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February 22nd

CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer: Does it Really Work?

CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer: Does it Really Work?

Being told by your vet that your dog has cancer is like getting hit with a ton of bricks. Cancer is devastating in humans, but many forget that our canine friends are also affected by this horrible disease.

Cancer is serious—but there are treatments, supplements and ways to manage your dog’s condition. So don’t give up just yet!

One of the supplements we’re really big on here at Uptown Puppies is CBD oil, and we’re not alone—countless dog owners around the world are catching on to the bounty of health and wellness benefits associated with hemp oil.

But can CBD oil really treat cancer in dogs?

What is Cancer, Exactly?

For being such a common disease in both dogs and humans, few understand exactly what cancer is.

Cancer is the collective name for a variety of diseases and conditions which cause abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth within the body.

The cells in your body are “programmed” to divide and replicate under specific conditions. For example, when you cute your finger, the cells in the immediate area will eventually make copies of themselves to “fill in the gaps” which eventually leads to your wound healing.

Cancer is what happens when this process goes haywire. Imagine that your cells each house a printer, and you’re able to issue them specific commands to print a certain number of copies. With cancer, you’re no longer able to control this process—cells replicate by themselves, often indefinitely.

This by itself is bad, but worse still is that these masses of dividing cells—called tumors—take up both space and resources that your body needs. Over time, tumors can totally interfere with your ability to function normally.

While many times cancer can lead to death, this isn’t always the case. In fact, some tumors are completely benign, and won’t harm your dog at all.

Which Types of Cancer Affect Dogs the Most?

Like humans, dogs are frequent sufferers of cancer.

In fact, it is the leading cause of death for our four-legged friends, at 47%.

Some of the most common types of cancer affecting dogs includes:

  • Skin cancer. Although skin cancer is common in dogs, most skin cancer tumors are benign.
  • Mammary cancer. Female dogs are very susceptible to breast cancer, with about 50% of cases being fatal.
  • Head and neck. Dogs are very prone to cancers of the mouth—worse still, these tumors are highly aggressive, very fatal, and must be treated immediately. Dogs also suffer from tumors in the beck and nose. Mouth cancer symptoms include bleeding, bad odor, and abnormal growths on the gums, while nose cancer is characterized by bleeding, difficulty breathing and facial swelling.
  • Lymphoma. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph nodes, and is usually characterized by enlargement of one of more of your dog’s lymph nodes. This type of cancer can spread extremely fast to other parts of the body.
  • Testicular cancer. Very common in dogs, especially for pooches with retained testicles—those still lodged in the abdomen.
  • Abdominal cancer. These tumors are common but difficult to catch early. Warning signs include weight loss and abdominal swelling.
  • Bone cancer. Large breeds and older dogs are more susceptible to bone cancer, especially in the legs. Symptoms include lameness, chronic pain and swelling.

While these are some of the most common types of cancer in dogs, these aren’t the only ones. After diagnosing your dog with cancer, the focus then turns to treatment.

Traditional Cancer Treatment for Dogs

Your vet will typically want to treat your dog’s tumor with radiation, chemotherapy, surgical removal, or a combination of the three. The exact type of treatment will depend heavily on which type of cancer your dog has, and how advanced the disease has become.

In most cases, vets tend to favor surgical removal (when possible).

However, there will be cases where physical removal isn’t possible. In these situations, the type of chemo and radiation therapy used will depend on the overall health of your pet.

Understanding the Risks of Chemotherapy for Dogs

If you’re worried about starting your dog on chemotherapy, you’re not alone.

It’s true that chemotherapy has a range of side effects for dogs, much like people. However, the side effects dogs experience after treatment often aren’t as severe as those experienced by humans.

For healthy dogs, chemo side effects start about 3-4 days after treatment and can last up to 48 hours. The severity of these side effects varies from dog to dog, and could be as mild as slight lethargy.

Some pooches are more sensitive to chemo and may experience:

  • Vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea
  • Decrease in white blood cell count
  • Skin irritations such as ulcers, inflammation and swelling—however, these symptoms are rare
  • Hair loss, although typically mild. Some breeds are more susceptible to hair loss than others
  • Nerve pain

Unlike chemotherapy for humans—which is intended to eliminate your tumor and effectively cure you—chemo for dogs is less intrusive and meant to help manage the tumor.

So What About Alternative Remedies? Can CBD Help Treat Cancer in Dogs?

Studies with humans have shown evidence that CBD oil for dogs cancer (not to be confused with cannabis oil for dogs with cancer) CAN help manage the symptoms of cancer, as well as lessen the severity of side effects from treatments like radiation and chemo.

Besides that, there is even evidence that CBD oil for dogs cancer can prevent certain types of tumors from forming in the first place!

Is CBD Oil the Same as Marijuana?

No—CBD is derived from hemp, not marijuana, and your dog won’t get “high” from using CBD oil.

If you’ve been searching for terms like cannabis for dogs with cancer, cannabis oil for cancer in dogs, cannabis oil dog cancer, cannabis oil for dogs cancer, or THC for dogs with cancer, you’re probably looking for CBD oil instead.

CBD Oil Can Help Manage the Symptoms of Cancer

The canine endocannabinoid system—the system that processes CBD—is very similar to our own.

Research has shown that CBD is effective at managing pain and inflammation in humans, for example, and can help alleviate GI problems like nausea and vomiting.

Indirectly, this may also help your dog get his or her appetite back.

CBD Oil Dog Cancer: Could It Help Stop Cancer from Spreading and Growing

Recent research has shown that CBD oil extract could help stop several forms of cancer before they even start.

Remember—these are preliminary studies. Before anyone is legally allowed to call CBD a cure for cancer, these results must be replicated and further studied. With that being said, initial findings are very promising.

Two studies published in 2012 and 2014 tested the effects of CBD extract on on colon cancer in mice. They found that the CBD extract had clear anti-tumor effects, and even counteracted the chemical used to induce cancer in test animals.

Another 2013 study found that CBD extract may help slow the development of brain tumors, and also helped existing cancer cells be more susceptible to chemotherapy drugs.

Other studies have shown similar results for other types of cancer, such as bladder cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, and many more!

Can You Use CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer?

It’s still too early to make concrete statements about CBD oil and cancer, but that hasn’t stopped humans from using CBD extract to manage their symptoms—and those of their dogs.

CBD oil could be a great supplement to traditional cancer treatments, but please don’t ignore your vet’s advice if they recommend alternative treatments!

What is CBD Dosage for Dogs with Cancer?

Recommended dosage will depend on the brand of CBD oil you choose, the size of your dog, and the condition you’re trying to treat or manage.

If you’re using our organic, human-grade CBD extract for dogs, be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and check with your vet to deliver the best care to your pooch.

Remember, as with any supplement, CBD oil is NOT a replacement or alternative to normal veterinary care—although it’s a widely used supplement, it’s still a supplement.

And if you’d like to check out some of the other awesome potential benefits of CBD oil, be sure to check out our recent post on the subject!

About Uptown Staff

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