Therapy for Syringomyelia
Syringomyelia is a painful condition affecting the spinal cord of dogs, found most commonly in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It has also been diagnosed in Brussels Griffons, Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Maltese, Miniature Dachshunds, Pomeranians, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and other breeds. Pain results from pressure generated by the fluid that collects within pockets called syrinxes within the spinal cord. Symptoms associated with the disease include scratching, scooting, chewing, yelping, resistance to touch or grooming, lameness, reluctance to jump or climb, and neck or back pain. Unfortunately, many dogs are improperly diagnosed with allergies due to the scratching and chewing. Intervertebral disc disease and other neurologic conditions may also be diagnosed when SM is the true culprit. Diagnosis of the disease may be made based on breed and symptoms, but true diagnosis is made with MRI.
Medical therapy for syringomyelia may include management with steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone, pain medications like gabapentin, pre-gabalin, or tramadol, and medications to decrease fluid production like furosemide, omeprazole or cimetidine. Number of medications needed will vary with each dog and may change over time. Barometric pressure changes in the atmosphere can cause changes in pressure within the syrinx, necessitating short-term increases in pain control medications.
Alternative therapies that may be helpful include chiropractic adjustments (make SURE the veterinary chiropractioner is familiar with SM prior to allowing this), cold laser therapy, acupuncture, aquapuncture, electroacupuncture, and massage if the dog can tolerate it.
Supplements that may be beneficial include CoQ10, natural anti-inflammatories like cow colostrum, omega 3 fatty acids, green lipped mussel, deer antler velvet, the enodcannabinoid palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), CBD oil, MSM, ginger, turmeric, and devil’s claw. You should work with a holistic veterinarian before using herbal supplements to make sure there are no contraindications for use in your pet.
Food therapy add-ons that may help drain the fluid include Shiitake mushrooms, celery, lemon juice and lemon zest, radishes, turnips, garlic, and barley. To get the fluid moving, foods that will resolve stagnation include carrots, parsley, radish, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and vinegar. More information on food therapy for dogs can be found here.
The brain and spinal cord are considered to be part of the TCVM “marrow system” which is controlled by the kidneys. That means we need to provide kidney support. The kidneys like moisture and “baby” or “immature” foods. This includes small fish like sardines, seeds like ground sesame seeds or almonds, and eggs. Bone broth is a great supplement to the diet for a dog with SM, as this supports the marrow system. Watch this video for a simple bone broth recipe.
Golden Paste has become very popular as an anti-inflammatory and pain relief supplement. Watch this video for a simple Golden paste recipe. Small doses of turmeric are beneficial and may reduce chances of stomach ulceration, but larger doses can interfere with the ability of omeprazole and cimetidine to decrease stomach acid production and may actually cause increased stomach acid production and upset stomach. It is unknown how the addition of turmeric affects the ability of these drugs to decrease fluid production in the central nervous system.
All my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and my English Toy Spaniel suffer from this disease, however they have a very high quality of life. Many dogs live comfortably with this diagnosis when managed with medications, supplements, and food.
CBD for Dogs: Here’s What You Need to Know
With keeping your furry friend healthy and feeling well, it is important to consider natural treatments. CBD has been an increasingly popular method for dog owners to treat certain conditions.
According to the American Kennel Club, there is anecdotal evidence from dog owners that CBD is used to treat the following conditions:
- Inflammatory Pain
- Neuropathic Pain
- Cardiac Issues
- Appetite Issues
This article is aimed at providing real accounts of dog owners suggesting the benefits * of CBD for these conditions along with any previous and current research being conducted. First, it is important to understand the difference between CBD and THC.
What is CBD? Is it Safe for my Dog?
Cannabidiol (CBD), is one of many cannabinoids found in a hemp (cannabis) plant. Another cannabinoid that you may have heard of is Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. While THC is a psychoactive element, CBD products do not have any psychoactive properties and do not produce harsh side effects like THC may in pets.
While some CBD products may contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents, natural CBD products are safe to give to your furry friend and will not produce the harsh side effects that THC has.
While it is suggested that CBD oil and other CBD products have health benefits * for dogs, it is important to research the facts and understand that there is still much research to be had to link CBD to treating conditions for pets.
What are the Side Effects of CBD for Dogs?
With any treatment for conditions in humans or animals, it is a good idea to consider any side effects. While the potential side effects of CBD are not documented in the same fashion as in humans, there are a few considerations to keep an eye out for when treating your pet with CBD.
There are few cases that reported side effects from the use of CBD which include:
- Dry Mouth
- Small Drop in Blood Pressure
With any new treatment, it is recommended to document any changes in behavior and appearance to see if any side effects are present and the same can be said for your furry friend.
Natural CBD products made for dogs may be exactly what you are searching for but it is a good idea to understand what to look for when buying CBD products for your dog.
What Should I Look for When Buying a CBD Product for my Dog?
While CBD is safe for dogs, it is important to research each ingredient and method used to create the product. For example, one of the quickest ways to extract CBD from hemp is using solvents such as hexane and butane, which could potentially be toxic to your pet.
