A new study is testing whether the addition of CBD can improve pain management in dogs following orthopedic surgery. The study, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, will be conducted by a veterinary research team at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
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. This study hopes to help partially close this knowledge gap.
The research team, led by Dr. Alan Chicoine, Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, will study the effect of CBD on pain relief in dogs undergoing tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), a procedure used to treat cranial cruciate ligament tears. TPLO surgery is a common procedure in dogs and can be associated with significant discomfort.
The team will assess the effect of adding CBD oil to the standard protocol used to manage postoperative pain in these patients. Dogs will be randomly assigned to either receive a placebo or CBD in addition to the standard pain control regime. Owners and their veterinarians will be blinded to their treatment group. Surveys and physical examinations will be used to assess pain, and the results will be compared between the two groups.
“We need evidence to either support or refute the use of CBD in veterinary patients,” said Chicoine. “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.”
Enrollment is in progress, and the group hopes to complete the study in late 2024.
“Finding ways to better manage pain in companion animals has been a top research focus for the Foundation,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Program Officer. “This project has the potential to provide important guidance to veterinarians and dog owners on a crucial topic in pain management.”