cbd oil for ibd in dogs

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs and How CBD Can Help

IBD is a chronic enteropathy that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats. The term IBD refers to the many conditions characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract such as food-responsive, antibiotic responsive, steroid response cases, or those who are immune suppressed.

The small intestine, large intestines, or both can be affected by the disease. Lymphocytes and plasmacytes are two of the most common cells found in this area; eosinophils, macrophages and neutrophils show up less often than that but on occasion they will too.

IBD in dogs can make life painful and dangerous for your dog as well as very upsetting for you. Treatments can be stressful for both of you, and they can potentially make matters worse. Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) in dogs can be managed and prevented, depending on the cause, and CBD oil can help with both the managing and aid in preventing. Read on to inflammatory bowel disease in dogs and make life much better for you and your dog.

It is unknown exactly what causes IBD in dogs, but it may be triggered by various factors. It’s been noted that many healthy dogs and cats are exposed to the same triggers as those with IBD but never develop symptoms of illness. We’ll take a closer look at these potential contributing influences on gut inflammation in this article before discussing diagnostics, treatment options, and outcomes-based off recent studies done in light of the latest research available.

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Dogs

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is an overgrowth of inflammatory cells in the bowel. This can be caused by several gastrointestinal diseases.

It is a serious illness, potentially resulting in malabsorption, chronic vomiting, diarrhea, blood or mucus in stools, gas, excessive abdominal sounds, and less often, loss of appetite, weight loss, depressed mood, and fever.

The condition may vary from better to worse to better over time, a sort of ebb and flow. So, don’t rule it out or delay treatment just because it’s not constant.

Not IBS

IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, is largely a human condition. It shares symptoms with IBD, so it is understandable to be confused, but the cause is different. IBS is a mental condition that affects the digestive system and does not involve inflammation. IBD is a physical disease at the root.

Colitis in Dogs

Colitis is a common intestinal disease in dogs that consists of inflammation of the intestines and/or colon.

Its primary symptom is frequent, watery stools. The dog will likely seem to need to go very badly and need to go often. They will likely strain to go. It is not uncommon for there to be blood, mucus, or fat in the feces. Vomiting is less common, but not unusual. Weight loss doesn’t normally occur.

Thankfully, the prognosis for colitis is very good.

Gastritis in Dogs

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach, and it may be acute or chronic.

Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration, increased thirst, lethargy, depression, blood in the vomit, blood in the feces, and/or weight loss.

Acute varieties may heal themselves. Chronic conditions fair better or worse depending on the cause.

Enteritis in Dogs

Enteritis is inflammation of the small intestine that may be caused by parasites, allergies, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, abdominal pain, fever, dehydration, and tarry stools.

Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the condition. They may be treated for dehydration and/or given anti-diarrhea medications. Food may be withheld for a short time and then slowly reintroduced.

What Causes IBD in Dogs?

If your dog shows symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, prepare to answer certain questions for the vet. They will want to know about the dog’s diet, allergies, potential exposure to toxins, medications, signs the dog has a weakened immune system and the dog’s stress level. Vets are not 100% sure what all causes inflammatory bowel disease, but research and experience connect it to problems with the immune system along with exposure to threats such as bacteria, mold, fungi, parasites, toxins, antibiotics, and substances the dog is allergic to. It can also be genetic. Stress is a factor.

Sometimes injuries and swallowing foreign objects can cause inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. Be sure to tell the vet if you are aware of either of these things happening, or there is reason to think it likely it did, such as a toy is missing.

Dogs can get enteritis after having radiation treatments. It would be considerate of the licensed vet to give you a heads up about that potential while giving the radiation treatments.

Which dogs get IBD?

Any dog can get IBD, but some dogs are more prone to developing it than others.

The risk increases with age, and middle-aged and senior dogs develop the condition most frequently.

Some breeds are genetically more disposed to get it: Basenjis, French Bulldogs, Irish Setters, and Lundehunds.