It is also important to know if the CBD has come from industrial or agriculture hemp that might have originated out of state or even overseas.
Also, another consideration is that not all “natural” products mean that it will be safe for your dog. For example, xylitol is a natural sweetener that is extracted from sources like birch bark, which is extremely toxic to dogs.
43 CBD Products comes from locally-grown cannabis in Colorado and does not include these toxic properties. They are also natural so you can feel safe knowing that your furry friend will not digest any dangerous chemicals. Our 500mg CBD pet tincture is a smart blend of our high CBD full spectrum hemp oil and Omega-3 Anchovy oil.
Our Fish oil is certified by Friends of the Sea as being sustainably harvested from Peru . This gives you the peace of mind knowing that your pet can receive a natural and healthy treatment with CBD.
While CBD research is new within the scientific community, there are some great clinical studies that support the use of CBD for treating dogs with certain conditions.
Current Research for the Effectiveness of CBD for Dogs
CBD for Epilepsy in Dogs
The Canine Health Foundation has funded a Colorado State University clinical trial to study the effectiveness of Cannabidiol for epilepsy in dogs.
Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a board-certified veterinary neurologist at CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is leading this study titled, “Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Epilepsy in Dogs”.
Dr. McGrath suggests that more research on improved treatments is desperately needed for dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy.
“The timeliness and importance of research into the role of Cannabis in veterinary medicine cannot be emphasized enough,” stated Dr. McGrath. “With the changing public perception of Cannabis, it is time that we put science behind the stories and claims. We need to know if this drug is safe and if it works. If CBD is effective for treating epilepsy, it has the potential to save the lives of dogs around the world.”
To assess the potential benefits of CBD in treating canine epilepsy, each dog in the study will randomly receive either CBD or a placebo for 12 weeks. Following that, the dog will receive the opposite medicine for another 12 weeks.
The study began in January 2018 and while it is an ongoing study, Dr. McGrath gave a promising update back in July 2018.
Due to the current research at the time, she found that 89% of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trials had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. To learn more about this study or interested participants can learn more from the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
CBD Reducing Seizures in Animals
A 2019 study by the University of Reading, University of Washington, and Cambridge University studied the antiseizure effect of cannabidiol for animals. The study found that CBD is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for seizures along with having a potential disease-modifying effect well after the onset of symptomatic seizures.
CBD Treatment in Dogs with Osteoarthritis
Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study of the Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs that was published in the Frontiers in Veterinary Science Journal in July 2018.
The dogs participating in the clinical study received CBD oil (2 mg/kg) or placebo oil every 12 hours. Each treatment lasted for 4 weeks with 2 weeks between each treatment.
The results of this clinical study suggested that 2 mg/kg of CBD given twice daily helped increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.
CBD Benefit Claims from Dog Owners
It is not difficult to find many cases of dogs in severe pain that owners reported relief from using CBD for treatment for various conditions . An article published by CNBC reports an interview with Kelly Conway who used CBD to treat her dog suffering from syringomyelia, a serious neurological disease.
Georgia, a 5-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was not reacting well to traditional medicine. That is when Conway turned to CBD for treatment.
“It has truly been a miracle and I don’t say that lightly,” Conway told CNBC. “I feel like I have a whole new dog. Georgia’s happy and relaxed. She’s not in pain. It’s amazing.”
Another article from Detroit Free Press, reports a discussion with Brad Stottelmyer and his 11-year-old dog, who was suffering from bone cancer in her right front leg. Traditional pain medication was not working for the chocolate Labrador retriever and Stottelmyer had to consider putting down his companion. That’s when Stottelmyer decided to see how CBD would play a role instead.
Within months, he claimed * that his beloved companion went from constant misery to running around the yard and chasing squirrels.
“ The cancer hasn’t retreated,” Stottelmyer said, “but it also hasn’t spread and the CBD has provided Misty with pain relief.”
Is Natural CBD the Right Treatment for Your Dog?
While there are numerous cases supporting the effectiveness of CBD treatment for dogs, it is still a new form of medicine for the use of clinical applications.
There are many great clinical studies and testimonials that make strong supporting claims * but there it is recommended that you make the proper research before deciding on any new treatment.
If you decide that CBD is the right direction for you and your dog, then we recommended using products that are locally-grown, natural, and are non-toxic for dogs.
* The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements made regarding these products. FDA-approved research has not confirmed the efficacy of these products. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.
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Pet Lover Geek: What Exactly Is CBD, And Should I Give It To My Pet?
Pet Lover Geek explores one of the latest trends in managing your pet’s health: CBD. Experts predict that the CBD pet care market will reach $125M by 2022 and there are companies releasing their own CBD pet products on a daily basis.
It’s really no surprise that CBD products are booming as marijuana is steadily becoming more and more recognized and legalized for medical use with humans. In fact, five new states just passed laws on Election Day legalizing marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use, or both, which means that 1 in 3 Americans can now legally access it.
But what does this mean for our pets? And is CBD different than marijuana (yes!)? We asked Dr. Judy Morgan – a leader in combining holistic veterinary care with traditional Western techniques – to walk us through what CBD is, how it might be able to benefit our pets, and what pet parents need to know when choosing CBD products for their pets.
