Your pet on pot, or even CBD: Not a good thing, a vet toxicologist explains
John P. Buchweitz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Michigan State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
My family and I were on vacation in Florida recently and took advantage of a free afternoon to do some gift shopping for local memorabilia – not your ordinary T-shirts and key chains. Our adventure took us to St. Armand’s Key, part of Sarasota, and the many unique shops there.
While meandering between shops around the outdoor circle, my daughter, 14, was often quick to ask the locals, “Can I pet your dog?” She was missing her dog, Belle, who was being boarded back home and thought it would be a good idea to get her something too.
In our efforts to find Belle a gift, we stumbled upon the most unlikely of shops – a store that proudly advertised CBD (cannabidiol) for you and your pets. CBD is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant, but it does not contain THC, the chemical in pot that makes people high. Nonetheless, CBD appears to be the molecule of the moment after the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug in June 2018 that contains a CBD derivative to treat some forms of epilepsy.
Now, in all honesty, I was quite hesitant to make my way in, but there were quite a few dogs and their owners entering and exiting with various products – not all appearing to be CBD-related. So, I looked at my wife and said, “Why not?”
As a board-certified toxicologist at a major veterinary diagnostic laboratory, I have had experience working with a broad spectrum of poisoning incidents in all types of animals, including our companions. Recently, our lab has seen an increase in the number of positive tests for marijuana in dogs, many of whom may have accidentally ingested edible forms of marijuana. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has reported a more than 700 percent increase in calls related to marijuana to its poison center in 2019.
As a dad and as a toxicologist, I welcomed the idea of answering my daughter’s questions about CBD and other chemicals in marijuana that are making their way to our pets. But, of course, I had to start with providing her with some context.
‘Why would people give it to their pets?’
Several items caught my daughter’s attention and, of course, she chuckled with amusement. In that moment, though, she began to ask some great questions: “What is CBD and hemp, and why would people give it to their pets?”
I first reminded her of the most recent election. In 2018, we saw the number of states that legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use expand to 33, including our home state, Michigan. Because of this legalization, there was also a marked expansion in the quantity and types of marijuana-related products available to people and pets, including hemp and CBD oils and pet treats.
So, what is the difference and significance of these products? Marijuana – also known as Cannabis sativa – is comprised of somewhere between 66 and 113 different cannabinoid compounds. Of these, recreational use of marijuana is sought after for the psychotropic “high” produced by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Humans either smoke marijuana or convert it into butters or oils for baked products – most notable of these are the often joked about “brownies” – or other edibles such as candy, or they may use the oil itself.
These edible formulations are more problematic for our household companion animals as these are more likely to contain higher concentrations of THC. And, they often include other ingredients that may independently cause harm to your pet such as chocolate, sugar and xylitol, a sugar substitute.
We have received cases at the veterinary diagnostic laboratory in which animals have been either inadvertently or intentionally exposed to marijuana products.
THC is known to be toxic to dogs. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, common signs of marijuana toxicosis that owners may notice include inactivity; incoordination; dilated pupils; increased sensitivity to motion, sound or touch; hypersalivation; and urinary incontinence. A veterinary exam can reveal depression of the central nervous system and an abnormally slow heart rate. Less common signs include restlessness, aggression, slow breathing, low blood pressure, an abnormally fast heart rate, and rapid, involuntary eye movements. In rare cases, animals can have seizures or become comatose.
Hemp differs from marijuana in that it has a significantly lower THC content with predominantly more CBD. In a sense, this lessens the chances that an individual or pet will experience the negative side effects of THC, as CBD doesn’t exert the same psychoactive potential. However, there are no regulations on the chemical makeup of hemp products and therefore no way of really knowing, apart from relying on manufacturers’ labels for batch-to-batch variability in THC content. Additionally, very little is known regarding the long-term health effects of chronic exposure to these products, or about their use in conjunction with other medications.
Last, many CBD oils have claims of even higher purity than hemp. Similarly, though, these products are not regulated and therefore may still exhibit variability in chemical makeup. Additionally, many of the claims about cannabinoids’ effectiveness are anecdotal and have not yet been scientifically proven. This means that doctors of humans and animals remain somewhat skeptical about the potential benefits to their patients.
