Gabapentin And CBD Oil For Dogs

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Dr. Shelby Loos discusses gabapentin for dogs, including what it’s used for, the gabapentin dosage for dogs, and potential side effects. Dogs receiving chemotherapy for cancer tend to have a lot of unwanted side effects. Many pet parents use CBD oil as a way to curb some of them and make their pet more comfortable. Recent research has shown that giving CBD oil to your pet in conjunction with radiation actually may make chemotherapy more effective.

Gabapentin for Dogs: How It Can Help

Gabapentin has a variety of uses in veterinary medicine, and prescribing gabapentin for dogs, especially, is becoming more popular amongst veterinarians.

Here’s everything you need to know about gabapentin for dogs.

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What Is Gabapentin for Dogs?

Gabapentin is an anticonvulsant and analgesic drug that is commonly prescribed by veterinarians to treat seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.

It is a human medication, and its use in veterinary medicine is “off-label,” meaning it is not FDA-approved for pets.

How gabapentin works is not completely understood; however, it is thought to inhibit the release of excitatory neurotransmitters.

What Is Gabapentin Used for in Dogs?

Gabapentin can be prescribed to help with seizures, pain, and anxiety in dogs.

Preventing Seizures

Gabapentin has anticonvulsant properties that make it beneficial for adjunctive therapy for dogs with refractory seizures, or those whose current medication regime is no longer effective enough.

Controlling Pain

Gabapentin is also an analgesic, meaning it provides pain relief for chronic pain and neuropathic pain. It’s most commonly used for the chronic pain associated with degenerative joint disease.

It has also shown to be beneficial when used in combination with other pain medications—such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or opioids—to help with pain associated with surgery.

Easing Anxiety

While traditionally used for seizures and pain, gabapentin is becoming more popular to use as adjunctive therapy for anxiety in dogs as well.

What Are the Side Effects of Gabapentin in Dogs?

Sedation is the main potential side effect of gabapentin, and the level of sleepiness varies from patient to patient. Veterinarians will prescribe a starting dose, and if this results in the dog becoming a little too sedate, the veterinarian will taper the dose down to the most effective one.

Like all medications, there is a small chance that a dog could be allergic to it, in which case, this medication should be avoided.

What’s the Gabapentin Dosage for Dogs?

The dosage range for gabapentin varies widely depending on what it is being used to treat. Gabapentin should be used with caution for animals with liver or kidney disease, as it will take longer to metabolize.

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Gabapentin is available in several forms that are human-labeled products:

100 mg (capsules and tablets)

300 mg (capsules and tablets)

400 mg (capsules and tablets)

There is also an oral solution made at 250 mg/5 mL; however, sometimes the solution is formulated with xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Your veterinarian will help you order this medication in a form that is safe for your dog.

Sometimes a dog is too small to use the human formulations, in which case, a compounding pharmacy can formulate whichever form and dosage that the veterinarian requests.

Gabapentin is usually given by mouth three to four times, with or without food. Check the directions on the bottle or ask your vet if you are not sure of the correct dosage for your dog.

Gabapentin should start to take effect fairly quickly, and relief should be noticed within one or two hours of administration.

Since it is a short-acting drug, the effects will be gone in 24 hours; however, the medication may last longer in dogs with renal or liver impairment.

This drug should not be stopped abruptly when used to treat seizures, as it can result in withdrawal seizures. Always consult a veterinarian before discontinuing any medication.

Can You Use Gabapentin and Trazodone Together for Dogs?

Trazodone is a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication, and while it is not recommended to be used with tramadol, it is safe to use with gabapentin. There are combination solutions from compounded pharmacies that contain both trazodone and gabapentin, and these are more commonly prescribed for behavior disorders like anxiety.

Can Dogs Take CBD and Gabapentin?

Another common question is if dogs can take gabapentin with CBD oil. This is not recommended due to the risk of increased sedation between the two.

Always consult with a veterinarian before starting your dog on any additional medications or supplements that were not originally prescribed to ensure that they are safe with your dog’s current medications.

Is Tramadol or Gabapentin Better for Dogs in Pain?

Tramadol is another medication that has been commonly prescribed to treat pain in dogs; however, this is starting to fall out of favor with veterinarians.

