CBD for Skin Cancer in Dogs
At some point in your dog’s life, they’ll probably develop some sort of lump or bump. It is important to know what bumps are what and whether they are cause for concern. So let’s discuss the different types of dog skin cancer and how they are managed conventionally and holistically, such as with CBD for dog skin cancer.
Table of Contents
Types of Dog Skin Cancer:
Melanoma in Dogs
- Melanoma is a cancer originating in the cells that give skin its pigment (melanocytes). This type of dog skin cancer is most often found in the mouth (gums, lips, palate) and feet but can occur anywhere on the body. Tumors are usually dark/pigmented but can be colorless/pink in many cases. The tumor will grow in size quickly. This type of dog skin cancer is typically aggressive and can spread (metastasize) if not treated.
- Diagnosis depends on the location and size of the tumor and can involve X-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans to check for metastasis.
- Treatment can vary. Standard treatment involves surgical removal, as well as radiation.
Carcinoma in Dogs
- Carcinoma (also called Squamous Cell Carcinoma) is another type of skin cancer in dogs. However, unlike melanoma, carcinoma tumors are usually slow growing. They can be found throughout the body but are most commonly found in the nailbed, mouth, abdomen, and toes. Interestingly, the dog breed often correlates with the tumor’s location. For example, SCC is a dog skin cancer most often found in the digits (toes) of Labs and Rottweilers, however in light-colored, sparsely-haired breeds like white bull terriers and whippets, it’s more commonly found in the skin. Metastasis is rare with SCC, but it depends on the location of the tumor and its proximity to lymph nodes.
- Diagnosis involves a Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) procedure, where your vet takes a small tumor sample via a needle and syringe and examines it under a microscope. If the diagnosis is not definitive, then a biopsy may be warranted. A biopsy is a surgical excision (removal) of the tumor, which is then sent to a pathologist for further evaluation.
- Treatment is commonly surgical tumor removal.
Mastocytoma / Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs
- Mast Cell Tumors (MCT) is a prevalent type of dog skin cancer that usually appears as a lump on the skin that can often appear harmless. However, it can also be internal, affecting the spleen, liver, or bone marrow. Mast cells are a normal part of the histamine/allergic response. However, these cells can act inappropriately and form malignant tumors. Cancerous mast cells behave in a way that can cause many other issues, such as stomach ulcers.
- Diagnosis of MCT involves FNA, similar to other dog skin cancers.
- Treatment involves surgical removal. Radiation is the preferred option for tumors that cannot be easily surgically removed or if removal was incomplete due to the tumor’s location. Most dogs with a history of or current MCT will be given an antihistamine like Benedryl to reduce the side effects of the tumor (degranulation).
Hair Follicle Tumors in Dogs
- Most hair follicle tumors in dogs, such as trichoblastoma, trichoepithelioma, pilomatricoma, and keratinizing acanthoma, are benign. However, there are a couple of malignant tumors of the hair follicles: malignant trichoepithelioma and malignant pilomatricoma.
- To determine whether the tumor is malignant, a surgical biopsy is necessary.
- Treatment is usually surgical removal of the tumor, which is curative.
Skin Gland Tumors in Dogs
- Sebaceous adenomas in dogs and sebaceous hyperplasia are common benign tumors of the skin glands. However, there are more malignant tumors of skin glands, such as sebaceous gland carcinomas, apocrine gland carcinomas, and eccrine carcinomas.
- Diagnosis is usually made via surgical removal and subsequent biopsy, which is generally curative. Some cases may require further treatment, such as radiation therapy. Additional screening is typically done to check for spread into other parts of the body (metastasis).
Epitheliotropic Lymphoma / Mycosis Fungoides
- Unlike other skin cancer in dogs that appear tumor-like, this type of cutaneous lymphoma appears as lesions, scabs, scaly areas, plaques, or depigmented patches on the skin that do not heal. It commonly occurs near the mouth, lips, nose, or gums. This is a type of T-cell lymphoma.
- Diagnosis involves a surgical biopsy of the affected area. Lymphocytes will be abundant upon examination and confirm the diagnosis. Further testing may be done to check for metastasis.
CBD for Dog Skin Cancer
New CBD research shows the potential benefits of CBD and minor phytocannabinoids derived from cannabis for dogs with skin cancer. The study found that these compounds exhibited anti-melanoma effects, reduced melanin synthesis, and inhibited tyrosinase activity in skin cells. These findings suggest that CBD and minor phytocannabinoids could have therapeutic properties for treating skin cancer in dogs.
Overall, this study provides preliminary evidence for the potential of CBD and minor phytocannabinoids in offering therapeutic benefits for dog skin cancer, offering a promising avenue for future research and the development of novel treatment options for these furry companions.
A large body of research indicates that cannabinoids could hold promise for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, acne, pruritus, hair disorders, and skin cancer.