Dogs with a weakened immune system and/or high stress level have an increased chance of developing inflammatory bowel disease.

None of these things means a dog is guaranteed to get inflammatory bowel disease, just that they are more likely to than your average dog, and taking precautions could ward it off.

Diagnosing Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD in dogs is a difficult disease to diagnose. It can’t be diagnosed on physical examination, history, fecal checks or radiographs and it’s absolutely necessary for these tests to rule out other diseases that may present with similar clinical signs like parasitic infections in the gut, intestinal foreign bodies (e.g., swallowed objects), liver disease or kidney problems among others – not forgetting cancer which might also cause IBD-like symptoms.

Dogs diagnosed with IBD severely may be experiencing protein loss through their intestines. This can lead to the dog’s body becoming rundown and a long-term prognosis of death being even more likely than before when combined with other factors, such as low blood proteins levels. An Intestinal Biopsy will ultimately be necessary for diagnosis which typically includes an endoscopy or surgical biopsy depending on the severity of symptoms from the patient history.

After examining the biopsy samples, your pet’s pathologist will confirm whether or not canine IBD is present in their body. This information can help tell you how to plan for treatment and get an idea of what may lie ahead.

Treatment Options for Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs

Treatment options vary depending on the cause of IBD in dogs.

Parasites and infections could be treated directly, and the symptoms of the disease should subside. Anti-parasitic or antibiotic medications may be given. Probiotics are a natural way to treat bacterial overgrowth infections and may be good for dogs with a mild case or who can’t use other treatment options. Anti-inflammatory CBD oil might work for both parasites infections, but consult your licensed vet about trying it and be prepared to take a more aggressive approach if the dog doesn’t rapidly improve.

Depending on how sick the dog is, they may need additional help treating the symptoms while the cause is eradicated. A very dehydrated dog may need to stay with the vet to get rehydrated or they may be given anti-diarrheal medications to reduce this symptom while the gi tract inflammation and the cause of it are addressed.

If a dog has had IBD, it can easily come back or may never fully go away, but it can usually be managed so the dog can live a normal life. Most dogs live a long and relatively rich life after being treated for IBD. They should be treated early though to ensure their health doesn’t decline so much that an individual bout of dehydration, weight loss, nutrient deficiency, or infection kills them or causes permanent damage. You also need to know the cause in case there is an underlying condition that needs to be treated, such as an infection of some kind.

For mild cases, and/or ones that seem to be caused by food allergies, the vet may start the dog on a special diet as the only treatment. They may recommend a certain store-bought or homemade dog food. The best dog food for IBD will be part of a hypoallergenic, low-reside, or a high-fiber diet. It may take eight to twelve weeks to see results.

Sometimes anti-inflammatory drugs are given, but vets try to limit their use because they have considerable side effects which can exacerbate symptoms of the disease, such as diarrhea, or cause ulcers, kidney disease, liver disease, or death.

Because the dog’s Gi tract is inflamed due to an immune response, vets may suggest for the most serious cases that the dog take immunosuppressive drugs. This of course, will be weighed out by the concerns of your dog running around with a suppressed immune system.

A bit of trial and error may be necessary to determine what treatment works for your dog. It may take several treatments used in tandem to get the IBD under control.

What do you feed a dog with IBD?

Dog’s diet can affect its life expectancy; it has been observed that people who adopt some form of raw or home-cooked diet are more likely to live longer than those on commercial diets, as they tend not only include higher levels of essential fats but also provide an adequate intake of micronutrients such as antioxidants – which prevent cells being damaged by free radicals – and prebiotics (i.e., organisms including bacteria) whose presence promotes healthy gut flora balance throughout the large and small intestine.

Dog food with a high protein content is best for recovering from IBD. In recent years, many pet owners have been making the switch to organic dog foods due to their quality ingredients and lack of additives that may cause irritation in dogs suffering from this condition.

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Preventing the Development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

It may be possible to prevent IBD in dogs by eliminating potential causes. Using fewer cleaning chemicals and pesticides can reduce their contact with toxins, checking their diet for potential allergens and toxins also limits contact, and helping your dog maintain a strong immune system and lower stress level will make them better able to fight off triggers.

