Many of us are prone to digestive ailments from time to time, and so are our pets. In fact, dogs in particular can be extremely prone to digestive issues because of the fact that their digestive systems are far more vulnerable to inflammation caused by allergies to certain foods, stress and other common factors. One of the most common ailments that can affect your pup’s digestive tract is irritable bowel disease (IBD). Irritable bowel disease is much like irritable bowel syndrome that affects humans, and it has the potential to cause a host of severe symptoms that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated.
IBD is far from rare, and yet it’s notoriously difficult to treat with conventional methods due to the fact that controlling the severe inflammation can be a struggle. However, pet owners and vets alike are beginning to find that CBD, the leading cannabinoid found in the hemp plant, has the potential to help treat this condition.
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a syndrome rather than a disease, and it involves chronic inflammation along the digestive tract. This is caused by severe irritation that can have many different culprits. Most often, the inflammation exists within the intestines, but in some cases, it can spread to the stomach as well. Because of the inflammation, functions of the digestive tract become compromised.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of IBD vary from dog to dog, but the most common symptoms are intermittent periods of diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, vomiting, poor appetite and dehydration.
It’s important to point out that if a dog is vomiting in addition to other symptoms associated with the syndrome, this is usually a good indication that IBD exists within the stomach as well as the intestines.
What Can Cause IBD in Dogs?
Many factors can contribute to the development of IBD in dogs, although much is still unknown about the origin of this disease. We do know that allergies or intolerances to certain ingredients in dog food can cause IBD as these ingredients can severely irritate the digestive tract. We also know that stress can contribute to this illness due to the link between high cortisol levels and inflammation. It’s more than likely that there are genetic factors as well.
What are the Long-Term Effects?
The long-term effects of IBD vary in terms of severity. One thing that is of great concern is the way in which the illness can prevent proper absorption of nutrients. This can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies that can have a range of health consequences. Additionally, IBD can lead to weight loss, both because it can affect a dog’s appetite and because it can cause the dog to either vomit their food or have diarrhea before all of the calories have been absorbed by the body. And, IBD can cause dehydration due to the persistent diarrhea as well as vomiting.
Common Treatment Options
The first thing that a vet will suggest is changing a dog’s diet. Because diet often plays a role in this condition, making adjustments may be all that’s needed. A vet may recommend a hypoallergenic or raw diet as these have been found to minimize inflammation of the digestive tract. A vet may also recommend making changes that can reduce stress for your dog.
Additionally, there are some medications that are formulated to minimize inflammation within your dog’s digestive system. The prescribing of these medications is based on the severity of the condition.
Could CBD Help?
We now know that CBD has the potential to help dogs as much as it does humans because of the fact that both species share an endocannabinoid system. This bodily system is in charge of regulating the body’s many important processes including inflammation, digestive function, mood and more. It does this by sending cannabinoids to various cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. These receptors utilize cannabinoids in order to essentially repair underperforming bodily systems through a process of regulation.
There are, in fact, many cannabinoid receptors along the digestive tract. Therefore, CBD may be able to directly regulate the processes involved with digestion, including inflammation response.
One recent study found that CBD plays a direct role in the minimizing of inflammation along the intestines. It does this by restoring the body’s natural layer of mucus that lines the intestines as a way to protect them against things that can cause irritation.
How Can CBD Be Given to a Dog for IBD?
Now, let’s discuss the ways in which you can properly give your dog CBD as a potential treatment for IBD. First, be aware that giving your dog CBD is perfectly legal as long as
it comes from the hemp plant. Giving a dog a product that is derived from the marijuana plant rather than the hemp plant is potentially dangerous due to the high THC level present in marijuana.
Always speak to your vet prior to treating your dog with CBD. Once you have their approval, it’s of utmost importance that you find a CBD product from Chill Paws that is specially formulated for dogs, and one that comes from a company with a good reputation. Give your dog CBD in the form of an oral tincture or an edible so that the cannabinoid can work its way through the digestive tract. We suggest daily consumption in order to reap the best possible results.
Give Your Dog a Chance to Free Itself from IBD Symptoms
If you want your dog to be free of the symptoms associated with irritable bowel disease, we urge you to speak with your vet regarding CBD as a treatment option. Research shows that this cannabinoid has the potential to improve the condition so that your dog may once again feel like their normal self. And, thanks to the ever-evolving CBD market, there are plenty of hemp-infused goods that are specially formulated for dogs.