Here are some links for website referenced throughout the episode:
00:04 Lorien Clemens
Welcome to Pet Lover Geek powered by PetHub, pet lovers. I’m Lorien Clemens, and today we’re exploring one of the latest trends in managing your pet’s health: CBD.
Now, experts predict that the CBD pet care market will reach $125 million by just 2022, and there are thousands of new companies releasing their own CBD pet products. And it’s really no surprise that CBD products are booming as marijuana is steadily becoming more and more recognized and legalized for medical use with humans here in the US.
In fact, in the last week, when Election Day happened, five new states just passed laws that are either legalizing marijuana for medical use or recreational use or both. And that means that one in three Americans can now legally access it.
But what exactly is CBD? How is it related to marijuana? How does it really help our pets? There’s a lot to unpack here and lucky for us, we have Dr. Judy Morgan with us today to answer those questions and more.
Dr. Morgan is an award-winning best selling author and veterinarian certified in acupuncture, food therapy and chiropractic care for dogs, cats and horses. She’s based in southern New Jersey, and she currently operates two veterinary hospitals that offer an integrative approach to combining holistic medicine with traditional Western techniques.
Dr. Morgan educates pet parents worldwide in the use of natural healing therapies, minimizing the use of chemicals, vaccinations and poor quality processed food. I am really happy to have her today, and we are going to talk with her about everything that pet parents need to know about CBD and keeping their pets safe and healthy. So let’s dive right in!
01:58 Lorien Clemens
Today, I’m talking to Dr. Morgan, a leader in holistic veterinary medicine, all about CBD and our pets. Super excited to have you here on the show, Dr. Morgan, great to see you again. Or at least hear you again, for our listeners, I can see you because we’re doing video call and recording things. But anyway, so let’s just jump on in here. You know, over the past few years, and you and I’ve actually chatted about this before, there are so many companies and now there are thousands of companies that are jumping into this CBD pet market to market products to pet parents. And you know, it’s rather confusing from a pet parent perspective. And I mean, I’ve been in the industry for a long time, but it’s like a whirling dervish all of these companies that are coming out now and everywhere you look there’s a new company.
Some are established companies that are bringing in CBD products, some are brand new that you never heard of before. And there’s a catch here, I feel, because some of these products may or may not really have any benefit to our pet, and how would you know? And then, on top of that, I mean, I mentioned in my intro, before you came on, it’s not legal in all states to use marijuana or marijuana-based products, depending on the state that you’re in. So there’s this varying state by state legality thing that adds this little error of you know, gosh,what should I be doing?
So there’s a general lack of research, there’s a lack of regulation in this industry, and you really have to understand your state and where you’re from. So I’m looking for you to kind of walk us through that. Guide us here, and you know, just generally if you can tell us, okay, why is there so much about CBD now?
I mean, some people that have been doing holistic medicine may have been looking at CBD products for a long time. But for the general public, it seems like it’s just exploding now, where did this come from? So I’d love if you talk about just the general boom that’s happening right now, and then also, if you’ll kind of wrap in those restrictions and regulations that people might be seeing, which I know is like a quagmire. That’s a show in and of itself, I’m sure. But anyway, let’s just talk about this boom, and, you know, what should people be thinking about it?
04:02 Dr. Judy Morgan
Well, the CBD industry, first of all, and the marijuana industry, it’s a huge money-making industry. My husband and I were discussing it this morning because we live in New Jersey and New Jersey is one of the states that, just in the last voting, decided that — we’ve had medicinal marijuana for a while, but even that has had a hard time really getting a good foothold — and now they’ve legalized recreational. I said to my husband, well, this is just great. It’s a great way for our state to collect a lot more taxes, which they’re kind of broke, so yay.
04:40 Lorien Clemens
Taxes are certainly a big part of it. For sure.
04:45 Dr. Judy Morgan
Yeah, that’s part of it. But it’s become a bit of a problem for the pet-owning public because people need to understand the difference between CBD and marijuana. There’s a huge difference.
CBD does not have THC, which is the psychoactive part of the plant. And THC, it can be very dangerous for our pets. They have many more CB1 receptors in their body, particularly in their brain and spinal cord. So if they are given marijuana or something that is high in THC, they will have incredible side effects which can include death. So we have to be really careful. CBD does not have the THC — it has to be less than 0.3%.
The problem that we have is because this is such a big money industry, people are smart, they’re like, oh, I’m gonna jump in on the ground floor. Well, the problem is probably 10,000 of them jumped in on the ground floor. And so now we have all these companies competing for the pet owner’s money. And some of them are good, some of them are not so good. And it’s very difficult for the pet owner to understand exactly what they should be looking for and what they should be getting and whether or not the product is even going to be helpful for whatever problem it is that their pet has. And the legalities are different in every single state.
06:17 Lorien Clemens
Yeah, okay, so there’s so much to unpack here. I’m glad you brought up the thing about THC. And let’s kind of start there, and, like, help people maybe who don’t really know what the difference is. THC is not like just giving your pet marijuana. In fact, that’s, like you mentioned, extremely dangerous. So what exactly are we giving our pet when we give them a CBD treat?
