Intervertebral Disc Disease is a condition where the spinal discs between the vertebrae of the spine degenerate. Learn more about this condition and what CBD oil can do for your dog! Degenerative Disease can cause a lot of pain in our dogs. And instead of going to pain medication, there are natural solutions like CBD.
CBD for IVDD in Dogs – Does It Work?
Friends, family, and patients with dogs come to us for solutions to their families’ health problems, including their furry family members. One common problem we hear about is joint pain in older dogs. Jamie and I are always looking for better solutions for these common, chronic issues.
When the owner of a CBD company called Relievet asked for a professional review of their products as dog-owning pharmacists, we happily agreed. We hadn’t considered using CBD before and it was a great learning opportunity.
What Jamie and I found was a dedicated team devoted to helping dogs with pain and anxiety, offering industry-leading products that set the standard for quality, good faith, and carefully following scientific research on CBD. While the research on CBD is promising, for us, the proof also has to be in the pudding.
So we tested Relievet’s products, and we’ve seen them work for our dog’s joint pain without causing any of the toxic effects associated with certain CBD extracts.
My reading of studies on different CBD extracts lead me to feel comfortable with Relievet products. They use the most evidence-based formulations dosed at the levels studied in published research.
We talked to Chris, the founder of Relievet, about his approach. He is deeply passionate about making the best possible products and making them easy to use for pet owners. During one of our conversations, he invited my wife Jamie and I to join his team as formulators and expert consultants.
We were excited to join – I love research and Jamie was excited to apply her strong background in confectionery and pharmacy compounding to coming up with new ways for pets to feel better.
Lately we’ve had a friend ask us about a disease that causes joint pain in dogs – specifically breakdown of the spine. It leads to extreme discomfort, lack of mobility, and loss of quality of life in dogs. Here we’d like to share some of the answers we came up with for them – we hope they’ll guide you and your veterinarian in helping your four-legged family members too!
CBD For Joint Problems in Dogs
Before we dive into why you should consider CBD for your dog’s joint problems, we’d like to share a story one of our customers told us after trying Relievet:
“I have been using Relievet products for at least a year now. I use it for my old dog, Misty, who has trouble with hip pain and walking. I also use it for my daughter’s cat who is very anxious and tends to bite and scratch a lot. I see so much of a difference in Misty’s walking when she takes her Relievet.
I just bought the freeze-dried treats in beef liver flavor and she loves them! Easier to give than the drops. I give the cat drops mixed into his wet food and after an hour he is so mellow and loves cuddling! His bites and scratches are rare when he has his drops.
I recommend these CBD drops to friends and family with pet issues. I’ve tried other dog treats and they don’t work as well. Plus I think Relievet is a better value. You get more for your money. I buy directly from their shop in San Diego now. I first ordered online and it arrived so quick!”
QUIZ: Which CBD Product Is Best For Your Dog?
What is IVDD in Dogs?
IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, is a condition¹ that occurs in dogs when the soft discs between the bones in their spine break down.
You might have also heard this called “herniation”, “bulging discs”, or “degeneration.” When this happens, it can cause the small bones of the back, called the vertebrae, to grind against each other without cushioning.
This bone-on-bone grinding is painful and causes inflammation, pain, and nerve damage that also leads to nerve pain.
What are the Symptoms of IVDD?
IVDD can have many symptoms. Some of the more common ones include:
- Pain in the neck or back
- Difficulty walking
- Not eating as much
- Holding head low, unable to lift head
- Paralysis (inability to move)
How to Treat IVDD?
Moderate IVDD that causes pain but is not life threatening can be treated with pain medications. Veterinarians can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs like carprofen to help your dog feel better. Carprofen can cause some serious side effects, especially when used in the long term.
A natural alternative, CBD, is shown to be effective² in dogs for conditions causing joint pain, as long as the correct formulation is used. Later in the article we go into more depth on how to choose the best CBD products, but in short the evidence most supports the use of THC-free broad-spectrum extract products.
If you’re worried about the possible negative effects of NSAIDs³ and want an all-natural alternative, it’s worth bringing up good CBD extracts with your veterinarian. Relievet’s products follow the science. They are evidence-based to provide the safest and most effective relief for your pet. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment for your individual pet!
How to Choose the Best CBD Products for IVDD
There are two main types of CBD products available that help with dog joint pain: Oral treats given by mouth and under-the-tongue oils. Oral CBD treats are typically fed to the pet in whole or half treats to get the right dose, while CBD oil is applied right under the tongue.
