Despite all that we do to support the health of our beloved dogs, cancer is still a common diagnosis. Types of cancer in dogs include canine lymphoma, melanoma, mast cell tumors, bone cancer, hemangiosarcoma, and mammary cancer.
CBD can be an excellent supplemental treatment for dogs undergoing cancer treatment regimens, but CBD alone will not cure cancer, and it is not a miracle drug. CBD cannot remove or get rid of a cancerous tumor, but in some cases, it has been known to slow the growth of cancer cells and may work effectively in tandem with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Additionally, CBD can improve the quality of life for a pet who is diagnosed with cancer.
CBD can help ease the pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and seizures that dogs with cancer may experience. Some dogs with a loss of appetite improve with regular CBD use. CBD can be a palliative option for aging pets whose owners decide that extensive and invasive treatment isn’t the right choice.
For a multi-faceted approach that combines natural CBD oil with conventional treatments, you may want to consult an integrative veterinarian. An integrative vet is very likely to be familiar with the benefits of CBD and knowledgeable about how to optimize its use in tandem with other treatments. Because except in the state of California, veterinarians are prohibited from initiating conversations about CBD, you’ll need to ask about adding CBD to your dog’s cancer treatment plan.
Like every mammal, your dog has an endocannabinoid system, which is a series of receptors throughout the body that modulate things like pain, anxiety, and nausea. By interacting with the dog’s endocannabinoid system, mimicking the effects of cannabinoids that naturally occur in the body, CBD can help to effectively manage many different types of pain to provide relief.
CBD is a great way to reduce arthritis and other and aches pains caused by inflamed body parts that can be brought on by cancer.
Certain types of cancer may also bring on seizures, which can be extremely distressing to witness. CBD is a known compound that can help reduce the duration, number, and severity of seizures in humans and dogs. Minimizing seizures can be a very compelling reason to add CBD to your dog’s cancer treatment plan.
Pain and inflammation can be side effects of cancer treatment or a symptom of the progression of the disease itself. Pain management is almost always a crucial part of how to treat cancer in dogs. You will want to ask your veterinarian about adding CBD to your pain management plan, but it can be a way to add another layer of relief, naturally and without side effects.
While many humans with cancer turn to medical marijuana, it’s important to know that the THC in marijuana is toxic to dogs, so it’s crucial to choose CBD with less than 0.3% THC. Quality pet CBD from a reputable source will be made from the hemp cannabis sativa plant, which is naturally high in cannabinoids, but has almost no THC and is legal in all states.
To address the side effects of cancer and treatments, give your pet CBD consistently. Typically, relief will be best achieved by dosing twice a day. The usual dosing guidelines are to offer 1 – 5 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight twice a day, but dosage amounts can vary quite a bit from one situation to the next. It may be necessary to experiment to find the right amount, and how often to give.
CBD for dogs is available in many convenient forms. CBD oils can be given from a dropper directly into the mouth, added to food, dropped on a treat, or rubbed into bare skin or inside the ears. CBD for dogs is also available in hemp CBD biscuits, capsules, honey with CBD, and topical hemp CBD ointments.
There are three categories of CBD to consider for dogs with cancer: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Each has its benefits, and the ideal choice will depend on your pup’s situation.
Full-spectrum CBD for dogs: For dogs with healthy appetites, full-spectrum CBD is the best choice because it contains the highest levels of beneficial plant matter, including cannabinoids and terpenes, that can boost the effectiveness of CBD. However, this plant matter can make the CBD have a grassy taste that may be off-putting to dogs experiencing nausea or a poor appetite.
CBD isolate for dogs with cancer: At the other end of the spectrum is CBD isolate, which is pure CBD and the most refined option. It contains no plant matter, so it has no flavor, making it a good choice for the pickiest pets. Some people choose isolates because they are pure CBD and they contain no THC.
Broad-spectrum CBD for dogs: Broad-spectrum CBD is the middle ground; it still contains just enough plant material and terpenes for an entourage effect but has a mild taste. Both the full-spectrum and distillate options have virtually no THC (less than 0.3%) and the CBD isolate lacks THC completely, making all options non-psychoactive.
Make sure you buy CBD from a reputable company that conducts and shares third-party lab test results. Review these materials to be sure that the CBD you’re offering your dog contains the stated amount of CBD, 0.3% THC or less, and is free from pesticides and heavy metals so you can be sure you’re giving your pup the best opportunity for natural relief with hemp CBD.
Turkey Tail Mushroom supplements are another natural option for augmenting cancer treatments. This mushroom has been used medicinally for centuries in many cultures, and there is promising research pointing toward its use in helping animals with cancer. Because neither CBD nor mushroom supplements have known side effects, adding both of them may be beneficial for supporting your dog’s health while living with cancer.
Please note, we cannot provide health recommendations for individual animals and we are not veterinarians. Please contact your dog or cat’s veterinarian with any health concerns you may have.