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Therapy and Support

The 5 Best CBD Oil Brands for Helping Dogs With Cancer Feel Better

The word “Cancer” is the last thing that any pet parent ever wants to hear during a routine veterinary examination. Cancer is a disease that doesn’t just affect humans but also affects animals like dogs. Let’s face it; there’s nothing in the world more heartbreaking than having to see our best friend suffering in pain as well as from the other symptoms that are a part of living with cancer. There is, however, one type of supplement that has consistently been reported as being a significant part of an effective cancer-treatment plan for dogs. These treatments are made up of CBD oil. So, we researched seven of the best CBD oil companies and their products designed for dogs with cancer (and some other ailments) available on the market today. The use of these products can help with bringing welcome relief to your best friend during his/her journey to becoming cancer-free.

We’re not trying to say that CBD oil cures cancer because, of course, it can’t do that. However, using it can help with your job of improving your dog’s overall quality of life during this difficult time. So, if you’re in a hurry and don’t have the necessary time for researching the best CBD oils for your dog, then here are our winning reviews from 20+ research hours:

Best CBD Oils for Dog’s With Cancer

1. Editor’s Choice: CBDPet 

https://www.getcbdpet.com/

CBDPet is human-grade CBD oil because your pet should have the very finest quality available. And, the company also guarantees that every single drop has less than 0.3 percent THC. Their hemp oils have been extracted only from hemp that has been organically grown on their family farm. Every serving is guaranteed to contain 3.3 mg of cannabidiol. It’s also easily administered simply by adding it to your dog’s food or, if you prefer, administered orally.

Within just a few days of starting to use this CBD oil, you’ll start noticing positive changes. Your furry friend could even remind you of when he or she was a young puppy. It’s an excellent supplement for your older dog who may begin experiencing declining health because it’s a time-honored rejuvenating herbal remedy and it works safely and effectively for both age-related and cancer-related discomfort.

Products from CBDPet have been trusted by thousands of pet owners who are health-conscious for years. What you get from them is dynamic plant-based supplements for your dog’s health and vitality that are backed by not only a risk-free 90-day money-back guarantee but also by third-party lab verifications for the best in purity as well as CBDPet’s rigorous scientific research. So, to summarize what makes CBDPet stand out from the others, it offers:

  • CO2 Extraction for producing the cleanest CBD and retaining the key phytonutrients and cannabinoids.
  • Organically grown and pure with no compromising on quality and only containing the purest CBD oil from Colorado hemp plants that are organically grown.
  • Simple Administering and a neutral-hemp flavor drop that you can give to your dog with an attached dropper.
  • Full-Spectrum CBD oil with a rich combination of flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes for superior health benefits.
  • Unrefined and cold-pressed for retaining the hemp plant’s natural value without using any chemicals.

2. Best Choice of Flavors: MedTerra CBD       

https://medterracbd.com/category-pets

Medterra’s CBD products for pets are specially formulated because your best friend deserves CBD’s benefits, especially if he or she is battling cancer. Ever since CBD products have become popular for use by people worldwide, it’s no surprise that everybody would start exploring the benefits for cats and dogs as well. The fact is that the growth of CBD products for our furry friends is on the rise.

Medterra is our top pick in the best choice of flavors category because they offer several flavor options, including bacon, beef, chicken, unflavored, and even peanut butter to please even the pickiest pooch. And, they take the time necessary for researching every CBD product and flavor so that you get a comfortable feeling about what you’re offering to your very special family member in his time of need. Medterra offers several ways of helping your pooch with having a positive daily experience.

Medterra is U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certified, so you can rest assured that they’re  providing the highest-quality CBD as well as superior customer service. The U.S. Hemp Authority™ Certification Program is the CBD industry’s initiative for providing best practices, high standards, and self-regulation to give you the confidence of knowing that all certified hemp products are both legal and safe. And, Medterra always uses the highest-quality CBD isolates in their product formulations and you can even pull up the third party lab test results to see each product’s certificate of analysis.

