Has your precious pet been diagnosed with lymphoma? This is the very last diagnosis you want to hear from the vet, but you may be able to keep him more comfortable by using CBD for dogs. First, let’s take a look at what the lymph system and its function, what lymphoma is, its signs and symptoms and how it’s usually treated. Then we’ll explain what CBD is and how it might be able to help your dog.
The Lymph System—What is It & What Does It Do?
The lymphatic system works with many bodily functions and is composed of lymph (a watery substance that leaks from cells), lymph vessels (transport lymph throughout the body), lymph organs and nodes.
The lymph system works to remove toxins, waste, bacteria, etc. from the body. This is accomplished by the circulation of lymph through the lymphatic organs and nodes.
What is Lymphoma in Dogs?
Lymphoma is a form of cancer—in fact, this is one of the most common forms of cancer in dogs. This form of cancer involves changes in the lymphocytes (specific type of blood cells) and lymph tissue, including lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are found all through the body, including the liver, spleen, bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract. The lymphatic system makes it easy for cancer to spread to other parts of the body when cancer cells are carried in lymph.
This type of cancer usually develops in dogs 6 years of age and older, and is more common in certain breeds including German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Scotties, Boxes and more. Both males and females are equally at risk for this cancer. It’s not often possible to determine what’s caused the cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Lymphoma in Dogs
Sometimes the signs and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs may mimic other medical problems, so it may be that your dog was originally diagnosed with one disease, but instead your vet later determined he had cancer. This is common.
The most common signs and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased thirst and/or urination
- Fluid buildup in the chest
- Nasal discharge (may include bleeding)
Most dogs will not exhibit all of these symptoms, but if your pup has even a couple of these symptoms, be sure to get him to the vet as soon as possible.
Your vet will ask about your fur baby’s medical history, his current state, any symptoms he may have, etc. After a physical exam, the veterinarian may need to order some tests such as blood work, urine analysis, radiograph/ultrasound of the chest or abdomen, etc.
In addition, it may be necessary for the vet to use a needle to aspirate (remove) some fluid from affected nodes, which will be sent off for examination by a veterinary pathologist. Your vet may also need to take some of your dog’s bone marrow for examination, especially to see if cancer has moved to the marrow. Additional test can include CT scans, MRIs, etc.
Treatment of Lymphoma in Dogs
Treatment generally includes some form of chemotherapy, which leads to remission in most dogs. Remission doesn’t mean the cancer has been cured; rather, it means there’s no detectable cancer found. The length of time chemo may be needed depends on the severity of the disease and the overall health of the dog.
Just like their humans, individual dogs react differently to chemo treatment. Some dogs will experience minimal side effects, while others may feel quite ill. The most typical chemo side effects include loss of appetite, exhaustion, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Dogs can also experience loss of hair and other symptoms.
Now that we have a basic understanding of lymphoma in dogs, let’s move on to CBD—what is it and how does it help dogs with lymphoma.
What is CBD?
CBD is the acronym for one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Now you know—CBD is taken from the marijuana plant. The substance is extracted from the plant and used in oil form. The oil can be taken internally, used topically or even added to food.
This substance has been used by dogs and cats as a natural remedy for many types of health problems. CBD is known to reduce pain and inflammation, help a pet to feel calmer, prevent seizures and more. It’s important to understand the oil is not a cure-all.
It does have some medicinal properties that can be helpful for pets, including lymphoma.
Here are some things to know about CBD:
1. It’s not psychoactive: this means your pet won’t become “high” while taking this remedy. The oil does not contain the substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that’s found in marijuana.
2. CBD can relieve anxiety: if your pup’s feeling anxious from chemo treatments and vet visits, CBD can help reduce his feelings of anxiety.
3. CBD for dogs with cancer: the oil has been found to be effective at helping the immune system to fight the cancer cells and kill them; it also has anti-tumor properties that work to slow the growth and spread of the cancer, and CBD can help the chemo to be more effective.
