Lymphoma is one word no pet owner wants to hear coming from their vet’s mouth.
Unfortunately, lymphoma is one of the most common tumors affecting dogs.
If your dog suffers from lymphoma, I’m sure you’ve heard the news that CBD can help.
In this post I’m going to look at a handful of scientific studies that explore the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids on cancer.
I’ll also share some case studies from dogs that are actively using CBD to treat different types of cancer and even recommend 2 brands of CBD pet products that I’ve used myself.
What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a complex circulatory system involved in all kinds of bodily processes.
The system is made up of 3 main components:
- Lymph, a watery fluid that is basically leftover fluid that escapes from the capillaries as they transport blood.
- Lymph vessels, which help transport lymph around the body.
- Lymph organs, which include lymph nodes as well as the spleen, thymus, tonsils, and appendix.
The lymphatic system has 3 main roles:
First and foremost, it helps excess fluid (in the form of lymph) find its way back to into the circulatory system.
Secondly, it helps the blood absorb and transport large molecules like lipids and hormones.
And thirdly, it forms part of the immune system and helps the body protect itself against viruses, diseases, and other threats.
Lymphoma generally forms in specific cells of the lymphatic system known as lymphocytes.
These are a special kind of white blood cell that travel around the body and help to fight infection.
This is exactly why lymphoma is considered such a fast-spreading cancer:
As the affected the cells move around the body, the cancer has the opportunity to spread faster than normal, and usually starts to affect lymph nodes and other lymphatic organs.
Lymphoma can affect multiple lymph nodes at once, essentially attacking the body from various angles at the same time.
As the cancer spreads, it can also affect other internal organs and parts of the body, including the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.
There are roughly 30 different types of canine lymphoma, all of which have unique behaviours and effects.
Unfortunately, lymphoma is one of the most common cancers affecting dogs, representing up to 15% of all diagnosed canine cancers.
Does Lymphoma Produce Symptoms?
The most common sign of lymphoma in dogs is swollen lymph nodes.
As lymphocytes in these nodes grow out of control, the lymph nodes become swollen and firm, although not painful.
In some cases, you may be able to actually feel the enlarged lymph node under your dog’s skin:
They tend to feel like hard, almost rubbery lumps.
Unfortunately, not all your dog’s lymph nodes are so easy to feel.
Some other symptoms of lymphoma can include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss.
- Lethargy and fatigue.
- Severe swelling of the face or leg (known clinically as edema).
Some lymphomas (such as cutaneous lymphoma, for example) can also cause dry, flaky, red, and itchy patches of skin all around the body.
Gastrointestinal lymphoma, on the other hand, tends to cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid, unwanted weight loss.
Meanwhile, mediastinal lymphoma tends to cause difficulty breathing, usually due either to a large mass or build up of fluid in the chest.
How is Lymphoma Typically Treated?
Unfortunately there is no cure for lymphoma.
However, it is possible to treat/manage lymphoma (at least for some time) while your dog enjoys a good quality of life.
Some dogs may even go into remission as a result of proper treatment, where their lymphoma is not completely cured but also not detectable at a clinical level.
The most common treatment for canine lymphoma is chemotherapy.
Some vets may also use a combination of surgery and radiation therapy, depending on the exact type of lymphoma they are dealing with.
Now, I know you’ve probably have some doubts about chemo.
When my dog Rosie got diagnosed with cancer, I was pretty hesitant about putting her through chemotherapy, too.
The minute my vet suggested chemo, all kinds of negative images of Rosie started flooding my mind:
I imagined her losing her fur and gradually becoming thinner and frail until she’d finally just lose the last bit of strength she had.
But I soon learned that canine chemotherapy is different to human chemo.
The side effects of chemotherapy in dogs are usually much less severe than the side effects we tend to see in humans.
That is because chemotherapy is much more focused on offering proper palliative care.
So, I eventually decided to try chemo with Rosie.
And when I did, I was surprised to see she experienced almost no side effects at all.
In fact, the only side effect of the treatment I could really notice was her feeling kind of drained and lethargic for 1-2 days after her chemo sessions.
