Thanks to CBD oil’s lack of side effects on dogs, low toxicity, and ability to pair with other treatment courses, it’s helping many pups retain their quality of life while undergoing a chronic issue.
So, how well do dogs with hip dysplasia respond to CBD treatment, and how much evidence is there for, or against, using CBD in this context?
Why might CBD oil be a good idea here?
Treatment for hip dysplasia should always be determined by a veterinarian. When dogs do present with discomfort from dysplasia, symptoms often stem from inflammation that surrounds the hurting joint.
As a result, many are put on courses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are intended to affect hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which the body releases in response to irritation, injury, or infection. Prostaglandins are largely responsible for initiating pain and inflammation, and so blocking their activity, NSAIDs can often reduce symptoms.
When properly prescribed, NSAIDs are usually safe for dogs, and have minimal side effects. But because they do interfere with prostaglandins, they can mitigate the positive effects of these compounds—the results of which can be serious. In some cases, this can cause kidney, liver, and digestive tract issues.
When could CBD oil help with hip dysplasia?
For dogs who present with NSAID side effects, CBD is able to offer equivalent pain and inflammation reduction by utilizing an entirely different pharmacology and biological mechanism.
Working through the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD is able to affect receptors known to mediate pain, inflammation, and immune response. Research on exactly how CBD interacts with the body’s immune system is ongoing, but the association has been shown in repeated humans and animal trials.
Even for dogs who are on a successful course of treatment, CBD can provide additional, wider benefits, taking out any residual inflammation while also acting on the anxiety and stress that can accompany reduced mobility.
When won’t CBD oil help with hip dysplasia?
CBD won’t cure dysplasia, and it’s also not a substitute for the many beneficial therapies and lifestyle changes that can make a real difference to dogs with pelvic issues.
For example, CBD shouldn’t replace dietary supplements such as vitamin C and vitamin E, which help in their own way to reduce inflammation in the bones and joints (for best results, Pet CBD community recommends large vitamin doses greater than 500 mg).
Canine health and wellness practice Rockies retreat recommend massage therapy as an effective form of drug-free pain relief. Any exercise that helps to move the hips joints in moderation, without increasing pain, can also be beneficial—short walks and swimming are both good options.
At a certain stage of hip dysplasia, both CBD and NSAIDs reach their limits. When the degradation of the joint reaches the point where therapy stops being beneficial and a dog’s daily life is seriously impeded, veterinarians will turn to surgical procedures.
The type of surgery dogs undergo usually depends on their age, lifestyle, and the severity of their disorder. Common options include total hip replacement, femoral head osteotomy, and Dorsal Acetabular Rim-plasty (DARthroplasty), which uses grafts to adjust the way bodyweight rests upon the hip.
The bottom line
CBD can be an effective alternative to treatment with NSAIDs for many dogs who need to reduce the symptoms of hip dysplasia, but don’t gel well with non-steroidal drugs for one reason or another. Often, best results come from using CBD as a supplement to other treatments and lifestyle changes.