Another recent CBD study suggests the potential benefits of CBD for dog skin cancer. The study found that cannabinoids can reduce cell viability and induce apoptosis (cell death) in multiple melanoma cell lines. Importantly, cannabinoids did not interfere with commonly used targeted therapies for dog skin cancer.
Furthermore, cannabinoids were found to initiate apoptosis by releasing key proteins involved in cell death. In animal studies, cannabinoids were shown to decrease tumor growth significantly and were as effective as targeted therapy for skin cancer in dogs.
These findings highlight the potential of cannabinoids to induce apoptosis in melanoma cells and limit growth of tumors in dogs. They suggest that cannabinoids could be used as supportive therapy in combination with modern targeted therapies for metastatic melanoma in dogs. Cannabinoids offer a caspase-dependent mechanism of cell death and may serve as an adjunct treatment that promotes cell death without interfering with existing therapies.
The results of these studies contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting the potential benefits of cannabis and CBD for dog skin cancer, paving the way for further exploration of cannabinoid-based therapies in veterinary oncology.
CBD for Dog Skin Tumors
Research shows that cannabis and CBD have numerous cancer-killing properties. CBD for dogs with cancer has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and kill cancer cells that have already formed.
In numerous preclinical studies, CBD for dog skin tumors has been shown to:
At Fire Flake Farm, we often encounter dogs like Jolene, who develop skin tumors, warts, or growths. Jolene is a rescue who loves to joyfully romp through the woods with her pack. Unfortunately, her adventures sometimes result in scrapes and cuts, creating ideal conditions for unwanted growths. One day we noticed a wart-like skin tumor emerging on her left paw, seemingly out of nowhere, nestled between her toes. Jolene, typically carefree and lively, began to feel discomfort during her favorite activities, like running, swimming, and playing.
Canine Papilloma viruses are common skin tumors in dogs. Conventional veterinarians will often recommend surgical removal of these kinds of growths, but the process can often be painful and traumatic for our dogs, and removal does not mean it cannot return.
Instead, we started applying our Remedy CBD Salve for tumors, which contains 300mg of full-spectrum CBD in our 2oz jar, as well as essential oil of eucalyptus, peppermint and arnica. Remedy is our recommended CBD salve for lumps, bumps, growths and tumors, and has helped many dogs on our farm, as well as around the country.
Over the weeks of applying Remedy salve, the dog skin tumor growing on Jolene’s paw went through several phases of decay. Over the course of about two months, we watched it slowly die and decrease in size until it was completely gone. Jolene has been tumor-free for several months now and is back to loving life outside.
For dogs with skin tumors, we recommend our Power Trio bundle, which packages Mycodog’s Vitality mushroom tincture, HEAL tincture, and topical Remedy salve, for the best combined benefits of CBD oil for skin cancer, mushrooms for skin cancer, and topical CBD for skin tumors in dogs.
Medicinal Mushrooms for Dog Skin Cancer
Medicinal Mushrooms have also shown promise for treating all types of cancer in dogs, including dog skin cancer. While the majority of research on medicinal mushrooms for cancer is done on cancers like breast cancer, and other internal cancers, more research is now being done on medicinal mushrooms for skin cancer as well.
According to research, mushrooms like Reishi have powerful anti-cancer benefits. In this study done studying the polysaccharides of reishi, it was found that it had cytotoxic effects on melanoma cells. Another study using reishi showed it could prevent skin cancer by protecting the skin from UV damage.
As time passes, research will likely support the same conclusion as other studies: mushrooms fight cancer and abnormal cell growth.
Our champion cancer-fighting medicinal mushroom blend, Vitality, is full of potent anti-cancer strains of mushrooms like Reishi and Turkey Tail. Vitality was created for Nina, our founder’s doberman who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Using it alongside cannabis products like HEAL will achieve an even greater result due to their synergistic properties. We’ve bundled these two amazing supplements together for their synergistic benefits, in our Recovery Duo, to help you save more and help your dog live their best life.
Mushrooms & CBD for Dog Skin Cancer
If your dog develops a lump or bump or anything suspicious on their skin, it’s important to get it checked out by your veterinarian. Many dogs are older when these bumps appear. Although many conventional veterinarians prefer surgery, some dogs aren’t candidates for surgery due to age and other disease co-factors. Whether your dog is or isn’t a candidate for surgical removal of their skin cancer, other natural options can be considered.
Using a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (internally and externally) alongside Medicinal Mushrooms is a beautiful way to help tackle dog skin cancer head-on without the harmful side effects of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or any other conventional option. That’s why we recommend our Power Trio bundle, which packages Mycodog’s Vitality mushroom tincture, HEAL tincture, and topical Remedy salve, for the best combined benefits of medicinal mushrooms and CBD for dog skin cancer.