Having your beloved dog diagnosed with cancer can be devastating, even if completely treatable and generally has an excellent prognosis, the level of pain you know they’ll be experiencing and the toll that the medications take on their bodies can be hard.
Three of the most common types of cancer that are found in canines are Lymphoma, which effects the blood (lymphocytes are a type of blood cell), Bone Cancer (osteosarcoma) or Hemangiosarcoma which is a tumor causing form that spreads rapidly and is often advanced before it gets discovered. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-animal-030117-014523
Often cancer is discovered because you’ve taken your dog to the vet because they just don’t seem themselves, or they seem to be suffering discomfort. Dogs aren’t really known for letting us know that they’re in pain, so when we do realize chances are, they are really very sore.
While a veterinarian can, and will, prescribe pain relief medication, just as with humans, treating the pain associated with cancer, particularly bone cancers, is difficult, and often the side effects are not worth the minor decrease in pain levels. This is really one of the biggest reasons why we have seen an increase in the use of cannabis and hemp-based products as a complimentary treatment alongside medical options for cancer treatment in human trials.
While humans are quite happy to smoke a joint to help with pain relief, the THC content in cannabis products is not recommended for use in animals, and to be honest not everyone enjoys the ‘high’ that THC provides. One of the major advantages of looking into hemp-based products like the ones on this CBD webpage is that they have had their THC removed, leaving Cannabidiol (CBD) as the primary active ingredient.
Can CBD Really Help Dogs With Cancer?
While we are still technically in the early days of scientific research looking into the various ways that CBD and cannabis products can be used, once the psychoactive substance has been removed from Cannabis the increase in options for its use as a medical substance also increase.
As restrictions on the use and prescription of Medical cannabis ease throughout the USA and the world, vets are increasingly being asked about the benefits of this medication as the media gradually offer more information about the positive aspects of the drug; making a change from the years of ‘reefer madness’ propaganda that is still causing confusion today.
In fact, the topic of CBD use for treatment in animals, particularly canines, is going to be one of the biggest discussions at the 2020 world Veterinary conference in Orlando (see here). Why? Because it has some quite incredible pain relief abilities, as well as potential to actually reduce cancer cells. More importantly, CBD oils used as a treatment for cancer has very few side effects, and one of the potential side effects, sleepiness, is often a boon as painful cancer doesn’t always allow for a restorative sleep.
While there is certainly an increasing body of evidence that shows the pain-relieving abilities of CBD treatments, there is also a strong potential that this same medication will be able to provide an actual cure for types of breast and bladder cancer. While the research into this application is still restricted to microscope and laboratory settings, it is certainly promising.
Pain, Inflammation and Seizure Relief In Dogs
The hemp-based treatment can be administered as an edible or as a topical cream, depending on the application. For muscular relieve often a CBD based oil or cream can be used as a massage treatment and rubbed into the areas of your dog that are causing pain. Although this is a wonderful experience for your dog, and you, the difficulty of trying to get oil through a dog’s fur so that it can penetrate the skin and help relieve the muscular pain is certainly an issue.
For seizures or joint/bone pain then one of the number of edibles available are often a better remedy. You should talk to your stockist about quantities and dosage, as this is a quite specific art and shouldn’t be trusted to something random that you read on the internet. Dosage will generally be weight dependant, but you will also need to consider if this is the first time you have treated in this manner, or if this is a longer term repeat, as well as the pain levels and the type of pain your dog is suffering from. Although CBD is generally considered non addictive, you do not want to give more than an appropriate dosage for any treatment.