Does cbd oil for dogs help with cancer

Does cbd oil for dogs help with cancer

Like humans, our canine companions are susceptible to cancer, with 1 in 3 dogs developing some form of cancer in their life. 1 in 4 dogs will develop neoplasia, the abnormal growth of cells or tissues within the body. The main cause of deathfor dogs over 2 years old is cancer, and half of the number of dogs over the age of 10 are likely to develop it. Clearly, cancer is common enough that dog owners should familiarize themselves with the main types of dog cancers and how they are treated.

Most Common Cancers in Dogs

The most common types of cancer in dogs include:

  • Canine lymphoma: Lymphoma can affect the lymph nodes, as well as the spleen, gastrointestinal tract, and bone marrow.
  • Melanoma: Melanoma is found on the skin, particularly within a dog’s mouth.
  • Mammary cancer: Mammary cancer affects the mammary glands.

Other common forms of cancer in dogs are mast cell tumors , bone cancer , and Hemangiosarcoma (a kind of cancer found in the heart or spleen).

The good news is that over half of all canine cancers are treatable if caught early.

Signs Your Dog Might Have Cancer

There are various signs that your dog might have cancer, but you need to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian in order to get a diagnosis. Some of the signs and symptoms of dog cancer include:

  • Swelling
  • Difficulty eating
  • Lumps
  • Sudden changes in weight

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms are also common in dogs with anxiety problems , or simply characteristics of dogs who are getting older.

Warning Signs for Dogs With Cancer

Some warning signs of cancer in dogs are:

  • Lumps or bumps underneath the skin
  • New odors coming from their mouth or ears
  • Discharge from their mouth, eyes, or ears
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Wounds or sores that won’t heal
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Dramatic changes in appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Bathroom habit changes
  • Evidence of pain

If your dog shows any of these cancer warning signs, contact your vet immediately.

Diagnosing and Treating Your Dog

After your dog visits with their general veterinarian and the vet suspects cancer, the veterinarian can refer you to a veterinary oncologist who specializes in cancer care for pets.

They will provide further details about three main areas:

  1. How advanced the cancer is
  2. What kind of cancer it is
  3. What other health factors will affect the cancer

Then, they will help you make a list of possible treatment options.

You will need to consider factors like:

  • How treatment will affect quality of life (chemotherapy is often the most effective, but it can be painful)
  • How long your dog has left to live
  • And any other concerns
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As you’ll see, CBD is a great auxiliary treatment for dogs undergoing painful treatment regiments, or a way to improve the quality of life for pets whose owners decide extensive and invasive treatment isn’t the right option for an aging dog.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the better-known cannabinoids or natural compounds that occur in the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD oil typically comes from the hemp plant . Once harvested, the CBD is extracted and mixed with an oil to result in the consistency you see in products today.

CBD Oil Vs. Cannabis Oil

Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t result in thedistinctive ‘high’ that most people associate with marijuana. For thisreason, as well as its ability to provide natural relief from a wholehost of pain and anxiety disorders, CBD is growing in popularity aroundthe world.

Despite growing popularity, CBD still suffers fromsomething of an identity crisis, with some people still people failingto make the distinction between CBD and marijuana. While it’s true thatCBD and marijuana do come from the same plant, the chemical makeup ofthe Cannabis Sativa plant means that the plants harvested for CBD andmarijuana have different properties. To produce CBD oil, a higher CBD concentration of CBD and minimal levels of THC are required, leading producers to favor the hemp plant.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH CANCER?

Like for humans, CBD and hemp oils have long been used in traditional communities to treat pain in dogs resulting from a range of illnesses including cancer and muscular injuries.

By interacting with the dog’s endocannabinoid system, the CBD can help to effectively manage many different types of pain . For this reason, CBD is growing in popularity as a tool to improve the quality of life in dogs or as a dual treatment method with more traditional therapies.

Supports Anti-Tumor Medication

A study found that mice had a increased survival rate when taking CBD with anti-tumor medication. CBD oil is natural with few side effects that disrupt the anti-tumor treatment, making it a safe supplement for your dog.

Reduced Cell Proliferation

For dogs with cancer , some studies have suggested that CBD can even lead to a process called cancer apoptosis , which is essentially the death of the cancer cells. It’s worth noting that CBD as a complete treatment method for cancer has not been proven and the research is in its very early days.

