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Pet cbd oil for dying dog

Pot for pets? What happened when terminally-ill Muttley took cannabis oil

In September last year, Muttley’s human parents Tim* and Tina* got the worst news possible. Their beloved 12 year-old American staffordshire terrier cross was dying.

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He’d been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year, and after rounds of chemo and five surgeries, the vet said there was nothing more they could do for him.

“He was extremely lethargic. He’d sleep 20, 22 hours a day and wanted to be left alone, didn’t want to go outside. Basically, getting towards the point of he was going to die,” Tim told Hack.

“In October we said goodbye to him. We were going away and we didn’t think he’d survive the week,” Tina said. “The only other option would have been putting him down, because he didn’t have any quality of life.”
Chemo was having a terrible effect on Muttley.

“He got really sick, he lost ten kilos and started urinating blood and the vet said that’s pretty much it. He probably has weeks to live, if he’s lucky,” Tim said.

To ease Muttley’s discomfort, the vet suggested Tim and Tina try something a little bit controversial – medicinal cannabis oil.

The couple was sceptical at first.

I thought I’d heard it all, until I’d heard that.”

“But then I thought, if he can’t take traditional medicine, if it makes him feel sick – he was vomiting and he would do this really sad thing where he would bury his nose in his paws and rub his head in the grass,” Tina said.

“You could tell he was really in pain and that was a sign that he was nauseous. So I thought, what do we have to lose? We might as well try it.”

They got him some low-dose cannabis oil. and noticed a change within days.

“He’s put ten kilos back on, he’s pain-free, he’s hyperactive, he’s energetic, he’s loving life, and he has a huge appetite,” Tim said.

In some ways, Muttley’s turned into a typical stoner.

I guess he gets the dog munchies.”

“He does tend to get the munchies, even after his second dinner. He follows me to the fridge and he absolutely loves ice-cream,” Tim said.

“For some reason, this is a new taste he’s developed after we’ve given him the hemp oil. He absolutely devours an entire bowl of ice-cream.”

“After taking medicinal marijuana, he wants to be around everybody, he wants to play, and sometimes at midnight he gets his toys and he wants to play with his toys even though everybody else wants to go to bed,” Tim laughed.

‘For use in humans only’

The thing is, no cannabis products have been approved for use in animals. In fact, the Therapeutic Goods Administration – the regulatory body responsible for giving medicines for humans a tick or a flick – actively warns against cannabis use in pets.

“Some substances that are relatively benign in humans can be highly toxic to dogs and/or cats,” a spokeswoman for the TGA told Hack.

“Cannabis cultivated and manufactured into medicinal cannabis products is for use in humans only. It should not be provided to pets.”

Pet owners may be tempted to provide black market medicinal cannabis products to pets. This should never be done.”

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But veterinarians have the discretion to prescribe human medicines to pets, if they think it’ll help, and certain very-low dose hemp oils, like the ones you may see at market stalls, can legally be sold in Australia.

“The reason they’re legal is that they have such a low concentration to be legal so they can’t be abused. They may well be safe, but we also don’t know that they’re effective,” practicing vet and member of the Australian Veterinary Association, Phil Brain, said.

He cautioned pet owners against seeing medicinal cannabis as the silver bullet for their sick pets.

“There are many more conventional products that can be used to improve well-being and appetite,” he told Hack.

“The AVA remains open to the possibility of these drugs, we welcome further research. It’s probably just at this time, the unquestioning acceptance of the products is premature.”

Phil said he’s much more likely to see pets get sick from accidentally accessing their owner’s stash.

“They come in with quite profound signs of toxicity, ranging from being spaced out, but often including seizuring, they’re wobbly and they’re quite neurologically affected.

In some cases that toxicity can be fatal.”

He says the same kind of medicinal cannabis trials that have been conducted on humans should be done on animals.

“We keep an open mind I suppose, but veterinary science is a science and accordingly the AVA are advocates for only using products that have been thoroughly tested,” Phil said.

Aussie company taking Europe by storm

Could we see approved cannabis-based product for pets on the Australian market soon?

It’s not a medication, but Australian-listed company, Creso Pharma, has registered a hemp-based product that you can feed your pets to help them with chronic stress and ageing. That’s been registered through the European Union’s regulatory body, called the European Feed Material Registry.

