Dogs are a man's best friend. Losing one is hard, so it’s important to know what you can do to help your dog when they're in pain. Laryngeal Paralysis is a Can CBD Oil Help My Dog’s Collapsing Trachea? [Educational Guide] Cannanine™ Ultra-Premium Hemp Oil (250mg, 500mg, 1000mg) $69.99 – $129.99 $39.99 – $99.99 The most potent and cost What's the latest on CBD oil for dogs? For your dog's health and happiness, get the facts, pros, and cons about CBD for dogs from Dr. Buzby.
Natural Treatments for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs
Dogs are a man’s best friend. Losing one is hard, so it’s important to know what you can do to help your dog when they’re in pain. Laryngeal Paralysis is a condition that affects the voice box and can make breathing difficult for dogs due to an inability of the larynx muscles to close off the airway. Laryngeal paralysis can also cause coughing, gagging, choking or vomiting after eating. The good news is there are natural treatments for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs!
Please remember that there is no cure for Laryngeal Paralysis. Surgical correction is the only treatment option for dogs with severe cases of laryngeal paralysis. Less severe cases may benefit from some of the natural options listed here.
Natural Treatments for Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs
If Laryngeal Paralysis is something your dog suffers from, you should consult with a veterinarian. In the meantime, here are some natural treatments for Laryngeal paralysis in dogs that may be of help:
Acupuncture is great for slowing down nerve degeneration and improving function. According to a study done in Florida, acupuncture treatment of laryngeal paralysis in a dog may help. A Rottweiler was presented for bilateral laryngeal paralysis and was given two acupuncture treatments four weeks apart. The dog showed marked improvement of clinical signs over a 6 week period. This is just one of many dogs who showed improvements using acupuncture. Acupuncture may provide a safe treatment option for laryngeal paralysis in dogs.
Since Laryngeal Paralysis is a nerve disease, there are many supplements that pet parents can consider.
Fish oil works as an anti-inflammatory and has been shown to repair nerve damage. Research has shown that fish oil can slow the progression of neuropathy and can even reverse it in some cases.
Can CBD Oil Help My Dog’s Collapsing Trachea? [Educational Guide]
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Help! Can CBD Alleviate My Dog’s Coughing or Anxiety from Collapsing Trachea?
If your dog has ever experienced collapsing trachea, you know how scary it can be. When are dogs are experiencing coughing and discomfort, we’d like to do anything to give them some relief!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for a progressive condition like collapsing trachea. However, CBD may offer some relief for some of the persistent symptoms of collapsing trachea such as:
To skip ahead and learn more about choosing an effective & safe CBD oil for your dog, view our ultimate CBD guide or buyer’s guide here. But first, let’s first dive in to the symptoms, risks, and treatment options for dog’s with collapsing trachea.
What Exactly Is a Collapsing Trachea in Dogs?
A collapsing trachea, also known as tracheal collapse, is a result of weakening in the windpipe, causing it to become squished and making it more difficult for your dog to breathe. Whereas the trachea should be circular, a collapsed trachea is a flattened oval shape and isn’t as efficient at bringing air to and from the lungs. It would feel like the equivalent of trying to breathe through a straw.
Most cases of tracheal collapse are thought to be congenital – inherited at birth – although obesity, diet, environmental factors, Cushing’s disease, and multiple respiratory illnesses may all be contributing factors.
What Are The Symptoms of Canine Collapsed Trachea?
- -A dry cough that may sound like honking
- -Coughing when pressure is placed on the windpipe, such as a leash pulling on a collar or picking the dog up awkwardly
- -Exercise intolerance
- -Difficulty breathing
- -Gagging or retching, especially while eating or drinking
- -Gums turning blue when stressed or excited
- -Secondary heart disease
- -A dog with both laryngeal paralysis and a collapsing trachea will wheeze when they inhale
- -Cough gets worse in hot, humid weather or exposure to smoke or dust
- -Abnormally fast breathing
- -Passing out
- -Unusual breathing sounds
How is Collapsing Trachea Diagnosed?
