Many of us are unfortunately all too well aware that cancer is a killer, but did you know it's the leading cause of death in dogs ages ten and older? From risks to costs to decisions we're never prepared to make, helping our dogs with cancer leaves many of us lost and confused. But we want you to know that experts believe about half of all cancers are curable. However, this is only if they are found early and given the proper treatment.
What is CBD Oil and How Does It Help With Dogs' Cancer?
Known more formally as cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabis-derived liquid that offers a myriad of health benefits for dogs with cancer. When cancer strikes, dogs are left to battle very draining side effects. It can become strenuous to fight cancer daily, but CBD can help make the journey a bit more comfortable.
Just as people use medical marijuana to assist with health-related pain, pet CBD oil can be used similarly. In a way, CBD is like medical marijuana for dogs that have cancer without the intoxicating effects.
Some of the most common symptoms of canine cancer are:
- Raised bumps under the skin
- Hard time breathing at leisure
- Unusual scents coming from the mouth
- Open wounds that won't heal on their own
- Little to no appetite
- No interest in eating favorite snacks
- Excessive sleeping/naps
- Low energy and disinterest in surroundings
- Clear signs of pain
One of the most appealing characteristics of CBD for dogs with cancer is that it may help promote pain relief for dogs experiencing discomfort. There are many different side effects of not only cancer itself but of the methods of treating cancer in dogs, too. It can be incredibly difficult to watch our pets struggle with both cancer and the treatment for it, but rest assure pet parents, CBD may be able to provide a wealth of benefits.
CBD cannot treat cancer in dogs. It will not stop cancerous cells from growing, nor will it halt the progression of metastatic cancer cells in dogs. Instead of being a treatment, CBD is a way to relieve the not-so-great side effects of going through cancer treatment.
From chemotherapy and radiation to possible surgical removals and amputations, treatment options for dogs with cancer can become quite intense. CBD can be thought of as a healthy coping mechanism. By minimizing pain and discomfort, CBD helps keep your dog comfortable while going through the motions of cancer treatment therapies.
Types of Cancer in Dogs
Not all canine cancer is the same. While these are not the only five types of cancer in dogs, the most common cancers seen in dogs are:
- Bone Cancer
- Mast Cell Tumors
Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that originates in the actual bones of dogs. Cancer is most often discussed in terms of surrounding tissues, but bones can develop cancerous tumors as well. Bone cancer arises when cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts start reproducing rapidly to the point where it becomes an abnormal production rate. From there, the cancer cells form a conglomerate known as a malignant osteosarcoma tumor.
Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of the blood vessels. As a malignant form of canine cancer, hemangiosarcoma can spread to other parts of the body. Most often, cases of hemangiosarcoma are seen in elderly and middle-aged dogs. In terms of breeds, smaller dogs are less likely to come down with hemangiosarcoma as it usually affects medium-sized to very large dogs.
Lymphoma stems from an abnormal production of cancer cells in the lymphocytes of dogs. Also known as the white blood cells, lymphocytes are leading players in canine immune systems. They are massively vital in making sure your dog's immune system is strong enough to defend your dog against infections that threaten your pet's overall health. The wellbeing of your dog has much to do with lymphocytes, so lymphoma can be daunting as it threatens white blood cells.
Mast Cell Tumors
Mast cell tumors are made up of cancer cells formed by abnormally-produced blood cells. These tumors also happen to be the most common form of canine cancer. When the cells become deformed or otherwise transformed from their normal state, they mass produce and become malignant. These tumors are very opposed to treatment, mainly because they grow back very quickly. Not only that, but they have a high propensity for metastasizing as well, so the earlier the tumors are detected in dogs, the better!
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that manifests as dark spots on your dog's coat. Unlike many cases of canine skin cancer, melanoma tumors are evident from the outside. It's best to locate and treat melanomas as soon as possible because they can grow to become quite aggressive.
What Effects Does CBD Have on a Dog?
CBD has a calming, sedative effect on dogs with cancer. CBD is known to reduce anxiety, minimize the physical manifestations of stress, and calm an otherwise antsy dog. CBD does an excellent job of providing dogs with peace and tranquility during situations that would typically elicit the polar opposite emotional responses.
CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which affects regulatory systems like the nervous and immune systems. This is why CBD oil and other CBD products can help with pain and inflammation. There is some thought that the endocannabinoid system can influence cancer cells by slowing their growth or hindering their ability to divide. However, our understanding of this is very young. As such, we never recommend CBD oil or another CBD product replace a cancer treatment advised by your veterinarian.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects for Dogs?
Many people view the sedative nature of CBD as being a positive effect on dogs with cancer. CBD doesn't usually make dogs tired unless too much oil is administered. When this happens, the relaxing effects of cannabidiol for dogs can be viewed as a negative side effect. But this is an example of how the downsides of CBD oil for dogs with cancer are very minor. And it's entirely preventable, too. CBD dosages are based on body weight. Make sure you read the instructions and recommended dosing directions on the side of your CBD container.
When discussing your dog’s treatment plan with your vet, make sure to include CBD in the conversation if you’re interested in using it or another cannabis product. CBD oil can mess with CYP enzymes and their ability to metabolize certain prescription drugs. This usually occurs with higher than normal dosages. Most dogs with cancer respond well to CBD, and it fits into their treatment plan without any trouble or side effects of its own.
What to Look for in CBD?
When looking into companies that sell CBD marketed towards dogs, it's essential to look at the quality control and overall process behind the making of CBD. You want to ensure that the CBD is tested by third-party laboratories to guarantee the CBD is of high quality.
Locally sourced hemp plants are best, so seek out CBD that is sourced in the United States. Avoid CBD products containing preservatives, additives, by-products, or anything else.
Our full spectrum CBD oil for dogs is organic, hemp-based cannabidiol oil, which we source from the U.S. states of Colorado and Oregon. We create our CBD with your dogs in mind, meaning it's 100% safe for your canine companions to consume. As a full-spectrum CBD product, the entourage effect ensures that your dog is getting the most out of every drop of oil from Innovet Pet.
We want to stress the importance of not using CBD oil as a sole treatment for cancer. CBD oil may have anti-cancerous effects, but research about how significant is unknown. CBD is great for improving the quality of life when a dog is undergoing cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy. However, it is not a replacement for it.
Author: Matt Terrill
Link to Full Article: Using CBD Oil For Dogs with Cancer