06:42 Dr. Judy Morgan
So, well and treats are another whole category because of AFCO and FDA regulations.
06:51 Lorien Clemens
06:51 Dr. Judy Morgan
Hemp and hemp products are not allowed to be included, according to the FDA —
07:00 Lorien Clemens
In food or in treats? In food products, but they are still put into supplemental treats, right?
07:04 Dr. Judy Morgan
Supplemental, yes. So we have to be very careful that we distinguish between a food product versus a supplement, because it would be allowed in a supplement. And that gets really hazy. Really hazy. And so the companies that do make supplemental treat –supplemental, I don’t know even what we want to call them — but supplements that may look like a food product, there’s a lot of jumping through hoops to be able to actually market those.
And interestingly, I was at a pet expo in Maryland and I had one of those supplemental treats in my booth, and the state division of Consumer Affairs people — it was late on a Friday afternoon — they marched into the expo directly to my booth, which was all the way in the back of the expo hall so you know they were coming for me. They pointed at the product and the oils. They said the oils were fine and said that if I sold a bag of those supplements that looked like a food treat it was a $2,000 fine for every sale.
08:16 Dr. Judy Morgan
So that was the state of Maryland. Two weeks later we were in Virginia and they were like yeah, they’re fine, no problem. So it really is a state by state deal and the companies that are selling these products have to get them approved in every state, so it’s pretty difficult.
So the thing with THC versus non-THC. Hemp plants and marijuana plants are both the cannabis sativa but a hemp plant does not contain THC to any appreciable amount, which is why we use the hemp plant to make the CBD oil. And the CBD oil — again a big can of worms, but there are many oils within the plant. So some companies use just the extractions from the stem, some use just the extractions from the leaves, some use extractions from the whole plant. So companies will vary.
And there are different ways to extract it. You can use a gas extraction or you can use a CO2 extraction, you could use an alcohol extraction, there’s different ways to get the product out of the plant. So we don’t want to use marijuana plants to get CBD oil because that is going to have THC in it.
I read an interesting article not too long ago that was talking about the difference — now that marijuana is legal for medicinal and recreational use in so many states, the plants that are being grown now for cultivating marijuana for the products that are being sold are much more potent in THC than the plants that we might remember for — well, I’m older than you I think — but from, you know, everybody’s fun and games in the 60s and 70s, the plants are much different. And so the THC quantity in what we’re seeing now is much, much stronger which is why it is potentially much more toxic for our pets.
10:14 Lorien Clemens
Yeah, so it’s interesting. I live here in the state of Washington where it’s been legal for quite a while. I think we were one of the first two states, along with Colorado, to do that. And I have family that actually have deep connections with the marijuana industry. I myself find it not a pleasant experience at all. For me, it makes me hallucinate. So I don’t do it, but I can tell you that it’s definitely more potent from a recreational standpoint.
When I go into — because my pet, before she passed, was on CBD oil. And before it really became more in the pet space, and this is four years ago when I started doing it with her, I would go to you know, the marijuana store to get my CBD oil. Was there any danger there that that would be a THC-based CBD oil? Are they always separate? If you’re getting something a CBD oil is it always made from the hemp plant? I mean, yeah, this is from me like, now she’s passed away, but still — not from that — but you know, it’s one of those oh, gosh, did I accidentally, you know —
11:23 Dr. Judy Morgan
Well if it’s labeled as CBD or particularly if it’s labeled for pets, legally, it has to have no THC in it or it’s less than 0.3%. It is not legal to sell a CBD product with THC in it for pets anywhere in this country. So when you’re buying something labeled for pets — now the problem is that the states and FDA and there are so many companies now. Probably four years ago, they did grab some bottles off shelves and tested them and found that things were not all what they should be and a lot of companies did get their wrist slapped and had to reformulate and change how they were doing some things. I don’t think it was so much that they were finding THC in the products as much as they were finding that the milligram strength that the label said did not match the milligram strength of the product. And that’s a big problem.
12:23 Lorien Clemens
Yeah, I do remember all that several years ago. Well, you know, and it just occurs to me I guess we’re talking about CBD and all the scary parts about it. We haven’t really talked about why would you give CBD to your pet in the first place? So let’s dig into that because especially for people who have maybe just heard it on the periphery, and now are like, well, maybe I should do it but what can it really do? So let’s talk about that.
You know, there isn’t a lot of peer-reviewed research out there. Although there is starting to be a lot more research out there. I mean, you know, well-established universities and companies and, you know, scientists are actually starting to do this research. But still, people are unsure and there isn’t a lot to go on other than you know, all these bloggers that write about it all the time on the internet. I’d love it if you could just talk a little bit about, you know, what are those benefits about giving your pet CBD? What are those applications that you could use it for?
13:21 Dr. Judy Morgan
There are many and unfortunately not all of them have been studied yet, and a lot of it is still anecdotal evidence. There was a study done at Cornell. There is a veterinary-approved or veterinarian-led company that has a CBD product that they are trying to market to the veterinary field. So they actually took their product to Cornell University and had double-blind placebo studies done to show that the product had beneficial effects. So we are starting to see that.
