The benefits of CBD in dogs suffering from joint problems are wide-ranging. CBD abbreviates cannabidiol and it is extracted from the hemp plant, a variety of cannabis plant which is closely associated with marijuana. CBD has enormous applications for medical and recreational purposes. It relieves stress, anxiety and reduces pain sensation, which is very beneficial to old pets who have developed a degenerative joint disease or other joint problems that can’t be cured. The use of CBD lets pets enjoy a normal healthy pain-free life.
Before going into details of CBD benefits for dog joints, let’s take a look at joint problems of dogs.
What is a joint, and how do dogs get joint problems?
A joint connects the bones and allows movement. Proper functioning of joints is necessary for efficient mobility and healthy life of the dog, but sadly joints get worn out with age and become painful hence causing difficulty in movement.
A dog can have two types of problems associated with joints.
- Developmental problems
- Degenerative problems
Developmental problems mean that a joint fails to form or does not develop correctly. These problems include hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
Developmental problems like elbow dysplasia are more common in Bernese mountain dogs.
Bones have smooth cartilage at their ends that reduces the friction between them. This cartilage is called articular cartilage. The fluid produced by the inner lining of the joint called synovial fluid, lubricates the joint. Articular cartilage and synovial fluid make the connection between bones smooth and pain-free. As the pet ages, articular cartilage deteriorates, and thus friction between bones increases to a highly painful level. It is called degenerative joint disease.
Ligaments connect bones with bones, and ligaments can also get weaker, unstable with age. Degeneration of cruciate ligament is a common disease of dog joints. It can affect multiple joints in the body. It can sometimes cause inflammation of joints. Once a joint starts degenerating, it worsens with time, and there is no cure.
Predisposing factors of joint problems
Older and obese dogs have more chances of getting joint problems. Although all breeds can be affected by joints problems, some have a higher risk of developing these problems. For example, Rottweilers are more likely to get ankle and knee problems. Newfoundlands suffer the most from cruciate ligament problems. The weight of the dog must be controlled, by using low-calorie diets. These diets are effective in preventing obesity and reducing weight.
Improper nutrition and genetics also play a role in the onset of joint problems in dogs. Any past fracture or infection also makes the dog vulnerable to joints problems.
Every time a dog jumps or runs, enormous pressure is exerted on the joint, and this pressure gradually leads to wearing out of the joint.
What are the common symptoms of joint problems in Dogs?
Dogs suffering from joint diseases are lethargic and reluctant to do even routine activities. They sleep more and are slower to walk. Dogs feel pain when touched or brushed at the joints area. Minor accidents at home, while walking and running, stumbling, and taking more time to get up from a lying position, are signs that indicate that dog might have joint problems and needs to be assessed in detail by a professional veterinarian.
Damage caused by degenerative disease is irreversible, and it gets worse with time. Treatment is aimed at improving the quality of life by reducing the pain and suffering of pets and slow the progression of the disease.
The environment around the pet should be altered to better suit them. Softer bedding and no or lesser use of stairs because stairs cause much damage to joints.
Food and water should be in easily accessible places so that dogs don't have to suffer for necessities. The litter box should be close to the dog.
There are several supplements and medications which slow the progression of the disease and increase cartilage healing. NSAIDs are given to relieve pain, but their use over long periods has side effects. That’s when CBD comes in handy. CBD has no side-effects.
Let’s have a detailed look into CBD.
The CBD oils are extracted from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. Hemp is normally defined as strains of the cannabis plant that contain less than 0.3% THC. THC is “tetrahydrocannabinol”. THC is the primary component in the marijuana plant, which causes psychoactive effects. THC was first found and separated by Bulgarian-born chemist Raphael Mechoulam in Israel in 1964. Tetrahydrocannabinol is absorbed into the bloodstream and passes to the brain, binding itself to the endocannabinoid receptors that exist naturally in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia.
Extraction of CBD
CBD oils can be made in different ways. Crushing the leaves and seeds of the plant and extracting the excess plant material is the best method. Although, this method is easy but is the least efficient method of extracting chemicals from the plant.
CO2 extraction is an expensive and most efficient method of extraction. To remove the molecules from the plant, CO2 extraction involves using compressed liquid carbon dioxide. The CO2 liquid evaporates afterward, leaving only the oil behind
Extraction of CO2 is considered the gold standard for manufacturing CBD oil. It creates the purest products. The extraction of CO2 is an expensive operation, but the quality is worth it. These extracts can be converted to crystalline form and used as solid substances such as gummies.
How does CBD work?
All mammals, humans, and dogs have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls various homeostatic mechanisms in the body. CBD interacts with receptors in the ECS to produce its relaxing and soothing effects.
How CBD is effective against joint problems?
By lessening inflammation and dampening pain signals in the nerves, CBD oil alleviates pain. A lot of traditional pain medications involve either steroids or opiates. Both types of treatment are effective at relieving pain but have many side effects like weakness, constipation, vomiting, or skin problems. The use of NSAIDs over prolonged periods also causes gastrointestinal problems.
On the other hand, CBD is not associated with the harmful effects of traditional pain management treatments. CBD is frequently used against the severe pain associated with arthritis, neurological conditions, and pain from physical trauma. CBD can also be used to manage symptoms associated with chronic pain, such as joints degenerative disease. Therefore, the use of CBD enables the dog to enjoy a pain-free life without having to worry about the side-effects of traditional medicines.
- MSD Veterinary Manual
- Piermattei’s Atlas of Surgical Approaches to the Bones and Joints of Dog and Cat
- Guide to the dissection of Dog by Septimus Sisson
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