“The European regulations are a bit more open, so we’re starting in Europe,” David Russell from Creso Pharma told Hack.

Next step: getting the product into Australia on a trial basis.

“That’s probably the first path for us, to get some product into the country through a TGA approval for research purposes so they can have some experience with it,” David said.

Cannabis is a good option [for pets], but we need to gather some local evidence.”

David admitted Australia had been slow off the mark when it comes to utilising medicinal cannabis, but he said it’s “for the right reasons”.

“There are about 5 million dogs – that’s about 40 per cent of households in Australia – and they’re part of the family. They’re a very important part of people’s lives, and we want to make sure we give them something safe,” he said.

The product will launch in Europe later this year, and there’s still a question mark over when we could see it in Australia.

A last resort

Tim and Tina didn’t regret their decision for a second.

Muttley is a much-loved member of the family, and his human parents would do anything to make his last days bearable.

You would do that for anyone, you’d try and make them comfortable.”

“I mean, his prognosis is terminal and all it’s done is make him comfortable for however long he’s got to live,” Tina said.

“I just think, give it a go if there’s no other option.”

Phil’s approach was a bit more cautious.

“I would say to those pet owners to see the veterinarian and have a long chat about conventional medication, discuss using alternative medication as an option.”

Does CBD Work for Dogs?

Topper, a 7-year-old Ibizan Hound, could hardly walk after being diagnosed with severe arthritic changes due to Valley fever. “The pain became so debilitating he had to be carried outside to eat, drink, or use the bathroom,” recalls owner Christy Moore. “He was on pain medication but it wasn’t working. A friend recommended pet CBD. Within three days he could walk on all four legs and I was crying tears of joy. It was the miracle we needed.”

Lady Amelthia, a Greyhound, was so petrified of thunderstorms she would destroy a crate to escape. “Holding her only made her claw to get away. A ThunderShirt reduced her from 100 to 90 on the anxiety scale,” recalls owner Jenn Boswell, director of the Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center. “Veterinary-prescribed trazodone took it down to a 50. Tried three drops of CBD oil and it went down to a 5.”

Success stories abound of dogs overcoming anxiety, slowing seizures, and even beating cancer due to cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. But how can one substance help so many unrelated problems? Or can it?

Cannabinoids are substances including CBD and THC that mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals naturally produced in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The body’s endocannabinoids act as master regulators that signal other systems when to speed up or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homeostasis. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant affect these same receptors, each in slightly different ways. For example, THC causes a high, while CBD does not.

Is It Harmful?

Unlike THC, which can cause toxicity and even death in dogs when given at prescribed human dosages, the worst CBD has been documented to do is cause diarrhea and changes in some liver enzyme values after several weeks. The main concern with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450 that is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. If a drug’s efficacy depends on its metabolized product, CBD could render it less effective. If a drug’s safety depends on it being cleared from the body within a certain time frame, CBD could cause it to build up to toxic levels. Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarian’s knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs.

Does It Work?

Research with dogs is still scarce, but there’s a huge body of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well. The results in dogs? It depends.

Arthritis: Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life. Lead investigator Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar improvement, adding that CBD worked better when delivered in a liposomal formulation.

Itchiness: Two recent double-blind, placebo-controlled dog studies report CBD significantly reduces itchiness. An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation, and skin lesions by 51 percent after eight weeks of treatment. An American study conducted by the company ElleVet found their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduced owners’ reports of itchiness.

Cancer: Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. In a Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer, researchers found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians have claimed CBD shrunk cancer cells or put dogs into remission.

Behavior: Anxiety, and especially noise reactivity, is a major reason dog owners seek help using CBD. But despite anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, no controlled study so far has shown it to be particularly effective. A study from the University of Western Australia may show promise for aggressive behavior. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies exhibited less aggression toward humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study from the University of Kentucky, physiological measurements of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different for CBD versus placebo, and were worse compared to trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Note, however, that in this study the CBD was administered four to six hours before testing, which may have been too long a waiting period.