Her appetite also seemed to suffer a little after each session, which was noticeable because Rosie definitely didn’t hold back when it came to eating.
However, she’d usually get her regular appetite back after 1 or 2 days.
Note that, just because Rosie experienced almost no side effects from her chemo, that doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will respond to the treatment the same way.
Each dog will respond to chemo differently, and it's not unheard of for some dogs to experience more severe side effects as a result of the treatment.
These can include:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and other gastro-related symptoms.
- Low white blood cell count.
- Hair thinning or, in some cases, hair loss.
- Neuropathic pain (usually directly after a session).
How Can CBD Help Dogs With Lymphoma?
If, like most pet owners, you’re worried about your dog’s health, chances are you’ve already heard about CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound derived from cannabis and hemp plants that’s received a lot attention lately for its medicinal potential.
In fact, in the US, Canada, Switzerland, and a long list of other countries, CBD is already accepted by doctors as a treatment for a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, including cancer.
Regardless, you’ve probably still got some doubts about CBD (I know I did) and how it could benefit your dog.
So, below I’ll break down 2 main ways in which CBD supplements can help pets dealing with lymphoma and other cancers:
CBD Can Treat Symptoms of Lymphoma and Chemotherapy
As I mentioned earlier, lymphoma can produce a variety of symptoms.
And, while it’s not as common, chemotherapy can also produce some harsh symptoms in some dogs.
Luckily, CBD can actually help to soothe a lot of the symptoms caused by cancer and chemo.
From my research into cancer and CBD, I’ve learned that the most common symptoms we see in dogs include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of energy, fatigue, and lethargy
CBD has been shown to relieve all of these symptoms.
First and foremost, CBD is renowned as a powerful pain killer.
Some cancers can cause inflammation, which naturally causes pain and swelling.
Numerous studies have shown that CBD has very strong anti-inflammatory properties and, by treating localized inflammation, can help reduce the pain it produces.
Moreover, studies have also shown that CBD and other cannabinoids, can help fight pain in other ways, too.
For example, CBD has been shown to suppress pain signals produced both by inflammation and neuropathic issues.
CBD has also been shown to effectively reduce nausea and vomiting, and even increase appetite.
The endocannabinoid system (which is responsible for mediating the effects of CBD) is involved in managing all kinds of bodily processes.
More specifically, studies show it is very heavily involved in managing metabolism and appetite.
By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, various studies have shown CBD can help curb nausea and vomiting, 2 symptoms that often affect pets dealing with cancer and chemo.
As I mentioned earlier, Rosie’s appetite definitely suffered a bit in the days following her chemo sessions.
Once I started her on CBD however, I noticed that change almost immediately.
Even on the day of her chemo sessions, Rosie would come home and eagerly eat her meals as she’d done before she got sick.
In fact, in Canada, certain states of the US, and other places across the world, CBD is now an accepted treatment for nausea, vomiting, and appetite problems resulting from cancer, chemo, and other conditions. You can find more information on CBD for dogs with nausea here.
One final symptom we see a lot in pets dealing with cancer and chemo is lethargy.
I definitely noticed this in Rosie:
When she’d come home from her chemo sessions, she seemed notably “down” for at least 1 or 2 days.
As her cancer progressed, she became ever more lethargic at all times, not just following her chemo sessions.
As you can imagine, it was really hard to see Rosie like this.
She was always a super active dog, but the days after chemo she would just laze around the house and sleep.
Luckily, CBD can help relieve the lethargy and low energy produced by cancer and chemotherapy.
Another physiological process the endocannabinoid system is heavily involved in managing is mood and energy.
A lot of media publications regularly report that CBD can have sedative effects.
And while it can produce these effects in large doses, when dosed correctly CBD actually helps improve alertness, boosts mood, and improve energy levels.
CBD Can Have Anti-Tumor Effects
Yes, you read that right.
One way CBD may help dogs with lymphoma is by actually fighting the cancer itself.
Now, before I dive in any deeper on this topic, keep this in mind:
The research on CBD and how it affects cancer is still very new, and there’s still a long way to go before we can surely say that CBD can fight tumors.
There’s already a solid body of research into CBD and how it affects tumors of the breast, brain, colon, lungs, skin, and other organs.
So far, these studies suggest CBD can help fight the growth and development of cancers in 2 main ways:
First of all, studies show that CBD can literally help starve tumors.
As cancers grow, they undergo a process known as angiogenesis which allows them to produce new blood vessels that bring blood to the tumor site in order to help keep the cancer cells alive.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2012 found that CBD can help hinder this process in multiple ways, potentially helping control and fight the spread and growth of tumors.
Other studies also show that CBD can help fight the rapid growth of cancer cells, and thereby slow tumor growth.
How to Use CBD With Your Dog
As you can see, there’s plenty of solid evidence supporting CBD and its potential in treating/managing lymphoma.
So, if your dog or pet deals with lymphoma (or any cancer, for that matter), I highly recommend trying CBD.
I used CBD supplements with my dog Rosie to help her manage her tumor, and the results were incredible.
Not only did the supplements help her maintain healthy energy levels and manage the pain associated with her condition, but they also helped her stay active and even outlive my vet’s initial prognosis.
There are 4 main types of CBD supplements out there for pets:
- CBD oil
- Topicals (like balms and sprays)
I’ve used all of these products, and they are all effective in their own ways.
And, if you’re worried about safety and dosing with CBD, don’t be.
CBD is completely safe and really easy to dose.
Are Other Dogs Seeing Success With CBD?
CBD is already recognized as a cancer treatment by various state governments in the US and many other institutions across the world.
Luckily, pet owners and vets are slowly catching on to the potential of CBD for cancer treatment.
In fact, there are countless dog owners who are already using CBD to help their dogs with cancer.
Sherman, for example, is a Bernese Mountain dog whose owners use CBD to help him deal with the systems of his histiocytic sarcoma cancer.
Sherman’s tumor, unfortunately, is located on his hip and had already spread to other parts of the body when it was diagnosed.
Hence, surgery wasn’t feasible.
Instead, Sherman is using chemotherapy, radiation, and CBD to slow the progression of his tumor and increase his quality of life in his remaining time. His owners are very happy with the results of CBD.
Storm, on the other hand, is a 6-year-old Malamute who was recently diagnosed with nasal cancer.
He has been using CBD since he was first diagnosed and is currently doing radiation therapy.
His owners are confident that the CBD is helping Storm stay energetic and happy, and have even noticed that the size of his tumor has gone down significantly.
Ellie is another pup who, like Sherman, was diagnosed with sarcoma roughly 1 year ago.
Her vets gave her 6-12 months to live, even with chemo.
Luckily, Ellie’s owners learned about CBD and were quick to give it a shot.
A year after using CBD religiously, Ellie is still here and completely cancer free.
Ellie’s owners and vets couldn’t believe the results and are doing all the can to get the word about the power of CBD!
Ellie, Storm and Sherman are just 3 of the many dogs with cancer who are seeing great results with CBD. They have all been using products from a company called Canna-Pet. You can visit the official website here: www.Canna-Pet.com
Finding the Right CBD Product for Dogs With Lymphoma
Cancers like lymphoma are every pet owner’s worst nightmare.
Luckily, as we saw in this post, CBD is proving to be an extremely effective treatment option for all kinds of cancers.
If your dog suffers from lymphoma and you want to try CBD either to treat the cancer or the symptoms or side effects of chemo, I highly recommend using a strong CBD oil.
HolistaPet, for example, offers one of the strongest pet CBD oils on the market.
HolistaPet's CBD Pet Tincture is certainly one of my top recommendations this year.
This extract is also available in capsule form, which is a good option for dogs that might not like the CBD oil. They also have popular CBD treats.
Find more on the official website: www.HolistaPet.com
I recommend these products because they contain higher concentrations of CBD and are designed to treat more serious conditions.
I’ve used these products with my dog Rosie and I can attest to their quality.
They are definitely some of the best CBD pet products I’ve tried to date.