Some studies indicate that CBD may be an effective natural treatment to reduce the symptoms of a vestibular disorder. There are some weird and scary behaviors your dog can display that come from canine vestibular disease. If your dog has a dizzy spell or can't stand or walk, take it seriously, but don't freak out. They may just be having inner ear trouble. Read this post to learn about vestibular disease in dogs, its symptoms and trea CBD Oil for Vestibular Disease in Dogs In animal healthcare, the word “vestibular” is used when talking about animals’ inner ears or their sense of balance. Vestibular Disease is a lack of
Can CBD Help Vestibular Disorders?
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the hemp plant. Although more studies are needed, there is evidence to suggest that CBD could be a helpful treatment for vestibular symptoms such as tinnitus, sleep disturbance, vertigo, balance challenges, and anxiety. CBD has been shown to help manage inflammation, pain, stress, mood disorders, and has protective and preventive properties that can improve overall health and wellbeing.
People who suffer from inner ear and brain balance disorders are desperate for both accurate diagnoses and relief from symptoms. Because many vestibular disorders have no known cure, many patients seek alternative treatments that may improve emotional and cognitive symptoms, as well as quality of life. One natural solution that is currently being studied for its effects on tinnitus and other vestibular issues is CBD (cannabidiol).
What is CBD?
CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound (cannabinoid) in the hemp plant. Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products on a federal level, CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed. Thousands of published studies have shown promising evidence that CBD may offer mental and physical health benefits, with few side effects. People from all walks of life have reported amazing results, adding to the anecdotal evidence that this natural herb can help improve wellbeing.
CBD Quick Facts:
- CBD is legal on a federal level.
- CBD, unlike THC, does not have any intoxicating or hallucinogenic effects.
- The effects and benefits of CBD is the subject of many published, peer-reviewed studies.
- CBD has few serious side effects and doesn’t appear to be addictive.
- CBD can be taken in a variety of ways, including capsules, oil tinctures, topicals, edibles, and vapes.
How Does CBD Work?
CBD impacts the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which you can think of as your body’s central control center. The ECS is a chemical messaging system that regulates the central nervous system and works to keep balance throughout the body. Some medical thought suggests that a disruption in Endocannabinoids, which can lead to a breakdown in the nervous system’s smooth functioning, may be the trigger for various diseases.
Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids (chemicals) that keep our ECS healthy. Modern environments and lifestyles often expose us to toxins and stress, which may reduce our body’s ability to create these essential chemicals. So, when our ECS is deficient in these endocannabinoids, supplementing with cannabinoids like CBD may give the ECS a boost that’s missing and essential to maintaining health.
How Can CBD Help Vestibular Disorders?
While many vestibular disorders have no known cures, some experiential evidence proposes that CBD can calm some symptoms like tinnitus, sleep disturbance, vertigo, balance challenges, and anxiety. Some vestibular patients have seen improvements in their day-to-day functioning with the use of CBD.
Inflammation of the inner ear commonly contributes to dizziness and disruption of sensory information from the ear to the brain. One of CBD’s most researched superpowers allows the ECS to bring inflammation levels into balance1 and prevent excessive inflammation. Controlling inflammation allows the body’s natural healing inflammatory processes to work its magic without overreacting and damaging the surrounding tissues or causing collateral damage.
The ECS helps control your cognitive functions: memory, coordination, focus, mood, stress, anxiety, sleep, addiction, pain perception, pleasure, and brain energy. People with vestibular disorders often struggle in these areas. CBD is thought to help the ECS do its job of protecting brain cells and possibly supports new growth (neurogenesis).
Mood and Stress
CBD can offer a sense of calm and positivity while warding off anxiety, stress, and depression. For the vestibular patient, staying calm and stress-free is an important goal to avoid triggering other vestibular symptoms.