CBD oil contains cannabidiol, an anti-inflammatory compound found in cannabis plants. Some oils and treats use full-spectrum extract that contains CBD and THC, or tetrahydrocannabidol. It’s important to avoid full-spectrum extracts. THC is toxic to dogs⁴, and CBD extracts that contain THC are more likely to hurt dogs⁵ than those that are THC free.
One study’s authors reported: “…at our investigated doses, a CBD-predominant oil formulation was safer and more tolerated in dogs than oil formulations containing higher concentrations of THC.”
Broad-spectrum extracts like those from Relievet have CBD with no detectable THC. This means they do not have the toxicity risks of THC at all! It’s been reported in at least one study⁶ that THC-free CBD products do not even increase liver enzymes in dogs – one of the only concerning things reported about CBD extracts in general. “Daily administration of CBD for 30 days does not alter alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or alkaline phosphatase (ALKP) levels.”
The extract should use a carrier oil that is safe and effective for dogs. An Italian study comparing different common oils found that MCT oil products remain stable for longer⁷ and help absorption. This is why Relievet CBD oils use MCT oil as a carrier – it’s safe for dogs and works well to keep CBD potent and stable.
Relievet focuses on making products that are simple, natural, and affordable.
That’s why there are only two ingredients in Relievet CBD oils: Broad spectrum, THC free CBD extract and MCT oil!
Whatever product you choose for your dog, make sure it’s science based like Relievet oils: Broad-spectrum (lab verified THC-free), and using a carrier oil like MCT that keeps the CBD stable and potent.
We generally recommend oils given under the tongue for any dog that can take medicine this way over treats. The CBD oil is more likely to get into their bloodstream effectively. Treats absorb through the stomach and small intestine and a lot of the CBD can be broken down in digestion or through the liver as a result.
If you do use treats, your pet may require a higher dose. Work with your veterinarian to see what’s best for you and your pets.
How to Dose CBD for IVDD in Dogs
Some websites promote the use of CBD extracts at very high doses (one dose fits all dogs) even for small dogs. Some even claim that CBD extracts are not toxic at any dose. This is simply untrue, especially for full-spectrum CBD extracts that contain THC . As we’ve discussed, THC is known to be toxic to dogs⁸ and causes stumbling, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, agitation, and the inability to stop urinating.
Studies support⁹ dosing at 2mg/kg for dogs when using a sublingual oil for joint pain.
“This pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.”
Doses may need to be carefully titrated up when using treats because the absorption and metabolism of CBD from the gut can use up some of the dose before it gets into your pet’s bloodstream. Work with your veterinarian to find the lowest dose that gives your dog symptom relief.
Using higher doses than the minimum needed to successfully treat your dog’s symptoms only does two things: Increases the chance your dog has negative side effects and helps the manufacturer make more money by selling you more CBD extract than you need. Relievet is dedicated to safe, easy to use, cost-effective dosing. All our products are formulated for specific dog weights with dose droppers that are easy to use.
We hope this helps you work with your pet’s health team to find a solution as good as the one we’ve found for our dog Penny. If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you!
CBD Oil For Degenerative Disease In Dogs
How could CBD oil help your dog with a degenerative disease? Well, where do we begin? The benefits are endless . Not only does CBD help your dog with the degenerative disease, but CBD helps your dog’s overall health as well as associated pain and anxiety. CBD oil reduces inflammation, reduces pain, provides dogs with more energy, helps with reducing the amount of stress they are experiencing, prevents infection, helps in the healing process, and gives their immune system a boost.
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The Pain of Degeneration
What matters most in pets suffering from degenerative diseases is ensuring their life is full of joy . Making each day count is critical. The term ‘degenerative’ means the condition will continue to worsen over time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t methods that can be implemented to increase the joys of life during this time period.
We want to reduce the amount of pain and stress they are feeling to make sure each day is a good one . Usually, drugs like Rimadyl would be prescribed to reduce inflammation, and therefore assist in reducing pain in pets with degenerative diseases. Unfortunately, drugs like Rimadyl are extremely harsh on our pet’s body and can cause stomach ulcers, liver toxicity, and kidney failure.
Here’s what CBD comes in. CBD helps reduce inflammation in the body and offers a natural, side-effect free solution to pain and inflammation.
CBD works with a part of the body known as the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is existent in nearly every living organism ranging from humans to insects (yes, insects!). The purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to regulate homeostasis; bringing the body back to balance.
CBD helps by communicating with various cell types within our body using the body’s receptors. The communication between the cells has a job to do. Their job is to defend the body. They are the warriors in the frontline.
