CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer: Everything you need to know

Therise of cancer in dogs has seen an increase in pet parents looking fortreatment methods that are more gentle, with fewer side effects and lessof a hit to the hip pocket. As CBD use as a treatment for cancer andother illnesses booms in popularity for humans, it makes sense thatcanine use would not be far behind.


While medical trials are in their early days, anecdotal evidence from communities that have been using CBD to treat dogs for centuries is promising. Studies suggest that CBD can dramatically reduce pain and improve a dog’s quality of life.


Read on to discover more about CBD and the possibilities that exist for cancer treatment in dogs.


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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 dogsover the age of 10 are likely to develop it. Clearly, cancer is commonenough that dog owners should familiarize themselves with the main typesof dog cancers and how they are treated.


How Common is 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 dogsover the age of 10 are likely to develop it. Clearly, cancer is commonenough that dog owners should familiarize themselves with the main typesof dog cancers and how they are treated.


Most Common Cancers in Dogs


The most common types of cancer in dogs include:


  •  Canine lymphoma
  •  Melanoma
  • Mammary cancer

Themost common types of cancer in dogs include canine lymphoma, melanoma,and mammary cancer. Lymphoma can affect the lymph nodes, as well as thespleen, gastrointestinal tract, and bone marrow. Melanoma is found onthe skin, particularly within a dog’s mouth. Mammary cancer affects themammary glands. Other common forms of cancer in dogs are mast celltumors, bone cancer, and Hemangiosarcoma (a kind of cancer found in theheart or spleen).


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


Signs Your Dog Might Have Cancer


Thereare various signs that your dog might have cancer, but you need toschedule an appointment with the veterinarian in order to get adiagnosis. Some of the signs and symptoms of dog cancer includeswelling, difficulty eating, lumps, and sudden changes in weight. Keepin mind that some of these symptoms are also common in dogs with anxietyproblems, or simply dogs who are getting older.


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

Diagnosing and Treating Your Dog


Afteryour dog visits with their general veterinarian and they suspectcancer, the veterinarian can refer you to a veterinary oncologist whospecializes in cancer care for pets. They will provide further detailsabout three main areas - (1) how advanced the cancer is, (2) what kindof cancer it is, and (3) what other health factors will affect thecancer. Then, they will help you make a list of possible treatmentoptions.


Youwill need to consider factors like - how treatment will affect qualityof life (chemotherapy is often the most effective, but it can bepainful), how long your dog has left to live, and more. As you’ll see,CBD is a great auxiliary treatment for dogs undergoing painful treatmentregimens, or a way to improve the quality of life for pets whose ownersdecide extensive and invasive treatment isn’t the right option for anaging 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 oiltypically comes from the hemp plant. Once harvested, the CBD isextracted and mixed with an oil to result in the consistency you see inproducts 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?


Like for humans, CBD and hemp oilshavelong been used in traditional communities to treat pain indogs resulting from a range of illnesses including cancer andmuscular injuries.


By interacting with the dog’sendocannabinoid system, the CBD can help to effectively manage manydifferent types of pain. For this reason, CBD is growing in popularity asa tool to improve the quality of life in dogs or as a dual treatmentmethod with more traditional therapies.


For dogs with cancer,somestudies have suggested that CBD can even lead to a process called cancerapoptosis, which is essentially the death of the cancer cells.It’sworth noting that CBD as a complete treatment method for cancer has notbeen proven and the research is in its very early days.

Regardless,moretraditional cancer treatment methods for dogs can beprohibitively expensive, costing anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and caninvolve many of the same negative side effects as in humans, such asvomiting, and loss of appetite.


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


Are there any risks?


CBD use for dogs,likehumans, poses minimal risk. The biggest risks that do exist stem fromthe lack of regulation surrounding CBD products. Due to the lackof regulation, there are some products on the market that havenot undergone adequate testing and not only contain negligible quantitiesof CBD, also contain higher levels of THC than you may expect. Useof these products may lead to THC toxicity in your dog. Essentially,they may get “high”.


As vets legally cannot prescribeCBD as a treatment option for pain or illnesses in dogs, many owners areeffectively going in blind when choosing to dose their animals. The mostimportant thing when looking for a CBD product for your pet isto do your research. Look thoroughly at reviews and begin by testing asmall amount to make sure the product is what it claims to be.


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How does CBD Work?


Again, while there are limited studies covering CBD use in dogs,here’s what we do know. Like humans, dogs have cannabinoid receptors which in theory would allow them to experience the same or similar effects from CBD as humans do.


CBD works by mimicking the effects of cannabinoids that occur naturally in the body. Once consumed, the CBD typically targets the CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Studies have shown that by targeting these receptors, CBD encourages the natural production of cannabinoids in the body. In dogs, like humans, this process is part of the endocannabinoid system, which helps with things like mood regulation, memory, pain management, and brain function.


While more research is needed in this area, it’s well established that many instances of disease can be traced back to upset in the endocannabinoid system. By manipulating and helping to regulate thissystem, it’s likely that CBD could hold big benefits as a form of pain relief and natural medicine.


How is CBD Administered?


CBD can be taken in many forms. It is most potent and ‘pure’ when administered as an oil. CBD oilcan be administered directly to the dog’s mouth, or it can be mixed into dog food if you want to disguise the taste for your pet. Keep in mind that this method may not be as effective if your dog is having appetite problems, since not finishing their food means not getting the full CBD dose.


Another way to give your dog CBD is through treats.This is a fun way to help your dog feel calm, since CBD treats feel like getting a reward. You can also use CBD shampoo. This method will not get CBD inside your dog’s system, but it is a good way to complement other forms of CBD treatment for dogs so they feel good inside and out.


While CBD oil can be applied topically, many dog owners find the most effective (and easiest) way to administer CBD to their dogs is orally. Again, consult with your vet to find the best treatment option for you and your pooch,but a good place to start is by mixing the product into food.



Is CBD Legal?


The legality of CBD use for dogs exists in a grey area in the United States. While 23 states (and the District of Columbia) have effectively legalized medical marijuana use for humans, and a further 17 states allow the use of derivatives like CBD, laws surrounding canine use are less clear.


Currently, no vets are able to prescribe CBD oil or other products as a method of treatment for dogs. Because of this, some vets that back the product overcome this hurdle by recommending CBD as a supplement rather than medication. Similarly, dog-specific CBD products billed as health supplements are beginning to appear on shelves across the country.


In short, consult your vet and exercise caution before dosing your pet with any CBD product.


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Dosage


As long as CBD use for dogs exists in a grey area, determining the correct dosage for your pet will be difficult. The biggest issue here is that until products containing CBD are fully regulated by the FDA, there are few checks and balances in place to ensure the quality of the product.


For this reason, it’s a good idea to start slow. After consulting with your vet, start your pet on a low dose of CBD oil and monitor them in the hours after to gauge their behavior. If using a product intended for humans on your dog, start with a considerably lower dose than what is recommended.


Final Thoughts


There you have it! Everything you need to know about CBD oil for dogs with cancer.CBD is a great way to reduce inflammation and manage pain for dogs with cancer, and it might even aid the process of apoptosis (the death of cancer cells). We here at Dope Dog hope this information helped. Be sure to try out some delicious CBD dog treats for your cuddly canine.


Wondering if CBD oil can benefit your pup? Check out Dope Dog’s comprehensive FAQ, and find out if it’s the right choice for your pets!


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