Natural, Cost Effective Pain Relief

Regardless, more traditional cancer treatment methods for dogs can be prohibitively expensive , costing anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and can involve many of the same negative side effects as in humans, such as vomiting, and loss of appetite.

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While more research is needed in this area to fully explore the potential of CBD to cure disease, it remains highly regarded as a form of pain relief .

May Improve Sleep

A study found that CBD oil is actually a wake agent that will help your dog stay awake during the day, so that it gets more restful sleep at night. But CBD’s mechanism for sleep modulation is still unclear and needs more testing to validate.

May Help with Nausea and Appetite

Unfortunately for most dogs with cancer the treatment leaves them nauseated and lacking an appetite. Some studies are starting to show the potential CBD has for relieving nausea, which will increase your dog’s appetite.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS of CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH CANCER?

CBD use for dogs , like humans, poses minimal risk. The biggest risks that do exist stem from:

Dry Mouth

Some studies have found that CBD can reduce saliva production for dogs, which makes them more thirsty. This is a mild side effect.

Lower Blood Pressure

For some dogs, CBD can decrease blood pressure and can cause light-headedness. Talk to your vet to know your dog’s susceptibility to low blood pressure.

Drowsiness

Some dogs can experience drowsiness when give too high a dose of CBD. It’s important to start your dog on a low dose to determine how your dog will react.

Lack of Regulation Surrounding CBD Products

Due to the lack of regulation, there are some products on the market that have not undergone adequate testing and not only contain negligible quantities of CBD, also contain higher levels of THC than you may expect. Use of these products may lead to THC toxicity in your dog. Essentially, they may get “high”.

As vets legally cannot prescribe CBD as a treatment option for pain or illnesses in dogs, many owners are effectively going in blind when choosing to dose their animals.

The most important thing when looking for a CBD product for your pet is to do your research. Look thoroughly at reviews and begin by testing a small amount to make sure the product is what it claims to be.

Promising Research on the Use of CBD to Treat Canine Cancer

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many chemicals identified in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as hemp. It has been used for palliative care in oncology, but recent studies in humans and rodent models show that it may have direct anti-cancer effects. Since there is little data on the effects of CBD in canine cancer, investigators at Cornell University are studying what happens to canine cancer cells when they are exposed to CBD alone or in combination with common chemotherapy drugs (AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) Grant 02643-A: Examination of the Effects of Cannabidiol on Canine Neoplastic Cell Apoptosis/Autophagy and Potential for Chemotherapy Resistance or Sensitivity). Results were recently published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology 1 and offer hope for canine cancer patients.

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Cell cultures from different canine cancers (osteosarcoma, mammary carcinoma, and lymphoma) were exposed to various concentrations of CBD alone and in combination with the common chemotherapy drugs doxorubicin and vincristine. CBD oil caused a significant decrease in cancer cell reproduction in all cell lines studied. Use of CBD-rich whole help extract was able to reduce cancer cell reproduction at lower concentrations than CBD oil alone. This is likely due to the ‘entourage effect’ where the mixture of numerous chemicals seems to work in concert to produce a greater effect. The phenomenon needs more study though, since different cancers have different receptors for these chemicals and not all cultured hemp plants contain the same amounts of these chemicals. CBD in combination with the chemotherapy drug vincristine also decreased cancer cell reproduction in a synergistic way – or with greater effect than either chemical alone. When CBD was combined with doxorubicin, the results varied depending on the concentration of each chemical used.

This study documents the anti-cancer effects of CBD alone and in combination with chemotherapy drugs. It also provides hints as to the mechanisms and pathways that CBD influences in canine cancer cells. Additional study is needed to better understand these mechanisms and define safe and effective dosages for dogs. Whether CBD is used as a primary treatment or to manage the side effects of chemotherapy, additional knowledge will allow for safer and more effective use. CHF and its donors remain committed to exploring new and better treatments for canine cancer, like CBD. Learn more about our cancer research at akcchf.org/oncologyRPA.

1. Henry, J. G., Shoemaker, G., Prieto, J. M., Hannon, M. B., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2020). The effect of cannabidiol on canine neoplastic cell proliferation and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation during autophagy and apoptosis. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, e12669, e12669. https://doi.org/10.1111/vco.12669

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Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.