- Cancer In Horses
- Common Forces Of Cancer In Horses
- Symptoms Of Cancer
- Diagnosing Cancer
- What Is CBD Oil For Horses
- How Do CBD Oils Work?
- How CBD May Help Horses With Cancer
- CBD Benefits For Your Horses’ Overall Health
- Is CBD Oil Legal?
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil
- Side Effects
- How Much CBD Oil For Horses?
- What’s Hemp Seed Oil?
- Why Innovet CBD Oil?
- Should I Give My Horse CBD Oil?
If you thought CBD oil was only beneficial for us or our dogs to take, you'll be delighted to hear that we can give CBD oil to our horses too. And we wouldn't be telling you this if it didn't help them in all the same ways, shapes, and forms.
CBD is a bit of a treasure trove with all the ways it can help our furry best friends. We'll go into more detail about that later, but essentially this happens thanks to CBD oil's ability to support regulatory health.
CBD oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, can restore energy, support better digestive health, reduce pain, and more. This makes it popular for conditions like anxiety and mobility.
Another place CBD is often taken is for the fight against cancer. In fact, there are potentially several major ways CBD can help. Cancer, itself, can deteriorate health in the body in several ways. Then the conventional treatments for it can be quite harsh on top, increasing the damage the body takes when fighting cancer. But thankfully we have CBD to help with all those health issues and side effects.
Here are all the reasons we should be give our horses CBD when they are fighting cancer.
Cancer in Horses
Cancer is the growth and spread of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably to create more cells that form into tumors. This uncontrolled growth can lead these cells to metastasize beyond their original location, creating tumors throughout the body. Malignant tumors steal nutrients and oxygen away from healthy cells, create chemicals that can hurt them, and push pressure on nearby organs.
Both genetics and the environment can cause cancers, which start as a once normal cell that starts dividing more than the body signals it to. The more times a cell divides, the more chances there is a corruption that mutates the newly divided cells. The body has several ways to stop this from happening. The immune system is constantly killing mutated cells before they can grow out of hand and become cancer. As well, the body signals for older cells to be killed and recycled after they have naturally divided so many times.
Cancer In Other Animals
Humans, dogs, and cats all see similar rates of cancer, with about 1 in 4 developing it in their life, with half of the species' populations developing it after reaching senior age. Despite living longer than both cats and dogs, horses see lower incidences of cancer.
Then, where cancers like mammary cancers occur frequently in both human and cat populations, it is very rare to nearly unheard of for a horse to develop this form of cancer. In fact, about 80% of all cancers in horses are skin-related cancers.
Common Forms of Cancer In Horses
It’s estimated that if your horse has cancer, there is an 80% chance it's one of the three common cancers below that affects the skin or the tissue layer beneath.
Accounting for approximately 40% of the cancers found in horses and 9 out of 10 skin tumors seen in horses are Sarcoids. Affecting all ages and sexes, Sarcoids result in mostly non-painful and non-itchy bumps.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Very common, but very treatable with excision and topical therapy when detected within the first few years, is squamous cell carcinoma. Most common in adult and geriatric horses regardless of their breed, squamous cell carcinoma causes unsettling ulcerative or proliferative masses.
Swelling and redness are classic signs of this cancer.
Where the two cancers above show little regard for who they attack, melanoma in horses is different, with it affecting 80% of all gray horses at least once in their life. However, non-gray horses that develop melanomas skin lesions are at a greater risk of succumbing to this form of cancer.
Melanomas tumors are often slow-growing, but they can become malignant and metastasize to other locations.
Symptoms Of Cancer
Symptoms of cancer can be quite varied depending on their location, severity, and the type of cancer.
As you'll see, many of the symptoms below often occur with other diseases and health conditions. So you always want to be on the lookout for any changes in your horse's wellbeing, personality, etc.
Because 80% of cancer in horses commonly results in visible bumps, lesions, and masses, determining if one of the symptoms below is due to potential cancer isn't as difficult as it is with some other species.
No appetite to eat or drink
Swollen lymph nodes
One of the wonderful things about hemp CBD is it can help our equine friends with many of the cancer symptoms above. For example, it can help manage pain and has incredible anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s essentially impossible for the normal person to diagnose their horse with cancer on their own -- and that goes for other animals too.
The symptoms of cancer are often normal sickness symptoms that overlap with several other diseases. Then even when you find a mass that might indicate a tumor, it may simply be benign and not cancerous.
This means your horse’s veterinarian is your best bet for diagnosing whether your horse has cancer, what kind, and its severity.
