CBD’s role in post-surgical pain relief to be explored at WCVM

Saskatchewan researchers will assess the effect of cannabidiol on dogs undergoing TPLO

The role of cannabidiol (CBD) in canine post-surgical pain management is set to be explored at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).The potential benefit of cannabidiol (CBD) in canine post-surgical pain management is set to be explored at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).

Specifically, a research team, led by Alan Chicoine, DVM, MSc., DACVCP, will investigate the effect of CBD on pain relief in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), a procedure used to treat cranial cruciate ligament tears. The surgery is fairly common in dogs and can be associated with significant discomfort, reports the study’s funding group, Morris Animal Foundation.

“We need evidence to either support or refute the use of CBD in veterinary patients,” says Dr. Chicoine, who is an assistant professor in WCVM’s department of veterinary biomedical sciences. “This study hopes to objectively answer whether, in this situation, CBD provides some benefit. If it does, we want to get that information out to the veterinary community. Then dog owners, in consultation with their family veterinarian, can decide if CBD is right for them.”

CBD use in pets has gained in popularity in the last decade, but there are few controlled studies closely examining its efficacy as a pain management tool, according to Morris Animal Foundation. This study hopes to help partially close this knowledge gap.

Researchers will assess the effect of adding CBD oil to the standard protocol used to manage post-operative pain, with dogs randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or cannabidiol in addition to a standard pain control regime. Surveys and physical examinations will be used to assess pain, and the results will be compared between the two groups.

“Finding ways to better manage pain in companion animals has been a top research focus for the foundation,” says Morris Animal Foundation’s chief program officer, Kathy Tietje, PhD, MBA. “This project has the potential to provide important guidance to veterinarians and dog owners on a crucial topic in pain management.”

Enrollment is currently underway, and the group hopes to complete the study in late 2024, Morris Animal Foundation reports.

For more on the use of CBD in Canadian veterinary medicine, see, “What is the current evidence for CBD in veterinary medicine?” by Katherine Kramer, DVM, DAVBP (Canine/Feline), CVA, CVTP, Fear Free Certified.

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