starting point to help your dog take the next step in living with arthritis.
Osteoarthritis in Dogs – What is it and how does it happen?
Before we look at one of the therapeutic assistance supplements that can potentially aid some dogs in their ailment, it is important to get a better understanding of why dogs suffer from arthritis and how it affects them.
Arthritis is a condition that can occur in many animals like dogs and humans, which causes inflammation, swelling and irritation in joints. It can be a mild irritation to extremely painful depending on the severity, with osteoarthritis typically being the worst type of ailment. When arthritis happens cartilage, which provides cushioning and smoothness between joints allowing them to move with minimal friction begins to wear away and degrade, leaving raw bone exposed and causing significant nerve pain in the affected region. It can happen in any joint in the body but is more typical in the knees, shoulders, and elbows in dogs.
Arthritis is an umbrella term that is used for almost a hundred diseases that cause problems in joints like swelling, pain and inflammation. It is not one specific illness or disease. In dogs, the most commonly occurring arthritis is osteoarthritis that is also called Degenerative Joint Disease. This is caused when the cartilage present in the joints gets degenerated. Cartilage is a flexible tissue that connects the bones and joints – you can think of it as ‘natural shock absorbers. When the joints get degenerated the bones started to expose and rub against each other that cause serious problems. This results in stiffness in bones and painful movements. The damage usually occurs because of the “wear and tear” of joints that cause osteoarthritis in aged dogs.
In the US, there are 89 million dogs who live in households and out of that almost 22 million dogs are suffering from arthritis daily. Even though it is a common disease still there is no proper cure found to treat it, only methods to help mitigate its symptoms and reduce their effect.
Arthritis in Dogs Symptoms
Some common symptoms found in the dogs who suffer from osteoarthritis are:
- Sleeping more than normal and lethargy
- Reduced mobility and enthusiasm
- Excessive panting
- Inability to jump or hop when previously they had no issue
- Reluctance to walk or run
Symptoms and how they display can vary based on the individual dog, their age breed, and personal traits – its completely unique to each case in how a dog may respond to their arthritis.
Why do dogs get arthritis?
Age and genetics are the biggest factors – usually it affects dogs as they get older, with joints wearing due to use over time. Firstly, it’s important to note that not all breeds get arthritis at the same rates – larger dog breeds like Alsatians and Labradors typically get arthritis much more frequently due to the pressure on their joints compared to smaller dogs. Their lifestyle and exercise routines are also factors – if dogs become heavy and overweight from lack of movement and poor diet their risk of arthritis and joint problems is significantly higher. There is some element of genetics at play also and many dogs may simply be predisposed due to their draw of the genetic lottery. Keeping weight off and your dog as healthy as possible is typically the best and most sustainable way to preventing arthritis in the first place.
The tricky thing about arthritis as a disease is you never see it – it is completely invisible and entirely within the animal’s joints. The only signs you might get are your dog in pain, having trouble walking or stiffness and limping. Symptoms usually only display also when the condition is already fairly progressed which is frustrating and makes it harder to reverse in the first place. Often older dogs will also have behavioral changes – they might not want to go out for walks, may be less energetic, may whimper or have issues in running around and being their ‘normal’ selves. Bad osteoarthritis can be near-crippling and a major problem for a dog, preventing them from running and maintaining activity which can lead to further weight gain and worsen their predicament. They may have problems in jumping and doing activities like fetch which they once loved.
It is important to know when a dog is just getting old and when they have a problem. Pain and whimpering are never normal and not part of old dog life, but stiffness or slowing down may not always be related to arthritis. Keep an eye on your dog and take them to the vet if they are showing signs of potential arthritis. Other signs may be reduced social behaviors and if your dog refuses to get up, lying down for much of the day. Its unique for each dog in how they react and how they are affected by arthritis.
How common is arthritis in elderly dogs?
Osteoarthritis typically affects around 25 percent of all dogs at some point in their life (typically in old age), with millions of dogs around the world currently suffering from this disease. Osteoarthritis or arthritis is, unfortunately, progressive disease and you must consult a veteran if you see a major change in mobility or your dog feels pain while moving. Treatments can only slow down the damage caused by osteoarthritis; it degrades the joints of your dog, but this cannot be stopped once it begins. This article will give you the run down on one option to explore for assisting your senior dog with arthritis – CBD oil.
We will look at the scientific reasons as to why hemp oil for dog arthritis is giving more owners hope and how it might be able to help with your dog’s issues, to live a fuller life. CBD is an all-natural solution that can mitigate the pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.
Traditional Arthritis Treatment
There are different ways to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs. These can vary in their efficacy and impact on your dog’s symptoms. Some common methods are:
1. Medication & Painkillers
Most of the dogs having osteoarthritis are prescribed for hemp oil dog arthritis, pain killers, or any anti-inflammatory drug to cure the pain and inflammation caused by degeneration of the joints. The most commonly used medicines for dogs having osteoarthritis are Remedy and Metacam, these are non-steroidal drugs. Unfortunately, both of them have some side effects when they are used. The most common side effects are:
Decreased or increased activity, Seizures, skin irritation, sudden weight loss, incoordination, tarry, black or bloody stools, jaundice, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, vomiting, dehydration, aggression, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, kidney and liver problems, increased water consumption and changes in urination. As you can tell, the side effects from using arthritis medications for dogs can be significant, it can be better in many cases to seek a natural alternative to avoid issues with older dog.
