For many people, dogs have become more than just animals that assist us with various tasks like hunting and herding. They have become family members, and for some people, they are like their children. So, when a dog becomes sick, it can be devastating to the entire family.
We also share many diseases, like osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. Just like bone cancer in a human can cause pain and loss of appetite, it can do much the same in dogs. Many dog owners ask themselves and their veterinarians: “Is there anything that can help?”
As it turns out, there is a natural supplement that may help your pooch deal with the symptoms of osteosarcoma. It’s a supplement that many humans are turning to for much the same reason: CBD oil. Before we can answer how CBD oil may benefit dogs with bone cancer, let’s take a look at exactly what bone cancer in canines entails.
Osteosarcoma in Dogs
Simply put, osteosarcoma is a malignant tumor in the bone. In canines, it very closely resembles pediatric bone cancer in humans. In dogs, the long bones in the legs are most commonly affected.
Types of Bone Cancer in Dogs
In canines, bone cancer may present itself in three different types:
- Osteoblastic: tumor cells produce large amounts of tumor osteoid
- Chondroblastic: tumor cells produce cartilage in addition to tumor osteoid
- Fibroblastic: tumor cells are primarily fibroblasts and produce collagen as well as tumor osteoid
Symptoms of Osteosarcoma in Dogs
If your dog has osteosarcoma of the limbs, a distinct lameness or swelling will be present. Fractures may also occur. The dog may also display lethargy and a loss of appetite.
A diagnosis of bone cancer is usually made based upon the symptoms present combined with imaging, such as x-ray. If your veterinarian suspects osteosarcoma, they will likely perform a fine needle aspiration to collect cell samples, which will then be looked at using a microscope to make a definitive diagnosis. If the fine needle aspiration is not conclusive, the vet may perform a bone biopsy.
CBD Oil and Osteosarcoma
Cannabis has been used for millennia for the treatment of a variety of different ailments. The two primary compounds in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), and its potent sister, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have been shown to be useful in fighting cancer in mice as well as quelling the symptoms associated with cancer.
Researchers at Complutense University in 2009 published a study that showed THC could lead to the death of brain cancer cells in mice. This benefit was also shown in human patients using cannabidiol without THC. Since cancer cells in most mammals are similar, CBD may help to shrink tumors and prevent metastasis. However, CBD should not be seen as a cure just yet; more clinical studies need to be done to evaluate this.
In addition to its potential to halt the growth of cancer cells, CBD can also help with some of the symptoms of cancer such as pain, loss of appetite, and seizures.
Dosage and Giving Your Dog CBD Oil
While humans may pull out their vape pen to vaporize CBD oil, that’s not an option for dogs. Using a desktop dry herb vaporizer may be an option – if used to infuse the room with CBD vapor, but the best way to use CBD oil in dogs is either using CBD-infused treats or putting a few drops of CBD oil in their food.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when administering CBD oil to your dog. Begin at the lowest recommended dosage and progress until relief is seen. Most pet owners prefer mixing the dose of CBD oil in with their dog’s food. There are also CBD-infused treats available for dogs.
Before beginning CBD therapy, be sure to speak with your veterinarian to ensure the proper dosage and purity of your canine’s medication.