Watching a beloved pet die is excruciating difficult. Knowing that you are losing a key part of your life is bad enough, but perhaps the worst part is seeing your pet suffer. Of course, with animals, there is the option of having them put down. But maybe you aren’t ready to make that decision. Or maybe you sense that your pet isn’t there yet either. Palliative care is about reducing pain to increase quality of life.
CBD oil for pets can help reduce your fur baby’s suffering due to a terminal illness or old age because it works through multiple mechanisms to reduce symptoms associated with many diseases and old age. So whether your pet has cancer, kidney disease, seizures, or another disorder, CBD oil for pets can make them feel more comfortable. It is a specialized formulation that is safe to give your pet. It is not the same as CBD oil for humans.
At earlier stages of some illnesses, you can use CBD to treat the disease itself. For example, CBD oil has anti-tumour effects in dogs, slowing the progression of cancer. CBD oil can also be used to treat some of the side effects of conventional treatments for cancer with good effect. But in this article we focus on palliative care, when the illness has progressed to a point of no return and the main goal is to make the last days or weeks more tolerable so you and your pet can make the most of your last days together.
CBD oil is all-natural, safe, non-invasive and well-tolerated, but each pet is unique, and you do need to watch your pet’s reactions to make sure they are doing alright. Always make sure the CBD oil you give your pet does not contain THC, as this can be hazardous for cats and dogs. Below we discuss how CBD oil for pets can help manage some common symptoms, so your beloved fur baby can live their last days in more comfort.
CBD Oil for Pets Reduces Pain
CBD oil can alleviate pain through several different mechanisms and pathways, making it highly effective for pain caused by a number of ailments. It reduces inflammation, disrupts pain signaling to the brain, and also, once in the brain, reduces the perception of pain.
Cannabinoids in CBD oil interact with cannabinoid receptors in the immune system to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory molecules and excitatory neurotransmitters, thereby reducing inflammation. Inflammation usually triggers a pain response, so by reducing inflammation, CBD oil also reduces the pain response and by extension the pain signal to the brain..
Even if the brain does receive some pain signaling, CBD oil for pets has a calming effect on the emotional response to pain, which brings us to the next point.
CBD Oil for Pets Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety in your older or sick pet can have a multitude of causes. Pain can be one cause, but also a general inability to move around as much or perhaps hearing or vision problems can all contribute to a feeling of being less secure and in turn feeling anxious. Pets can also experience cognitive decline with age or illness, which can cause anxiety.
As with pain reduction, pet CBD oil works through a variety of pathways to decrease anxiety. It can boost serotonin in the brain, it can encourage the formation of new neurons within the hippocampus (a smaller hippocampus is associated with depression), it possibly has a neuroprotective action in the brain thereby reducing symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (the canine/feline equivalent to Alzheimer’s in humans). Whatever the reason for the anxiety, the fact that CBD oil decreases it through multiple pathways, increases the possibility of its effectiveness.
CBD Oil for Pets Reduces Nausea and Improves Appetite
Whether the nausea is related to illness, medication, or something else, CBD oil can be a helpful aid as it has been shown to both prevent and suppress nausea. Nausea includes vomiting, of course, but watch for other signs of nausea also, such as: drooling, licking lips, shaking, anxiety, or refusal to eat. Nausea can lead to dehydration or weight loss, both of which lead to further deterioration, sometimes very quickly as in the case of dehydration.
Reducing nausea in itself can help with appetite, as can a reduction in pain and anxiety. But CBD oil for pets can also directly boost appetite since it has a role in regulating appetite hormones and stimulating appetite. As well, CBD oil activates the reward aspects of eating through the cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus, making eating a pleasurable experience for your pet. Giving a dose of CBD oil right before your pet’s scheduled eating time is best — it works that fast.
CBD Oil for Pets Can Improve Sleep
We all know how important sleep is for well-being and pets need even more sleep than we do. CBD oil can help your pet sleep better. A dog needs at least 12 – 14 hours of quality sleep. With reduced pain, anxiety. and nausea, your pet will naturally sleep better. But here too, just as in the case of nausea, CBD oil, has a direct effect on sleep. The cannabinoids in CBD oil interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which has a role in regulating functions like the sleep cycle.
CBD oil can help both you and your pet through the end of your pet’s life, making your pet’s experience more comfortable and reducing stress for both of you, so you can enjoy each other’s company better in that important time.
See our blog post on CBD for pets for more information on CBD for your pet, as well as dosage advice.