4. CBD is sometimes used to treat seizures: seizures of any type, including epilepsy, have responded well to treatment with CBD. The substance works to reduce the frequency of seizures and has proven to be as effective as prescription anti-seizure medications.
5. CBD for dogs pain & inflammation: CBD has been shown to relieve both inflammation and pain, which can help to keep your dog comfortable if he’s experiencing cancer pain.
6. CBD can increase the appetite: if your dog is suffering loss of appetite due to chemo treatments, CBD oil may help him regain his appetite and to eat better.
Treating your dog with CBD oil is legal and the substance has been proven safe for use in dogs. Not only that, but CBD is a natural treatment for your dog, rather than adding another prescription to his cancer treatments. CBD can also be used in combination with most chemo treatments. Just be sure to ask your vet if the oil will be safe with your pup’s particular chemo.
CBD Dosage for Dogs with Lymphoma
The CBD dosage to give your fur baby will depend on different variables, including what form of the substance you plan to use (oil, capsules or treats). Another variable will be your pet’s weight and size. The last thing to consider is your dog’s lymphoma and cancer treatments. It’s a good idea to make sure that treatment with CBD is OK with your pup’s specific chemo regime.
Most vet CBD dosing chart recommend giving 0.5-1mg of hemp oil per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. However, the best person to give you advice on how much hemp oil to give your fur baby will be the veterinarian. Also seek their advice if your dog’s current dose of CBD doesn’t seem to be working.
Best CBD Oil for Dog Cancer
So, what do you look for when buying CBD oil for your dog? The first thing is to avoid any product containing THC. This is the substance in hemp plants that causes the “high.” This substance can be toxic to dogs. Here are some more things to watch for:
- Avoid labels that include “hemp-infused” or “hemp-based”: these products typically contain little to no CBD.
- Look for products extracted from FDA certified organic hemp: avoid products from other countries (such as China), as they may contain harmful substances including pesticides that can make your dog even sicker.
- Method of extraction: look for CBD oil that uses CO2 extraction, rather than toxic solvents. These solvents can remain present in the oil and cause your dog to become sick.
- Look for products using both the hemp plant and seeds: some products on use the seeds—these are cheaper. Look for CBD oil made from both the plant and the seeds as these products offer a much higher quality.
- CBD oil suspension and/or mixing agents: look for products that include safe ingredients, including organic coconut oil. Avoid products that include ethanol or propylene glycol. These can be harmful to your dog.
Before buying CBD products for your pet, be sure to consider the best form of CBD to cater to his preferences. You can find CBD in liquid, capsule or treat forms. Which is easier for your dog? Which is easier for you to give your dog? Again, consider his tastes and preferences. Maybe he’d like a few drop in some yogurt or some other favorite treat. You could also add some drops to his food—just be sure he eats everything in order to get the dose he needs. Be creative when it comes to giving your dog CBD—most of all, consider his preferences first.
Here are some CBD products you can find online:
Veterinary Natural Probiotic Soft Chew ‘Hemp & Health’ for Dogs: this product not only contains CBD, but also contains probiotics and omega fatty acids that will help your dog with some of the side effects from chemo. These tasty treats are wheat, corn, and soy free. They also contain no fillers or by-products. The hemp oil in this product comes from an FDA-approved cGMP and ISO9 certified facility.
Full Spectrum All Natural Hemp Oil for Pets: this product comes in liquid form, with a small dropper that makes it easy to measure the precise dose your dog needs. This oil helps with pain, reduction of anxiety and inflammation and more. This product is made in the US and sourced from a manufacturer located in Colorado, using the Co2 extraction method.
These products are the easiest to buy online, however, with some research, you may also be able to find CBD in capsule form for your precious fur baby.
We hope this article gives you a little background on lymphoma and how CBD oil can help your pup. We wish you and your fur baby all the best—and the best outcome possible.
KimKim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.
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