One of the most promising OA studies was conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine. Like previous studies, they found significant improvements in dogs with Osteoarthritis, who received consistent doses of full-spectrum hemp extract. The study, using In vitro and in mouse models, found that CBD significantly attenuated the production of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α while elevating levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10. In the veterinary study, CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion among animals with an affirmative diagnosis of OA.
Another study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology also states that cannabinoid receptors have shown therapeutic value against inflammatory and neuropathic pains and also concluded that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes.
Another study, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, studied the role of cannabinoid receptors in inflammation induced demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Cannabinoids are well known immunomodulatory molecules that act through CB1 and CB2 receptors.
A decrease in pain and an increase in activity can dramatically change the life of your dog… and you!
Dementia/ Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)
As a dog ages, there may be a change in her behavior. At first, you likely won’t notice the subtle changes, but if you have a senior dog and notice changes in behavior, it’s time to take her to your veterinarian and find out if she has Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (AKA doggy Alzheimer’s).
CBD has been shown to reduce symptoms of neurological issues in dogs. It’s so effective that the United States government has a patent on cannabis as a neuroprotectant . In addition to reducing the risk of developing CCD, CBD can help, once your dog has been diagnosed, by reducing anxiety and increasing comfort throughout her remaining years.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
IVDD can be extremely frightening, stressful, and traumatic to your dog. Handling chronic pain and sometimes losing the ability to play, walk, and/or run, can send your dog into a state of depression. Dogs who undergo surgery for their IVDD may need to be confined to a crate until they are close to done or done healing. Providing CBD for anxiety during these difficult times can help your dog rest during recovery as well as reduce daily anxiety in general, pain, and inflammation.
Muscle spasms are also common with Intervertebral Disc Disease . These muscle spasms can be incredibly painful so it’s critical we, as pet parents, do all we can to prevent them from occurring or help them occur less frequently. A full-spectrum CBD product can reduce muscle spasms keeping your dog more comfortable, less anxious, with fewer IVDD effects.
A Testimonial from Rocky: The Shih Tzu
Rocky, a 16-year-old Shih Tzu , was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease which worsened with inflammation. In addition to degenerative disc disease, Rocky suffers from arthritis and has an inoperable tumor on his body .
Rocky’s owners decided to take a leap and try CBD oil. Rocky was provided with 1 mL of HEAL 1100 mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract once daily in the morning and REMEDY 150 mg Full Spectrum Hemp Extract Salve on the tumor twice daily.
Since the regimen has started, Rocky’s owners reported Rocky’s ‘old behavior’ has now become more puppy-like and he appears to be feeling significantly better after taking HEAL.
Rocky’s level of inflammation has dramatically decreased and his overall health has drastically improved.
Since beginning the REMEDY treatment (applied twice daily), his tumor has shrunk in size, and Rocky no longer has infections from excessively licking his tumor area.
Now, that’s a success story!
A Testimonial from Toothless: A Courageous Canine
The testimonial from Toothless , a dog diagnosed with IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) was provided to us by yet another dog lover helped and we couldn’t be more ecstatic hearing the results. This is his story:
“This is Toothless! He is a gem and stole our hearts as soon as we met him. We rescued him 4 years ago, but the past he left behind is catching up to him. The little fella suffers from IVDD (disc disease), and sadly he collided with his big k9 sister coming in from outside. It was the worst “flare-up” we have ever seen. We went to the emergency vet twice and after he was fully loaded with SO MANY drugs, it just wasn’t working. He was spending his days whimpering and yelping out in pain.”
“Heads hung, feeling defeated & preparing for the worst, we decided to try alternative and less invasive methods. I found a local vet that thinks more holistically and got our boy in for a consult. We’re now on a path to recovery with acupuncture, laser therapy, and you guessed it – CBD oil! EASE, to be exact!”
“Since his first porcupine sessions and applications of the oil, our boy is finally able to rest and let his body heal. Inflammation is decreasing and his ears are finally standing upright again. There’s no doubt that we are early in this process, or that we have a ways to go, but we are so relieved to have found something that seems to provide relief and isn’t pumping him full of contradicting medicines!”
The number of success stories are continuous. We are thrilled to share them with all of you.
Don’t Let the Disease Win
Even though a disease is degenerative, that doesn’t mean your dog or your family have to spend the final days in agonizing pain or agony. T he final days can be full of happy memories you will treasure for the rest of your life. And, you can feel good knowing that you gave your dog the ability to enjoy life despite the disease.
Don’t let the disease win. Be happy. Have fun. Enjoy life.
If you have a success story to tell, please send it in! We would love to share it with all of our friends here at CBD Dog Health!