How A Veterinarian Diagnoses Cancer
Your veterinarian has several means at their disposal for diagnosing cancer. And they are your best bet when you have concerns that your equine may have cancer. The great majority of cancers, especially the ones our horses see, are very treatable when detected early. Many of the lumps and lumps our horses get start benign as well, but they can often turn cancerous if a blind eye is turned to them.
CBC (Complete Blood Count)
To diagnose whether your horse has cancer, your vet will probably order them to have a CBC or complete blood count. A CBC measures and checks things like the red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. Along with its ability to help us better diagnose cancer, a CBC can detect infections and disorders like anemia.
Imaging tools like x-rays and ultrasounds can find exactly where the mass or tumors are located. These tools can also check to see the cancer's severity and whether it has spread
Because a mass doesn't necessarily indicate it's cancerous, a vet is likely to perform a biopsy where a small sample of the mass is removed for lab testing. Biopsies can be performed by simply pricking the mass with a needle and sucking up some cells or be a bit more aggressive where it removes tissue with a scalpel.
Ruling Out Other Causes
Because of their location, appearance, and ability to easily spread if lacerated, sometimes a vet can diagnose skin cancer like Sarcoids or melanomas by simply ruling out any other causes for bumps and lumps like allergies. While a biopsy is the only way to definitively confirm Sarcoids, they are usually not performed to prevent them from spreading.
There are three big conventional ways to treat cancer: surgery, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation therapy.
Now, we understand for horse owners that the conventional ways to treat cancer are often quite aggressive, from surgery that can result in amputations to drugs that kill both cancerous and healthy cells. However, they are truly the best measures for that we have for treating cancer.
And thankfully, with natural aids like CBD oil and other CBD products, we are now better equipped to handle the side effects generated by conventional cancer treatments. CBD oil for horses can help provide pain relief and help a horse's digestive system, along with several other health benefits that can help horses with cancer.
But before we look at CBD oil for horses and how it can help, let's look closer at the three big conventional ways to treat cancer.
Surgery is often an option for mass removal, whether it's cancerous or benign. Similar tools used when first diagnosing cancer, such as imaging and sampling equipment, can be used to determine whether surgery is a good option.
Because tumors are located along blood vessels where they can steal nutrients and oxygen for themselves, laser surgery is popular because it can both cut out the mass and cauterize the blood vessels.
The goal of chemotherapy drugs is to destroy as many cancerous cells as possible while minimizing the destruction of healthy cells. There are several chemotherapy drugs available for horses, including Cisplatin.
In some cases, chemotherapy drugs can be applied topically for issues such as skin lesions. However, interveinal administration is most commonly used, and often the horse is sedated to avoid disrupting the process.
While all chemotherapy drugs still result in some healthy cells dying, we have made immense progress with them. In the past, we would often use surgery for removing easily accessible tumors even if they resulted in functional or cosmetic impairment. Now, we often use intralesional chemotherapy instead.
Another way chemotherapy has improved is with the introduction of Electrochemotherapy (ECT), which is used to enhance traditional chemotherapy injections.
Like surgery and chemotherapy, radiation therapy has made significant progress in treating cancer in horses in the last decade.
External Beam Radiation Therapy is a cutting-edge therapy that both prolongs and improves the quality of life in horses. Unlike systemic internal radiation therapy, where a liquid is placed in the body that moves throughout looking for cancer cells, external beam therapy uses a machine that shoots either photons, particles, or electron beams at a specific area. This results in less damage to healthy cells, especially those outside the affected area, and delivers a more concentrated source of radiation where it’s needed.
What Is CBD Oil For Horses?
Derived from the resin that's produced from the hemp plant (cannabis sativa l.), CBD oil contains a range of chemical compounds that literally invigorate the body towards better health.
While derived from the cannabis plant, horse CBD isn’t derived from the marijuana kind that’s famous for producing large amounts of the psychoactive compound THC that creates the recreational high.
This is why hemp CBD products do not produce a high and why they are legal in the United States and much of the world. This makes CBD safe to give to help with health problems, ranging from improving skin conditions to reducing chronic pain to supporting immune function.
How Do CBD Oils Work?
CBD works the same for all mammals, including humans, dogs, cats, and, of course, horses.
The phytocannabinoids in CBD oil and CBD hemp extracts mimic a class of self-created compounds in the body called endocannabinoids. By doing this, they can carry out the role in the body these neurotransmitters carry out. And that’s great because these are very helpful roles.
Endocannabinoids activate the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a mother regulatory system that looks out and supports several other big regulatory systems. For example, if the immune system is fighting off an infection or disease, it can lose focus of its roles or get sloppy trying to carry them all out. This is where the endocannabinoid system comes with its endocannabinoids to help clean up the mess and restore order.
