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To help you understand why these plants may help animals, it is important to understand its history. Each creature on the planet that has a vertebrate has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and it's that systems' sole purpose to keep the body in homeostasis. It works to make sure everything is running at its best and that all systems and organs are running as they should. Each ECS makes its own cannabinoids but also needs help from an outside source. Just as you add essential fatty acids to a pet's diet, you need to also add cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are found in a number of different plants/sources, not just hemp/cannabis.
Figuring out the exact dosage for an animal may be tricky. Each body makes its own cannabinoids and there is no way to tell how much their bodies already produce. Slowly raising the dosage until the desired effects are obtained is the best route to go. Some dogs need more while some need less.
We ask pet parents to start with 0.1mg per kg of dogs' weight and can be given twice a day, with or without food. Our motto is to start low and go slow. You can increase the amount until the desired results begin to occur. The more severe the issue, the more is required but always start low and go slow and we recommend raising by 1/4 dropper full at a time and waiting 3-4 days before increasing the dosage. When dealing with aggressive diseases, like cancer, you can go up to 2mg - 4mg per kg, twice a day.
For dogs with seizures, we recommend reaching the limit of 1 - 1.5mg per kg of dogs' weight. For severe issues, like cancer, we have recommended 2-3mg per kg weight of the dog. We have not yet reached the higher levels of 4mg per kg and are unsure if we ever will.
Special Note: The ECS is self-regulating and by feeding it, the system will work on the worst issue first. There may be an underlying issue so the results may not be noticeable at first. As that issue is repaired it will move onto the next issue. Some pet parents see a difference with one dose of drops and with others it may take longer. Dogs who have epilepsy may stop having seizures after one dosage, those who are anxious and nervous will calm down after a week and some senior pups who no longer can walk without pain will get up and play after a few days. It all depends on the animal and the issues.
FELINES: Cats seem to require double the dosage of dogs, taking into account the mg per kg basis. Some even do well with 3 times the starting amount and seem to react faster to this oil than dogs. We are experiencing success with the cats starting with a 1/8-1/4 dropper of the 120mg bottle = .75mg - 1mg. If no change can be noted after 1 week, increase the dosage by increasing by double. There are some cats taking 4mg twice a day and they are doing very well. Unfortunately, there are very few studies that have been conducted with this plant medicine and cats and until more research has been conducted, we will continue recommending this starting dosage.
Sleepiness is the most prominent occurrence. This stems from the animal finally being pain-free and needing to catch up on some much-needed rest.
Wooziness and being off-balance can also occur. This, we have been told by vets, stems from the animal being pain-free and not being sure why. They seem to be afraid to move about in case the pain returns. As the oil causes pain relief, the animal feels "off" as there is no longer that lingering pain. Another reason that starting low and raising slowly is important.
Diarrhea can sometimes occur. This could be due to the richness of the coconut oil. Lower the dosage for a day, until the stool returns to normal, and resume the regular dosage.
Nine out of over a thousand dogs have experienced a reaction to the drops. It appears to be the MCT oil, which we use as a carrier oil. The MCT looks to have caused an allergic reaction in the form of hyper activeness, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. We moved some of these dogs to drops based with regular hemp oil, as the carrier oil, and they were fine. As each body will produce its own cannabinoids, we feel it is extremely unlikely an animal will be allergic to the actual oil formulation.
All side effects should disappear within a few days.
Once the desired results have been achieved and stable for at least 1 month, you can slowly lower the number of treats, or dropper fill, by 1/4 dropper full at a time. Monitor for any recurring pain and discomfort. Once you see the pain returning, take the pet back to the level you last noticed discomfort. Once you find the "sweet spot" you can keep the animal at this level as long as required.
NOTE: For animals with seizures we do not recommend lowering the dosage and have pet parents stay with the level that is working.
There is one ringworm medication (ketoconazole) that seems to render that medication void. Other than this medication, there does not seem to be any other interactions but as this medicine becomes more widespread, this may change.
NOTE: The ECS not only creates additional cannabinoid receptors, but it also seems to clear other pathways and some pharmaceuticals may react stronger than intended. Keeping an eye for these side effects is important as these other medications may need their levels lowered, or halted, altogether.