Seizures: Lots of anecdotal reports hail CBD’s success combatting seizures in dogs, but the single controlled study delivered moderate results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher CBD doses. Note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product for seizure control. In addition, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 could interfere with prescribed anti-seizure drugs, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.

Other: There’s also evidence from laboratory animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain, but these have yet to be specifically examined in dogs.

How to Choose CBD For Dogs?

With hundreds of CBD products on the market, and little regulation of them, it’s not easy to know which is best. Look for a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance, and one that has a third-party certificate of analysis that includes potency, lists all ingredients, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides. Avoid edible products formulated for human consumption, which often contain ingredients such as xylitol that are toxic to pets.

Choose broad-spectrum products, which include other cannabinoids and substances known as terpenes that are also in the cannabis plant. CBD seems to work best when it’s in conjunction with these rather than isolated. But avoid full-spectrum products that include THC.

Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, given twice daily by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD, as sometimes the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn’t work if you give too little or too much.

Is It Legal?

Many veterinarians are reluctant to suggest CBD, whether because they believe CBD is not yet sufficiently proven helpful or because they fear professional or legal repercussions. CBD products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dogs, but neither are common supplements such as glucosamine or fish oil; nor the majority of human-approved prescription drugs routinely prescribed in veterinary practice.

While it is legal to sell hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC, until recently the American Veterinary Medical Association did not approve of veterinarians suggesting any cannabis products, including CBD, for patients. Even now, the law is unclear enough that many veterinarians fear repercussions if something went wrong due to their suggestion of CBD.

While some veterinarians are hesitant to suggest CBD, almost all are eager to discuss it once you bring it up. Of course, some veterinarians are more versed in its pros and cons than others. The main concern is its possible interaction with prescribed drugs.

Overall, the evidence is compelling that CBD can help at least some conditions. The endocannabinoid system is the largest system in the body, and the least explored. Every year brings new discoveries—and new claims. It’s the beginning of a brave new world of health, but as with any new path, expect some wrong turns, dead ends, and false hopes. CBD is not a miracle drug, but it may be the miracle your dog needs.

This article originally appeared in the award-winning AKC Family Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

Pet cbd oil for dying dog

Like humans, our canine companions are susceptible to cancer, with 1 in 3 dogs developing some form of cancer in their life. 1 in 4 dogs will develop neoplasia, the abnormal growth of cells or tissues within the body. The main cause of deathfor dogs over 2 years old is cancer, and half of the number of dogs over the age of 10 are likely to develop it. Clearly, cancer is common enough that dog owners should familiarize themselves with the main types of dog cancers and how they are treated.

Most Common Cancers in Dogs

The most common types of cancer in dogs include:

  • Canine lymphoma: Lymphoma can affect the lymph nodes, as well as the spleen, gastrointestinal tract, and bone marrow.
  • Melanoma: Melanoma is found on the skin, particularly within a dog’s mouth.
  • Mammary cancer: Mammary cancer affects the mammary glands.

Other common forms of cancer in dogs are mast cell tumors , bone cancer , and Hemangiosarcoma (a kind of cancer found in the heart or spleen).

The good news is that over half of all canine cancers are treatable if caught early.

Signs Your Dog Might Have Cancer

There are various signs that your dog might have cancer, but you need to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian in order to get a diagnosis. Some of the signs and symptoms of dog cancer include:

  • Swelling
  • Difficulty eating
  • Lumps
  • Sudden changes in weight

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms are also common in dogs with anxiety problems , or simply characteristics of dogs who are getting older.

Warning Signs for Dogs With Cancer

Some warning signs of cancer in dogs are:

  • Lumps or bumps underneath the skin
  • New odors coming from their mouth or ears
  • Discharge from their mouth, eyes, or ears
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Wounds or sores that won’t heal
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Dramatic changes in appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Depression or lethargy
  • Bathroom habit changes
  • Evidence of pain

If your dog shows any of these cancer warning signs, contact your vet immediately.

Diagnosing and Treating Your Dog

After your dog visits with their general veterinarian and the vet suspects cancer, the veterinarian can refer you to a veterinary oncologist who specializes in cancer care for pets.

They will provide further details about three main areas:

  1. How advanced the cancer is
  2. What kind of cancer it is
  3. What other health factors will affect the cancer

Then, they will help you make a list of possible treatment options.