When there is chronic stress on the body and its multiple regulatory systems, for example, during cancer, the endocannabinoids system is often pulled too thin and can't create enough endocannabinoids, causing a chain effect where everyone gets weaker.
For example, if the immune system is under heavy attack, the ECS will cater all its resources to helping it. But this can leave the nervous system unprotected, making it easier for it to misinterpret harmless pain signals as harmful. It can also intensify stress triggers, creating anxiety from things that were once normal and stress-free.
Thankfully, the phytocompounds in CBD oil can carry out those helpful rebalancing and protective roles when the ECS no longer can. CBD can also help the body build back up its natural supply of endocannabinoids. These two mechanisms are so important for stopping the dreaded domino effect, where when one regulatory system goes down, they all start falling.
How CBD May Help Horses With Cancer
Cancer and the conventional treatments for it are incredibly taxing, and together they can leave several regulatory systems throughout a horse’s body weakened. And this can create additional health issues on top of old ones.
But CBD oil for horses can help turn that tide by supporting several regulatory systems from your horse's immune system to their nervous system.
Ways CBD Can Improve A Horse’s Cancer Treatment Plan:
Ease anxiety and stress
Promote energy at low dosages
Promote sleep at high dosages
CBD Benefits For Your Horses’ Overall Health
CBD oil for horses can truly improve a horse's quality of life. With CBD’s ability to help with everything from reducing excessive inflammation, anxiety, pain, GI irritations, and on, many equine owners are giving CBD to their horses just for their general health.
That’s right! A horse doesn’t have to have cancer to see the remarkable benefits of CBD.
Many horse owners are giving CBD to their horses for their anxiety. Like us, our horses are rather prone to stress and nervousness. Clinical trials have found that CBD can help with essentially all forms of anxiety, no matter the trigger. This means CBD can theoretically help with everything from the trailer and travel anxiety to performance anxiety to relocation and pasture anxiety.
CBD oils and CBD pellets are often given to horses to help with mobility issues caused by excessive inflammation and chronic pain. Then some horse owners just give their horses CBD oil for daily wellness and preventative help thanks to its regulatory-supporting health benefits.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD is federally legal in the United States thanks to the Agricultural Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill. This bill legalized cannabis plants, and products derived from them like CBD oils, when they produce no more than 0.3% THC -- officially earning them the label industrial hemp.
Similar restrictions on cannabis items and CBD use can be found in many other countries, making CBD legal in many places around the world.
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
CBD products come in several shapes and sizes, from CBD supplements for dogs to CBD oil for horses. Whichever CBD product you buy, there is one important thing you should always look out for. Is the CBD product full spectrum, broad spectrum, or an isolate.
These terms will tell you the makeup of your CBD product. For example, full spectrum CBD oil indicates that it contains all the phytocannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur in the hemp plant. This includes small traces of THC. But this is good because while small and legal traces of THC won't cause a high, it can be enough to bring out some of its health benefits to help with common ailments.
This is why CBD oils can help with health issues similar to marijuana, however, the effects are much less potent. But this is good because while marijuana can have stronger medical benefits, it also causes a high and has greater side effects.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD typically removes all traces of THC. And while this is preferable for a small minority, the lack of THC can reduce the potency and range of health benefits of CBD supplements.
Isolates are the last version of CBD. This CBD concentrate just contains cannabidiol, and this is the compound that lends its name to all CBD products. CBD isolates fall short in their health benefits due to a lack of support from all the other compounds that you find in full spectrum CBD. With isolates, effects become very one-sided, where one horse's nervous system sees support from it, another horse's won't.
This issue also happens because of issues with the CBD oil dosage. With isolates, you have to be exact, or it won't work at all, with the others, you don't. You also need very high doses and that gets expensive fast.
Which CBD Spectrum For A Horse With Cancer?
The best hemp CBD oil is, without a doubt, full spectrum CBD. It will deliver the greatest range of health benefits that will best support regulatory health and horses with cancer.
A wonderful thing about CBD oil is most horses see zero side effects from it, and in rare cases, they are seen, they’re pretty mild. Mild side effects include increased thirst, dry mouth, and mild stomach irritation.
Like with many supplements and drugs, minor side effects are often most present during the first week or so. It's common for a mammal's body to be suspicious and negatively react to an unfamiliar substance when first consumed, but it will quickly realize it's helping and not hurting.
Drug Interaction Concerns
There is one important side effect of CBD to pay attention to, but there is a potential twist this time. CBD is a well-known inhibitor of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system. This system of enzymes helps break down chemotherapy drugs so the body can use them. At first, this side effect sounds alarming because it means CBD can reduce the effectiveness of the drug, and this has been seen with non-chemo drugs.
