Cancer can occur in just about any mammal. It occurs when gene mutations cause abnormal cells to divide uncontrollably and cause tumors to form. If the cancer starts in one part of the body and then spreads elsewhere, this is known as metastasis. Medicinal practices are costly and sometimes can be ineffective. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a plant-based superfood nutrient with health benefits and the potential to help a lot of people. CBD oil works for cats with cancer alone or alongside other medical treatments.
CBD & Its Benefits
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 80 different cannabinoids that are part of the cannabis plant. The most widely known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the primary cannabinoid constituent in marijuana. However, CBD is distinct from THC in that it is not psychoactive. This means that it will not cause intoxication.
CBD acts by mimicking the body’s natural cannabinoids, referred to as endocannabinoids. These are compounds that control a wide variety of functions in the mammalian body. This includes pain, inflammation, appetite, and many more. All these functions are primarily controlled through a network of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS Is Composed Of Two Primary Types Of Receptors:
1. CB1 – these are found primarily in the mammalian brain and are mostly responsible for the modulation of pain and/or inflammation.
2. CB2 – these are found throughout the body and are mostly responsible for regulating important immune system functions, including targeting and destroying cancer cells.
CBD has a wide treatment profile because the ECS has channels throughout the whole body through every major organ and bodily system. Its adaptability allows it to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions in the mammalian body, including:
- Acting as a highly effective painkiller, with very little potential for side effects
- Modulating inflammation throughout the body
- Treating agitation, restlessness, and/or anxiety in cats
- Fighting against the cancer cells in various forms of feline cancer
- Treating vomiting and/or nausea
- Promoting overall cardiovascular health (raising the levels of “good” fat in the circulatory system)
- Treating spasms and/or tremors in the cat’s muscles
- Stabilizing the appetite and allowing the cat to maintain a healthy weight
- Stabilizing blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of feline diabetes
- Treating the various forms of gastrointestinal disease, including diarrhea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Treating pancreatitis (which frequently occurs in cats with IBS)
- Helping the cat get healthy sleep
CBD oil for cats with cancer can be used to benefit treatment of various forms of feline cancer. This is because CBD’s interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors results in the increase of a chemical compound known as ceramide. This compound disrupts the energy production of cancer cells. It robs them of the nutrients they need to replicate and effectively “starves” them to death.
Types Of Cancer In Cats
Feline cancers metastasize by traveling through the lymph nodes. This is the same as in other mammals.
Though feline cancer rates are substantially lower than canine cancer rates, still about 1 in every 5 cats will develop some form of cancer in their lifetimes. Cats suffer from many of the same forms of cancer than other mammals suffer from, including lymphoma, leukemia, mammary (breast) cancer, and skin cancer. The three most common types are:
- Lymphoma. This is the most common type of feline cancer. Lymphoma occurs when white blood cells (also known as leukocytes) replicate at uncontrolled rates. Lymphoma in cats generally affects the intestines, kidneys, liver, nasal cavity, and/or lymph nodes. Most feline lymphomas are curable and are generally treated with chemotherapy.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Squamous cells are located in the skin or linings of organs (like the respiratory and digestive tracts) in the mammalian body. SCC is a form of skin cancer that affects these cells. It presents itself as lumps or ulcers around the mouth or in the linings of various organs.
- Fibrosarcoma. A sarcoma is a general type of cancer that occurs in cells known as fibroblasts. These are cells in the skin that produce fibers and a protein known as collagen. This is a protein that gives skin its elasticity and rubbery properties. Cats with fibrosarcoma present this type of cancer in their fibrous connective tissue as well as their muscles. There is a subtype of this cancer known as feline sarcoid.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cancer In Cats?
