The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) has found that half of all dogs over the age of 10 eventually get some sort of cancer.
The good news is that thanks to advances in technology that makes possible early cancer detection, diagnosis, and thus early treatment, today’s pets have a better chance of being successfully treated than those of even a few years ago.
It all depends on the type of cancer, the stage to which it has progressed before being discovered, and whether it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.
As in humans, not all cancer can be cured in dogs, but excellent veterinary treatment can prolong their lives and improve their quality of life.
Dogs Living With Cancer
Dogs get several forms of cancer including bone cancer, mammary gland cancer, canine lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and hemangiosarcoma.
And even though treatment allows them to live, they live with pain, anxiety, nausea, inflammation, and in some cases seizures.
Pet owners, although they are grateful that their dogs are alive, find it painful to watch.
Many hear about how CBD oil has helped other dogs decide to try it for their dogs.
What does CBD do for dogs with cancer?
It should be noted that a cure for cancer has yet to be discovered.
However, research has shown that taking a multi-faceted approach like administering CBD oil to a dog with cancer along with conventional treatments can not only improve his day-by-day quality of life, it can help him better tolerate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
And in some cases, it can even add to the efficacy of the treatment.
And then, there’s the matter that cannabis is known for its appetite-stimulating properties, so it can go a long way in combating the anorexia that can accompany treatment.
Does CBD help with dog’s cancer pain?
Yes, pet owner have reported noticing that giving a dog CBD oil or treats does seem to relieve some of the pain associated with canine cancer.
If your dog has cancer and seems to be in pain, then you should try some CBD to give your pup some pain relief.
How CBD Oil Works
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors, transmitters, and enzymes that runs through the body and has the ability to modulate pain, nausea, and anxiety.
That the body has its own naturally occurring cannabinoids may surprise you, but yes, the brain manufactures its own marijuana-like molecules that fight pain by acting on these receptors in the brain and nervous system.
CBD oil supplements these effects since being a cannabinoid itself, it recognizes the dog’s cannabinoid system and interacts with it, mimicking its beneficial effects.
CBD oil, however, should not be confused with medical marijuana which has levels of THC that are toxic to dogs.
THC stands for 9-delta tetrahydrocannabinol, the naturally occurring psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant.
In choosing CBD oil to combat the effects of cancer on your dog, it is important that you choose a brand that contains no more than 0.3%THC
The Difference Between CBD and THC
The Psychoactive Effects
Despite sharing similar chemical building blocks, CBD does not have as potent a psychoactive effect as THC.
And while both THC and CBD oil reduce pain, anxiety, and seizures, CBD doesn’t produce the same high or euphoric feeling.
The Side Effects
While THC has been known to temporarily speed up the heart rate, interfere with coordination, and decrease reaction times, such disruptive side effects are absent in CBD.
However, like THC, it can improve the appetite which is a desirable effect.
The Matter of Legality
Although the laws regarding cannabis possession continue to evolve, with over 33 states having already made cannabis legal when used medicinally, and others have made marijuana a bona fide recreational substance.
CBD is technically classified as a Schedule I drug as far as the Federal government is concerned.
However, the authorities usually don’t bother with CBD oil that contains the aforementioned 0.3 % or less of THC.
The Types of CBD Oil for Dogs
Although CBD is available in several forms such as capsules, biscuits, honey, and topical ointments, CBD oil is the most convenient way to administer it to dogs with cancer since it can be given directly into a dog’s mouth using a dropper; put on a treat; rubbed into the skin; or even used as ear drops.
When it comes to purchasing CBD oil, there are three categories to choose from: full-spectrum, CBD isolate, and broad-spectrum.
All are beneficial, but some are particularly suitable in certain situations.
- Full-spectrum CBD oil is the best choice for dogs who have retained a healthy appetite throughout their treatment because it contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and other species of beneficial plants that bolster CBD oil’s effectiveness. However, it has a strong herbal taste which may not appeal to dogs with nausea.
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil for Dogs is more refined in that it contains less plant matter, so it has a milder taste which some dogs prefer.
- CBD Isolate for Dogs is pure CBD and the most refined type of CBD oil, meaning that unlike the above two varieties, it contains no plant matter. Thus, it has no taste making it good for picky eaters.
The three differ in the amount of or lack of THC.
Broad and full-spectrum CBD contain 0.3% or less while CBD Isolate contains none at all.
The important thing, no matter which you choose is that you purchase CBD oil for dogs from a reputable business that has no qualms about sharing lab results should you ask to see them.
You also want to make sure it contains 0.3% THC or less, and that it contains no pesticides or heavy metals.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dog Cancer
To understand the benefits of CBD oil for dog cancer, you first need to understand how CBD works.
CBD is one of the many compounds present in the hemp plant.
It plays a role in the dog’s endocannabinoid system and has no psychoactive effects, unlike THC.
The endocannabinoid system is a biological system on the nervous system that affects mood, appetite, memory, and sleep.
It consists of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors.
The receptors help to break down CBD molecules in the body. There are two types of receptors for cannabidiol; CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are in the central nervous system. They are responsible for regulating pain, coordination, mood, memory, and appetite.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system, influencing inflammation and pain.
CBD acts on CB1 receptors to calm the neurons and reduce activity. Therefore, there is a low risk of using CBD for dog cancer because it is natural.
Apart from helping with cancer symptom relief, CBD oil also helps to relieve the following conditions in dogs :
- Anxiety and stress
- Chronic inflammation
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Moderate to severe pain
- Digestion problems
- Inability to settle or relax
- Lack of energy
How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Dog?
You will get the best results from giving your dog CBD oil consistently.
The recommended dosage is 1.5 mg per 10 lbs of body weight, given twice a day 12 hours apart.
However, this is not hard and fast.
In some situations, you may find you need to give less or take a trial and error approach.
Veterinarians On The Topic of CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer
If you’re curious about whether you can get CBD oil from your veterinarian, the answer is no.
Other than in California, veterinarians are not even allowed to initiate a conversation about CBD oil and cancer.
And while there are some veterinarians who are not receptive to what research has found, if you bring up with an integrative or holistic vet the possibility of supplementing your dog’s cancer treatment with CBD oil, he or she will most likely be open to the topic.
Hopefully, the laws will soon loosen up, allowing more veterinarians to discuss the benefits of CBD oil for dogs with cancer should they choose to.