The well-known fight-or flight response occurs when you experience high stress levels: your brain focuses first on surviving the threat and produces the hormone cortisol. Continued high levels of cortisol can create lasting wear and tear on your brain, resulting in a domino effect of mental and physical deterioration. CBD can help you manage stress because it activates a type of serotonin receptor, promoting relaxation and restoring balance to the nervous system. This in turn has a positive effect on mood and your sense of well-being.3
Two important brain chemicals that help regulate mood and stress reactions are serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known as the ‘happy chemical’ because of its mood boosting effects. When your serotonin levels are balanced you feel less anxious, more focused, and emotionally stable. When your serotonin levels are low or imbalanced, you may feel irritable or angry. CBD may help keep your serotonin levels balanced. CBD can activate serotonin receptors,9 which help give you a powerful, long-lasting mood boost. Think of these receptors like tiny locks that only chemicals like serotonin and CBD have the key to unlock. Activating these receptors also seems to slow your heart rate and may even lower your body temperature, allowing you to literally keep your cool. Read studies and more information on CBD and serotonin.
Studies show that CBD is effective at decreasing activity in the amygdala, the fear center of the brain. Even small oral doses have been shown to fight anxiety, which could be a huge benefit to vestibular patients who often have anxiety as a result of the disturbing symptoms of a balance disorder.
This is a type of neurotransmitter that works with the section of your brain that regulates pleasure and reward. It also affects emotions, behavior, motivation, and mental processes. CBD indirectly affects dopamine levels by blocking GPR6 and GABA activity in the brain, encouraging your body to naturally increase your dopamine levels. Read studies and more information.
Lack of sleep can trigger vestibular symptoms and cause sleep disruptions, which in turn triggers a vicious cycle of more vestibular symptoms. Unlike sleeping pills, CBD has fewer and milder possible side effects, and it isn’t addictive. It can help regulate your inner clock, or circadian rhythm, which controls processes like sleep/wake cycles. It also targets other factors that are interfering with your sleep quality, such as stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and indigestion.
While not all vestibular disorders involve pain, many people experience headaches, neck pain, and muscular tension/pain, along with other symptoms. CBD may help with various types of pain, addressing pain-inducing symptoms, such as inflammation, nerve damage, sleep issues, and mood imbalances. It is a natural, effective, safer alternative to many pain medications.
One symptom that may be calmed with CBD is tinnitus. Often associated with Meniere’s Disease, tinnitus is a very distressing, constant noise. It has shown some promise in muting this sensation.
Immune System and Gut Health
While people with vestibular disorders and their health providers are mostly focused on reducing the most common symptoms, it’s important to keep other body systems in good health. Evidence suggests that your immune system and gut health may benefit from CBD. Read more.
What to Buy and How to Take CBD
Aside from ensuring your CBD is high quality, look for Full Spectrum oil, which can legally have up to 0.03% THC. This is the federally legal amount that is recognized as “Certified THC-Free.” It will not make you feel high, and it should not register on a drug test, as long as you are purchasing it from a reputable company with 3rd-party lab tests. Look for organic products made in the USA. To get the most out of every dose, choose nano-amplified CBD for the best bioavailability and quickest, longest-lasting results. The most effective way to get the nutrients into your bloodstream is to drop the oil under your tongue and hold it for 1-2 minutes before swallowing. Read more.
If you’re taking medications and/or have a medical condition, please always consult your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your routine. CBD may interact with some drugs, including those with a”‘grapefruit warning.”
Though it’s often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you’re taking, such as blood thinners.
While many people have reported wonderful results, some people have not seen an improvement while using CBD for tinnitus and other vestibular disorders. It’s important to note that everyone’s journey and symptoms will vary, and you’ll need to monitor your body’s response.
How Does IT Compare to Prescription Drugs for Vestibular Disorders?
The FDA has yet to approve an effective drug for vestibular disorders. Health professionals recommend the combined use of vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT), medication, surgery, and complementary/alternative medicine. When combined, these strategies help put patients in a relaxed state to lessen the negative impact stress has on them so they are better equipped to manage their symptoms.