Studies have found that tramadol may not be as effective as originally thought. In fact, it was found to be ineffective at controlling pain associated with osteoarthritis in dogs. However, studies are ongoing, and the debate is still up for discussion on the effectiveness of tramadol.

In the meantime, veterinarians are turning more towards gabapentin for pain relief in their patients.

See Also

Want to learn more about pain medication for dogs? Read this advice on pain management.

What Drugs Will Interact with My Pet’s CBD?

While we still do not even know the extent that people’s medications will interact with CBD, even less is known about pet CBD medication interactions. That is simply because the research is lacking for both, especially in the pet field.

My veterinarian will not talk to me about CBD, but I would still like to make an educated decision on whether or not giving them CBD would be for the best.

We understand that this can be a very frustrating issue for a lot of pet parents. While CBD can cause some pet medications to be more or even less effective if consumed with CBD, there are similar precautions that have to be taken when giving your pet herbal supplements or even vitamins. There is always going to be a chance of interactions. The extent of them depends on body chemistry and prescription dose. What will affect one pet, may not affect another.

When CBD is ingested orally at large doses a group of liver enzymes in your pet may be temporarily altered. One of the most common interactions that relate to this is grapefruit for humans. CBD is also metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes preventing it from metabolizing other compounds.

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“The extent to which cannabidiol behaves as a competitive inhibitor of cytochrome P450 depends on how tightly CBD binds to the active site of the metabolic enzyme before and after oxidation. This can change greatly, depending on how – and how much – CBD is administered, the unique attributes of the individual taking this medication, and whether isolated CBD or a whole-plant remedy is used.” – Adrain Devitt-Lee, a researcher at Project CBD.

60% of all medications are metabolized in the liver via specific enzymes produced in it. CBD, like grapefruit, temporarily uses up the enzymes and/or inhibiting the action of others.

Drugs that may be used for pain relief in your pet such as NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs), Tramadol, Gabapentin or anxiety relief such as Prozac all rely on the P450 enzymes. This does not mean your pet can’t take CBD, it just means you might want to be a little more careful when dosing it at first. And CBD can be a wonderful way to hopefully have your pet use less of the above medications.

NSAIDs can wreak havoc on the stomach and liver over long term use.

Tramadol and Gabapentin usually require an increased dose over time because the body gets used to it.

Prozac and any other anti-anxiety will have withdrawal symptoms if given over a period of time. Please do not ever take your pet off of these medications cold-turkey. It is very very important your pet is titrated down slowly off of them.

Here is how one of our clients uses CBD and Prozac together-

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“I give my dog Blooming Culture pet CBD oil on a daily basis to help with her generalized anxiety. When we travel or fly I up her dose of CBD that day and add in her veterinarian prescribed Prozac. I have found in conjunction they work really well together for extreme circumstances.”

One of the biggest known and visible side-effects of dosing your pet CBD with any of these medications is tiredness, which can be easily remedied by adjusting their dose.

If you are thinking about switching your pet off their prescription medication or trying to lower their dose, do it slowly. You can first start with a low dose of CBD and talking to your veterinarian on the best way to ween off the particular medication.

All Drug Interactions are Not Negative

Since CBD can also enhance the effects of certain medications, this means that a lower dose of that medication or therapy can sometimes be used, which is a positive.

Drugs used for dog seizures is one. Since CBD also has its own anti-seizure properties, it has proven to work well in human clinical trials together with anti-seizure medications. The AKC Health Foundation recently announced that it will begin a major clinical trial to study the potential for pet CBD oil for use in drug-resistant epileptic dogs.

The second is chemotherapy. Dogs receiving chemotherapy for cancer tend to have a lot of unwanted side effects. Many pet parents use CBD oil as a way to curb some of them and make their pet more comfortable. The same way people going through radiation may use CBD or cannabis. But recent research has shown that giving CBD oil to your pet in conjunction with radiation actually may make chemotherapy more effective.

Some research states that CBD triggers TRPV2 channels, making the cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.

A different study showed that rats with pancreatic cancer had 3X the survival rate when given CBD in conjunction with chemotherapy instead of only chemotherapy.

Again, please work with your veterinarian as much as possible to make sure every medication, natural or not is working together safely on your pet.

*This article is for informational purposes only. If you have pet medication interaction concerns, please always consult with your veterinarian first.

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