Lupus isn’t a disease we often hear much about, especially not in our feline and canine counterparts. Whilst it is a well-known condition amongst vets and medical professionals alike, it is a rare condition not often seen by pet owners. If your dog or cat is suffering from lupus or you think that they may be demonstrating symptoms that are associated with the disease, CBD oil may be able to help manage the condition alongside other treatment they may be undertaking.
What Is Lupus and What Are the Symptoms?
At its most basic form, lupus is an autoimmune disease which results in the immune system working abnormally and being hyper defensive by attacking normal cells as it perceives them as foreign. This abnormal functioning of the immune system can cause an array of illnesses, some of which are serious as they involve multiple biological systems and functions. There is no widely agreed reason as to why our pets may contract lupus, some argue that it is genetic, whereas others suggest that environmental factors play a role. Either way, lupus can occur at any time during our pets life and present with symptoms that can be difficult to put together under the lupus classification. Both dogs and cats suffer from different classification of lupus, which present different symptoms.
Discoid lupus usually effects the skin around the eyes, ears, nose and mouth of our pets. You may notice that your pet may be scratching more around these areas and when you touch the affect site, it elicits a painful response. The skin may become reddened and break out in sores and ulcers and be the site of bacterial infections that antibiotics won’t have an effect on. Discoid lupus only usually affects these areas and doesn’t impact other biological systems.
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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
This is the more serious aspect of lupus as it can affect any and multiple biological systems at any given time. Due to the nature of the disease and how it can impact almost every part of the body, the symptoms are wide ranging and can become life threatening if not spotted and treated at the earliest opportunity, it is easy to mistake the symptoms for singular conditions rather than an autoimmune disease. Symptoms can include but are not limited to shifting leg lameness, arthritis, mouth ulcers, hair loss and seizures. Due to this wide range of symptoms it can make diagnosis difficult. Unfortunately, there is no curing lupus, it is more a case of managing the impact of the disease and reducing the immune system hyperactivity.
How Can CBD Help Manage Lupus?
Within a whole plant or full spectrum CBD product there are 421 compounds, of which 85 are cannabinoids, CBD is the most talked about cannabinoid and has been adopted by wellness and health gurus the world over with little attention paid to the rest. The research that is being developed is suggestive of the fact that CBD when isolated from the other compounds isn’t as beneficial as all of the compounds working together, as these create a synergist effect. This synergy is particularly pertinent in autoimmune diseases and research. Within the mammalian body, there is a system that is in place that binds with the compounds in cannabis and changes the messages received by the brain. This endocannabinoid system has receptors that are located within the brain (CB1) and on the cells of our immune system (CB2). It is these CB2 receptors that can help change the messages received by the brain and help modulate the immune system. Unlike traditional medicines, cannabis has been demonstrated to provide homeostasis to our inner systems. This equilibrium helps to reduce the over activity of the immune system, particularly in cases of lupus and promote a more stable immune system, without suppressing other systems or functions. Research is still ongoing in this area and the application for lupus treatment is yet to be defined, but research into similar diseases such as MS is yielding promising results.
What Type of Product Is Best For Your Pet?
There is a reason that the majority of people recommend taking CBD in an oil format, not only is it a quick way to take the supplement, it is also because the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our bodies are lipid, which results in CBD being soluble in fat thus delivered faster. Giving your pet oil will also give them a more stable dose that has a far higher longevity than other products such as treats, as the oil is not subject to the same chemical breakdown in the stomach. When you begin to dose your pet on CBD oil, you need to be consistent, if you are irregular with giving the dose you will find that it the impact on health is limited. You want to be able to keep your dog or cat a stable level and dosing regularly will get the most out of the supplement. Whilst there are a lot of arguments for how often you should give your pet CBD, oil has been shown to stay in the blood stream at a stable level for 12 hours, so this is a good benchmark. If you are concerned about the impact of the psychoactive component THC on your pets behaviour, research products that are either derived from hemp or have a naturally lower THC content than the traditional Marijuana plant, but don’t shy away from full spectrum or whole plant extracts as these are the ones that can benefit your pet most.
Lupus by its very nature can be difficult to spot and diagnose, if you feel as though your pet is suffering from some of the symptoms outlined above or has rapidly deteriorated in health, consult your vet immediately. If lupus is the confirmed diagnoses, discuss supplementing your pet with CBD prior to starting, as you will want to ensure that it won’t adversely react with any medication or treatment that your vet is proposing you put your pet on.