How CBD Oil Helps IBD

CBD oil can help dogs manage their IBD when no traditional treatment methods help them or can be used. It makes a great addition to help a dog deal with the side effects of medications.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical extracted from the hemp plant that boasts similar results to medical marijuana. It has not been as widely tested as marijuana, but it is showing great promise at not only doing the same things but doing them better. You see, marijuana has cannabidiol in it, but it also has a lot of THC, the “high” causing chemical, and it can make one feel powerfully better, but often in the short term and can leave the user with a crash. Cannabidiol doesn’t do that. It is more of a subtle enhancer for the body’s own natural functions and as a natural anti-inflammatory.

This works because humans and dogs have an endocannabinoid system that makes its own cannabinoids. Yes, right now, you and Fido are generating your own cannabinoids, and their balance plays a huge role in your health and well-being. These cannabinoids are not always functioning as they should, and external cannabinoids like CBD can boost their functionality.

CBD boasts a staggering number of health benefits, but here are the ones for IBD:

  • powerful anti-inflammatory properties
  • maintaining a healthy appetite
  • relieving stress
  • alleviating pain
  • supporting a healthy immune system
  • promoting healthy bowel movements
  • providing additional nutrients

As you might have noticed, CBD’s list of benefits may tackle inflammatory bowel disease both where it begins, how it works, and in what it causes.

For the dogs that must take these medications, CBD can also help reduce the side effects from traditional medications, side effects that make them feel weak, have a poor appetite, suffer depressed mood, have diarrhea, and suffer a weakened immune system. These side effects may reduce their quality of life or threaten their ability to keep taking the medication. Giving your dog CBD oil before they are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease could even prevent them from ever getting it. CBD oil treats may also help with reducing stress or improving the immune system in a more palatable form for your pup. And it’s natural with hardly any side effects. If you give a dog an excessive amount of CBD, they may become sedated or experience loss of appetite and diarrhea. That’s it. Granted, you don’t want to exacerbate their diarrhea, but that doesn’t happen with regular dosing. And it’s a far less scary list of side effects than what comes with most of the prescription medications they can take. You know they’re scary when doctors wait until the most serious cases to give them.

Sources:

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, St. Georges University

Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.

Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. We Love You!

Sincerely,
The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments . Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you’ve learned that you’d like to share with others.

Can CBD Oil Help My Dog’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs is a condition that results in chronic intestinal inflammation. It can be serious, painful, and even dangerous, and needs to be treated by your veterinarian to avoid other serious health conditions.

If your dog is suffering from recurrent or chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea resulting in weight loss and poor appetite, consult with your veterinarian to rule out IBD.

Inflammatory bowel disease can affect any dog breed, with German Shepherds, Yorkshire Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels being the most prone to gastrointestinal disorders. IBD is a group of digestive system diseases that are diagnosed by specific symptoms, and also by inflammation without an exact cause.

IBD can affect dogs of all ages, breeds, and sexes. The most common age for the onset of this disease is six years in dogs, though it may affect dogs younger than two years of age.

If you have a furry best friend suffering from IBD, your vet may have recommended a CBD pet tincture. In this article, we’ll discuss why CBD may be beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease in dogs. Keep in mind that IBD is a serious illness that is painful and dangerous to pets.

Fortunately, IBD in dogs can be prevented and treated after a cause has been detected. That said, CBD pet products may be beneficial for decreasing intestinal inflammation, and promoting weight gain.

Glucocorticosteroids are also used as an anti-inflammatory but suppress the immune system, whereas cannabidiol can strengthen the immune system keeping your dog healthy and free of disease and infection.

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD may be difficult to diagnose because of the many symptoms that are similar to other diseases. Severity of this condition depends on the type of immune cells involved which include lymphocytes and plasmacytes, eosinophils or neutrophils (bacterial infection).

There are two most common types that exist in pets. Let’s discuss these, and see how CBD may be beneficial.

Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Gastroenteritis in Dogs

Lymphocytic-plasmacytic gastroenteritis is the most common form in dogs, and occurs when lymphocytes and plasma cells enter the stomach lining and intestines. This is a result of an abnormal immune response to environmental stimuli.

No exact cause is known, but intestinal bacteria may be the cause with the body reacting to the intestinal bacteria. The most common signs are diarrhea, but vomiting also occurs if the stomach has been affected.

Eosinophilic IBD

This is an inflammatory condition affecting the stomach and intestine, and is the second most common type of IBD affecting dogs. Eosinophilic IBD occurs when the lining of the stomach is affected by a specific white blood cell called the eosinophil.

Gastritis caused by the eosinophil (EGE) may be severe and causes intermittent vomiting. Eosinophilic IBD tends to be more serious than lymphocytic IBD.

How is IBD Diagnosed?

IBD may be difficult to diagnose. That said, intestinal changes caused by IBD can be seen when your vet uses an endoscope. Goals of treatment will be to reduce vomiting and diarrhea, to encourage weight gain, and to decrease intestinal inflammation. Modifying dog food diets may also be recommended, and may be effective.

Changes in your dog’s diet may also help enhance medications. This may allow for reduced drug dosages or for a discontinuation of meds once symptoms have improved.

Dog Food Diets for IBD

Dogs may benefit from a hypoallergenic or elimination diet. Your dog will need to have a new source of protein, and/ or diet changes. Sometimes homemade diets are recommended such as lamb and rice or venison and rice. Commercial diets for IBD are available from your veterinarian. The new diet needs to be fed for a period of up to six weeks, with no dog treats, unless approved by your vet. Dogs that have large intestinal diarrhea generally do well with diets that are high in fiber.

Tests for GI illness in Dogs

GI illness that includes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs also include fecal testing. Your veterinarian may do several tests to diagnose GI. These tests may include:

  • Microscopic fecal examination
  • Fecal Gram’s stain (to check for abnormal bacteria overgrowth)
  • Elisa Test to check for protozoa parasite Giardia
  • Fecal PCR test to check for the DNA of numerous parasites, bacterial toxins, and bacteria.

Symptoms of IBD

Symptoms will include vomiting, diarrhea with mucus, sometimes blood, and weight loss, and it may take your vet a while to get to the cause. Dogs affected with irritable bowel syndrome may also suffer from discomfort after eating, causing them to eat less and lose weight. You may also notice frequent, and smaller bowel movements.

Since IBD can result in nutritional deficiencies, the goal of treatment is to reduce diarrhea, encourage weight gain, and decrease intestinal inflammation.

With commercial pet food not specifically meeting all the nutritional needs of our pets, it’s important to include nutritional supplementation like probiotics and CBD to help with digestive issues. That said, supplementation taken as an individual supplement will ensure the right dosage and efficacy more so than supplements that are added into commercial dog food formulas.

Can IBD Be Cured?

Fortunately, IBD in dogs can be prevented and treated after a cause has been detected. Your vet may try out a series of meds, and/or try out new dog food diets to see which one your dog responds to. Because IBD is a complicated condition that may be confused with other common canine bowel problems, your vet will have to rule out other common bowel problems.

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Parasites or dietary issues like food allergies need to be taken into consideration. Food allergies are most times an unlikely cause, but may contribute to the development of irritable bowel syndrome in dogs.

Intestinal Inflammation

  • Can result from excessive allergic reactions to food, bacteria, or parasites inside the intestine.
  • Intestinal inflammation damages the mucosal barrier that protects the intestinal lining, and results in the intestine becoming more sensitive to antigens.
  • If the intestine has persistent inflammation, it will result in it thickening, and cause other changes in the lining of the intestine.

That said, CBD oil may be beneficial for decreasing intestinal inflammation, and promoting weight gain. Glucocorticosteroids are also used as an anti-inflammatory, but suppress the immune system, whereas cannabidiol can strengthen the immune system keeping your dog healthy and free of disease and infection.

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis refers to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It normally occurs in the stomach and intestines resulting from a bacterial infection, parasites, or viruses. They can also come about from a reaction to a medication or a change in diet.

Diarrhea in Dogs

This is a sign of a digestive disorder, and can be attributed to numerous causes. Watery diarrhea that has large volume is usually linked to hypersecretion. This is a condition when there is excess fluid that is secreted into the intestines, and may be the result of a bacterial infection. It can also be caused by malabsorption where the body is unable to properly absorb nutrients.

Malabsorption

Malabsorption comes about when there’s a defect in the intestinal cells that are responsible for absorption. This can be due to viruses like parvovirus, coronavirus, and rotavirus. It can also be caused by defects that would limit the ability of the intestines to absorb liquids. Defects in the pancreatic secretions that are needed for effective digestion also cause malabsorption.

Diarrhea can result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in dogs, which may result in shock. That said, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to check for specific disorders or diseases affecting the digestive system.

Treatment

Drugs may not be beneficial in every case involving diarrhea or constipation. Dogs will sometimes be prone to diarrhea when they need to get rid of harmful organisms and their toxins. Additionally, some of these drugs may not be beneficial in treating the condition. Your veterinarian may also recommend fluid and electrolyte replacement to prevent dehydration if your dog has severe vomiting or diarrhea.

Bloat

If your dog is suffering from one of the most dangerous conditions, bloat, immediate emergency veterinary care is critical in which a stomach tube or surgery may be recommended, if the digestive tract is distended with gas, food, or fluid.

Non-Infectious Diseases

The causes of non-infectious diseases that affect the digestive system will include the following:

  • Overeating
  • Consuming a low-quality diet
  • Chemicals
  • Consuming a foreign object that results with injury to the digestive system
  • Enzyme deficiencies
  • Gastric ulcers

Digestive system diseases include symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea due to kidney, adrenal gland, or liver failure. The causes of bloat or gastric torsion are still unknown.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is a non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid that yields therapeutic and medicinal benefits for all dogs. To help you understand more about the benefits of CBD oil for dogs that have lost their appetite, CBD studies have shown that CBD may be beneficial in improving appetite, easing chronic pain, helping with digestive and skin issues and more!

CBD oil for pets contains 113 plus phytocannabinoids which work together as a therapeutic supplement. THC is the one phytocannabinoid that is not included in CBD pet products. Because hemp plants have low levels of THC to begin with, it makes it easier for hemp farmers to further eliminate THC levels even further so ensure 100% safety for all cats, dogs and horses.

Hemp CBD has a higher cannabidiol concentration, and lower THC level compared to marijuana. Hemp is a natural supplement that cannot be overdosed on. It’s safe and non-toxic, and excess cannabidiol is excreted. That said, it’s much healthier than giving your dog Benadryl or pain meds that may have long-term side effects, and harm the kidneys and liver, although with serious illnesses your dog will need to have pain meds and drugs.

2018 Study Demonstrating CBD Oil for Nausea & Loss of Appetite

A 2018 study shows how cannabidiol (CBD) may be effective in preventing nausea. The study adds that the researchers “ observed a surge in levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the rat interoceptive insular cortex (IIC) — a brain region responsible for nausea in humans — following injection with the nauseating chemical compound lithium chloride.

The increase in serotonin and subsequent gaping behavior (a behavior displayed by rodents to flavors paired with a nauseating treatments) was prevented by treatment with cannabidiol — a form of cannabis that does not contain the component found in recreational marijuana responsible for the drug’s psychotropic effects,” via EurekAlert.

The study goes on to add that “Treatment with a drug that elevates the endogenous cannabinoid, 2-AG, also prevented the elevation of serotonin in the IIC by activating the cannabinoid type 1 receptor. These findings implicate the endocannabinoid system and IIC serotonin release in the sensation of nausea, opening up new therapeutic opportunities to explore in future research.”

