As pet owners, we try our hardest to keep our furry friends out of danger, but accidents happen. Any active pet may end up hurting themselves at some point, even if we go above and beyond to keep their environments as free of danger as possible. A more common type of injury that can affect both canines and felines is carpal hyperextension, which can lead to pain around the wrist area, and make movement difficult.
Carpal hyperextension does need to be treated, or else it can become worse over time. There are various treatment options available, and the exact treatment depends on the severity of the injury, which is something that your veterinarian will be able to diagnose. But more pet owners are finding that CBD may be able to help your precious companion manage some of the pain caused by this injury.
Carpal Hyperextension Injuries in Pets
A hyperextension injury is a type of injury in which a joint is extended beyond its physical limits. All of our joints can be extended up to a certain point, and when that point has been exceeded, the ligaments and surrounding tissue can become damaged. A carpal hyperextension injury is hyperextension of the wrist and is the most common type of hyperextension injury in cats and dogs.
Carpal hyperextension is more common in larger pets, but any pet that is active to some degree can experience it. It can affect pets of any age, and while it’s more common for dogs to experience this injury, it happens in many cats as well. It can be caused by trauma to the wrist area or can develop over time.
A pet with carpal hyperextension may be seen walking with a limp, as the affected area becomes painful. There may be swelling surrounding the area, and it may be tender to the touch.
Easing Your Pet’s Carpal Hyperextension Injury
In order to treat your pet’s carpal hyperextension injury, you must see a vet as soon as you notice symptoms. Your vet will diagnose the injury to make sure that the pain isn’t being caused by another factor.
There are a few ways to treat carpal hyperextension, which vary based on how severe the injury is. The severity depends on the damage to the affected tissue.
More minor cases can be resolved basically on their own but will likely require some type of split that prevents more of a burden to the affected area. Because we cannot tell our furry friends to rest while the area heals, a stint makes sure that there is less pressure on the wrist that is injured.
Physical therapy may be necessary to help the muscles of the area regain their strength. Hyperextension can become worse if the area loses its muscle strength, causing the wrist to work too hard to make basic motions possible. Physical therapy can help your cat or dog learn to reuse the wrist in a way that doesn’t require too much extension of the joint. It also helps strengthen the wrist so that further injury is prevented.
For more severe cases, where the ligaments and joint itself are quite damaged, surgery may be necessary. Typically, surgery for this type of injury is more common in older pets who are more prone to breaking or spraining this area due to weakening of the ligaments and joints. It’s also more common among older cats and dogs because the body heals more slowly when they are past a certain age.
Pain medications may be prescribed to help your pet manage the pain levels that result from this injury, as carpal hyperextension is known to be quite painful.
CBD for Pain
Cannabidiol is a dominant chemical compound in the hemp plant. Being a cannabinoid, which is a type of compound unique to the cannabis genus to which hemp belongs, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body through the endocannabinoid system, which all mammals share. Cannabinoid receptors use cannabinoids like CBD to regulate specific bodily actions, including ones related to inflammation and pain levels. Because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, CBD works for pets in the same manner that it works for us. Furthermore, it’s nontoxic to pets.
At this point, an array of studies have shown that cannabidiol offers anti-inflammatory properties, which is useful as inflammation is largely responsible for the pain caused by carpal hyperextension. The surrounding tissue becomes inflamed as a result of the injury and can struggle to heal.
Cannabidiol also offers analgesic properties, meaning that it can desensitize pain receptors in the brain that receive pain signals from the nervous system when an area of the body is injured. This comes from the role that cannabinoid receptors play in managing pain sensitivity.
Would CBD Balm Help?
A CBD balm is a topical product that uses cannabidiol as its active ingredients, and they make many CBD balms for pets that contain ingredients that are safe for them. It is massaged directly into the affected area (in this case, the carpal region), which allows the cannabinoid to absorb through the skin and bind to cannabinoid receptors in the tissue of and surrounding the wrist joint. This provides a more targeted ability to provide relief, while giving CBD to the area in a concentrated manner.
Using Topical CBD on Your Pet: What to Know
If you have an interest in applying CBD balm to your pet for a carpal hyperextension injury, you should first discuss doing so with your vet. Bear in mind that CBD balm should not be used in place of, but rather alongside other treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
It is important that you choose a CBD balm formulated specifically for pets, to ensure that the formula does not contain ingredients that may be harmful to them, such as certain essential oils. You will want to apply the balm daily, up to twice a day, directly to the affected area.
Overall, Carpal hyperextension can cause a lot of pain in cats and dogs, and because they require the use of their wrists for simple getting around, it can be difficult to heal. Fortunately, there are various treatments available for this type of injury, and CBD balm, with its potential pain-relieving properties, can be used as a natural means to help them manage the symptoms as the area heals. Again, as we cannot stress this enough, talk to your veterinarian about using a CBD balm, and from there, check out the pet-friendly balms that we offer at Chill Paws.