However, the majority of studies have found that CBD largely doesn't cause interactions with chemotherapy drugs. But in the cases where it does, a positive interaction is seen.
One study found that CBD had a beneficial synergic effect with chemotherapeutic medications like Carmustine, Temozolomide, Doxorubicin, and Cisplatin. CBD could increase highly malignant glioblastoma cells' sensitivity to these chemotherapeutic agents.
Now, while it appears more likely that CBD can help improve the efficiency of chemotherapy drugs, it is known to cause issues with other drugs metabolized by the CYP system. As such, please be open with your veterinarian about giving CBD to your horse for their cancer if you plan to.
Choosing A Safe Horse CBD Oil
While CBD oil contains traces of THC and is CBD safe for our horses, you should never give your horse marijuana or any CBD product with high amounts of THC. Federally legal CBD oil in the U.S. is limited to no more than 0.3% THC, whereas marijuana and products derived from it typically contain around 20% THC on average. That is way too much for a horse, and these products can contain significantly more than that too.
How Much CBD Oil For Horses?
With full spectrum CBD oil, the most popular form of CBD, you don’t have to be anywhere as precise with your dosage as you do with other forms, notably CBD isolate. To find an appropriate dosage, you can check the back of your CBD oil’s label for what it advises. How much CBD you give your horse depends on the horse's weight. After, the severity of the condition itself will largely dictate how much your horse needs.
Due to a horse's weight and the nature of CBD oil, it's very difficult to give too much CBD to them. Don't be afraid to experiment when finding the best CBD dose to help with whatever is ailing your equine. If they are on a prescription medication that's known to interact with CBD, working with your vet is your best bet when experimenting with different dosages, however.
For more help with CBD oil dosages, you can check out our CBD dosage calculator. Chock-full of additional information about dosing CBD, it features our CBD calculator that can be used on any CBD oil regardless of brand.
What's Hemp Seed Oil?
Selecting hemp seed oil for CBD's carrier oil is a wonderful idea when you want to create the best CBD oil. Unlike MCT oils like olive oil, hemp oil contains essential fatty acids, antioxidants, proteins, and a long list of health-boosting vitamins and minerals. Hemp seed oil is rich in unsaturated fats, which are the good kind too, unlike the saturated fats in MCT oils.
Why Innovet CBD Oil?
Innovet CBD Oil is pure cannabis oil for the best promotion of health benefits and overall health with the goal of improving your horse's quality of life.
Using organically grown hemp that's USDA certified organic and non-GMO, no one creates CBD hemp products like Innovet Pet. Free of heavy metals, and grown without nasty pesticides, we pair our hemp extract with hemp seed oil for additional support of your horse's health.
When looking to buy CBD that works, look no further. Our CBD oil for horses is simply the best because we go the extra mile. All of our horse CBD products come with the forever-crucial Certificate of Analysis (COA). This tells you we trust others to tear apart our CBD for any issues. These third-party lab tests will find contaminants like heavy metals and will find out if a CBD brand is lying about the amount of CBD and THC in their products. We're proud to say our CBD hemp oil passes every time.
You should never buy a CBD item without seeing the COA. This is one reason it's much easier to purchase CBD online where you can also additionally check reviews on it.
Other CBD Products
One exciting thing about CBD hemp extract is the ability to shape it into a range of health items. This means you don't have to stick to CBD oils for your horse. In fact, it's quite popular to see innovative twists on the traditional equine CBD oil.
CBD hemp pellets are all the rage among horse owners. CBD pellets rival the best CBD oil in supporting our horses' health, working just as well as pure CBD oil does. If your horse is on a grain-only diet, the pellets can be easily mixed with their food, making administering as simple as possible.
Because the majority of cancers in horses are cancers of the skin, a horse CBD topical that's only applied to the skin and not consumed may be more beneficial to our equine friends than they are for others.
Should I Give My Horse CBD oil?
It can't be overstated how scary cancer can be.
Thankfully, there are many things we can do to help make a cancer diagnosis as harmless as possible. Early diagnosis is so important, so please make sure your horse is having their regular veterinarian exams, and don't hesitate to contact your vet if you suspect your horse might have cancer.
While conventional treatments like radiation therapy and surgery can be almost as scary as cancer itself, they are truly the best treatments we have available. And not only have those treatments gotten safer and more effective, we now have CBD to pair with them to better support horses.
CBD may be an invaluable tool when creating a cancer treatment plan, helping with the common symptoms that both the cancer and treatment for it can cause.