And certainly, Colorado State is — the university there is working very hard. They had representatives at the AFCO meeting at least two if not three years ago — that was when FDA and AFCO were going no-no we never want to hear anything about CBD, we never want to talk about, we’re never going to do it, you’re not going to get it, you know, they were so against it. But luckily the representative from Colorado stood up and said, hey, look, people are buying this, people are using this, people want this, it is a very good thing that could be used as part of the food sources and treat sources and that sort of thing. So instead of sticking your head in the sand, why don’t we actually do the research.
So they’ve been working on it for a few years, which is great. And it’s through the Colorado hemp industry because they know that this is a huge money industry. And we need some research behind it. So that’s going to be very helpful and things are starting to trickle out.
From an anecdotal standpoint — basically what it does is it binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, and many of which are found in the digestive tract and in the nervous system. So when we think about where those receptors are and what we might use the product for, it becomes, you know, a little bit easier when you look at where it plugs into the biology of the body.
And what it does is it blocks pain pathways and blocks some of the nerve transition. So it has a little bit of an inhibitory effect in some areas. And it’s interesting, I just did a pain course a couple months ago and they spent quite a bit of time talking about CBD and how it works on the pain receptors. And so basically, we’re breaking that pain and inflammation cycle.
So think about things that cause pain and inflammation in our pets, things like arthritis — huge — meningitis, encephalitis. It has been used very successfully in the human field and has translated over to the veterinary field for seizure animals.
The problem comes in — and all four of my dogs take CBD because they all have a neurologic problem called syringomyelia and caudal occipital malformation syndrome, which are painful problems for Cavalier King Charles and English toy spaniels. So it’s been a huge help for my guys.
It doesn’t have the same effect for every single dog. And it’s really interesting when I’m on social media, and I’m in a group where, you know, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners are talking about SM — the syringomyelia in their dogs — and how painful they are, and they’re having seizures, or tremors or this or that. And, you know, probably half the people in those groups have tried CBD as part of their pain and inflammation protocol, and of those who are using it, it’s probably 50/50 saying, wow, it made a huge difference for my dog, I was able to stop the pain meds or decrease the pain meds, and then you get 50% that say I didn’t see a difference at all.
Now, what we need to pare down is, okay, great we’ve got half the solid effect and half that didn’t see an effect. What products were everybody using?
17:26 Lorien Clemen
Yeah, it comes down to that, right?
17:27 Dr. Judy Morgan
So now we’ve got to get down to okay, which product did you use? Was it actually CBD oil and not just hemp seed oil, which has zero CBD in it. And I get people that complain and say, well, I was using this hemp oil that I got on Amazon — or they call it CBD — that I got on Amazon, it was $16 a bottle, and the one you want me to buy is $90 a bottle. I’m like well you’re using hemp seed oil. It has zero. It’s a nice omega six, it’s got some vitamin E in there, that’s awesome. It isn’t doing anything.
18:00 Lorien Clemens
It’s not doing any good at all. Yeah.
18:02 Dr. Judy Morgan
People need to understand that. So sometimes, if you don’t see an effect for your particular pet, you either need to change the brand, you need to change the dosing. And we don’t have good studies on what the dose is. The good news is it’s a very safe product overall.
So the dosing can range widely. I would say the going rate is one milligram per 10 pounds of body weight. I’ve had people use it at 10 times that strength to get the effect that we were looking for as far as pain relief, seizure relief. It can be dosed once a day, twice a day or every four hours. It’s very different.
18:46 Lorien Clemens
Are there any studies or anything that indicates that it’s dangerous for pets? Because you do hear people immediately like, oh, I would never do that — again because of the stigmas that are out there with marijuana and the THC thing. But there are people who just won’t even talk about it because they assume it might be dangerous. So are there dangers for it?
19:05 Dr. Judy Morgan
There can be actually — potentially. Well, on paper. There are things that we need to potentially be concerned about. The CBD oil is metabolized through the liver, and it uses something called Cytochrome p450 which is an enzyme system in the liver. So based on that we could — take one of my toy spaniels, for instance, that dog is on medications that are also metabolized by that same system. Could we overload that system? Could we not have enough to break down the CBD and process it through the body? Potentially, although I’ve never seen it.
There is one school of thought that says if you have a dog with liver disease, liver cancer, elevated liver enzymes then perhaps CBD should not be used because of the process of going through the liver to be broken down. But I will tell you that one of my toy spaniels went into acute liver failure and he was on CBD. And I kept him on the CBD, treated his liver failure and within three weeks he was 100% normal, and the CBD did not have a problematic effect for him.
So on paper, you are cautioned to be very careful using it with drugs that use the Cytochrome p450 system, which that’s something you can look up online. It’s easier to find those sorts of studies in the human field because it’s been studied more extensively. But again, I have yet to see a study where they said that there was actually a problem using it. This is all theoretical, that it potentially could interact or potentially might not want to use it in pets with liver disease. However, in practice, I have not seen it as a problem.