Compared to prescription medications, CBD:
- Has no harmful side effects
- Has no harmful dose
- Is non-addictive
- Improves your mental and physical wellness
- Is available and legal without a prescription
While there is not enough research yet to determine CBD’s direct impact on the vestibular system, studies show beneficial effects. It has shown to help manage inflammation, pain, stress, mood disorders, and also has protective and preventive properties that can improve overall health and wellbeing.
Check with your health provider before adding supplements to your routine.
Canine Vestibular Disease: An Overview
There are some weird and scary behaviors your dog can display that come from canine vestibular disease. If your dog has a dizzy spell or can’t stand or walk, take it seriously, but don’t freak out. They may just be having inner ear trouble. Read this post to learn about vestibular disease in dogs, its symptoms and treatment.
Canine Vestibular Disease: An Overview
Canine vestibular disease is a problem with the inner ear that impacts the dog’s balance.
Vestibular comes from the word vestibule, a hallway or anteroom. This is a very descriptive name for the complex parts of the ear. There is a whole vestibular system in dogs, and humans, that is located in the brain and the inner and middle ear. This very delicate system detects subtle changes in atmosphere and the dog’s body and has a powerful impact on their balance.
Have you ever been dizzy or had a stopped-up ear? You couldn’t move normally, or even stand or sit normally if it was bad enough. You felt weird and nauseated, maybe even anxious and irritable. This same thing happens to your dog. With dogs, it impacts their balance and the rhythm of their paws.
Canine vestibular disease is more likely to impact older dogs because things just don’t work like they used to anymore, but it can impact dogs of any age.
It is not dangerous in itself. The causes, such as an infection, may be dangerous. The biggest threat to your dog with canine vestibular disease is injury as they are likely to hurt themselves. While you don’t want to overly alarm yourself, you should always take symptoms of this disease very seriously and get the dog emergency care because these symptoms are shared by very serious diseases and immediate diagnosis is needed. Also, even though vestibular disease is not dangerous, you need to know how to care for them to keep them calm and safe and ensure that they eat and drink normally.
Canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome
Vestibular problems can be caused by infections, toxins, or other factors influencing the ear. Many times, there is no identifiable cause of the vestibular problem, the dog just clearly has it. This is known as canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome and it is quite common, particularly in older dogs. If your dog has vestibular disease, rather than another condition causing a vestibular problem, the dog will probably be diagnosed with canine idiopathic vestibular syndrome.
Vestibular disease in puppies
While it’s most common in older dogs, vestibular disease in young dogs is possible and it can even be a congenital thing with puppies. It is very rare in puppies, only appearing online in scattered scientific cases.
Always take a dog to the vet for symptoms of vestibular disease to rule out other diseases and to learn how to care for your dog.
Vestibular episode in dogs
Thankfully, vestibular disease, the idiopathic kind that isn’t caused by another factor, is mainly episodic. The dog has acute symptoms for a while and then the problem corrects itself. The downside is that it will likely come back. Some dogs never fully recover, keeping a slight head tilt or always being slightly unstable. Allowances may have to be made for them to remain safe and active and there may be some things they can’t do anymore. The latter is more common in older dogs.
Vestibular disease caused by another factor should go away when the factor is addressed.
Symptoms of vestibular disease in dogs
Symptoms of canine vestibular disease include:
590 people per month search for dog vestibular disease panting. If your dog is experiencing noteworthy panting while suffering these other symptoms, it is probably from their anxiety. You should include it in your description of the symptoms for the vet, just so they have a perfectly clear image of the dog’s case. It is not a direct symptom of the disease but can accompany it because of the stress the disease causes.
Symptoms of vestibular disease will have rapid onset. There isn’t any warning and there is no gradual progression, they’ll just suddenly act like they’re going haywire. They may wake up one morning that way, suddenly act crazy, or get increasingly unstable over a matter of a few hours.
These symptoms sound really scary. So try not to freak out. You don’t want to make the dog more upset than they probably already are or put yourself through excessive stress.