You will need to consider factors like:

  • How treatment will affect quality of life (chemotherapy is often the most effective, but it can be painful)
  • How long your dog has left to live
  • And any other concerns

As you’ll see, CBD is a great auxiliary treatment for dogs undergoing painful treatment regiments, or a way to improve the quality of life for pets whose owners decide extensive and invasive treatment isn’t the right option for an aging dog.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of the better-known cannabinoids or natural compounds that occur in the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD oil typically comes from the hemp plant . Once harvested, the CBD is extracted and mixed with an oil to result in the consistency you see in products today.

CBD Oil Vs. Cannabis Oil

Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t result in thedistinctive ‘high’ that most people associate with marijuana. For thisreason, as well as its ability to provide natural relief from a wholehost of pain and anxiety disorders, CBD is growing in popularity aroundthe world.

Despite growing popularity, CBD still suffers fromsomething of an identity crisis, with some people still people failingto make the distinction between CBD and marijuana. While it’s true thatCBD and marijuana do come from the same plant, the chemical makeup ofthe Cannabis Sativa plant means that the plants harvested for CBD andmarijuana have different properties. To produce CBD oil, a higher CBD concentration of CBD and minimal levels of THC are required, leading producers to favor the hemp plant.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH CANCER?

Like for humans, CBD and hemp oils have long been used in traditional communities to treat pain in dogs resulting from a range of illnesses including cancer and muscular injuries.

By interacting with the dog’s endocannabinoid system, the CBD can help to effectively manage many different types of pain . For this reason, CBD is growing in popularity as a tool to improve the quality of life in dogs or as a dual treatment method with more traditional therapies.

Supports Anti-Tumor Medication

A study found that mice had a increased survival rate when taking CBD with anti-tumor medication. CBD oil is natural with few side effects that disrupt the anti-tumor treatment, making it a safe supplement for your dog.

Reduced Cell Proliferation

For dogs with cancer , some studies have suggested that CBD can even lead to a process called cancer apoptosis , which is essentially the death of the cancer cells. It’s worth noting that CBD as a complete treatment method for cancer has not been proven and the research is in its very early days.

Natural, Cost Effective Pain Relief

Regardless, more traditional cancer treatment methods for dogs can be prohibitively expensive , costing anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and can involve many of the same negative side effects as in humans, such as vomiting, and loss of appetite.

While more research is needed in this area to fully explore the potential of CBD to cure disease, it remains highly regarded as a form of pain relief .

May Improve Sleep

A study found that CBD oil is actually a wake agent that will help your dog stay awake during the day, so that it gets more restful sleep at night. But CBD’s mechanism for sleep modulation is still unclear and needs more testing to validate.

May Help with Nausea and Appetite

Unfortunately for most dogs with cancer the treatment leaves them nauseated and lacking an appetite. Some studies are starting to show the potential CBD has for relieving nausea, which will increase your dog’s appetite.

ARE THERE ANY RISKS of CBD OIL FOR DOGS WITH CANCER?

CBD use for dogs , like humans, poses minimal risk. The biggest risks that do exist stem from:

Dry Mouth

Some studies have found that CBD can reduce saliva production for dogs, which makes them more thirsty. This is a mild side effect.

Lower Blood Pressure

For some dogs, CBD can decrease blood pressure and can cause light-headedness. Talk to your vet to know your dog’s susceptibility to low blood pressure.

Drowsiness

Some dogs can experience drowsiness when give too high a dose of CBD. It’s important to start your dog on a low dose to determine how your dog will react.

Lack of Regulation Surrounding CBD Products

Due to the lack of regulation, there are some products on the market that have not undergone adequate testing and not only contain negligible quantities of CBD, also contain higher levels of THC than you may expect. Use of these products may lead to THC toxicity in your dog. Essentially, they may get “high”.

As vets legally cannot prescribe CBD as a treatment option for pain or illnesses in dogs, many owners are effectively going in blind when choosing to dose their animals.

The most important thing when looking for a CBD product for your pet is to do your research. Look thoroughly at reviews and begin by testing a small amount to make sure the product is what it claims to be.