21:08 Lorien Clemens
Now, we’re getting ready to take a little break here, but before we go to the break I want to ask you because a lot of people, again, they kind of blow it off and like oh, it’s just a fad. You know, it’s the latest thing like whatever. I’ll wait to hear what the scientists say or what have you, because it’s not — you know when you go into most traditional veterinarians, it’s not the top of the list of pain management there. My veterinarian was very open to it when I brought it to her attention, but she certainly didn’t bring it up with me. And so I mean, is it just a fad? Or do you legitimately think that this is going to really become much more mainstream and really become part of how we start to treat pets in the future?
21:45 Dr. Judy Morgan
I don’t think it’s just a fad. I think it’s mainstream, but I don’t think it’s going to be mainstream in the veterinary field. I think it’s going to be mainstream in the pet owner field. Partly because some of the veterinary medical boards have come down very hard on veterinarians and said you will not discuss this, which is ridiculous. It just means they don’t even understand the difference between marijuana and CBD.
And most of the boards — now I’m gonna sound bad, but most of the boards are run by traditional old school veterinarians. We don’t have young, holistic veterinarians on most of those boards, or even us older holistic veterinarians, they’re not on those boards. And so it’s really, if you don’t know anything about a subject, then you have fear and you will instill that fear in others.
So I think veterinarians are frustrated by so many pet owners who want to use the product and they don’t have the training on it. And, you know, it’s because we don’t have all those double-blind placebo peer-reviewed articles yet they shy away from it.
22:55 Lorien Clemens
Yeah, so the more science and research that’s done, the more likely it is to be adopted more and more in traditional medicine. Yeah, that’s kind of the way I was thinking too.
Well, listen, we’ve got to take a quick break and when we get back, we’re gonna learn what we as pet parents — since it is gonna be largely driven by us — what we need to do or consider to look for when we’re shopping for those CBD products. So stay tuned, everybody, we’re gonna be right back on Pet Lover Geek with Dr. Judy Morgan, hang tight.
23:33 Lorien Clemens
Before the break, Dr. Morgan explained the current state of the CBD product industry and she talked about how, you know, it is growing. It’s not a fad, it is here to stay. In fact, recently the industry was forecasted to grow by 48% just in 2021 next year, which means that there will be even more products out there than there are now. And trust me, there are thousands out there right now. It’s overwhelming.
So Dr. Judy, I mean, how important is it for pet parents to understand what they’re looking for to find, like you mentioned, it’s about the quality, you’re not just getting hemp seed oil, right? How can we make sure? Or how do we know that it’s a good high-quality product? I mean, what are those markers that we can look for?
24:21 Dr. Judy Morgan
I always have to laugh at this because basically, as a pet owner, you’re stuck with what you read on the internet and what you read on a company’s website. And as I have discovered in the pet food industry, websites lie.
24:38 Lorien Clemens
24:39 Dr. Judy Morgan
Testimonials lie. I tell people all the time, look, my mom will write me a great testimonial. She loves me.
24:46 Lorien Clemens
Right my mother writes amazing reviews for me.
24:49 Dr. Judy Morgan
So it’s really hard. It’s really hard even to trust testimonials. It’s kind of amazing. And I learned something just a few months ago where companies pay for testimonials. They’ll send you $100 to write them a good review.
Oh I know, it was about mattresses because I got one of those Purple chair cushions and I really like it. So now I’m like, oh, I wonder if the mattress would be good. And so I started looking on these mattress websites, and I found one where it ranked, you know, the best one voted by, you know, America, whatever. This is number one, this is number two, this is number three. Well, when you really delve into it, that website is owned by number one.
25:32 Lorien Clemen
Yeah, totally. Yeah. And actually, that happens, I think across a lot of different industries. So like I said, like, how do we know? I mean, how do we know it’s legit? And frankly, you see, so just me talking about it right now I guarantee tonight, I’m gonna see CBD pet oil stuff in my Facebook feed because they’re listening.
25:48 Dr. Judy Morgan
Yep, yep. Yeah, I, frankly, can’t talk about it on my Facebook page anymore. Facebook banned me from advertising on Facebook because I had CBD products on my website, not even on Facebook, they were on my website, and I was banned from advertising. So there’s more censorship, which is really funny because there are CBD for pets pages on Facebook, where people are advertising it and talking about it. And yet I as a veterinarian was not allowed to. It’s really — it’s kind of like the VMA — the, you know, the veterinary medical boards have kind of done the same thing. They’ve kind of tried to silence the veterinarians, which I think veterinarians should be the people talking about it, they understand the needs of the animals’ better than anyone else.
However, so how do you know? Well, you want to look — personally, I’m a huge fan of using a whole plant extract, because the whole is more than the sum of its parts. I really believe that the broader we make the product, the better. You don’t want to see hemp seed oil, you want it to be CBD oil from the whole plant. You know, barring that, then let’s get a good product that’s extracted from the leaves.
You need to look at how it is being extracted. Personally, I would prefer not to have ethanol extractions or chemical extractions. But each company does their own thing. Look if there anything else added to that oil. Does it have essential oils added to it? Does it have flavorings added to it? I’m not a big fan of flavorings because it’s artificial stuff. Are we taking a natural product and then dumping a lot of artificial stuff in with it?
You want to see on the website or at your request, you should be able to get a certificate of analysis that will tell you if there are heavy metals or chemicals in there. And it also will have the analysis of the THC, which needs to be less than the 0.3%. So if they cannot produce those certificates of analysis, then they’re not testing their product for heavy metals and chemicals and pesticides and those sorts of things in there. And you really want to see a certificate analysis on every batch because some companies will do a one-time analysis and say okay good to go. Except it’s not. And that same thing, we run into the pet food companies, they do an analysis once and go, okay, good to go. In 10 years later, it’s like, wow, you really haven’t looked at that in 10 years. Okay, great. So the certificate of analysis.
Look at the dosing that they have on there. It’s really interesting, some companies dose by the disorder. So for seizures, they’ll say you should give this much. It’s not even based on the size of the dog. It’s an interesting way to do it. Where they say, well, for procedures we know we need — and these are companies that have done a little more testing and a little more research on the different disorders with the products. If you have arthritis then we’re going to do this, and if you have IB then we’re going to do this. So it can be very difficult.
My son-in-law actually started a CBD website. He does not make his own he doesn’t, he sells pet and human products. He was a crazed maniac choosing what he would allow on the website. He’s got that kind of engineering brain that I don’t have. Makes me crazy. Where he researched everything ad infinitum. And he’s happroached every day by multiple companies “I want to sell on your website, I want to be able to sell on your website” and he won’t do it because he does the research is like, well, I don’t like this about what you’re doing. I don’t like this about what you’re doing. So it can be very difficult.
And also it’s very difficult to figure out the dosing because CBD is labeled very weirdly. They put the total milligrams in the bottle on the label. So when you buy a bottle that says 250 milligrams, that’s how many milligrams are in the whole bottle. It’s not what’s per dose, it’s what’s in the bottle. So that means the pet owner now has to do the research. Well, if I’m supposed to give one milligram for 10 pounds of body weight, let’s keep it easy. My dog weighs 10 pounds, he needs one milligram. There’s 250 milligrams in the bottle. So 30 ml bottle I get a divide that out 3.3 milligrams per ml, I need one milligram. So that means my dog needs a little less than a third of a dropper.
30:27 Lorien Clemens
30:28 Dr. Judy Morgan
Yeah. I get emails every day “I can’t figure out how to dose this, how much does my dog get he weighs 27 pounds”. I’ve done the math so many times, it’s easy for me. But for the average Joe, pet owner, who is going well, my vet said he needs two and a half milligrams, I got a 500 milligram bottle. What’s that mean?
30:50 Lorien Clemens
Yeah. How much is in this this dropper? So you really want to be looking for brands that are taking that into consideration that they understand that I need to be able to do this myself without having to, you know, be a veterinarian or have a degree in dosage kind of a thing.
Well, and I also, I’m curious, too, because you know that as the industry continues to grow, there’s more research, regulations are being developed around this whole thing. I know that there’s going to be more tools moving forward, but right now, can you talk a little bit about the National Supplement Council Quality Seal? And tell how that is, or maybe isn’t, an indicator of a quality product? I mean, what is that seal? What does it mean? And what does it mean, in terms of CBD products?
31:32 Dr. Judy Morgan
I don’t know if any CBD products have gotten that seal yet. I haven’t really looked at that many of them to know. Although there’s a couple really high-quality brands that don’t have that seal yet. But it takes a couple of years to get that. You actually have to show that your products are made in good manufacturing processes. They can come in and inspect where the products are being made, and the products have to be tested to be sure — you know, multiple times — to be sure that they have the ingredients that are in the product have to match what’s on the label. And they have to look at any reports of adverse reactions to the product. So it’s a lot of hoops that companies have to jump through.
Not all companies will do that. It takes time and money to get that labeling. Once you have that labeling, the good news about that particular Council is that it’s not a one and done. They’re going to come in every couple of years and reevaluate and make sure that things are still up to the standards that were set when you got that approval. So that’s one really good thing about it that once people do go through — you know, it’s like Susan Fixtens food list. Food companies have to jump through hoops to get on her list and you don’t just call her up and go, hey, I want my food on your list. It’s just not going to happen. So, you know, companies that are willing to jump through the hoops to do that I think that I would trust a product that had that seal on it over another product.
But like I said, I personally have not seen it on a CBD product. So we’ll see.
33:22 Lorien Clemens
Okay, that’ll be interesting to know about perhaps we’ll reach out to them and see.
So are there other types of things when I’m standing in the pet store looking, are there good things that are indicators for me? I mean, you talked about the whole plant, you talked about that you want to make sure it’s not hemp seed oil, that it has clear measuring directions on there. Like what are the kinds of quality indicators can I be looking for?
33:48 Dr. Judy Morgan
You also want to look at the carrier oil. So the CBD is in a carrier oil. I’m a huge fan of MCT oil, but some of them are in fish oil. The biggest problem with fish oil is every time you open a bottle and expose it to the air, the fish oil oxidizes and so it can become rancid. So if you’re using a product that’s fish oil base, you want to be sure that you’re going to be getting through it pretty quickly — that the bottles not going to be sitting around for a long time.
