As it is with humans, CBD oil is not a miracle cancer cure for dogs - despite what some manufacturers might claim. But CBD oil can be a beneficial part of your dog’s cancer treatment plan. In fact, initial findings by some clinical studies have revealed that CBD oil can effectively provide relief for some symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment so that your beloved pet’s overall quality of life is improved.
How CBD works
Dogs also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), just like their human companions. The ECS is responsible for regulating a wide variety of functions, including appetite, digestive function, immune function, memory, metabolism, mood, pain, pleasure, and sleep.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, works the same way as the naturally occurring endocannabinoids in the body. CBD can also bind with cannabinoid receptors to produce a particular effect associated with the particular trigger. For pain management, for example, CBD blocks the endocannabinoids responsible for producing the pain and inflammation response and binds with the cannabinoid receptors so that the degree of pain is reduced or the pain is completely blocked.
CBD Oil for your dog’s cancer treatment plan
Your vet or veterinary oncologist will recommend a treatment plan based on the type of cancer your dog has and how far the condition has progressed. Your furry friend’s course of treatment may include surgical removal of cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, and medications. More and more often, vets are also recommending the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, to further support your dog’s treatment.
A multi-faceted treatment approach is often the best course, and can include a combination of modern and alternative medicine. Among the many widely-accepted natural remedies that have stood the tests of time, the use of CBD for cancer in dogs and other animals is one that is veterinary-approved and is also finally receiving evidence-based support from the scientific community.
CBD oil can be used as part of Fido’s cancer treatment plan in the following ways:
- Reducing pain and inflammation. These are common side effects of modern cancer treatments; they are also symptoms of cancer itself, and as the cancer progresses, so does the degree of pain and inflammation. Prolonged use of pain medications also often result in increased tolerance for the drugs so that your dog may need higher and higher doses for pain management. CBD oil, however, can enhance the effect of pain meds so that your dog can take lower doses and, therefore, experience fewer or less severe side effects. By itself, CBD is also a safe and effective remedy for pain and inflammation.
- As support for tumor medications. Research on the use of CBD oil in humans has found that this chemical compound has the potential to shrink tumors associated with breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and brain and spine cancer. Cannabidiol works by enhancing the tumor-shrinking effects of radiation therapy. This has the added benefit of allowing the patient to receive lower doses of this treatment so that the harmful side effects are reduced. The use of CBD in cancer treatment may also increase the patient’s survival rate.
- As support for the immune system. CBD has the ability to reduce oxidative stress in the body, which gives the immune system better efficiency in fighting off pathogens without also attacking healthy cells.
- Relieves nausea and improves appetite. Dogs undergoing chemotherapy also experience constant nausea and poor appetite. These side effects often lead to unhealthy weight loss and malnutrition. The calming effects of CBD on the digestive system is well-documented, both in dogs and humans. When used alongside chemotherapy, CBD oil can reduce the harmful side effects and improve your dog’s general constitution while undergoing treatment.
- Improves sleep. One of the functions of the body’s endocannabinoid system is to regulate sleep. Early research has found that unlike THC which promotes sleep, CBD may support wakefulness. When used during cancer treatment, this particular effect can actually promote better sleep by ensuring regular sleeping and waking cycles.
What about CBD dosage?
With no established standard guidelines about CBD use in dogs with cancer, there are also no standard recommendations about exact dosages.
Your vet’s guidance will help you make sure that you’re giving Fido the proper dosage, especially alongside his other cancer medications. The CBD oil product should also contain dosing recommendations based on your dog’s weight. The general recommendation is 0.2 mg of CBD per pound of weight for mild issues, such as moderate anxiety, mild nausea, and minor aches and pains; or 0.5 mg of CBD per pound of weight to treat more serious conditions, such as cancer symptoms and seizures.
Always err on the side of caution and start with the smallest dose possible. Watch your pet for any side effects; if you’re not seeing the desired effect, such as pain relief, gradually increase the dosage.
CBD oil is the better option compared to CBD treats. You can better determine the proper dosage using the oil and it also delivers the most potent effect; CBD treats tend to have a reduced effect because cannabidiol degrades when exposed to high temperatures during cooking.
So far, the effects of CBD overdose have been shown to not have any long-lasting effects. Severe lethargy that is not normal even with your dog’s prescribed cancer treatment may mean that you gave him too much CBD; but this effect typically wears off on its own. Every dog reacts differently to different treatments, whether they’re modern or alternative, so keep an eye out for any adverse side effects after giving your dog CBD oil.
To get optimal results, make sure you get high-quality CBD oil derived from hemp so that it contains zero or only trace amounts of THC, which is toxic to dogs. The product should contain nothing else but cannabidiol and a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil, MCT, coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil.
CBD Oil for Cancer Treatment in Dogs - Final Thoughts
As an alternative medicine that is becoming more readily available online and in health stores, you can decide on your own to support your dog’s cancer treatment with CBD oil. But it is still always best to talk to your vet about how to properly incorporate this natural remedy into Fido’s cancer treatment plan.
Especially if you have opted to give your beloved furry pal the prescribed cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and other medications, knowing how to properly use CBD oil is important as this chemical compound may interact with certain drugs. You may have to give Fido CBD oil together with his pain meds to enhance their effects, or at separate times so that it doesn’t interfere with the drugs’ actions.
Many vets are recommending the use of cannabidiol in conjunction with modern cancer treatment. But remember that the manufacture and use of CBD oil is still not regulated by the FDA and so there are still no standard guidelines about its proper use for specific conditions in animals. This is why your vet’s guidance is important, especially when it comes to cancer treatment as this condition is often painful and life-threatening.
Taking a completely holistic approach to your best friend’s cancer treatment is, of course, your prerogative. Seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to make sure that your pet still receives the best treatment possible.
Always make sure that you get high-quality CBD oil because your furkid deserves nothing less than the best care you can give him.