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 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. While collapsed trachea in dogs currently has no cure, you can still support your pet by using CBD to relieve the symptoms caused by inflammation.
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.
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.
Can CBD Help a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
Collapsing Trachea is one of the most common canine respiratory issues in this day and age. While collapsed trachea in dogs currently has no cure, you can support your pet by alleviating anxiety and relieving the symptoms caused by inflammation. Thankfully, CBD is an all natural supplement to relieve symptoms of collapsed trachea in dogs!
Table of Contents
What is a Tracheal Collapse?
Tracheal collapse is a progressive, degenerative respiratory condition, often recognized by the honking, goose-like coughing it can cause in dogs. It most commonly affects small and toy breed dogs like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Yorkshire terriers and Mini-Schnauzers, though it can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Collapsed trachea in dogs involves the slow breakdown of the trachea, which connects the nasal passageway to the lungs. The trachea, or “windpipe”, is the tube that connects the throat to the lungs. It is held open by rings of cartilage, like a vacuum cleaner hose, which help maintain its shape. This allows air to travel unobstructed from the mouth to lungs – and back.
These flexible rings of cartilage are only about 83 percent of the circumference of the trachea – the rest is made up of soft tissue. Rather than a complete circle, the trachea’s structural rings are U- shaped. A collapsed trachea happens when these rings of the trachea get progressively weaker and cannot maintain the open structure of the airway. The soft tissue begins to sag and eventually blocks the tube and the free flow of air with it.
Without these rings, it would be near impossible to take a breath or exhale. Imagine trying to suck a milkshake through a flattened straw. That’s your dog trying to get air through their collapsing trachea.
What Causes a Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
In many cases the exact cause is unknown, though it can be genetic. This condition can also be exacerbated by a number of factors that pet parents may not be aware of, such as:
- Genetic predisposition
- Respiratory disease
- Heart disease
- Cushing’s Disease
- Wear and Tear
- Environmental Pollutants
To help prevent collapsed trachea, you should always use a harness rather than a leash. Regardless of your dog’s size or breed, a harness will take pressure away from the dog’s neck – especially when the dog may run forward faster than you can keep up. You should also manage your pet’s weight. Obesity can worsen collapsed trachea. A raw or freeze-dried diet is the best diet for balanced gut health and weight. It’s also important to keep the dog’s environment free of irritants like smoke, excessive hair, and dust.
Much like other degenerative conditions, this disease is chronic, progressive, and irreversible. An episode can be very painful and may last for several minutes, so it’s best to catch this condition before it’s too late. If the trachea is collapsed for an extended period of time, oxygen levels may drop dangerously low and in extreme cases can be fatal.
What are the Symptoms of Collapsed Trachea in Dogs?
As with any progressive condition, it’s best to catch it early. There are several symptoms of collapsed trachea to watch for. If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, make sure to discuss with your holistic veterinarian. Final diagnosis may require tests such as radiograph, echocardiogram , or fluoroscopy.
- Honking cough
- Loud, abnormal, wheezy, or labored breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Blue or purple gums
- Difficulty exercising without breathing issues
- Breathing changes when being picked up
You may also notice the symptoms worsen when:
- Your dog is excited
- After your dog eats or drinks
- When overheated or in high humidity
- When around smoke
- At night
- When there is pressure on the neck or throat area
Conventional Treatments for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
There is no single drug among the arsenal of western pharmaceutical medications that can successfully manage all the symptoms of tracheal collapse. Instead, traditional vets will offer several different drugs in an effort to combat all of the symptoms.
Along with their own side effects, these drugs also have the potential to interact with each other as well as any other medications your pet may be on.
These drugs include:
*Before choosing to wean your pet off of prescribed medications for tracheal collapse, discuss safe weaning with your holistic veterinarian.
CBD for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
Looking for an alternative to the various combinations of different pharmaceutical medications currently being used to aid collapsed trachea in dogs?
A CBD-rich Full Spectrum Hemp extract has been proven to manage each of the previously mentioned symptoms, without the risk of side effects or dangerous interactions that pharmaceuticals bring:
CBD as an Anti-Inflammatory
This property is one of those for which cannabis is most well known. Compounds found in cannabis that reduce inflammation are abundant and diverse. The most abundant phytocannabinoids in cannabis, THC and CBD, both have strong anti-inflammatory properties, while CBC, CBG, and THCV have also demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
In an important study by the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, researchers found that the activation of cannabinoid receptors had a profound effect on inflammatory conditions for their test subjects. The study is quoted saying: “several studies show that cannabinoids down-regulate cytokine and chemokine production and, in some models, up-regulate T-regulatory cells as a mechanism to suppress inflammatory responses.”
By preventing and counteracting chronic inflammation , CBD has the potential to reduce irritation and pressure in the pulmonary system and prevent further degradation of the trachea and supporting cartilage.
CBD as an Anti-Anxiety
Stress, anxiety, and fear can trigger and exacerbate that honking cough associated with a collapsed trachea. Thankfully, CBD is a wonderful, natural way to prevent fear and anxiety without causing outright sedation, as drugs like Trazodone would.
