If you have heard of Addison’s disease, chances are it is because your pet, or a fellow pet owners’ animal has been diagnosed with it. It isn’t a disease that is very common amongst pet owners, but it is a disease that we should know about in case we need to spot it and get our pet treated.
What Is Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s diseases is also referred to as Hypoadrenocorticism. Addison’s disease is one that is to with the adrenal glands, which are located forward of the kidneys. The adrenal glands produce and regulate the hormone, corticosteroid. Corticosteroid is the hormone responsible for helping our dogs and cats regulate stress as well as prepare the metabolism to respond in a fight or flight situation by regulating the burning of fat rather than storing it. Addison’s disease can also be referred to as the great imitator, as it replicates the signs and symptoms widely resemble other conditions such as shock. Due to its ability to mimic other illnesses Addison’s disease can be very difficult to diagnose, but thankfully easier to treat. More often than not, Addison’s disease is seen in younger pets and more so females than males. The most common age range for Addison’s disease is between four and five years of age. The classification of hypo means that the glands are producing too much corticosteroid which can create an onset of symptoms in perfectly healthy pets such as: listlessness and not seeming fully fit, these vague symptoms are then heightened when your pet is faced with a stressful situation and after a time they can fall into Addison’s crisis. This is the tipping point in our pet’s biological system, the become flooded with corticosteroid and their body is no longer able to regulate and adapt to the caloric and circulatory states when they become stressed. If this crisis occurs, your pet will on the edge of the fight or flight response, which is only increased during stressful situations. Protracting this innate response can result in shock and then death if not treated quickly. Addison’s disease requires lifetime treatment from your vet as the hormone regulation needs to be rebalanced. The treatment plan will start with blood tests every week, then once the vet has calculated the required dose of Florinef, which helps replace missing hormones, the visits will drop down to once every two weeks and then twice a year. Once the initial Addison’s crisis has been averted, your pet may well be underweight, depressed and suffering from muscle and joint pain.
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Can CBD Help Suffers of Addison’s disease?
Currently, there is no literature, research or evidence to suggest that CBD can help prevent or manage Addison’s diseases outside of traditional hormone therapy that will be provided by your vet. However, once you have received a diagnosis, your pet may still be under the weather due to the stress that their body has been through. CBD can help alleviate the secondary symptoms that occur post diagnosis and treatment. CBD or cannabinol is just one compound that is found in the cannabis plant, there are 421 compounds in total with 85 of them being cannabinoids. The cannabinoids are part of a family that interact with our pets bodies to bring a variety of health benefits we are only just beginning to understand. Our dogs and cats are born with an endocannabinoid system, the receptors are located in the brain and within our immune systems. Addison’s disease play’s havoc with your pets ability to manage and effectively cope with stress, even after treatment they may well still be on edge given the ordeal they have been through. CBD can reduce stress and anxiety and it does this by binding with receptors in our brains. These CB1 receptors help reduce anxiety and manage stress by increasing the blood flow to the part of the brain that helps to regulate these physical states. Not only that, CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, the terpenes within the product reduce auto immune response to inflammation and also soothes pain. So whilst CBD can’t inhibit or stop Addison’s disease it can help your pet feel far more comfortable once they have been given the diagnoses.
What Type of CBD Product Is Best For My Pet?
With so many products available to you on the market, you may feel bogged down with choices and unsure what product best suits your pet. Whist treats are the easiest option for delivering CBD, they don’t provide the same level of health benefits as their oil-based counterparts. The CB1 and CB2 receptors in our pets bodies are lipid, so infusing CBD in oil means that it is faster to bind with these receptors, not only is it faster to bind, it also provides your pet with a far more stable dose of CBD, which has a higher rate of longevity than their treat counterpart. Another factor to consider is what type of CBD you want to purchase for your pet, it is natural to be concerned about THC entering your pets system, but don’t shy away from whole plant products just because of one compound. You can purchase whole plant extracts that are naturally lower in THC, but they still give you the full range of benefits from all 421 compounds found in cannabis.
Addison’s disease can be difficult to spot but thankfully it is easy to treat as long as you get to a vet prior to the onset of Addison’s crisis. Before you embark on supplementing your pet with CBD oil, please consult with your vet first to make sure they are happy for you to do so and that there will be no adverse reactions with any medication that your pet is currently taking. Don’t shy away from whole plant extracts, they are an excellent way to make sure that your pet benefits from the full array of compounds that is found in CBD.