Why you shouldn’t give pot to your pets
So, why do people give these products to their pets?
For marijuana itself, my answer to my daughter was blunt. It is simply ignorance, or an abusive behavior that spawns from negligence. There are no good reasons to give your pet a “high” regardless of whether the product is legal for human medical or recreational purposes.
Pets are not people. Many prescription and over the counter drugs as well as foods that are safe for humans are not safe for pets. For example, alcohol is also toxic to pets and while some owners may think it’s funny to let their pets drink their beer or liquor, it can in fact be quite dangerous for the animal.
As for hemp and CBD oils – as a toxicologist, I am skeptical at best.
It is difficult to watch our pets suffer through anxiety or pain from ailments such as cancer. However, although these products have been touted for their therapeutic potential, none of them have gone through the rigor of an FDA approval. Anecdotal findings and limited case studies in humans do not constitute the wealth of information that is needed to establish these products as “safe” for our pets.
For people, there is an inclination to deem products that originate from plants as being “natural,” and thus rather arbitrarily “safe.” This, too, can be harmful. Simply put, “natural” does not always equal “safe.”
There is something to be said about the doctor-patient relationship in treating the whole patient – this goes for pets and their veterinarians as well. When we choose to use supplements, this needs to be disclosed to a licensed professional so as to allow for conversations about risks and continued health monitoring. It is not wise to bypass our trained professionals for the ill-trained Dr. Google.
As I continue to see more of these products show up in veterinary diagnostic samples, our interpretations will continually be guided by future scientific studies and case-based outcomes. Hopefully, a fuller understanding of these products and their associated benefits and risks will be had.
Can Cbd Oil For Dogs Cause Bladder Infections
Cbd Oil Can Give A Urinary Tract Infection | The McGill Daily.
Why does my dog keep getting bladder infections?
Bladder infections are somewhat common — affecting up to 27% of dogs — and have many potential causes. Typically, they’re a result of bacteria traveling up the urethra and into the bladder. Dogs can pick up bacteria from the environment, swimming, or even spread from their own rectal or genital areas.
What is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in dogs?
The most common cause of UTIs in dogs is bacteria, which enters upwards through the urethral opening. The bacteria can develop when feces or debris enter the area, or if your dog’s immune system is weakened from lack of nutrients. In most cases, E. coli is the bacterium that causes such infections.
What can you give a dog with bladder infection?
Antibiotics are the number one treatment for bladder infections in dogs. In some cases, your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or pain killers depending on the severity and underlying cause of your pet’s bladder infection.
Can CBD cause urinary incontinence in dogs?
A: Most cases need no treatment, aside from symptomatic care for gastrointestinal upset if it occurs. If it’s a large dose, where the THC content might be a factor, mild sedation, urinary incontinence, hyperesthesia, and ataxia could develop, and the pet should be confined to prevent injury from misadventure.
Can CBD Oil cause kidney problems?
There is no evidence to suggest that CBD has any adverse effect on kidney function.
How do you prevent recurrent UTI in dogs?
For dogs that have recurrent gram-positive bacteria causing UTI, amoxicillin is recommend at a dose of 20 mg/kg given PO once daily at bedtime. For dogs with reinfections with gram-negative organisms, preventative therapy may include either a first-generation cephalosporin or nitrofurantoin (4 mg/kg PO once a day).
What foods cause UTI in dogs?
Foods that are known to aggravate UTIs include asparagus, spinach, raw carrots, tomatoes, and dairy products. Additionally, one of the largest determining factors in your dog’s ability to fight off UTIs will be their hydration levels.
How do you prevent bladder infections in dogs?
Preventing UTIs in dogs Provide fresh, clean water every day. Routine grooming, especially around the urinary opening, and regular bathing can help prevent bacteria from entering the urinary system. Provide plenty of opportunities for your dog to go outside for a pee break. Feed your dog a healthy, well-balanced diet.
How do you tell if your dog has a bladder infection?
