Our dogs are more than just pets. Pets are family members. They bring love and joy into our lives and we return the favor by taking care of them and their health. However, they can also bring unwanted guests: intestinal parasites. These are also commonly referred to as worms. Intestinal parasites in dogs must always be treated by a veterinarian. You also may have heard of dog owners using cannabidiol (CBD). But, what is it exactly, and what does it do?
The most common intestinal parasites in dogs:
These tiny worms infest your dog’s small intestine and suck their blood. The symptoms are anemia, diarrhea, weakness, excessive weight loss, and blood in your dog’s stool. If they migrate to the lungs, they can also cause a fever or a cough.
These worms infest the entire intestinal tract. They are big enough to be seen with the naked eye in your dog’s feces. Roundworm infestation will cause chronic diarrhea, stunted growth, and swelling in the gut (giving your dog a pot-bellied appearance).
These parasites can grow up to six inches in your dog’s gut! The infestation can be hard to detect, but some telltale signs are itchiness in the anal area (causing your dog to scoot their butt on the carpet), weight loss with increased appetite, and a pot-bellied appearance (similar to roundworms).
These worms are found in the dog’s large intestine. A dog suffering from a whipworm infection will frequently show no symptoms. However, if the infection is severe enough then they will suffer from diarrhea, weight loss, and excessive mucus in the feces.
Giardia infection (also known as giardiasis):
Unlike the other parasites on this list, giardia is not a worm; it is a single-celled organism. Symptoms of giardiasis are vomiting, severe diarrhea, and stools that smell particularly foul or are greasy in appearance.
As you can see, there are various types of parasites that can infect your dog. Because they live inside their body, it may not always be easy to spot them. Tapeworms and roundworms are the only ones that can be seen with the naked eye in your dog’s stools.
Unfortunately, intestinal parasites in dogs are common. Approximately 34% of shelter dogs and 12% of household dogs will have some form of them.
Humans Can Also Get Infected:
Furthermore, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms are all zoonotic. This means that they can spread from your dog to you if you come in contact with infected stools. Most dogs will defecate in the yards of their homes, making all the soil that their feces touch infectious. That means that keeping your dog healthy and worm-free is in your best interest too. This is especially true if you have young children in your household; they are more susceptible to these infections.
Intestinal Parasite Symptoms To Look For:
These various parasites also have slightly different symptoms and some dogs do not display any symptoms at all. However, there are some general signs that your dog may be suffering from one of these infestations, including:
- Chronic vomiting
- Chronic diarrhea
- Anal itchiness (causing the dog to scoot its butt on the carpet)
- Swelling in the gut (formally referred to as distension in the abdomen)
- Excessive weight loss
- Occasional coughing
Some of these symptoms can be really troubling for dog owners: it is definitely gross to have your dog rubbing their butt all over your carpet. No one wants that! If your dog displays any of these signs, then take them to a veterinarian immediately. They will be able to determine what kind of parasite your dog is suffering from. They can then administer medication to kill off the infestation.
What Exactly Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a natural extract derived from the industrial hemp plant. CBD belongs to the overall class of compounds known as cannabinoids.
Before we dive deeper, it is important to note that CBD has not been approved by the FDA to prevent, treat, or cure any diseases or ailments.
We do know, however, that it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This is a regulatory system in the mammalian body that controls all sorts of health-related processes. It is composed of:
- Cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1) – these are mostly found in the brain and the gut.
- Cannabinoid 2 receptors (CB2) – these are mostly found in the immune system.
It is important to note that these receptors are present all over your dog’s body. The CB1 receptors present in the gut control digestion and intestinal function.
What Effect Does CBD Oil Have On Dogs?
Although CBD is not yet approved as a drug or treatment, you may add it to complement conventional treatments for intestinal parasites in dogs. Before doing so, however, it is always advised that you consult with your vet. In short, it may promote a soothing and relaxed state for your dog. Irritation from gastrointestinal distress is usually a primary symptom of nearly every kind of intestinal parasite.
The ECS is responsible for a healthy metabolism in your dog. It also regulates the various CB1 receptors in your dog’s digestive system. These are collectively known as the gut nervous system and if intestinal parasites are present, they go haywire. Severe inflammation is triggered, leading to chronic diarrhea and vomiting. Regulating these CB1 receptors may decrease these symptoms.
It is also important to know CBD is not psychoactive. When people hear about cannabis plant extracts, they are usually thinking of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the primary compound found in marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, has the qualities of THC but none of the intoxicating effects. This is particularly important because most pets do not like the feeling of being high and may become agitated.
Is CBD Anti-Parasitic?
So now we know that the ECS is responsible for regulating inflammation, which may result from intestinal parasites in dogs. Can CBD affect the underlying condition (intestinal parasites in dogs) in addition to the associated symptoms? As mentioned earlier, it is not meant to prevent, treat or cure any diseases. But it may provide soothing effects during these times of distress.
Remember that the ECS may gave a profound role on gut health and function. The CB1 receptors in the nervous system of your dog’s gut will respond to any stimulus from the ECS.
How Much CBD Do I Give My Dog?
Now you have to figure out how much to give your dog. You should choose a CBD company that sells high-quality products and has superior quality control. There are a variety of CBD products available online, including capsules, tinctures, and treats.
Once you have purchased the right CBD product for your dog, you will have to determine how much they weigh and whether you want to give a regular dose or a strong dose.
To determine the proper dose, use these simple formulas:
- To administer a regular dose, multiply your dog’s weight by 0.25 (a 40-pound dog will need a 10-milligram dose).
- For a strong dose, multiply your dog’s weight by 0.5 (a 40-pound dog will need a 20-milligram dose).
If necessary, you can also consult this useful dosing chart: https://www.holistapet.com/cbd-dosing-chart-for-pets/.
For the best results, administer the CBD daily. Most owners give two doses a day: one in the morning and one in the evening. Order a CBD product today and help your dog be at their best!
You should always consult with your veterinarian when giving CBD to ensure that there are no negative interactions with other medications. Your veterinarian may also counsel you on nutrition. This will ensure that your dog will quickly recover from their parasite infection.
Other Roles of the ECS for Dogs
Remember that the ECS has several key roles in the body. These include:
Pain response is regulated by the ECS.
Chronic inflammation can result in widespread damage to your dog’s body. This includes the deterioration of DNA in their cells and premature aging.
This condition is also a kind of inflammation. The ECS may promote an anti-inflammatory response through its regulation of the cannabinoid receptors.
Dogs are sensitive to their environments and will frequently share emotional states with their owners. The ECS may help reduce this nervous behavior by producing higher levels of a cannabinoid known as anandamide.
Unfortunately, seizure disorders are a common condition in dogs. The ECS may play a role in regulating the nervous system response in dogs.
In conclusion, doing proper research may allow you to get a better understanding of your dog’s condition and how to help it. While CBD is not a federally approved medicine or drug, you may still consider adding it to your dog’s diet. It generally has little to no side effects and is tolerated by dogs.