That being said, you should still always get them emergency care because these symptoms are shared with dangerous diseases. It probably isn’t the dangerous disease, but you need to be sure because they require immediate treatment. You also need to know how to care for your dog properly to keep them safe, calm, and healthy.
Causes of vestibular disease in dogs
Most vestibular disease is the idiopathic kind where the cause is never identified. Their poor vestibular system just doesn’t want to act right.
Causes of canine vestibular disease include:
- toxins that impact the ear
The connection is unclear, but experts report that it seems to be more common for larger dogs to have vestibular problems.
While there is no evidence that they can cause vestibular disease, allergies impacting nasal function may bring about or exacerbate a vestibular episode. Barometric changes while traveling or during weather events may also bring about or exacerbate an episode.
Diagnosing vestibular disease in dogs
The vet will need to hear both your account of symptoms and the dog’s history.
Three questions need to be answered:
- Has the dog ingested or breathed a toxic or potentially toxic substance? This may be a food, a cleaning product, a chemical, a human medication, a cosmetic, or something the dog is allergic to.
- Has the dog had an accident, been in a fight, or suffered a known injury in the preceding 24 hours? They may have trauma.
- Has the dog been somewhere unusual where they may have encountered an allergen, a toxin, or a venomous animal?
They may ask you other questions to rule out symptoms or potential events that may indicate another disease like a tumor or stroke.
The vet will observe the dog for symptoms and check their ears for signs of inflammation. While the vet is checking their ear, they may get stressed. Try to calm them by speaking to them in soft, loving tones and maybe even petting them soothingly.
They will probably lift the dog’s paw and flip it over to see if the dog can turn their paw back to its normal position. Inability to do this is an indicator of stroke.
They can run blood tests and other tests to detect infections or other diseases. MRIs and other tests for problems in the brain may be run, but the vet may wait to see if the vestibular disease can clear itself up before moving on to this step. It depends on how likely one or the other seems.
Treatments for vestibular disease in dogs
If the vestibular symptoms are caused by an underlying factor or disease, then that will be treated and the symptoms should go away. While the dog is being treated, you will probably have to follow some of the advice below to manage their symptoms.
If the dog has idiopathic canine vestibular disease and they can’t eat or drink or are dehydrated from vomiting, they will be kept at the vet’s office to be fed and hydrated until they can eat and drink on their own.
If they can eat and drink, they will be sent home. Time is the best cure for an episode of idiopathic canine vestibular disease. but that doesn’t mean your dog just has to suffer and there is nothing you can do. The vet will probably send them home with anti-nausea medication and maybe something for dizziness and/or a sedative if they are too unstable or too stressed. You will also want to protect the dog by making the home as safe as you can for them to move around in and to keep them off furniture and not let them use stairs by themselves. You may need to carry them outside to go to the bathroom or give them potty pads. Placing their food and water near where they are staying will make it easier and safer for them to make use of it.
Corticosteroids have been prescribed in the past, but it is not a popular treatment at this time because the scientific evidence shows little indication that it really helps.
We mentioned making the home safe. You will also want to keep them as stress-free as possible. Love them, if they don’t want to hide. If they do want to be alone, provide them a good place to do so. You might keep them in the crate a lot, if they like their crate, so they feel secure. Provide as many of the things they are used to as possible, like their favorite toys and blankets. Try to eliminate or minimize stressors like the doorbell, visitors, changes in the home, etc.
Don’t be surprised if they are jumpy or even irritable. Having your balance messed up is like losing one of your senses, this makes the animal feel frightened and they may act out.
Recovery time for vestibular disease in dogs
Dogs with idiopathic canine vestibular disease should see some relief in as little as 72 hours, but it is not surprising if it takes anywhere from a few days to 30 days for the episode to resolve completely. With some dogs, usually older ones, some residual effect may be permanent.
Should you keep dogs with vestibular disease away from other pets and children?
Vestibular disease is not contagious, so they can’t give it to another pet or you, but whether they can be around other pets or children depends on how well they can still fend for themselves. They may accidentally hurt a small pet or child or be hurt by another pet or child if they can’t get around normally. Irritability may also make them unsafe to be around other pets and children. You can help them maintain some sense of normalcy by letting them spend time with the rest of their family, but only with supervision.
