Most likely the first animals to be domesticated by early man, dogs haven’t been dubbed “man’s best friend” for no reason. Hundreds of millions of households around the world share their home with at least one dog. In addition to that, countless millions of canines are considered “free-range,” meaning they roam streets and neighborhoods around the world.
Still, other dogs serve in roles that are even nobler than being a pet or companion. Dogs work as service animals for the seeing impaired, as rescue animals, or as partners in law enforcement.
That makes it all the more distressing when our canine friends are diagnosed with one of the many forms of dog cancer.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common forms of canine cancer, what their symptoms are, and what treatment could possibly help them.
Thyroid Carcinoma often begins as a growth in a dog’s neck, where the thyroid gland is located. A symptom is when a dog has difficulty breathing or swallowing. They may suddenly begin to lose weight.
Because the thyroid gland is a hormonal center of the body, thyroid carcinoma can drastically change a dog’s hormones may be affected, causing it to become lethargic or even lose hair. However, this doesn’t always happen.
Thyroid carcinoma can be treated with surgery if caught early enough. With the mass removed and radiation treatment, a dog could live for 1-3 years after the operation. Unfortunately, this type of dog cancer is usually identified too late, meaning most dogs are not candidates for surgery by the time this cancer is diagnosed.
Most of us have heard the term “lymphoma,” since it is a form of cancer that is common among humans as well as some animals. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t any less scary when a dog owner gets a lymphoma diagnosis for their canine companion.
Lymphoma is an umbrella term used to describe a collection of cancers that attack the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that is an instrumental aspect of the immune system.
Because lymphoma attacks the immune system, this cancer could potentially be found in any organ of the body. The most common places to find it are the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and the spleen because these all play a major role in the immune system.
The most common treatment for lymphoma in dogs is chemotherapy. Fortunately, chemo is often less stressful and painful for dogs than it is for humans.
Osteosarcoma is a bone cancer found mostly in larger breeds of dogs. What may at first seem like joint and bone pain may end up with this diagnosis.
Because osteosarcoma can grow very quickly and spread to other parts of the body, conventional treatment rarely works in extending the dog’s life significantly.
Hemangiosarcoma is a sarcoma that develops in the lining of blood vessels of some dogs. Unlike some other cancers, the fast-growing type is much more common in dogs than in any other animal, including humans.
Because hemangiosarcoma grows so fast, it isn’t usually identified until the tumor has metastasized, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body. This makes treatment either very difficult or impossible. Furthermore, these tumors can burst. When a tumor bursts, the dog will experience a lot of bleeding, and it is very painful.
One conventional treatment option is chemotherapy since a diagnosis usually only happens after this cancer has started to spread, making surgery unhelpful.
Primary Lung Tumor
Primary lung tumors are incredibly rare in dogs, although, in recent years, the number of cases has risen significantly. Around 80% of identified cases are malignant.
A primary lung tumor can metastasize, causing this cancer to spread to other parts of the body. Most commonly, this kind of cancer will spread to other parts of the lung, although it can also make its way to the lymph nodes, brain, or bones.
There are a few treatment options, but such options will quickly disappear if this cancer begins to spread throughout the body.
Melanocytes are cells in the skin that usually have a pigment, giving the tissue a dark or black color. When the melanocytes in a dog’s mouth become cancerous, this is called oral melanoma, the most common of the oral tumors in dogs.
Oral melanoma can start as thick and darkened nodules in the mouth of your dog. The growths may be in any part of the mouth, and they often cause a great deal of oral pain for the animal.
This cancer will often spread locally, infecting the soft tissues of the mouth, teeth, roots, and underlying bone, causing even more pain for the dog. Eventually, this cancer can spread to other parts of the animal’s body.
The nodules can be removed surgically if this cancer hasn’t spread too far before being identified.
CBD Oil and Cancer in Dogs
The traditional treatment options for cancer in dogs are not always promising. As a compassionate pet owner, even if you choose to surgery or chemotherapy for your dog, you may be concerned with the pain your animal will go through while waiting for treatment and while healing after treatment.
Recently, some amazing discoveries point to new possibilities for pain management for animals undergoing cancer, such as CBD oil for dogs. CBD is an active ingredient in cannabis. It is very different from THC, which is the chemical that causes humans and animals to get high. CBD doesn’t cause a high. Instead, it has been linked to many benefits, including reduced anxiety, pain relief, as well as other incredible health benefits.
Science is just now catching up to the many testimonials of dogs owners around the world. While very few studies have been completed, experts are actively investigating the full extent of the positive effects of CBD oil for dogs with cancer.
Here are a few of the main benefits many dog owners and vets have noted regarding CBD oil, many of which would be very helpful to a dog facing cancer, whether the animal will also be receiving traditional treatment or not.
Getting sick makes anyone anxious. Dealing with pain and discomfort, as well as repeated trips to the veterinarian will add to a dog’s anxiety. Add to that the fact that pets often sense the anxiety of their owners, and you can see why any dog with cancer could benefit from a reduction of stress and anxiety.
Most of the forms of cancer mentioned in this article cause the animal some form of physical pain. On top of that, all common forms of treatment—surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation—often cause long-term pain for the dog. CBD can help the dog rest without so much pain, helping the animal to heal faster as a result.
When a dog is sick, it may stop eating as much as it used to. Some treatments such as chemo can reduce hunger, as well. To help your animal recover faster and heal, trying giving CBD oil to reduce nausea and improve the dog’s appetite.
While a human can use a vape pen to take in CBD and related oils, or else use dry herb vaporizers, your pet can take in the oil in a much more direct way. Following your veterinarian’s instructions, you can give the oil directly to your dog by dripping it under their tongue. You can also add the oil to your dog’s food though this may take more time to take effect.
As you can see, CBD oil has benefits for dogs, just as it does for humans. As science works to test out all of the claims dog owners are making around the world, new discoveries bring even more hope for pet owners that want to take care of their canine friends.
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points.