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Cannabidiol improves symptoms of canine arthritis, study finds
Arthritis affects one in five dogs.

Scientists measure the effect of CBD in dogs diagnosed with the condition. 

Scientists in the United States have discovered that cannabidiol (CBD) can significantly improve the lives of dogs diagnosed with arthritis.

The researchers, from the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, say their results could pave the way to studying the effects of CBD in humans.

In the study, the scientists first measured the effect of CBD on immune responses associated with arthritis, both in human and murine cells grown in the lab and mouse models. They found that that CBD treatment resulted in reduced production of both inflammatory molecules and immune cells linked to arthritis.

Next, the researchers found that in dogs diagnosed with the condition, CBD treatment significantly improved quality of life as documented by both owner and veterinary assessments. Scientists say their work, published in the journal PAIN, supports future scientific evaluation of CBD for human arthritis.

“We found encouraging results,” said Dr Matthew Halpert, research faculty in the department of pathology and immunology at Baylor. “Nine of the 10 dogs on CBD showed benefits, which remained for two weeks after the treatment stopped. We did not detect alterations in the blood markers we measured, suggesting that, under the conditions of our study, the treatment seems to be safe.”

Arthritis affects one in five dogs, and its prevalence increases as a dog ages, according to Canine Arthritis Management.

Twenty dogs from the Sunset Animal Hospital in Houston were employed for the study. The dogs' owners were given medicine bottles at random, containing either CBD, liposomal CBD, or a placebo. Neither the owner nor the vet knew which treatment each dog was receiving.

The dogs received the treatment each day for four weeks. The vet and the dogs' owners noted the condition of the dogs and whether they noticed any changes in their animal's level of pain, such as changes related to running or gait. The dogs' blood cell count, liver and kidney function were also evaluated before and after treatment.

“We studied dogs because experimental evidence shows that spontaneous models of arthritis, particularly in domesticated canine models, are more appropriate for assessing human arthritis pain treatments than other animal models," said Halpert. "The biological characteristics of arthritis in dogs closely resemble those of the human condition."

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AWF Student Grant Scheme opens for applications

News Story 1
 The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications to its 2021 Student Grant Scheme for innovative projects designed to impact animal welfare. The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduates studying veterinary and animal welfare degrees, but students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

Grants will fund projects on animal welfare topics that are relevant to the veterinary profession and help develop the student's skills as a researcher. This year, the AWF is also accepting projects which are carried out alongside EMS so long as they are supervised. For more information and to apply, visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk 

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News Shorts
Survey seeks views on keeping cows with calves

Researchers at Scotland's Rural College are seeking views from dairy farmers on keeping cows with calves.

Their study entitled 'Keeping Cow with Calf: bringing innovation to dairying in Scotland' aims to find out the motivations and reservations about operating a cow-with-calf dairy system.

The survey will help researchers build an evidence base and gauge what support farmers need to move to this practice. For more information, or to complete the survey, visit keepingcowwithcalf.com