Elbow dysplasia is a blanket term used to describe a variety of conditions in the elbow, these conditions can occur on their own or there can be multiple health issues located in this area, resulting in poor mobility, lameness and pain.
Traditional veterinary treatment of these aliments has centred around pain relief and managing symptoms, but with the rise of understanding of how CBD interacts within dogs’ bodies, could this help manage symptoms and give your pet a new lease of life?
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What Is CBD and How Does It Work?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the 421 compounds that is present in cannabis stevia. Cannabis has a range of plants in its taxonomic group, each of which has a different level of compounds which interact with dogs’ bodies in different ways.
For example, hemp stevia has a high level of CBD and a lower level of THC, so its interaction with various systems in the body will be different to marijuana, which has a higher level of THC and lower CBD. Like us, dogs and cats have a receptor system, known as the endocannabinoid system.
There are two systems that fall into this category and each regulate different responses from our body, some physiological, some neurological. It is these innate responses that give us a range of benefits, some of which we are only beginning to understand.
Elbow dysplasia in our pets isn’t uncommon, it can be from birth where there is an abnormality in the growth of the joint which results in a condition called osteochondrosis (OCD). When you combine elbow dysplasia with OCD, they collectively lead to the development of arthritis within the area. Elbow dysplasia can also occur when there is trauma to an area, such as an impact, this will also lead to OCD and arthritis. Whilst elbow dysplasia is common in larger breed of dogs from birth and later on in life, smaller breeds can have it too, especially when they get older.
How To Spot Elbow Dysplasia
The first signs on elbow dysplasia may be that your dog doesn’t want to get up and put weight on their leg. When they do eventually stand, it may be that they don’t want to weight bare on the particular leg and movement in the leg can elicit a painful response, so they may limp. It may be that your dog is getting older and you have noticed that their movement is slowing down and they seem a little more uncomfortable than normal, with swelling located around the elbow area. If you have a puppy who has been born with dysplasia, the signs and symptoms will be similar to an older dog. Elbow dysplasia has a relatively easy diagnosis, a vet may look for muscle wastage around the elbow and moving the joint will be uncomfortable. To get the diagnoses confirmed, an x-ray or MRI scan will show the dysplasia as well as the onset of arthritis, if this is the case.
How Can CBD Help Manage Elbow Dysplasia?
Unfortunately, elbow dysplasia and the resulting conditions (OCD and arthritis) are degenerative diseases that with current scientific understanding, can’t be cured but can be managed well and CBD can help mange these conditions. A whole plant extract (or full spectrum) product can provide your pet with an amazing supplement that will work with their condition. Dogs have receptors in their immune system, known as CB2 receptors. CBD works with the immune system responses to reduce the white blood cells attacking themselves, this can reduce the speed in which arthritis takes hold as well as promote healing due to the reduction in the autoimmune response.
But you don’t just want a product with CBD, the whole plant extract also has terpenes. As aforementioned, there are 421 compounds in cannabis and terpenes are just as important as CBD. They work together to become more than the sum of their parts, terpenes interact with CBD and other compounds to produce the inflammatory effect, this can help manage and make comfortable the pain that is often felt with elbow dysplasia. If you are concerned about giving your pet a full spectrum or whole plant extract, look for products from the hemp variety as these are lower in THC than other stevia. This way you are making sure your pet gets the full range of benefits from talking CBD, rather than just taking the isolate product.
If your dog has been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia, speak to your vet prior to giving your dog CBD to ensure they are happy for you to do so. Once you have had the all clear, you can begin considering what product is best. There are a lot of products available to you on the market, but each has varying results. Oil is a tried and tested method of delivering CBD, as infusing cannabis in oil doesn’t affect its chemical composition or properties.
This is largely due to the fact that cannabinoids are lipid, which results in them being soluble in fat, so they react best with our endocannibal system when they are delivered in this format. They also provide a more stable and consistent result than their infused treat counterparts. Oils enter ours and our dog’s system far quicker than a treat that is swallowed. Oil is also subjected to less bodily processes as we break it down far faster than digesting it, meaning we don’t lose as many compounds in the process. This results in a longer, more stable and consistent dose of oil.
Elbow dysplasia isn’t uncommon in our pets and a whole plant or full spectrum CBD oil can help you manage this condition and provide your pet with an array of health benefits, some of which we are only just beginning to understand. The reaction that goes on in mammalian bodies when cannabis enters our system is still subject to research, but more health benefits are being uncovered every day.