There are several different ways of diagnosing collapsing trachea. Your vet will probably start with a urinalysis and complete blood count in order to rule out other health issues, like kennel cough. Sometimes a simple X-ray can show the collapsed trachea. Fluoroscopy, a moving X-ray, can show a moving image of the trachea as your dog breathes in and out, but it is a specialized procedure that may not be available in your average vet’s office. An endoscopy – a tiny camera attached to the end of a tube that goes down your dog’s windpipe – can help your vet see any damage to your dog’s trachea, and tissue samples can be removed for additional analysis. Your vet may also do an echocardiogram to check your dog’s heart function since a prolonged amount of time without getting proper oxygen can affect your dog’s heart.
What Dogs Are At Risk for Collapsing Trachea?
If you have a small or toy dog breed, your dog may develop a collapsing trachea, so it’s important for you to understand what collapsing trachea is, what the symptoms are, and how it’s treated in order to prevent your dog from suffering needlessly before you take him to the vet for a diagnosis. And while larger dog breeds may also suffer from a collapsing trachea, small and toy breeds are significantly more likely to suffer from this condition. In particular, Chihuahuas, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Pomeranians, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Toy Poodles, and Yorkies are especially prone to developing collapsing tracheas. Being overweight increases the risk, so it’s very important to know the symptoms if you have a dog that could be at risk.
What Are Some Treatment Options for Collapsing Trachea in Dogs?
The first thing you’ll want to do is replace your dog’s collar with a harness, which will help reduce the amount of pressure on your dog’s trachea. Mild exercise such as slow walks is best, and overexcitement should be avoided.
Mild to moderate tracheal collapse is typically treated with cough suppressants, antispasmodics, bronchodilators, and sedatives to help reduce coughing and anxiety. Your dog’s weight and environment will also be assessed. An overweight dog can get some symptom relief by losing some weight. A dog that lives with a smoker may get some symptom relief if the smoker avoids smoking in the house or near the dog.
Some holistic vets also recommend supplements that may contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.
Severe cases of collapsing trachea may require surgery, where plastic rings or a stent are placed inside the trachea (depending on the area of collapse) to help keep the airway open.
Collapsing tracheas can get progressively worse, so early diagnosis is key for optimal symptom relief. If your dog is displaying any symptoms of tracheal collapse, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
3 Ways CBD Might Help a Dog with Collapsing Trachea
Unfortunately, there is no cure for collapsing trachea. While CBD will not fix the disease, it may help alleviate some of the symptoms experienced.
- CBD may alleviate pain caused by collapsing trachea:3 studies have recently shown the benefits of CBD oil in providing pain relief to dogs. This relief may extend to the pain caused by the coughing symptoms from a collapsed trachea.
- CBD may help calm the inflammation caused by collapsing trachea: The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp within CBD are well known, and those benefits may extend to the inflammation caused by the dry coughing of collapsed trachea.
- CBD may help calm an anxious dog experiencing the symptoms of collapsing trachea: The calming properties of CBD are well known, and many pups suffering from separation anxiety, travel anxiety, or fear of loud noises have seen relief with CBD. This relief may also help a dog who is experiencing anxiety due to the coughing caused by a collapsed trachea.
How Do I Choose an Effective & Safe CBD Oil for My Dog’s Collapsed Trachea?
To learn more about choosing an effective and safe CBD oil for your dog, view our Ultimate Guide to CBD or our 8 Things to Know Before Purchasing CBD for Your Dog.
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CBD Oil for Dogs: Facts, Benefits, Concerns 
What are the benefits of CBD oil for dogs? What are the concerns about CBD and dogs? CBD oil has become an increasingly hot topic in human medicine and veterinary medicine. Integrative veterinarian Dr. Julie Buzby breaks down the pros and cons. Get the latest facts, concerns, and benefits that dog parents need to know.
CBD oil for dogs: a rapidly changing landscape
In 2018, the FDA approved the first naturally derived CBD product, Epidiolex®, for controlling severe seizures in children. The research behind CBD oil for veterinary use is slowly growing, but the legal aspects remain complicated and messy.
Our veterinary team at Dr. Buzby’s—The Senior Dog Company has been researching CBD oil for dogs. For years, we’ve been discussing up-to-date information with veterinary colleagues, interviewing experts in the field, and attending lectures at veterinary conferences. At the state and federal level, information changes frequently. So much so, that it feels like it’s almost daily.
This impacts veterinarians’ ability to recommend CBD for their canine patients and discuss it with clients. Though the landscape is rapidly changing, we’re proud to share what we currently know regarding CBD and dogs.
What is CBD?
Let’s start with the basics. There are over 113 different naturally occurring compounds that can be derived from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The two most well-known compounds are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Different strains of the same hemp plant can have different levels of THC and CBD. Interestingly, the body (human and animal) has different receptors for both THC and CBD.
THC is the compound we associate with marijuana. It is responsible for the psychoactive effect, or “high” feeling after an individual smokes or cooks the marijuana plant. THC binds to CBD1 receptors in the brain that are associated with emotions, coordination, movement, memories, appetite, and pain. CBD1 receptors also are present throughout the body. THC products can be toxic to dogs in high enough doses.
CBD, on the other hand, does not have the same effects on the brain as THC. The majority of the receptors for CBD (CBD2 receptors) are associated with the immune system. When CBD binds to these receptors, it can help decrease pain and inflammation as well as trigger the body to produce its own cannabinoids, which can decrease pain.
Limiting the amount of THC in hemp
The Farm Bill, signed on December 20, 2018, legalized the production of the hemp plant as long as it contains less than or equal to 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. This means that hemp with less than 0.3% THC is no longer considered a controlled substance.
Additionally, the USDA published the final rule regulating the production of hemp in the U.S. in January 2021. The final rule established requirements for licensing and testing THC concentrations in hemp. The goal is to encourage growing hemp of known chemical concentrations to stabilize CBD and THC concentrations in CBD products.
Keep in mind that legality varies at the state level. As you’re probably aware, state laws regarding marijuana are changing all the time.
What are the potential health benefits and uses of CBD oil in canine patients?
What are the pros or potential health benefits of CBD oil for dogs? Let’s discuss.
First of all, in human medicine, CBD oil is being studied and used for chronic pain management, epilepsy, cancer, anxiety, and many other uses. Regarding chronic pain, a study done in mice and rats showed that CBD oil helped reduce inflammation. Also, in a study done on humans, CBD oil reduced the use of opioids (oxycodone, for example) by 64%.
Preliminary research done in cancer cells shows that CBD may be involved in blocking the signals for reproduction in cancer cells. Finally, CBD may have benefits for patients with anxiety disorders by increasing dopamine. (It is worth noting that THC has the potential to make anxiety worse by increasing paranoia.)
The following two benefits have studies to back them up:
1. Research study on CBD and dogs shows it may help manage seizures.
In dogs, two studies have recently been published regarding CBD use for seizures and pain management.
A study by Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine showed an 89% reduction in seizures in dogs with seizure disorders. The study itself was very small—only nine dogs in the treatment group and seven dogs in the placebo group. However, it does demonstrate that CBD oil may help manage seizures in dogs. Colorado State University is currently conducting a larger study to more thoroughly evaluate CBD use in seizure dogs.
2. Research study shows improvement for dogs with arthritis.
Pet parents who have used CBD oil in their pets have reported improvements in gait, sleep, and appetite. Researchers at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine evaluated the use of CBD oil in dogs using the gold standard double-blind study. This means both the researchers and the dog owners did not know which treatment the dog was getting. Theoretically, the results are more accurate from a scientific basis.
Of the 22 dogs with arthritis enrolled in the study, 16 dogs ultimately finished the trial. Dogs received either CBD oil or a placebo oil (olive oil mixed with anise and peppermint oil to have the same scent as the CBD oil) for four weeks, followed by a two-week washout period, then the opposite treatment for four more weeks. In this manner, all dogs were given both CBD oil and “sham” oil for one month each.
Dogs were evaluated based on owner questionnaires, veterinary physical exams, Canine Brief Pain Inventory score, Hudson activity score, and blood work (CBC and biochemical profile).
It is important to note that the dogs included in the study were allowed to stay on current medications such as NSAIDs (examples include Rimadyl, Meloxicam, Deramaxx, etc.), fish oil supplements and/or glucosamine/chondroitin supplements—as long as there were no changes made within the four weeks up to the study or during the ten weeks of the study. However, dogs were taken off Tramadol for dogs and/or Gabapentin for dogs two weeks prior to starting the research.
The study yielded two key pieces of information:
- First, dogs on CBD oil showed an improvement in their arthritis symptoms compared to dogs on the placebo oil.
- Second, CBD oil was safely used concurrently with traditional arthritis management medications such as anti-inflammatory medications.
What are the concerns regarding CBD oil?
What the cons of CBD oil for dogs? There are five concerns regarding giving your dog CBD oil.
1. All CBD oil is not alike.
Because CBD oil is sold as a supplement, products are not subject to the same tight regulations and standards as pharmaceuticals approved by the FDA. There can be marked discrepancy in the CBD concentration reported on the label versus the CBD concentration in the actual product.
Why is this so important? When the CBD concentration differs from the actual product, a dog is at risk of being under or over dosed .
Three different types of CBD are available: full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate. Full spectrum hemp products contain THC, so should be avoided for use in dogs.
CBD oil for dogs products may be human grade, contain natural ingredients, be organic, vegan, etc. These factors do not necessarily indicate whether they are good or bad pet products.
2. CBD concentrations may vary significantly from the amount specified on the label.
The FDA issued warnings in 2015-2017 to certain companies for the CBD concentration not matching the labeled amount. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) evaluated different CBD extracts online and allowed for the amount on the label to vary by 10%. 43% of products had a higher concentration than what was on the label and 26% had a lower amount than specified on the label.
3. Arsenic and other toxins may contaminate CBD oils.
Depending on how it is harvested and processed and what additives or preservatives are used, CBD oils are at risk for contamination. This includes:
- Mycotoxins (a deadly toxic substance produced by a fungus)
- Heavy metals including arsenic
However, you can request a Certificate of Analysis from the company. This document should include a cannabinoid profile with test results showing the concentration of cannabinoids in the product, antimicrobial analysis, pesticide analysis, and elemental analysis to screen for lead and arsenic.
If you use a CBD product for your dog, make sure to check the ingredients. CBD oil products should be comprised of cannabanoid oil and a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil.
4. CBD oil is a legal “grey zone” for veterinarians.
CBD oil falls into a legal grey zone with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), federal, and state regulations. Although the 2018 Farm Bill allowed for the production of specific hemp products, some states still ban CBD oil.
In the eyes of the DEA, marijuana and hemp are federally categorized as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, defined as having a high potential for abuse and no medical use. (Also on the list are Heroin and LSD, to give you a frame of reference.) However, state governments are given authority to determine if they will allow marijuana and hemp-based products to be manufactured and sold inside their state borders.
The Schedule I categorization by the DEA makes CBD the elephant in the exam room, so to speak. Many of my veterinary clients with senior canine companions suffering from osteoarthritis in dogs are asking me about pet CBD oil. Yet my hands are theoretically tied in recommending or prescribing the product. Why? Because according to federal law, medical professionals may not write prescriptions for Schedule I substances, and violators are subject to criminal prosecution.
Always make sure the read the label of your CBD product to ensure your pet is getting a quality product.
5. There is no FDA-approved veterinary CBD oil for dogs.
This categorization also makes research more difficult because there are extra hoops for researchers to jump through for Schedule I drugs. Further, there also is no veterinary CBD oil approved by the FDA. So state veterinary licensing boards default to holding veterinarians responsible for the guidelines established by the DEA. As a result, the American Veterinary Medical Association discourages veterinarians from even discussing CBD oil with pet owners due to legal concerns.
Promising results from dog owners
Anecdotally, a couple dozen of my patients are on CBD oil, in every case because their proactive owners heard about the product and decided to try it for their arthritic dogs. The dog owners have acquired CBD oil from a host of interesting sources—online, a relative, and a local lady who recently opened a side business selling CBD.
My veterinary clients pepper me with questions about how much CBD oil to give their dogs, safety concerns of using it along with other drugs their dogs take, and risks of long-term continual dosing. I apologize to my clients and defer their questions. Not because I am under a legal gag order but because I genuinely don’t (yet) have a lot of answers.
What can we hope for in the future regarding CBD oil for dogs?
Laws have significantly relaxed regarding hemp and cannabinoid products over the past several years. As more states change their laws regarding cannabinoids, more doors should hopefully open for veterinary use of these products.
Also, we’ve seen studies published indicating that CBD oil may have benefits in seizure and pain management for dogs. These are huge strides. Hopefully, laws will continue to relax to allow veterinarians to discuss CBD oil with their clients and to allow for more veterinary research.
Finally, we hope there will be more oversight for product quality and control so that consumers know they are getting a pure, safe product.