I saw one the other day that their base carrier oil was actually hemp seed oil. You know, it could be flaxseed oil, it could really be whatever the company wants to use, and every company has its own reason. Sometimes it’s, you know, cost analysis. I would say you want to get a product, because they are oils, you want to get a product that you’re going to use up in 30 to 45 days because again, oils can become rancid.
I would look for products that are in glass bottles, never plastic. Oils will suck bad things out of plastics. So I’m a huge fan of glass bottles. The dropper itself may be plastic, but the bottle should be — and it really should be a dark bottle, which I think most of them are, again, because sunlight and heat will cause oils to become rancid.
And when you buy an oil, you should not store it right next to your stove. It should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place — the pantry is a good place. Our’s lives in a drawer in the basement because it’s cooler, and that’s where our dogs eat, but it’s cooler, it’s dark.
35:27 Lorien Clemens
Yeah, we have ours away from everything else that’s near where they eat too. And so, because, you know, as we’ve talked, a lot of veterinarians aren’t going to be willing to talk to you about it. So where should the pet parent go online — because that is where we are, especially with COVID right now, a lot of us don’t get the opportunity to go and stand in that pet store and talk to anybody at the, you know, our local independent pet store as much as we would love to. So where should we go? Where the best place is to go online for resources to do research?
35:58 Dr. Judy Morgan
You know what, and I’m gonna throw my so-in-law under the bus, but he’s done research and he’s kind of a CBD nerd. And he’s very happy to answer emails. So I’m really throwing him under the bus. Brandon, I’m sorry. His website is NaturallyHealthHemp.com. He doesn’t make his own, he’s not going to private label. My name is not attached to it, because I’m not allowed to be attached to it. And frankly, I don’t even pick the products, he does, because I kind of can’t get in the middle of it. But he is much more discerning than I am. He is the research guy. And so when people ask me questions, I generally throw them to him, because —
36:45 Lorien Clemens
So that was Naturally —
36:45 Dr. Judy Morgan
36:48 Lorien Clemens
Great. That’s a great one. We’ll make sure we put that in the blog post that we do about this too. But you know, people listening to you now are gonna be like, oh, wow, this lady, she really knows what she’s talking about. Which of course you do. I mean, my gosh, you’ve won so many awards, and you’re nationally, internationally recognized. And I a lot of times go to your site to research on things that I’m curious about. So, I would love it if you could tell everybody, I mean, you’ve got multiple books out there, a website full of information. So tell us how people can learn more from you.
37:16 Dr. Judy Morgan
DrJudyMorgan.com, very simple. That’s where you’ll find all my blogs, you’ll find three out of the four books are on there. All four books are on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
My Facebook page is Judy Morgan DVM, as in doctor of Veterinary Medicine. If you just go to Judy Morgan, you get pictures of my kids and my dogs. But Judy Morgan DVM, we do a Facebook Live Monday through Friday, pretty much every day around 8am or 8:30. Now that I’m retired, it kind of floats a little. And we do educational Facebook Lives pretty much every morning. I have a supporters group for people who are really interested in diving deeper, about once a week we meet and do that.
And I don’t know when this is airing, but we are doing a Naturally Healthy Pet Summit the weekend of [November 13-15]. It’s free for everyone. We have guest speakers from all over the world, some really big guns. But all of that will stay on the Facebook page. So there will be some really really good interviews coming up.
38:23 Lorien Clemens
Awesome. Well, Dr. Judy it’s — or Dr. Morgan, sorry.
38:26 Dr. Judy Morgan
38:29 Lorien Clemens
It’s wonderful talking to you, as always, I love to be able to pick your brain about things, trends happening in pet wellness, and to kind of get the whole view of the thing. So it’s really great having you on the show again.
38:42 Dr. Judy Morgan
Well thank you so much.
38:43 Lorien Clemens
And everybody, I want to make it clear that everything that we talked to you about today is for educational information purposes only. It’s not intended as health or medical advice, you should always consult your veterinarian when regarding questions about your pet’s health. But there’s lots of information out there to help guide you when you’re going to your veterinarian to ask questions about everything.
And before I sign off, I want to follow up on the NASC Quality Seal that Dr. Morgan and I were talking about earlier. We checked with the National Animal Supplement Council and they confirmed that they do actually have a number of companies that have earned the quality seal that have CBD products.
But with that said the Quality Seal is not rewarded to products, but rather it’s rewarded to companies that have passed a really comprehensive third-party audit and maintain ongoing compliance with the NASC’s quality standards. So while the Quality Seal is not an indicator of safety or efficacy of any product, it is an indicator that the company making the product is a responsible supplier committed to the highest standards of quality in the industry.
So we’re going to include a link to the companies that have earned that quality seal in the show notes for this episode.
And as always thank you for listening. Make sure to check out our past episodes where we talk to more industry experts about all things pet, geeky, and tech. And I cannot wait to talk to you next time on Pet Lover Geek, powered by PetHub.