Inflammation in dogs is a complicated biological reaction of the dog’s bodily tissues to harmful stimuli such as infections, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a defensive response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and chemical mediators to help the body heal itself.
Your dog, like people, can have bronchitis, colitis, arthritis, tonsillitis, or a variety of other inflammatory (or “itis”) disorders. The immune system’s response to foreign substances, trauma, or infection is inflammation. It can also be caused by autoimmune illnesses, which cause the body to launch an inflammatory response even when there are no intruders to fight.
When plasma and white blood cells are attracted to a section of the dog’s body to fight infection, remove dead cells, and stimulate tissue healing, inflammation ensues. The area becomes reddish and heated due to increased blood flow to the area. Swelling occurs when blood vessels become more permeable and spill fluid into the surrounding tissue. To fight infection and do other tasks, chemicals are released into the tissue or blood. However, inflammation comes with a cost: Swelling causes pain by stimulating nerve endings and releasing substances such as bradykinin and histamine. Expect your dog to be in pain whenever you observe inflammation.
Furthermore, persistent inflammation might predispose your dog to a variety of disorders, including cancer. More evidence is accumulating indicating chronic inflammation is significantly more widespread than we previously believed.
Inflammatory Conditions in Dogs
Inflammation might be visible at times. A dog with a recent cut or burn will have inflamed tissue in the affected region; a dog with an ear infection will frequently have an inflamed ear canal; a dog with periodontal disease will have inflamed gums, and a dog with a flea allergy will have inflamed skin. Internal inflammation isn’t always visible; a dog with an inflamed prostate, pancreas, or kidney may be in excruciating pain, but you can’t see what’s causing it.
Inflammatory illness can be moderate or severe, and it can be acute or chronic. Here are several examples:
Arthritis: which is often accompanied by inflammation, is a very frequent ailment. Extra cells and inflammatory chemicals build up in the joint, producing irritation, cartilage wear, swelling of the joint lining, stiffness, and discomfort. Some kinds of arthritis, although not all, are caused by misdirected inflammation. This is less true in osteoarthritis when inflammation can arise because of cartilage loss in the joint.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Inflammation of the stomach or intestinal lining prevents food from being digested normally, resulting in persistent vomiting, long-term diarrhea, weight loss, and intermittent abdominal discomfort. The underlying cause might be hereditary, dietary allergies, parasites, germs, or other causes.
Inflammatory Joint Disease: Infections such as bacterial or fungal infections, tick-borne illness, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are the most common causes. An underlying problem in your dog’s immune system, which may be inherited, can also cause this form of arthritis. Irritating the conjunctiva of the dog’s eye, allergies, or dry eye are the most common causes of conjunctivitis.
Panosteitis: Young dogs, generally between the ages of 5 and 19, are affected by this painful inflammation of the long bones. It is more common in the front legs, and the dog may find it too uncomfortable to play. The illness can last anywhere from a few days to several months, and it can be moderate or severe.
Any ailment that ends in “itis” relates to inflammation: folliculitis, glomerulonephritis, hepatitis, lymphadenitis, meningitis, and myocarditis are all inflammation-related disorders in dogs.
Exercise & Canine Inflammation
Exercising induces muscular inflammation. In fact, exercise is a fascinating case study in terms of inflammation. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce systemic inflammatory markers. Acute exercise raises indicators of acute inflammation. Repeatedly conducting strenuous activity before the inflammation from earlier exercise fades might result in chronic inflammation. The take-home lesson is to progressively increase your level of exercise while also providing relaxation and good nourishment in between bouts of intensive exercise. That’s essentially what we’ve been advised for years to prevent chronic pain; now we know it’s also likely to avoid chronic inflammation.
The Negative Effects of Inflammation on Dogs
While inflammation is a beneficial process in resisting injuries and invaders, persistent inflammation may be detrimental since it can cause chronic discomfort and potentially raise the risk of certain illnesses. Unfortunately, many, if not the majority, cases of inflammation go unreported. When a virus enters the gastrointestinal system, it causes an immunological reaction and an inflammatory response. Pro-inflammatory molecules can be produced by non-food things (and what dog doesn’t eat a twig or an illegal snack from the trash?), as well as some foods.
Although we know less about the role of inflammation in the dog’s physiology, we may presume it has the same negative consequences on health. In fact, we know that inflammation is the most prevalent cause of aches and pains in dogs of all breeds and ages.
Terpenes and Anti-Inflammatory Hemp Compounds
There are over a dozen natural plant-based chemicals and terpenes that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory activities.
According to animal studies, both CB1 and CB2 receptors are involved in inflammatory pain.