A 2013 article , publis hed in Neuropharmacology, also found that: “In addition to modulating basal anxiety states, recent studies suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid and glucocorticoid systems is the modulation of emotional states and extinction of aversive memories in animals.”
In other words, this means that CBD can help in facilitating extinction of negative emotion surrounding triggers, and helps manage anxiety or panic disorders in people and animals. Perfect, for instance, for preventing the anxiety that comes with tracheal collapse episodes.
CBD as a Bronchodilator
Not only does CBD help reduce inflammation and calm out pets anxiety, research also shows it has the ability to act as a bronchodilator, expanding these airways and letting more air in. During collapsed trachea episodes, the last thing you would want is for the bronchioles to be constricted as a result of an attack.
According to this study, from the University of Florence in Italy, “The activation of CB1 receptors on bronchial nerve endings has bronchodilator effects by acting on the airway smooth muscle and may be beneficial in airway hyperreactivity…”
CBD as an Antispasmodic
One of the secondary effects of an episode of collapsed trachea are muscle spasms, both locally and throughout our pets’ bodies. Coughing fits cause involuntary convulsions and muscle spasms as our dogs try desperately to get a breath of fresh air.
Conventional muscle relaxers and anti-spasmodics have dangerous interactions with other drugs, and are known to be highly sedative. In contrast, CBD from a full-spectrum hemp extract is extremely safe, with no negative effects to our pets quality of life.
During a 2012 study , researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, discovered that patients who consumed cannabis experienced a one-third decrease in spasticity, compared with participants given a placebo. Additionally, the cannabis also reduced the patients’ perception of pain by 50 percent.
CBD as an Analgesic
Finally, full spectrum hemp extract (CBD) is great for reducing pain. Cannabis has been used as an effective analgesic dating back thousands of years. One of the ways it does this is actually by changing the way the recipients’ central nervous system communicates the sensation of pain to their brains.
For example, when an injury occurs, like a dog hurting his paw on a sharp rock, the damaged tissue tells inflammatory and immune cells to begin repairing the damage. The cells release chemicals and proteins to activate receptors on nerves. Finally, these nerves move to the spinal cord and up to the brain causing our dog to feel the pain in his paw. CBD products can be utilized long-term to reduce pain effectively, by weakening these pain signals.
A study published in 2006, in Current Neuropharmacology, states that CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets, suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes.
Dosing CBD for Collapsed Trachea in Dogs
Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Sensitivity can range greatly between dogs, and can even change over time, based on age or chronic illness. Therefore, dosage is most effectively determined with consideration for each animal’s unique physiological condition.
For collapsed trachea, we recommend our Ease tincture, a Full Spectrum extract with 550mg of CBD, and formulated with frankincense and turmeric to target inflammation. Based on experience, we recommend a dosage ranging from 9-18mg a day. Our Ease tincture is specially formulated so that one full dropper (1mL) is one standard dose (9mg of CBD). The best way to administer the tincture is applied directly to the gums, in two to three separate applications throughout the day for consistent use.
Pet parents are often highly concerned that they will give too much CBD and cause harm to their pets. However, more often than not when a pet is not having the desired reaction, it is because the pet isn’t getting the dosage they need for their ailment.
If you feel nervous about experimenting to find the upper limit of their sensitivity, rest assured, it is completely safe.
Here are a few of our incredible reviews related to collapsed trachea in dogs, submitted by some of our happy pet parents:
“I’m giving this CBD 5 stars because it’s the only thing proven to work for my 6.5 yr old Pomeranian. My baby Loki has a trachea collapse and has for the past 1.5 years. He’s FULL of energy, just during the change of seasons his trachea (cough) acts up. This CBD has done wonders since I started. He barely coughs at all!! I’m so excited to continue using this product as it’s helped my baby get back in his groove. Thank you!”- Madison B.
“I purchased Ease for my 14 year old pug who is suffering from a collapsed trachea and joint pain. This product has made a huge difference in her ability to deal with both of these issues. It calms her cough and allows her to move better. She even likes the flavor! Dosing with the eye dropper is very easy and convenient. Thank you!”- Janet H.
“Excellent product! We use the CBD EASE for Dogs on our 13yo Toy Poodle who suffers from a collapsing trachea . He seems to be more relaxed and doesn’t go into coughing/hacking fits as much as he used to. I definitely recommend this product! Thank you!”- Vernie D.
In the end, you know your pet best. Therefore, with the help of a good holistic or integrative vet, you can find the right combination of natural and western style medical treatments for your dog’s specific conditions.
In the case of collapsed trachea, there is so much we can do naturally to slow down the progression of this disease and prevent future episodes. For instance, CBD from a full-spectrum extract is great for our pets immune system, mobility and mental health. In addition, it has the potential to replace each of the five main types of medication used by conventional vets to treat this condition.
In conclusion, along with using a full-spectrum hemp extract, look into ways you the following ways you may be able to fortify your pets defenses against collapsed trachea: