cbd oil for dogs with late stage lymphoma

Lymphoma in Pets: How CBD Can Help!

Lymphoma is an aggressive cancer type that occurs in the lymphatic cells and quickly spreads through the remainder of the body. Despite its aggressive nature, Lymphoma is known to be one of the most treatable cancer types because it’s highly responsive to therapies.

Table of Contents

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma occurs in cells known as lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells) which are part of the immune system. They are a type of white blood cell which circulates throughout bodily fluid known as lymph. The T-cells and B-cells (lymphocytes) are responsible for ‘taking out the trash.’ They fight and destroy bacteria in the body along with any other foreign substances they come in contact with.

When these cells become cancerous, they are no longer able to hold their duties. This process is called lymphoma and it can develop in T-cells, B-cells, or both.

Breeds at Risk

According to The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, there are several breeds which are genetically prone to developing lymphoma. Breeds who are most prone include:

  • Boxer
  • Basset Hound
  • Saint Bernard
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever

There are also breeds who are least at risk. Those breeds include:

  • Dachshund
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Brittany Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Toy Poodle
  • Female dogs who aren’t spayed have also been found to have a decreased risk of lymphoma.

Signs of Lymphoma

The largest sign of lymphoma is actually visual . You can visually see the lymph nodes are swollen significantly. They’re usually discovered at first just by petting the dog. Common areas you may find swollen lymph nodes include below the jaw, behind the knee, and in front of the shoulder. The lymph nodes will generally feel firm when swollen and can be moved back and forth beneath a dog’s skin. They’re usually not painful to the touch.

Canine Lymphoma Test

There’s now a test available to screen for lymphoma. The veterinarian will draw your dog’s blood which will then be tested for biomarkers. Some veterinarians prefer not to do this test, and skip straight to aspirating the tissue (taking a very fine needle to draw out some of the tissue- biopsy). They are both non-invasive and the fine needle aspiration may be more accurate.

Western Treatment

The conventional treatment for lymphoma is chemotherapy . In severe cases, surgery and/or radiation may also be recommended. Most dogs with lymphoma go into remission following treatment (that’s where the canine lymphoma test would likely come in handy). The most common protocol is known as CHOP (C-Cyclophosphamide; H- Hydroxydaunorubican; O- Oncovin; P- Prednisone); a multi-drug protocol lasting up to 25-weeks .

Most dogs go into remission with this protocol , but there are chances of the white blood cell count lowering during the treatment. If this happens, the medication is adjusted accordingly.

Healthy Diet

Providing a healthy diet is critical with any form of cancer. Actually, it’s important in every dog regardless of if there is cancer or not, but it is particularly important in cases like these. Cancer cells absolutely love sugar. Unfortunately, most kibble diets contain over 50% sugar, which fuels cancer spread. Rodney Habib, one of the creators of the Dog Cancer Series, and Dr. Karen Becker (DVM) created a video outlining just how much sugar is in each bag of dog food (even prescription dog food). It’s a must-watch for any dog lover.

Aside from commercial dog food, you do have several options. You can order your dog’s food from a responsible pet food company who often develops the food themselves (sometimes it arrives dehydrated and you simply add water). You can cook the diet yourself based on recommendations from your veterinarian or canine nutritionist. Or, you can provide a raw food diet. Every dog is different, and every dog’s body is different, so consulting with a professional regarding which option to choose is critical. Your dog’s current health, history, and environment will all be among the factors considered when developing the best diet for your dog.

CBD and Lymphoma

CBD can provide support for dogs with lymphoma. Dogs who are being treated may experience nausea and appetite loss. CBD may help increase appetite and reduce the feelings of nausea. CBD is also a cancer-fighter on its own reducing inflammation and boosting the immune system.

A process known as apoptosis, or cell suicide, also plays a key role here. Cancer cells don’t die on their own. CBD encourages the ‘bad cells’ to die while keeping the good ones alive. Research has found both THC and CBD can kill cancer cells and prevent further growth.

CBD also prevents the development of blood vessels (angiogenesis) in tumors . Cancer has the ability to create its own blood supply within the body to “feed.” CBD prevents this from happening and essentially ‘starves’ the cancer.

According to Cancer Metastasis Review, “ Despite the lack of preclinical and clinical data, there is a strong agreement that pharmacological targeting of the endocannabinoid system is emerging as one of the most promising new methods for reducing the progression of cancer . In particular, combination therapy utilizing both traditional chemotherapeutics and molecules targeting the endocannabinoid system may be an excellent next generation treatment for cancer.”

Whole Patient Approach

Dr. Trina Hazzah, DVM , specializing in Complementary and Alternative Medicine has an unconventional approach to handling canine cancer. Instead of focusing primarily on conventional Western therapies like chemo and radiation, she combines both Eastern and Western medicine to provide every possible option .

The goal of integrative medicine is to better support the immune system, decrease the number of pharmaceutical treatments necessary, increase quality of life, and improve the survival rate of each individual canine cancer patient.

There is a delicate balance combining both therapies and Dr. Hazzah strives to ensure every patient is provided optimal care . Her goal is to provide the pet parent with every option possible so, when weighing out the options, everything that’s possible can be offered.

She also integrates cannabis medicine into her whole patient approach. Prior to educating patients on cannabis medicine, Dr. Hazzah spent years on research, reading literature, attending conferences, and learning from those in practice. She is now one of the practitioners providing the advice and conducting the lectures for others who want to learn.

The Bottom Line

Dog lovers who decide to treat lymphoma are generally pleased with the outcome. The cancer is well-known for going into remission with a little help and guidance . Following treatment, most dogs are able to live relatively normal lives. We know it’s scary to hear the words, “your dog has cancer,” but calm your mind knowing this is one of the most responsive cancers to treat.

Ultimately, it’s your decision about what you feel is best for your dog. Reviewing the options, weighing out the pros and cons based on what your veterinary oncologist views as the best option, and getting a second opinion are all aspects that can be taken into consideration in regard to the treatment of lymphoma.

CBD for Dogs With Lymphoma – 5 Key Benefits

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.

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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
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst and/or urination
  • Fever
  • Fluid buildup in the chest
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Weakens
  • 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

  • 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.

5 Steps I’m Taking to Beat Canine Lymphoma

One of our dogs was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in February 2021 and I immediately went into research mode, hoping to learn that, unlike hemangiosarcoma, canine lymphoma was a breeze and easily beat.

Yeah, no such luck. Cancer is cancer and every dog will respond differently and I was left praying that we’d have better luck than we did with Sydney because (1) we caught it early and (2) Scout has been raw fed since he was six weeks old and he’s being raised by an insane dog mom (me).

Yesterday, we wrapped up chemo-cycle three of four of his CHOP protocol and Scout is doing great! We’ve been getting positive reports from the oncologist throughout this journey and yesterday, I received the best news.

Not only is Scout still in remission, but he’s also one of a few patients that are still in remission. I would love to compare notes with the other dogs to see what I’m doing differently, but that’s not possible. Instead, I trust that the steps I’m taking with Scout are working and I’m excited to share this with others.

What is Canine Lymphoma?

“Canine lymphomas are a diverse group of cancers, and are among the most common cancers diagnosed in dogs. They collectively represent approximately 7-14% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs. There are over 30 described types of canine lymphoma, and these cancers vary tremendously in their behavior. Some progress rapidly and are acutely life-threatening without treatment, while others progress very slowly and are managed as chronic, indolent diseases. Lymphomas may affect any organ in the body, but most commonly originate in lymph nodes, before spreading to other organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.”

What Was the First Sign of Cancer?

After losing Sydney, I became very paranoid about my dogs and would massage their bodies weekly and one weekend, I felt a lump in Scout’s throat and immediately set up an appointment. It was lymphoma – B-cell, Stage 3.

The survival time of dogs with B-cell lymphoma is about twice that of a dog with T-cell lymphoma, however, there are so many factors to consider that I chose to focus on Scout’s diet, keeping his immune system and liver (and kidneys) healthy, while keeping the cancer cells at bay.

Why I Chose Chemotherapy to Treat Canine Lymphoma?

Whenever I see a discussion on social media about cancer and someone pipes in about how they would never subject their dog to chemotherapy, I shake my head and keep scrolling. Personally, I think this is an insensitive and shortsighted thing to say to someone who is facing a cancer diagnosis. In my research, I learned that canine lymphoma is very responsive to chemotherapy and while there are several routes one can take (including choosing not to do chemo), the one that is most effective with canine lymphoma is the CHOP protocol.

I chose to start chemo immediately instead of trying prednisone first and then going to chemo later because my research showed that this could inhibit the effectiveness of the chemo; this was backed up our oncologist.

The CHOP protocol is a series of four appointments (a different chemo drug for each appointment) that repeats four times (we just finished 3 of 4). The reason for all the meds is because canine lymphoma adapts to the chemo drugs, so the CHOP protocol is hitting the chemo with different drugs, not allowing the cancer to adapt and spread.

The CHOP protocol is kind of like whack-a-mole.

Scout went into remission within the first month (the first cycle) of chemo and has remained there. In my reading, I learned that most dogs that go through the CHOP protocol will go into remission, which will last about a year or more. A small percentage of dogs will remain in remission for several years. And an even small percentage will be cured (no detectable signs of cancer in the body).

The following are five additional steps I’m taking to cure my dog’s canine lymphoma.

1 – Fresh Food Diet for Canine Lymphoma

Because of the chemotherapy, Scout’s oncologist wanted me to take him off of raw and cook his food instead. I was tempted to do this, using Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm to create a “balanced” diet, but with all that I know about raw feeding, I didn’t want to walk away from a diet that works. So I switched Scout from DIY raw feeding to Answers Pet Food for several months. Today, Scout now eats a combination of DIY raw dog food and Answers Pet Food and he’s thriving.

Examples of meals that I feed to Scout include:

Raw Meal #1 with Answers Pet Food

  • 6 ounces of Answers Pet Food (chicken, turkey, or pork)
  • 2 chicken feet (by Answers Pet Food) or 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg (fed every other day)
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

Raw Meal #2 with DIY Raw and Answers Pet Food

  • 4 ounces of Answers Pet Food
  • 6-7 ounces of DIY Raw Dog Food
  • 2 chicken feet (by Answers Pet Food) or 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

Raw Meal #3 with DIY Raw Dog Food

  • 13 ounces of DIY Raw Dog Food (APF is higher in fat=more calories=less fed than DIY)
  • 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

My plan was to feed 100% Answers Pet Food, however, with the corporate shake up, I stoked up on Answers and I’m stretching out what I have to last through the summer (Scout finishes chemo the first weekend of August).

I fast Scout once or twice a week. Alternating between a raw goat’s milk fast (that’s all he eats that day) and a true fast (no food for 24 hours). This will continue post chemo treatment.

2 – Supplements for Canine Lymphoma

The following supplements were chosen to help combat canine lymphoma while supporting Scout’s immune system and gut health during chemo and beyond. I add the following to his dish 5 days a week.

    – Chinese herbs that encourage cancer cell death – evening only – immune system boost – 4 pills daily

From Long Living Pets Research Project:

    – kills cancer cells – 1 pill daily – kills cancer cells – 1 pill daily – added to water every other day – protects healthy cells – 1 pill daily

From Chewy.com:

    – liver support, 1-2 pills daily
  • Dr. Harvey’s Runs Be Done Digestive Tract Dog Supplement – added to Scout’s meals for 3 days after chemo treatment.

I don’t add antioxidants to Scout’s diet because there are studies that show that antioxidants protect both healthy cells and cancer cells, which can inhibit the success of the chemo treatments. After Scout finishes the CHOP protocol, I will then start adding a supplement mix that I give to my other dogs (blog post coming soon) that is high in antioxidants.

3 – CBD Oil Protocol for Canine Lymphoma

Scout gets CBD oil 2 to 3 times daily – every day because my goal is to keep the benefits of CBD oil working in his system and I can do this by keeping concentration levels high. Not only does the CBD oil make the chemotherapy more effective while decreasing side effects (diarrhea with Scout), CBD oil also…

  • supports dogs living with disease
  • supports aging dogs (Rodrigo also gets CBD oil 2-3x daily)
  • slows the growth of cancer cells/tumors while killing cancer cells
  • calms dogs with anxiety
  • alleviates pain, including joint pain and arthritis

How I Give CBD Oil to Scout

The easiest way to give CBD oil is to put 1/2 of a dropper full in the palm of my hand and allow Scout to lick it up – it goes right into his mouth and is absorbed directly through his gums. But sometimes he’s not interested so I either put the dropper in his mouth along side his cheeks/gums OR I massage it into his ears. I DO NOT put CBD oil down his ear canal, I just massage it into the interior of the top section of his ears.

What CBD Oil I Give to Scout

Right now, Scout is primarily getting CBD Dog Health because I’ve run out of the other brands that I give to my dogs. CBD Dog Health HEAL is specific for dogs with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

As soon as CannaPet has a BOGO sale, I’ll be stocking up on their Advanced MaxCBD capsules, which I will also add to his meals twice daily (2 capsules).

This CBD regimen will continue post chemotherapy.

4 – Essential Oil Protocol for Canine Lymphoma

I use essential oils to freshen the house (I’m diffusing a floral scent as I type) and improve my mood and calm my anxiety. Although there is an encyclopedia’s worth of benefits essential oils bring to the table, I didn’t take full advantage of them until I started using animalEO essential oils.

These oils work.

So, it was a no brainer for me to create a regimen for using Dr. Shelton’s oils to help my dog battle canine lymphoma.

AromaBoost RTU Collection

The AromaBoost RTU Collection by animalEO is a powerful treatment, according to the website, and it includes five bottles that we’re to use in order to help put our dogs’ system into balance. I apply the oils (from the base of the tail to right before the neck) every Monday.

Boost in a Bottle

Because Scout has cancer, I want to make sure he get’s as much support as possible, so I use Boost in a Bottle (a more condensed version of the AromaBoost collection) once or twice a week (Thursday and Saturday).

Diffusing animalEO Essential Oils

I also diffuse oils daily in the house to create a happy and calm atmosphere. My preferred oils are:

  • Sunshine in a Bottle
  • Calm-a-Mile Neat
  • Warmth
  • Away

I also diffuse organic frankincense oil and (from Plant Therapy).

When it comes to essential oils, it may be tempting to go cheap, but don’t. Quality is important and the cheap oils that are lining store shelves will either do nothing or they’ll cause harm. To avoid breaking the bank with my essential oil obsession, I only shop during the Flash Sales, waiting for discounts to stock up on the oils that I need.

5 – Canine Lymphoma isn’t a Death Sentence – So Be Happy

And, finally, Scout doesn’t know he has cancer. Scout isn’t acting like he has cancer. So we celebrate life with him on a daily basis. He loves going on walks with his dog walker – he and Scout go on their bro-walk twice weekly. I take the dogs out for exploring, walks, and swims daily.

Our goal is to keep him active, in shape, and happy and, so far, we’re doing a bang up job.

Doing this also keeps our spirits up too. I truly believe that dogs take in our energy and if we’re always stressed, then Scout will be stressed as well. So, if I’m having a stressful day, I work it out and move on because I don’t want my dog’s health to suffer because I’m in a crappy mood.

I stocked up on his favorite toys and he (and the other dogs) are having a great summer.

All of these toys are great for outdoor exercise and Scout loves them.

What About Acupuncture?

Studies have shown that acupuncture helps alleviate the side effects of chemo. Acupuncture can also offer pain relief, boost the immune system, and improve a dog’s quality of life.

I would love to add acupuncture to the list of things I’m doing for Scout, however, as long as veterinarians are making pet parents sit in the parking lot, I’m not going to add another vet appointment where Scout and I are separated. He already needs to be lightly sedated for his chemo treatments. I don’t want to add more stress to his life while he’s going through chemo.

Once veterinarian offices open up, I will find an acupuncturist in my area who can help Scout. For now, I’m counting on the CBD oil and essential oils to provide the support he needs.

Wow! If you’re still reading this, then thank you. I know this is all so overwhelming and I’m sharing my steps to help others. I don’t know if all of these will work for your dog, but, if you’re like me, then you’re ready to throw everything at your dog to beat the cancer so I pray that others have the same success that I’ve had with Scout doing the things I recommended in this blog post.