Cancer is common to both humans and animals and it is complicated. It is characterized by an abnormal cell growth in any part of the body. These abnormal growths become uncontrollable and will begin to destroy tissues in the body and hinder its proper function. It does not only refer to a single condition or disease. There are different types of cancers and all of these spreads throughout the body and affects it differently. It can be terminal but some cases can be treatable; some are completely benign though. Click here to learn more about the disease.
Cancer in Dogs
Just like humans, dogs can also have cancer. 47% of canine deaths are caused by this disease. Below types are common in canines.
Skin: This is very common, but mostly benign.
Mammary gland or simply breast cancer: Females are susceptible to this type, but at an estimate, only 50% of the cases are confirmed malignant.
Neck and Head: This type is a high probability in dogs, particularly to mouth cancers and it is often malignant.
Lymphoma: This affects the lymph nodes where it grows abnormally. It can be treated aggressively but it can also spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Testicles: This is also common canine disease. Retained testicles lodged in the abdomen or between abdomen and scrotum.
Abdominal Tumors: These are usually difficult to diagnose at an early stage; usually only noticed when there is abdominal swelling is obvious and/or a noticeable weight loss.
Bone: This usually affects the large breeds and those over 7 years old. Leg bones are mostly the affected part to swelling, chronic pain, and lameness.
Traditional treatment usually includes radiation, surgery, chemotherapy or a combination of all these. Exact type of treatment is dependent on the type of cancer and the stage it is in, but first a diagnosis has to be made by a veterinarian. The veterinarian will come up with a treatment plan after the diagnosis.
Surgeries will be done to remove a tumor whenever possible – veterinarians would favor to do this first. Chemotherapy and radiation will be done if necessary, but the extent of chemo and radiation will depend on the overall health of your pet.
If your pet is plagued with cancer, he might need to undergo chemotherapy and for most owners, this is worrisome. It has side effects that could kick in 3 to 4 days after treatment has been administered and could last to 24 to 48 hours. Although some canines can only endure a minor effect, like a little bit of lethargy, but some can be very sensitive and experience harsh side effects such as: vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dropping of white blood cells, hair loss (some breeds will only have minor hair thinning but some will be greatly affected, like Poodles, Schnauzer, and Shih tzu), skin irritations can also happen especially if chemo drugs leak during injection, and many others discussed in https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/how-cancer-treated/chemotherapy/side-effects-chemotherapy. Although these are usually the side effects in humans, canines suffering the disease can most likely experience most of these.
The side effects vary from one to the other; it depends on the susceptibility and immune system of your pet. Veterinary chemotherapy is more palliative in design, while humans get a definitive treatment which is really intended to cure the disease. Treatment in canines is less intrusive that is why side effects may not be as tough as it is in humans, yet almost the same nature.
Can CBD help?
CBD has shown that it can manage the symptoms and side effects of treatment. It can help fight growth and spread of tumors and cancer cells.
CBD works great with inflammation and pain. It also helps with gastrointestinal symptoms and lessen incidence of nausea and vomiting. It helps gaining back appetite of the patient which can be lost due to chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy may not be as tough on pets as it is to humans, but they still have to deal with the side effects of treatment. CBD education is important for pet owners to make them understand how the substance can help their disease-stricken pets. Many research studies show that CBD can help fight the growth and spread of cancer in the body. It is an accepted therapeutic remedy for many diseases, and bodies like WHO have recognized this; however, there is no definitive conclusion yet on its role in being a “cure” to the disease. Nonetheless, many pet owners use it to treat their pets and take advantage of the benefits in slowing the growth and spread of the cells that cause the disease. Lastly, it works great in managing the side effects of chemotherapy.