Cbd oil for dogs with pancreatic cancer

Cbd oil for dogs with pancreatic cancer

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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.

Pancreatic Cancer in Dogs

Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs of all sizes and breeds are at risk for developing cancer at some point in their lives. Cancer is a disease in which tumors grow within the internal organs or elsewhere in the body, and can be fatal.

In this guide, we’ll explain what this disease does and help you understand how the pancreas works. From there, we’ll dive into a discussion on the symptoms of pancreatic cancer in dogs, followed by the ways in which pancreatic tumors (also sometimes called adenocarcinomas) are diagnosed and treated. We’ll share tips on how to help manage your dog’s pain, and how they might react to treatment. There are several different types of cancers that dogs can suffer from, one of which is pancreatic cancer. Although it is a rare type of cancer in animals, it is serious, so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of this disease. That way, if your dog does become ill, you and your vet can catch it early and give your dog the best chance of survival.

If you’re a dog owner, or your dog has recently been diagnosed with the disease, keep reading to learn about this condition and what can be done to help.

What is the Pancreas?

Just like humans, the anatomy of dogs is inclusive of an internal organ known as the pancreas. Located close to the abdominal region of dogs, the pancreas is right next to your dog’s stomach, as well as the bile duct. In tandem with the bile duct, the canine pancreas is heavily involved in the digestive enzyme production of your dog’s digestive tract. Without the pancreas working properly, dogs wouldn’t be able to break down certain foods, and stomach ailments can occur. That’s why you should look out for changes in your dog’s eating and toilet routine, which can signal a problem.

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The digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas make their way out of the organ and into the small intestine, at which point they move into the bloodstream via the lymph nodes. So, not only is the pancreas involved in functions locally but it also produces substances that are used by more distant parts of the body, from lymph nodes to the blood that circulates throughout all organs.

As well as its role in the digestive system, the pancreas plays a vital part in insulin production. This hormone regulates glucose levels in the bloodstream. Without insulin, blood sugar levels cannot be regulated and the metabolic processes of glucose can’t be monitored properly either. Improper regulation of glucose in the blood can result in diabetes, fainting, and seizures. Without insulin, your dog’s blood sugar levels cannot be regulated and the metabolic processes of glucose can’t be monitored. If not properly regulated, diabetes could occur which includes fainting or seizures as a side effect for dogs without this vital function.

If your dog has started fainting or has recurrent attacks of diarrhea, it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and take them to the vet. Alongside these, there are several other symptoms associated with this disease, which we’ll discuss below.

Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer In Dogs

The only official way to receive a cancer diagnosis for your dog is by taking your canine companion to the veterinarian. Once your dog is seen by canine cancer professionals, a conclusion will be reached and you’ll know what steps to take next in an effort to help your dog feel more like their old self.

But unless you just so happen to have an upcoming appointment and the vet spots early clinical signs of pancreatic cancer in dogs, cancer won’t be detected on its own. It’s up to dog owners to know what to look out for so that they can be proactive about their dog’s overall health.

Even if you are not concerned that your dog might be unwell, it’s still incredibly important to know about the signs of pancreatic cancer in dogs. This way, you’re more likely to spot the signs and catch any problem in its early stages, rather than dismissing them as a passing illness and lowering your dog’s chance of recovery in the process.

The below signs and symptoms are not exclusive to pancreatic cancer in dogs, but if your dog displays any of these, be sure to take them to the vet to be checked out.

  • Changes in their consumption of food or water
  • Significant weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or sensitivity
  • Abdominal distention (swollen tummy)
  • Moderate to severe fever
  • Limping and wobbling
  • No interest in activities they usually enjoy
  • Anxiety or heightened stress levels
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Seizures or fainting spells (can be caused by low blood sugar)
  • Tremors and spasms
  • Low moods
  • Little to no energy
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Worsening signs of jaundice

How Pancreatic Cancer is Diagnosed

As demonstrated above, the symptoms of this disease in pets are very generic – they could belong to a number of different ailments. That’s why it’s important to take your dog to the vet if they show any of these signs, from weight loss to just acting unlike themselves, so that the professionals can conduct further investigation into why your dog is ill. From there, tests can be done to determine the root of the problem.

Tests for canine pancreatic cancer can include:

  • Blood work
  • Glucose level exams
  • Test for hypoglycemia
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Analysis of possible AIGR
  • Diagnostic imaging processes
  • Biopsies

The results from these tests will be able to show the problem with your pup. If the diagnosis comes back as pancreatic adenocarcinomas, your vet will inform you of the best route to take for treatment and care.

How to Treat Canine Pancreatic Cancer

A canine pancreatic cancer diagnosis requires immediate care from canine cancer specialists. Once your dog receives a diagnosis of tumors in the pancreas, the veterinarians treating your pet will compile a treatment plan that they believe is most fitting for your dog’s situation.

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Some examples of treatment options include:

  • Partial or total surgical removal of pancreatic tumor
  • Surgical removal of an entire pancreas
  • Chemotherapy following surgery
  • Radiation therapy as a secondary treatment option
  • Prescription pain medication such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Since this form of cancer is severe, so are the treatment options. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are tough for humans to go through, let alone dogs. They won’t feel like themselves for a little while, although bear in mind that if your vet thinks these treatments are a good idea, it means they think your pet will respond well to them and that they have a good chance of survival and recovery.

In addition to surgical and medical care, pet owners can opt to use CBD oil for dogs with pancreatic cancer. To be 100% clear, CBD oil cannot treat cancerous tumors in the pancreas of dogs, but it is found to help ease pain and reduce stress and anxiety, helping your pet relax and manage their symptoms. Chat to your vet about using CBD oil for your pet if you believe this could be of help to them.

How Long Can a Dog Live with Pancreatic Adenocarcinomas?

Since the pancreas plays such an important and irreplaceable role in the body, the prognosis for pets with this condition is sadly low, especially if the cancer is advanced when it’s found. After a diagnosis, the median life expectancy for a dog who has had a tumor or pancreas removal surgery is two years, while medical treatment alone is six months. Sole medical treatment is usually offered when the disease is too advanced to operate on.

Of course, if they have surgery to entirely remove the pancreas, your dog will need lifelong care to manage the effect this would have on their body, such as insulin injections and other hormone therapies.

Some dogs whose cancer is caught early can make a full recovery and enter remission for pancreatic adenocarcinomas – so if your pet has received an early-stage diagnosis, don’t lose hope. If the prognosis is poor, the best you can do is make your dog comfortable and help them enjoy the end of their life. Your vet will equip your pet with a pain management plan which can include prescribed drugs and supplements like CBD oil, and of course, a lot of treats.

The Bottom Line

As always, we urge you to confide in your veterinarian and ask for insight regarding your dog’s specific situation if you are at all worried.

If your pet has been diagnosed with an illness, don’t automatically assume the worst – but if they are ill, don’t lose hope. Your vet will do everything possible in the best interest of your beloved pet. All dogs are different, and the answer to the question of how long your dog might live is hard to answer. Regardless of how long they might live, focus on making your dog feel loved.


Approved by:

Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade

Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.

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The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments . Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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