2. Improving Lifestyle Factors
As is always the case, the biggest element to managing any chronic disease and ensuring the best health outcomes is by ensuring lifestyle risk factors are minimized and controlled. Preventing weight gain, ensuring a varied and healthy diet, avoiding pollution and free radical sources are all ways to help in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and preventing it in the first place. This is also one of the simplest avenues to take due to being controllable.
3. CBD oil
Cannabidiol or hemp oil is derived from hemp that naturally produces the plant based Cannabidiol compound which has therapeutic properties. CBD seems to have magical advantages to both dog and human health. Medical hemp used to produce CBD has no THC. This means it has no psychoactive effects and cannot get you high. THC is toxic for dogs when used as a compound, but CBD (from hemp not marijuana) does not cause psychoactive effects or any harm to your dog. This hemp oil for dog arthritis works through a specific system that is present in the body of the dog’s called an endocannabinoid system. This system helps the dogs to mitigate many diseases by sending inflammatory cannabinoid compounds to every part of the body. CBD can help in reducing pain and inflammation, reduce anxiety and calm the dog to help it deal with its arthritis pain. It may enable the dog to regain many of the lost enthusiasm and behaviors it had previously to being affected by arthritis.
Research on CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis
CBD oil has been studied for a long time in people but now it is being studied in dogs. CBD has both pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of these properties, CBD becomes the main focus of the study for the treatment as an alternative to treat without downsides of NSAIDs. Moreover, the endocannabinoid system that is present in the bodies of dogs and also humans plays a major role in the progression of arthritis. Cannabinoid receptors are found surprisingly in the degenerated chondrocytes and healthy joint tissues in humans having osteoarthritis. These cells are responsible for the treatment of osteoarthritis with cannabinoids.
Many studies have shown that cannabidiol plays a vital role in preventing the joints from degeneration and also prevents the progression of pain that is associated with osteoarthritis. This is the magical solution for both humans and dogs who are suffering from arthritis. In 2018, The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University conducted an awareness campaign in which the basic studies about arthritis were discussed for the owners of the dogs having osteoarthritis. Researchers also studied full-spectrum CBD oil as a treatment for dogs having osteoarthritis as an oral dosage of 2 to 8mg daily. Dogs who were being studied were assessed before the treatment and also after two to four weeks of treatment.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs with Osteoarthritis?
In the above-mentioned study, no side effects were observed during the treatment in both doses. There were no psychoactive effects found even though full spectrum CBD contains THC compounds. This fact builds another research declaring the safety of Cannabinoids for dogs having osteoarthritis.
CBD fights inflammation.
Most of the studies conducted on CBD have shown that hemp oil dog arthritis is effective in reducing the pain and inflammation around the affected area. This oil works by boosting ECS activity in different parts of the body. CBD is effective in reducing pain in some specific organs like lungs, joints, pancreas, and the most important organ Brain. Recently the researchers from the University of Kentucky in USA have found that Transdermal CBD gel has also surprising effects in treating arthritis. Results have shown that CBD helps in reducing pain and swelling in joints and also reduces inflammation. CBD also helps in reducing the symptoms of pain.
CBD for Pain
CBD helps in fighting the pain and inflammation and also helps in managing the progression of the disease. Different studies have shown that CBD acts a step further by helping in managing the pain at any stage. CBD becomes popular as a medicine for treating arthritis. Many researchers have declared CBD as a magical treatment for killing pain and reducing inflammation in the affected area of the body. The best part about CBD is that it doesn’t have any side effects.
Treating Your Dog With CBD
Today, CBD is used all over the world as a reliable and safe medication for animals and humans having arthritis. Because cats and dogs have similar endocannabinoid system as humans, they get the same benefits from CBD as humans get for their arthritis. Usually, the dogs have more sensitive organs, so they get affected by the cannabinoids just as much as humans. You must keep in mind a few of the below guidelines before using CBD for the treatment of arthritis or any joint inflammation in dogs.
The most important thing to know before taking any medication is what the right dosage to take is. Fortunately, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-toxic, hence it is not capable of causing overdose because it will not harm your dog or poison it in any way. However, it is safe to keep structured medication and records of dosage for your dog to avoid any complications. The correct dose depends on the severity of their disease and whatever the vet prescribed for your dog. Generally, 2 to 4 drops of the oil are used as a treatment 2 to 4 times a day. Again, you need to consult the vet before increasing the dose if the inflammation or pain does not reduce.
Talk to Your Vet
If your pet dog especially the senior dog is suffering from arthritis, it’s the right time to consult the vet about adding the CBD hemp oil alongside other supplements to reduce pain and inflammation. The vet can help you in safe and easy administration of CBD oil to help your pet dog with arthritis. Your vet can assist you in working out a plan to cut down the usage of dangerous NSAIDs. CBD oil may interfere with other drugs and medication, so you must consult your vet before using this strategy.
Conclusion on Hemp Oil for Dogs
Hemp oil for dog arthritis can be a tremendous solution in reducing the symptoms of and managing the effects of arthritis. Consider it if you have a pet dog who is suffering from osteoarthritis and is facing severe pain and inflammation in joints. CBD is made by extracted cannabinoids from natural hemp plants. You can get CBD oil from medical stores without any prescriptions but you should first consult the vet before using it. Sometimes the CBD has THC compounds when they are prescribed for human beings but they are not toxic to them.