CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
Looking to learn more about CBD oil for dogs with cancer? If you have access to social media, chances are you have seen someone online discussing how CBD oil helped their friend, neighbor, dog walker, or mailman with cancer. It is easy to write it off as anecdotal evidence, but is there something to the claim that CBD can help with tumors and cancer? And if so, should you give your pet who has cancer or tumors CBD to help their body fight the cancer? Let’s get into the science of CBD for dogs with cancer.
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Benefits of CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
To understand the benefits of CBD Oil for dogs with cancer, it’s important to first understand a process known as apoptosis, or natural cell death. Apoptosis is a completely natural process wherein cells that are damaged, or no longer useful, die . Cancer cells do not die on their own ; they do not undergo apoptosis. Which is why they are able to continuously spread unless we do something to stop them.
That’s why the endocannabinoid system is so critical in the body. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system ; us, your dog, your cat, even lions and tigers and bears, oh my. The endocannabinoid system’s purpose is to bring the body back to balance .
As cancer progresses, cancer cells reproduce faster than the endocannabinoid system can handle. It’s no longer able to bring the body back to balance without some type of assistance. The cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body at that point; a process known as metastasis. So what does that have to do with CBD for dogs with cancer? Let’s get into the research.
Research on CBD For Dogs With Cancer
In a recent study, researchers conducted a study to determine how effective cannabis is against canine cancer cells. The study compared CBD for dogs with cancer to a combination of common chemotherapy pharmaceuticals. The study showed CBD for dogs with cancer to be effective at hindering cell proliferation and induction of autophagy and apoptosis rapidly across neoplastic cell lines.
In another promising study conducted in Canada, research was conducted to investigate CBD’s abilities against canine urothelial carcinoma (bladder cancer). The study analyzed the difference in efficacy between the traditional standalone treatment, chemotherapy, versus chemotherapy and CBD for dogs with cancer. The results showed that CBD for bladder cancer not only reduced cell viability and induced cell death in the canine urothelial cells on its own, but worked even better when combined with chemotherapy.
This study was done in vitro, which means it was done outside of a living organism. Further studies in vivo (within a living organism) are warranted, so that we can investigate how exactly this combination will be most successfully implemented in a clinical setting, and also to be able to transfer this into the human clinical setting. However, due to the nature of cannabis, in terms of its continued vilification by governments domestically and across the globe, researchers are limited in their scope. Until cannabis is de/rescheduled on the federal level, research cannot be done on living organisms (such as clinical trials on people). For now, as much preclinical work is being done as possible to create the foundation for clinical research when cannabis is descheduled federally.
The extent of the research being done on cannabis’ effect on cancer cells is only growing, and new research showing the benefits of CBD for dogs with cancer continues to emerge. As time goes on, and the demonization of cannabis lessens, more research is done proving cannabis (CBD, CBN, THC, and its other compounds) has a huge effect on cancer cells, and improving existing cancer treatments. We already know that CBD triggers apoptosis, stops metastasis, and has a positive effect when used with chemotherapy, but new research is constantly emerging regarding specific cancers and cannabis therapy.
According to research, CBD for dogs with cancer has been shown to:
- Inhibit tumor growth (via apoptosis)
- Trigger death of cancer cells (via apoptosis)
- Inhibit the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors (angiogenesis)
- Discourage the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another (metastasis)
Most importantly, it helps with your pet’s quality of life!
Dosing CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
The first thing to do is spend some time determining the dosage that will be most effective for your pet. Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD for dogs with cancer has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Dosage is most effectively determined with consideration for each animal’s unique physiological condition. This includes characteristics such as their endocannabinoid system, age, metabolism, disease process, current ailments and other individual health factors.
During the first few weeks, we recommend a trial and error method as you monitor your animal’s response and determine optimal dose. The old saying “start low and go slow” is extremely applicable when considering Full Spectrum Hemp Extract for your animal.
Hemp extract is extremely safe, even at high levels . The most common, however unlikely, side effects you may see are sleepiness or loose stools/diarrhea.
For the fastest and most thorough absorption of CBD oil for dogs with cancer, lift the lip and apply dose directly onto the gums. If added to food, the dosage may not be as effective and can take significantly longer (30-45 min.) to reach the bloodstream as it works its way through the gastrointestinal system.
Split the recommended daily dosage into smaller doses throughout the day (micro-dosing) for best absorption and to keep it in the bloodstream. The cannabinoid concentration peaks at 2 hours and is gone from 4-6 hours. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use and always keep away from heat.
Vets Using CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
Of course, many reputable veterinarians also trust CBD for dogs with cancer, and have their own evidence to prove that it works. Because of this, I asked Dr. Trina Hazzah, DVM, DACVIM, CVCH, if she uses CBD on her own patients. Dr. Hazzah is a veterinary oncologist at VCA Animal Hospital in Las Vegas (one of the largest and most respected veterinary hospitals in the world).
The short answer: Dr. Hazzah has used cannabis with her patients and has seen great success.
CBD Success Story: Hammer
“Years and years ago, there was a little dog named Hammer,” says Dr. Hazzah. “He was a Jack Russell, and the owners came in and the dog had three cancers at the same time. He had low-grade lymphoma, bladder cancer, and an oral squamous cell carcinoma.”
Dr. Hazzah discussed all of the options with Hammer’s parents, and they decided the quality of life was most important. They focused on targeted therapy, which was effective for about six months until it seemed to stop working as effectively.
“Around the five or six-month mark, the oral cancer started to get so large that it took up his entire face,” says Dr. Hazzah. “The bladder cancer was getting worse, lymphoma was static. The owners went over the options again, and one of the things we discussed was cannabis. As an integrative oncologist, I felt that I should guide them through the process to make sure it was safe. The dog had 1 mg of THC and 1 mg of CBD, twice a day, along with targeted therapy.”
Within two to three weeks, Hammer’s owner said his eye was starting to open a little bit more. A month after starting the cannabis regimen, Hammer came in and Dr. Hazzah could not find the oral tumor at all.
“Not only could he open his eye, but when he opened his mouth, I just saw a little redness,” says Dr. Hazzah. “The tumor was not there. Hammer was happy, and this was just 1 mg. This goes back to my theory that it wasn’t the amount, it was what the cancer needed.”
CBD Success Story: Nina
It’s been eight months and my 8-year-old, Nina is thriving on a strict regimen including a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, a Full Cannabis extract with high THC, mushrooms , and diet. She’s already breaking records, and because of this, I want to share what I did with you.
How to use cbd oil for cancer in dogs
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:
- Difficulty eating
- 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:
- How advanced the cancer is
- What kind of cancer it is
- 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
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.
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:
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.
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.