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system which controls endocrine processes. When it activates the receptors in the brain and body, CBD also influences the endocrine system. This system consists of a group of tissues that release hormones into the bloodstream, which in turn travel to other parts of the dog’s body.

CBD Interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

Some hormones will only act on a single tissue, while other hormones affect the whole body. When cannabidiol is used in dogs with reduced appetite, it triggers a “jump start” on the endocannabinoid system, and stimulates appetite.

Cannabidiol acts on the endocannabinoid receptors and affects the receptors by regulating neural transmissions. CBD oil for dogs is helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions without taking on the intoxicating effect of marijuana.

Hemp CBD for pets contain phyto-cannabinoids, terpenes and fatty acids which support a huge range of ailments like phobias, anxiousness, joint pain, inflammation, digestive issues, mobility, seizures and anxiety. Today, there are numerous studies that indicate that CBD for pets may have many uses, some of which traditional meds fail to match.

Cannabidiol May Be Beneficial for Digestive Health in Dogs

First and foremost, if your dog is showing signs of illness, consult with your veterinarian for treatment. Some signs of digestive issues in dogs can be serious like poisoning, bloat, pancreatitis, liver or kidney failure or an obstruction in the gut or stomach. CBD does not replace veterinary care or treatment.

Gut Health & The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The ECS includes a series of receptors, specialized proteins, and neurotransmitters that all work together to regulate your dog’s body functions. With gastrointestinal motility issues, the ECS is important in regulating GI motility in dogs.

In addition, research has found that cannabidiol is effective in improving gastrointestinal motility. It does so by reducing inflammation and allowing for proper functioning of the digestive tract.

CBD as an Antibiotic

Another 2019, CBD study from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience with Dr. Blaskovich and his team of researchers together with Botanix Pharmaceuticals LTD, published in the American Society of Microbiology, found that cannabidiol is beneficial in fighting gram-positive bacteria like staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, with potencies similar to that of established antibiotics such as vancomycin or daptomycin. It’s now being researched for its potential as an antibiotic.

CBD for Inflammation Reduction in Dogs

A 2017 study concludes that “”Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation. The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive,” via Science Daily.”

Importantly, the drug retained its activity against bacteria that have become highly resistant to other common antibiotics. Under extended exposure conditions that lead to resistance against vancomycin or daptomycin, Cannabidiol did not lose effectiveness. Cannabidiol was also effective at disrupting biofilms, a physical form of bacteria growth that leads to difficult-to-treat infections.”

Leading research published in Frontiers of Pharmacology adds that cannabidiol treatment improves endothelium dependent vasorelaxation in mesenteric arteries of Zucker diabetic fatty rats. It concludes that “ this study has shown that a short in vivo treatment protocol with CBD was associated with improvements in endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in mesenteric arteries, and an improvement in the profile of cardiovascular and metabolic parameters,” via Frontiers Media SA.

Today, we understand how closely gut health is related to other body systems like the central nervous system and the immune system. With the endocannabinoid system playing a major role in the gut/brain axis of dogs, it seems that CBD hemp pet products may be beneficial for your dog’s stomach problems.

ECS helps regulate digestive signals and transmissions in the body. Receptors (CB1 and CB2) work better with support when the dog’s stomach is upset

It can also be used as a preventative care supplement to boost optimal health in pets.

A new 2020 study about how cannabinoids can help treat IBD in people adds that “ Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have shown a regulatory role in inflammation and mucosal permeability of the gastrointestinal tract where they likely interact with the gut microbiome. Anecdotal reports suggest that in humans, Cannabis exerts antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antidiarrheal properties,” via PubMed.