If you have multiple pets in the house displaying similar symptoms, they were likely all exposed to something like a toxin. Or you’re unlucky enough to have multiple pets with vestibular disease and an allergen or storm is wreaking havoc on them all at once.
Dog not recovering from vestibular disease
If your dog doesn’t show marked improvement in a few days to a week, the vet will probably tell you how long to expect. Call the vet back up for advice. The problem may not be vestibular disease.
If the dog has improved but is not 100% after a month, call the vet back up. You should ask if they need to see the dog again.
Remember that unless the problem was caused by another factor, the dog will probably suffer from vestibular episodes again. How often and how severe they will be is unknown and depends on too many factors, but as long as you know that is the cause of the problem, you can just focus on making your dog comfortable and safe while they recuperate. It is not a sign that your dog was not treated properly or didn’t recover because they have another episode. It’s just the nature of the illness.
How CBD Oil May Help with Canine Vestibular Disease
CBD oil shows promise and gains a lot of attention for potentially helping with a vast array of pet ailments.
CBD oil may help in a vestibular episode in dogs by:
- easing nausea
- alleviating stress
- providing a sedative effect
- soothing pain from an injury reducing inflammation from an injury
- soothing bed sores
- preventing and killing infections
- easing the side effects of medications they need
The most dangerous aspect of a vestibular episode in dogs is the risk of them not being able to eat or drink. Vets may prescribe anti-nausea medication to help with this, but if you weren’t given one or the dog can’t take it, CBD oil may serve the same purpose.
If you’ve ever had inner ear troubles, you can understand why your dog gets anxious during a vestibular episode. If not, imagine being dizzy, perhaps so dizzy you can’t stand or even sit, for days or weeks on end. Your dog can’t do what they normally do and feels completely disoriented. This is frightening to them as they can’t take care of themselves. CBD oil is commonly used to address anxiety in humans and pets.
Vets sometimes prescribe sedatives to help with the anxiety and make the dog more relaxed so they are less likely to want to run around and potentially hurt themselves. if you weren’t given one or the dog can’t take it, you might try CBD oil in its place. Just make sure you give them an amount intended to relax the dog. Different doses can give them a subtle energy boost instead.
Should the dog injure themselves, CBD oil can be given orally or topically to potentially reduce pain and inflammation.
If the dog lays down too much because they can’t get around normally, they may get bed sores. These are painful and dangerous because they may get infected. A topical CBD balm might soothe the pain, reduce inflammation, and serve as a barrier to prevent infection. If the sore is already infected, CBD oil shows promise at killing infections. Should the dog not be able to take antibiotics, CBD oil could be used in their place as long as you watch for signs that it isn’t working and get immediate medical help should that happen.
While CBD oil hasn’t been studied and tested long enough to gain FDA approval, it is exciting scientists with all of the ailments it shows promise at addressing. Scientists have discovered that humans and many animals have an endocannabinoid system that creates and uses its own cannabinoids to maintain the body’s homeostasis. External cannabinoids like cannabidiol in CBD oil interact in the body much like its own cannabinoids, addressing deficiencies or providing a boost.
CBD oil for pets is available as:
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
- crunchy treats
- soft treats
- topical balms
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We create scientifically-backed natural and eco-friendly products to address pet problems. If you’re dealing with a vestibular attack in dogs, you might be interested in our CBD oil tinctures, treats, capsules, and balm.
If you encounter a pet-related problem or pet ailment that no traditional or alternative method addresses, let us know. We love to innovate for pets and pet owners.
CBD Oil for Vestibular Disease in Dogs
In animal healthcare, the word “vestibular” is used when talking about animals’ inner ears or their sense of balance. Vestibular Disease is a lack of ability to maintain balance, leading to feelings of dizziness and nausea, as well as mobility problems.
These symptoms can be serious or mild and can last for a few days or many years.
