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Part 3: Natural cancer treatment routes for dogs and cats

Cannibis for dogs and cats

Conventional medicine can be very helpful in certain cases of cancer. Unfortunately, conventional treatments are usually associated to several side effects and adverse reactions, which is why it is a good idea to consider holistic components and natural therapies as part of the treatment plan for a pet with cancer.

The holistic veterinarian Dr. Ihor Basko, states that “while there are no magic bullets or one singular option to cure or treat cancer in all pets, most pets benefit from a holistic approach to their treatment plan—especially when combined with relevant treatments from conventional medicine”. You can choose to try alternative treatments independently, or in combination with some of the conventional therapies indicated for your pet’s cancer.

According to Dr. Allen Schoen, nutritional supplements can help cancer patients recover faster from surgery, toxicity from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and prevent muscle wasting associated with cancer. In addition, several nutritional supplements are well known for their ability to enhance the immune system, which can reduce the incidence of metastases (cancer spreading). It is important that be aware that holistic treatments require a lot more participation from pet owners who must continue the therapies at home for a longer period of time.

Certain herbs are used to address metastasis and prevent the spread of the cancerous cells. Many holistic veterinarians will also use antioxidants that help suppress cancer cells in the body and prevent further DNA damage. Remember that even if you choose the natural treatment route, blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, and biopsies, are essential tools that will lead to an accurate diagnosis of the severity and type of cancer present.

Dr. Basko states that in his experience, holistic treatments, will improve appetite, attitude, decrease pain, prolong life expectancy and most importantly, buy you some quality time with your beloved pet.

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Use of Cannabis for the treatment of Pet Cancer

Scientists have identified more than 60 chemicals, or cannabinoids, unique to cannabis. These chemicals have been used to create various prescriptions drugs that are approved by the FDA for medical use in the United States. For example, “nabilone” is a synthetic cannabinoid used to treat vomit and pain. It is also approved for the treatment of anorexia and weight loss in AIDS patients.

Although cannabis is not approved to treat veterinary patients, there are several stories of how pet parents have successfully used this herb to decrease the pain and improve the quality of life of pets with cancer.

Most pet parents have decided to try this alternative therapy after seeing that conventional therapy cannot do much for their dogs – they are doing whatever they can to improve their pet’s quality of life. Those who have treated their pets with cannabis agree on the fact that this herb has helped their pets regain their appetite and vitality—which is probably the result of pain reduction.

Visit the website of the America Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to read about the experiences of pet owners who have given cannabis to theirs pets with cancer.

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) states that “There is a growing body of veterinary evidence that cannabis can reduce pain and nausea in chronically ill or suffering animals, often without the dulling effects of narcotics. This herb may be able to improve the quality of life for many patients, even in the face of life-threatening illnesses.”

Although there is no scientific data regarding the effects of cannabis and other alternative treatments on cancer, it is certainly an option that pet owners and veterinarians should consider when they decide what is the best treatment plan for a pet with cancer.

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