The American Veterinary Medical Association and The Veterinary Cancer Society have compiled a list of the ten most common symptoms of cancer in pets:
- Unusual parts of the body that swell and/or grow abnormally
- Ulcers or sores that never heal
- Excessive weight loss
- Unusual loss of appetite
- Any kind of discharge or bleeding from a bodily orifice
- Overpowering or offensive odor
- Inability to eat or swallow
- Chronic fatigue, weakness, loss of stamina, and inability to exercise
- Stiff joints or pain when trying to move
- Respiratory problems and any difficulty defecating or urinating
Furthermore, one of the most alarming symptoms in cats is vomiting. This symptom is highly unusual in cats and should be treated seriously. Unlike dogs, vomiting is very rare in cats. Another cat-specific behavior that can be cause for concern is if the cat is hiding excessively. Though they naturally like to hide as part of their predatory instinct, if a cat is hiding too much then it might be an indication of a greater problem.
What Are The Causes Of Cancer In Cats?
There are various potential causes of cancer in the mammalian body.
Carcinogens are chemicals that cause gene mutations that can eventually lead to cancerous cells. Cats share many of the same carcinogens as humans, including tobacco smoke, x-ray radiation, nickel, benzene, benzene, uranium, radon, cadmium, asbestos, and vinyl chloride. Some of these substances are present in a cat’s environment, particularly if their owner smokes cigarettes or other tobacco products.
Aging is also a primary cause of cancer. There are multiple reasons why aging causes higher rates of cancer in the mammalian body. Part of it is because our cells just accumulate more mutations over the years. As these mutations increase over time, the likelihood rises that uncontrolled division of cancerous cells will happen. There is also just the general disintegration of the mammalian body. For example, chronic inflammation over the years damages the DNA in mammalian cells. The immune system also becomes weaker, making it less likely that it will identify and destroy cancer cells quickly enough.
Fibrosarcoma in cats sometimes develops at the injection sites of necessary medications like vaccines, antibiotics, insulin, and/or steroids. This is known as feline injection-site sarcoma. In order to avoid the development of FISS, veterinarians will limit the number of injections and be careful exactly where they choose to inject the necessary medications.
There are also viruses that can cause cancer. Feline sarcoids will occur because of the papillomavirus (this is the virus that causes warts in mammals). Before the development of a vaccine, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was the most common cause of feline lymphomas.
Finally, if a cat is not spayed or has been spayed too late in life, they have a higher risk of contracting mammary cancer (breast cancer). In fact, cats that have been spayed after the age of six months are 5 to 6 times more likely to develop this form of cancer than cats that have been spayed before the age of six months.
Mainstream Treatment VS Natural Remedies
Conventional veterinary care is crucial to a cat’s overall health. It is also highly effective in identifying and treating potential cases of cancer. If there are any bumps or lumps found on the cat’s body, particularly in its lymph nodes or mouth, then a diagnosis can be made and treatment can start as soon as possible.
Conventional Treatments For Cats Include:
- Surgical intervention
- Radiation therapy
- Cryotherapy (this is similar to surgery, except it involves freezing off the lesions using liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide)
- Immunotherapy (to boost the body’s natural immune response to the cancer cells)
One fascinating detail about cancer treatment in cats is that they tolerate chemotherapy better than most any other mammal. Chemotherapy can be absolutely brutal for humans and can be the same for dogs. Cats, however, do not experience as debilitating of side effects that other species experience with chemotherapy.
Neutering or spaying the cat can drastically reduce the risk of some types of cancer. Maintaining a nutritious and high-quality diet with plenty of protein will promote overall health in cats. Including CBD oil for cats with cancer into the pet’s diet will greatly help them become healthier and manage their symptoms of cancer, as well as help, reduce the side effects of medical treatments. It will also reduce the risk of the cat developing another condition that may affect its immune system, thereby making it more difficult for it to fight off cancer cells.
CBD is very effective when used as a complement to conventional therapies. It is a natural remedy that does not disrupt mainstream treatments. As a matter of fact, it boosts them. More and more veterinarians are turning to CBD to use it as an effective treatment tool.
How Much CBD Do Cats Need For Cancer?
The most standard form of CBD oil is as a tincture. We generally recommend between 0.25 mg (a Regular Dose) to 0.5 mg (a Strong Dose) of CBD per every 1 lb of bodyweight.
For more details and specifications see our complete CBD dosage Guide For Pets Here
Although CBD is remarkably safe, a “go low and go slow” approach to dosing to avoid side effects. This means that you can slowly increase the dosage until you achieve the desired results.