Bloody urine, difficulty urinating, and licking of the area are all signs your dog might have a UTI.Some common UTI symptoms include: Bloody and/or cloudy urine. Straining or whimpering during urination. Accidents in the house. Needing to be let outside more frequently. Licking around the urinary opening. Fever.
Why is my dog peeing so much all of a sudden?
Frequent urination in dogs sometimes signals a health problem. Increases in frequency can indicate a bladder problem, bladder infection, kidney disease, bladder disease, liver disease or diabetes.
Why is my dog all of a sudden peeing in the house?
If your dog suddenly starts peeing in the house (or other unacceptable places), it could be caused by a urinary tract infection. Other possible urinary issues your vet might find include cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), crystals in the urine, bladder stones, structural abnormalities, and even tumors.
Can a dog’s bladder infection go away on its own?
Even one-off UTIs need to be treated by a vet, usually with antibiotics, and usually won’t clear up on their own. If your dog seems to always be dealing with urinary issues, consider these four potential causesSep 6, 2019.
What are the signs of kidney infection in dogs?
What are the signs of pyelonephritis? increased drinking and increased urination. difficult/painful urination. frequent urination of small volumes of urine. inappropriate urination (particularly noticeable in dogs that have previously been well house trained) slow, uncomfortable urination.
Can I give my dog cranberry juice for a urinary tract infection?
100% Pure Cranberry Juice Cranberry juice is frequently used to fight urinary tract infections in people, and can sometimes be helpful in fighting UTIs in dogs.
Can CBD make a dog worse?
Scientific papers have found that CBD can cause an elevation in an important liver value in bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase or ALP. While scientists are not yet sure if that specific liver value has medical significance, but it may signify that it can cause irritation or damage to your pet’s liver.
What are the pros and cons of CBD for dogs?
Pro 1. A majority of veterinarians agree that CBD helps animals. Pro 2. Studies about CBD use in pets have had positive results. Pro 3. Pet owners report success in treating their animals with CBD. Con 1. CBD pet products are unregulated. Con 2. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support giving CBD to pets. Con 3.
How long does CBD stay in dog’s system?
CBD will remain in your dog’s system for up to twenty-four hours, but depending on the dosage amount, the severity of your dog’s symptoms, and his own physiology, your dog may need more or less than a full recommended daily dose of CBD.
Is CBD oil good for dogs with kidney disease?
Although CBD appears to help manage pain in dogs, not all dogs experience pain during the course of kidney disease. It really depends on the underlying cause of the disease. Dogs with kidney disease do experience appetite loss and, at least anecdotally, CBD might help stimulate appetite.
What drugs should not be taken with CBD?
What Drugs Should Not Be Taken with CBD Angiotension II Blockers. Antiarrhythmics. Antibiotics. Antidepressants. Anticonvulsants / Anti-Seizure Medications. Antihistamines. Antipsychotics. Anesthetics.
Does CBD Oil cause liver damage?
What this is most likely to mean is that CBD doesn’t cause as much liver damage in humans as it was found to make in mice. This conclusion is bolstered by the fact that no liver damage has been recorded in CBD users even when they use the CBD’s highest recommended dosage.
Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs
When it comes to giving our dogs the best lives possible, pet parents need to focus on their dog’s health to make sure that no health conditions are overlooked. To do this, our dogs require regular visits to the veterinarian combined with a high-quality diet and regular exercise. It’s important that no health problems are missed or diagnosed incorrectly. That said, pet parents need to keep their veterinarians updated on all their dog’s past and present medical conditions.
Recent studies have revealed that urinary tract infections affect more female dogs than males. Most infections that involve the urinary system are bacterial and enter the body via the urethra.
Besides being an extremely painful disorder, urinary tract infections need to be diagnosed early. With the urinary system being responsible for eliminating waste products when food is converted to energy, it also maintains the correct balance of electrolytes and water within the body’s cells.