CBD Oil for Dogs

Cannabidiol oil works together with the ECS to support gut health. If you’re opting to purchase a CBD tincture for your furry best friend as a digestive aid, be sure to look out for the following:

  • Organic CBD oil
  • Specifically formulated for pets
  • Offers accurate and informative dosing information
  • Offers a certificate of analysis (COA)
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CBD can help pets with irritable bowel disease, gastritis, food allergies, and other stomach issues. Additionally, it may be beneficial for both parasites and infections. Studies are still ongoing. Cannabidiol pet products that are of a high-quality CBD oil can also help to reduce the effects of traditional veterinary medications to help dogs feel more comfortable while they’re being treated.

CBD may also help by increasing your dog’s appetite, and also by boosting your dog’s weakened immune system. Cannabidiol tinctures or treats are also beneficial for reducing stress and pain in dog’s that are suffering from an upset stomach.

Minimizing your dog’s digestive issues while boosting immune health involves more than just a high-quality dog food formula. Why some dogs are prone to IBD is unknown. What we do understand is that the extensive infiltration of cells from the immune system into the intestinal tissues causes painful inflammation. Dogs suffering from IBD may display numerous symptoms that may mimic other diseases.

Adding probiotics and/or CBD may be beneficial to guard against intestinal distress, bloat, and to inhibit the growth and activity of harmful bacteria via live microbials. A dog’s immunity also resides in his gut, meaning that looking after your furry best friend’s gut health may just ensure optimal health, vitality, and focus!

How CBD Can Help IBD: Getting Back to Normal

Dogs and cats who have continuous inflammation in their bowels are often diagnosed with IBD or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This condition generally causes excessive vomiting, diarrhea, and/or weight loss . IBD is diagnosed by collecting tissue samples from your pet’s intestinal tract using ultrasound, but surgery or endoscopy (looking inside with a microscope) may be necessary in cases where the veterinary professional needs an extra view.

Regardless of how it’s described, your pet is in pain if she is diagnosed with IBD. According to Dr. Zac Pilossoph, “IBD is similar to a condition in humans known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some pets are responsive to diet changes whereas others are not. Those who are not responsive to diet may be recommended long-term antibiotics and/or steroids by conventional veterinarians. However, in my experience, many of these pets can be helped with minimal long-term pharmaceuticals.”

Table of Contents

What is IBD?

When a dog or cat has IBD, their bowels and gastrointestinal tract are inflamed (1).

There are two types of IBD in pets. Their names can be a bit overwhelming but try not to focus on the actual names; we are simply educating you so you’re aware of the two kinds. They are Lymphoplasmacytic IBD and Eosinophilic IBD. Lymphoplasmacytic IBD is the most common affecting the small intestine, stomach, and colon of your pet.

What are the Symptoms in Dogs and Cats?

The symptoms of IBD are similar in dogs and cats. Some of the most common include (1):

  • Frequent diarrhea: diarrhea with blood or mucous shows there is a problem in the large intestine
  • Constipation: Constipation is most often seen in Manx and older cats
  • Vomiting: Vomiting may lead veterinarians to believe there is an obstruction somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Weight loss: Weight loss occurs due to the lack of absorption of nutrients. There may not be a sufficient amount of nutrients being taken in by the body.
  • Decrease or Increase in Appetite: An increased appetite may mean your cat or dog is not receiving nutrients to their body and may be indicative of an underlying health condition like Cushing’s Disease . A decreased appetite may be indicative of pain, nausea, or general discomfort.
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and spasms

These symptoms can vary in duration, and your pet may only have one or two symptoms.

If you suspect that your pet is experiencing these symptoms, you should seek veterinary help. It is possible for the inflammation to cause partial or fully undigested food into the gut, which may reach the bloodstream, which is why diagnosis is so important.

What causes IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be found in both dogs and cats and with the ultimate cause being unknown. Research has found there are certain items that contribute to IBD including (1):

    1. Bacteria in the Gut: Fecal cultures can find bad (pathogenic) bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
    2. Lowered Immune System
    3. Parasites: Ova, parasite, and giardia tests are conducted to look for common parasitic diseases Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be found in both dogs and cats and with the ultimate cause being unknown. Research has found there are certain items that contribute to IBD including (1):

    Genetics: It could be in their genes. Just as every person is different, every pet is different, as is their genetic makeup

    Is IBD the same thing as IBS?

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have different causes but have very similar results.

    IBS is not caused by inflammation but is caused most commonly by stress and anxiety . These are often used interchangeably, and treatment may be similar (for example, CBD can help lower the stress and anxiety and can be a positive treatment option for both conditions), but they are not the same.

    How can I treat IBD?

    Since there is no definitive answer to treating IBD in our pets, the overall goal of veterinarians is to determine what can be done to reduce the symptoms of IBD. Finding a diet a dog or cat can live a relatively normal life with is the key here. Answers Pet Food is often the most successful brand not only for dogs with IBS, but for a range of other conditions as well.

    Answers Pet Food

    Answers Pet Food is a nutrient-dense pet food line using fermented raw wholefoods. Each diet has been specifically designed by a nutritional scientist for pets of all ages. The Answers diet consists of whole cuts of organic, pasture-raised meat, organs, and bone.

    Does CBD help?

    One of the safest and best options available is CBD for dogs and cats . CBD is anti-inflammatory and works with the endocannabinoid system to restore homeostasis (balance in the body). The ECS is now known to be involved in a wide variety of bodily functions, including (but not limited to) sleep, mood, memory, reproduction, and appetite. In addition, the Endocannabinoid System is in control of:

    • Digestion and appetite
    • Inflammation and other immune system responses
    • Mood, memory, and learning
    • Muscle formation
    • Development of the bones
    • Hepatic function
    • Stress

    The ECS’ ability to improve communication inside and between the body’s systems and restore something called homeostasis is one of the key reasons it affects so many areas of the body.

    CBD and the Gut

    The gut microbiota is where much of our health and well-being, as well as that of our pets, is determined. When it comes to healing your pet, a balanced gut is always the most important factor to consider, and it all begins with the microbiome.

    A microbiome is a group of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and other species found in humans and pets. There is a microbiome in everything. The gut microbiome is beneficial to the nervous system, immune system, and even skin and hair health. The intestinal microbiota affects the brain as well.

    CBD has been shown to promote a stable gut microbiota in pets with gastrointestinal problems. CBD has been shown to minimize inflammation, including inflammation in the gut, and when combined with a healthy diet, it can help to avoid tumors, IBD, and other common problems in the future.

    CBD and Inflammation

    Inflammation is at the root of many problems. Inflammation in the body is linked to allergies, anxiety, chronic pain, autoimmune disease, and IBD, to name a few. Unlike nonselective NSAIDs, CBD reduces pain by enabling the body’s CB2 receptors (which interfere with pain and inflammation) to generate neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids.

    According to research , “migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”

    CBD and the Immune System

    THC and CBD are cannabinoids that interact with the ECS to help the immune system achieve its objective of balance. Cannabis contains not only CBD and THC, but also over 120 other cannabinoids (as many as possible in a full-spectrum product ), terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which contribute to the body’s overall health.

    THC binds to the CB2 receptor, activating it (turning it on) and causing an anti-inflammatory reaction, according to studies. As a result, THC and CBD are classified as an immunosuppressant and are used to manage autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. CBD inhibits T-cells and decreases cytokine production, making it a well-known immunosuppressive agent .

    No Prescription Needed

    Unlike many medications for IBD, CBD does not require a prescription nor does it require extensive, costly, stressful visits to the veterinarian to refill. There are also no negative side-effects when using CBD. Some medications can treat the IBD but may cause new problems in the liver or kidneys. However, the only side effect associated with CBD is that your pet may become a little bit sleepy.

    Administering CBD

    If you have decided to continue the journey with CBD, it’s important to understand how to administer it. For the fastest and most thorough absorption, lift your dog or cat’s lip and apply directly to her gums. This results in CBD connecting with the bloodstream quicker. If you add the CBD oil to food, it may not be as effective and will take significantly longer to make it’s way to the gastrointestinal tract. Check out this page for more info about dosing and administration .