CBD oil for our furry friends, does it help them and is it safe?

Health

Mother Nature’s angry wrath can strike fear in just about everybody.

Shirley Clark is a massage therapist, and her terrior mix, Ziggy, suffers from severe anxiety. 

“He would shake very badly and drool and pant. It was so bad that I thought he was going to have a heart attack,” Clark said.

Rapid fire of a booming fireworks display can also tighten a bundle of nerves already on the edge.

“I got him, I believe it was Prozac for pets, which was suppose to help with the anxiety. And he was on it for about a month or two and I noticed zero difference,” Clark said.

That led Clark to thinking, could a natural product the massage therapist developed for her clients help Ziggy too?

Clark came up with one with CBD oil just for pets, and after Ziggy gave it a try, Clark said “He’s about 60 percent better when you give him the oil.”

There’s not a lot of research when it comes to CBD easing nerves, soothing aches, and inflammation for four legged friends. Also, the FDA has not evaluated it for safety and effectiveness.

Related: What you need to know when buying CBD products

One study by Cornell University did focus on CBD oil use on dogs with arthritis. Researchers reported decreased pain and increased activity.

Dr. Jessica Baron, a surgeon at The Veterinary Care Center, cares for pets with osteoarthritis.

“Right now, we don’t have a lot of evidence that it works better than the traditional treatments that your vet would prescribe,” said Dr. Baron. 

Most of what is known right now about CBD and pets she said, is anecdotal.  

“I don’t have a problem with people trying CBD oil as long as they’ve done their research and that they have their family vet involved just to make sure that they are not having any side effects and that it is appropriate,” Dr. Baron said.

12 and a half year old Suzy has lymphoma and arthritis. The Jack Russell Terrior has been on it for nearly 2 years. 

Pet parent Doug Acker said that Suzy jumped a lot when she was younger, and that the CBD oil helped with her pain management.

Related: Doctors predict marijuana will be the ‘next big tobacco’ if legalized in Connecticut

“She would wait for me to carry her up the stairs. The first day I gave her CBD, I turned and looked and she was at the top of the stairs,” Acker said.

Dr. Baron said CBD for animals, just like for people, is not all made equal, so do the homework.

CBD oil is given orally to pets. What about dosage? Dr. Baron said they don’t know exactly what’s safe for pets yet. Starting out with the recommended dose on the bottle is probably best, but always consult with your vet.  

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