The urinary tract system is also responsible for processing vitamin D. That said, it’s important that early diagnosis is made since bacteria can move up the bladder and infect the kidneys causing a painful kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
All dogs can be affected by a bacterial infection of the bladder (bacterial cystitis) and or urethra. There are several causes that will increase your dog’s chances of getting a urinary tract infection. These will result in problems with urine flow, not being able to empty the bladder properly, urine that is dilute, sugar in the urine which may be linked to diabetes, and a compromised immune system. Male dogs that have not been neutered may develop prostate bacterial infections.
As dogs age, urinary tract infections and many other health issues may become more common. That said, stone formation, prostate disease, and tumors may also be diagnosed. Female dogs may be more prone to lower urinary tract infections. Additionally, dogs that have been treated with steroids or that suffer from hyperadrenocorticism may be prone to more bladder infections.
All bacterial infections of the urinary tract need to be treated immediately because the bacteria that are involved in urinary tract infections may be hard to treat with antibiotics. Bacteria tend to become resistant to antibiotics, if not treated effectively from the start of an infection. “The flow of urine through the urinary tract is part of the defense against invading pathogens because the flow of fluid rinses the epithelial linings. High urin e antimicrobial concentrations are important for the eradication of bacteria in the urine, but for infection of the bladder wall or renal tissue, it is necessary to use antimicrobials that have active concentrations in the tissues. Serum or plasma concentrations are useful surrogate markers for antimicrobial concentrations in the renal or bladder tissues,” says Dr. Dowling, DVM, via MSD Veterinary Manual.
Causes of a Lower Urinary Tract Infection in Dogs
There are numerous reasons that may predispose your dog to urinary tract infections, such as the following:
- Tumors of the bladder or urinary tract
- Bladder infection
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cushing’s Disease
- Some medications that work by suppressing the immune system
- Bladder stones that have developed from urine crystals
- Prostate Disease
- Congenital abnormalities
- Spinal cord abnormality
Your veterinarian will make a diagnosis by taking a bacterial culture with or instead of a urinalysis. Cystocentesis is the method used to collect urine for a bacterial culture. A needle is used to collect urine directly from the bladder through the abdomen. During the veterinary examination, your veterinarian will examine your dog’s bladder, kidneys, genitalia, and rectum.
Rectum examinations allow for the urethra to be checked. With males, the prostate is examined. If your dog has problems urinating, additional tests will be required. These may include the following:
- Blood tests
- Blood pressure tests
- Contrast x-rays
- Cystoscopic tests
What Are the Symptoms?
- Blood in Urine (Hematuria) at the end of a stream of urine
- Problems with urination
- Excessive urination in small amounts
- Urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control)
- Painful urination with increased straining
- No symptoms in some cases
- Cloudy urine
- Whining from pain
- Weight loss
- General back pain
- Licking of the urinary opening
- Lack of appetite
- Strong or unpleasant urine odor
How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection?
Dogs that keep getting urinary tract infections will need to have urine samples taken at regular intervals, from once a month, to once every three months. Your veterinarian will prescribe an oral antibiotic for two weeks or longer. That said, there are certain medications that tend to increase urinary tract infections in dogs. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian and advise as to all medications that your dog may be on.
Low-dose antimicrobial therapy for long term use in dogs that keep getting UTIs is advised, and in some cases may continue for many years.
“After 6 months of bacteria-free urine, the long term, low-dose antimicrobial therapy may be discontinued, and many animals will not have additional recurrences. In some cases, long-term therapy may be continued for years in animals that continue to have recurrent UTIs,” adds Dr. Dowling, via MSD Veterinary Manual.
CBD Hemp Oil Uses for Urinary Tract Infections
CBD can be useful both in the treatment of inflammation and for pain relief with urinary tract infections. That said, it should not be used alone for pain relief, but in conjunction with a more traditional pain relief prescribed medication from your veterinarian. So far there have been no reports of prescribed medication interactions with CBD when used for pain relief in dogs.
Before going out and purchasing a CBD product for your pooch, consult with your veterinarian as to the best potency, brand, and dosage for your dog. Your veterinarian may recommend a higher CBD dosage of CBD (2mg/kg to 3mg/kg twice daily) to help with extreme pain.