Vestibular Disease can happen to dogs of any age, but the risk grows from around the age of 8. The disease is generally a secondary condition, which means that it occurs as a result of other issues such as ear infections, neurological disorders, or seizures. Other common causes of Vestibular Disease include hypothyroidism, stroke, and other kinds of viral infection.
Sometimes, Vestibular Disease is idiopathic, which means it happens without a clear reason behind it.
Does your dog have these symptoms?
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Holding their head at 45°
- Circling or falling down
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stress or anxiety
If you notice your pet displacing a majority of these symptoms, they may be suffering from Vestibular Disease – especially if they recently recovered from an ear infection.
How is Vestibular disease normally treated?
If Vestibular Disease is a symptom of an underlying condition, then it can most often be resolved by finding and treating the original illness.
For dogs who don’t have an underlying condition, Vestibular Disease has no direct treatment. Instead, vets are likely to prescribe a range of medications that help to manage symptoms.
- If dogs experience nausea as a result of Vestibular issues, they may be given anti-nausea medication .
- If dogs have vestibular issues due to ear infections, antibiotics are likely to be prescribed.
- If dogs have vestibular issues due to inflammation and swelling of the ear, they might receive steroids .
Does CBD help dogs with Vestibular Disease?
Because CBD is associated with the treatment of infections and inflammation, many people believe it can reduce symptoms in dogs with Vestibular Disease.
Reminder: what is CBD?
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory compound found in hemp plants – a type of cannabis that’s known for its soothing effects.
Unlike other types of cannabis (such as marijuana), hemp contains very low amounts of psychoactive compounds, which means that consuming them won’t produce a high.
Pet CBD producers extract these anti-inflammatory compounds from hemp and infuse them into carriers – most commonly oils and treats.
A quick search of the internet provides some promising results about CBD’s credentials:
- “CBD oil is thought to reduce nausea and help to alleviate stress, both of which are symptoms associated with Vestibular Disease.”
- “CBD offers a sense of calm and positivity while warding off anxiety and depression.”
- “CBD oil may also help in a vestibular episode in dogs by providing a sedative effect.”
But is there actually any evidence behind these claims?
Currently, no scientific studies have been published that test the effects of CBD on Vestibular Disease, either in humans or dogs.
However, there is research suggesting that CBD can help dogs with many of the common symptoms of the condition, as well as the inflammation that often underlies Vestibular Disease:
The endocannabinoid system is a part of dogs’ bodies that releases hormones and enzymes during an immune response. As a result, stimulating the endocannabinoid system can help to reduce inflammation.
Many studies have shown CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system, but this scientific paper from 2006 pinpoints an association between CBD, the endocannabinoid system, and management of vestibular function.
Dizziness & Nausea
Two of the most common symptoms of Vestibular Disease in dogs are sickness and dizziness – and while no studies have tested the effects of CBD on the disease itself – this 2018 study on the usefulness of CBD for Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy did find that CBD can effectively reduce discomfort.
In a cohort of 117 human patients, the study found that “CBD reduced the occurrence of fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, insomnia, appetite loss, aggressiveness, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, confusion, weight loss, vomiting”
Another well-cited 2011 study performed on mice and rats found that CBD “s uppresses nausea and vomiting within a limited dose range.”
Some dogs will experience ear ringing, pain, and discomfort as a result of Vestibular disease.
When a 2020 review of how cannabis compounds affect the i nner ear looked into CBD’s effects on these symptoms, it found that it may produce a “protective reaction to auditory damage, and in most non-auditory circuits known to be associated with tinnitus.”
While there are no CBD oils designed specifically for Vestibular Disease in dogs, CBD oils for dogs with anxiety are made to target many of the same symptoms – including stress, inflammation, and nausea.
When it comes to treating anxiety in dogs, CBD does have a significant amount of testimonial evidence from owners and animal healthcare experts.
So what’s the verdict?
Because Vestibular disease in dogs is often caused by high levels of inflammation, pet-safe CBD oil may help to reduce symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and anxiety.