Their CBD Joint Support Chews are made by combining CBD, chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM for supporting your dog’s joint health. Each chew has a full 10mg of CBD, which makes tracking and monitoring your dog’s serving size as simple as possible. So, what makes Medterra stand out is not just its wide range of flavors but also its safety certification and high CBD content in the treats that the company sells.

3. Best Dog Treats- Charlotte’s Web- NASC Certified.

https://www.charlottesweb.com/all-charlottes-web-hemp-cbd-

Charlotte’s Web is NASC Certified. What does that mean? Well, the NASC Quality Seal helps consumers with the task of making safer buying decisions when they shop for their pets. And, this particular seal is only awarded to suppliers and manufacturers who successfully pass an NASC facility audit as well as being in compliance with their rigorous quality standards. This includes reporting of any real-time adverse events, requirements for very strict labeling, and an independent lab’s random product testing.

CW’s products  are designed with the best life for your dog in mind, which means that they’re rich in proprietary genetics that contain a wide range of beneficial cannabinoids, including not only CBD, but also CBG, CBC, and several other phytocompounds that are highly beneficial. You can always trust that every one of their products has been crafted with extreme care no matter which product you end up selecting. And, their newly-expanded line of pet products includes everything from chicken-flavored oils to botanical blends, and even some topical balms for supporting your pup’s body, mind, and soul.CW’s pet treats can help with keeping your pup thriving with their special blend of naturally occurring CBD infused with glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric for helping maintain healthy connective tissue and joints. All the while,  the generous amount of CBD in each tasty treat helps ease the discomfort and pain of your pup’s cancer and its treatment. And, the company’s products are made only with USA grown hemp with each 4g chew containing 2.5mg of cannabinoids that are naturally plant-based. CW also offers a special chicken flavor chewy treat for senior dogs that includes DHA, Elderberry Powder, EPA, and Vitamin E along with hemp extract.

4. Best Pricing: Joy Organics

https://shop.joyorganics.com/products/cbd-oil-tincture-for-pets

Joy Organics is a family founded company that is based on compassion and integrity. It was created based upon a very clear initiative, which the development of the highest-quality premium CBD products via the utmost in excellence innovation. All-natural goodness in a broad-spectrum, premium grade, and THC-free hemp CBD oil products that are lovingly made in Colorado is what Joy Organics promises to deliver. They’re made for supporting your best friend’s quality of life with premium CBD pet products. Their THC-free pet tinctures are designed for giving your beloved pet all of the health benefits of premium CBD oil.

We recommend them for their pricing based on the fact that you can start your dog out on their CBD Oil tincture for pets on a payment plan rather than having to make one payment up-front to get relief for your dog with cancer. Often, in a pet cancer situation, money can be tight after paying for vet visits, as well as possible chemo treatments, etc. Well, Joy Organics lets you cover it with four interest-free payments. And, what dog owner doesn’t want the very best for their pet but can’t always afford it? At Joy Organics, they have a strong love for pets of all sizes and shapes, which is why they created their Pet CBD Tinctures in the first place.

Their CBD Tincture for Pets also offers a natural flavor that dogs love and it’s fast-acting, too. You can either use the dropper for putting it in your pet’s mouth or simply add it to his favorite food. And, their pet tinctures are completely THC free, so your dog gets to enjoy all of the CBD benefits with no high and no THC side-effects, only premium grade broad-spectrum CBD. And, in addition to that, their extracts contain other powerful cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occurring in organic hemp plants.

The number of hemp extract milligrams that are in each drop is 1.1mg in four drops  of 250mg tincture and the same amount in just two drops of 500mg tincture. And, if you want to see the 3rd party lab report, it’s also available on the Joy Organics website as well as a whopping 25 percent off coupon code just for giving them your email address and phone number!

5. Best Formula Selection: Fab CBD

https://fabcbd.com/products/cbd-dog-treats/

FAB CBD makes its crunchy treats with no THC, corn, dairy, wheat, or soy, just terpenes and cannabinoids that are beneficial for your dog when he or she is fighting cancer. The company also offers three specific formulas (and flavors) to choose from:

~ Active Immune (Chicken)

~ Calm & Cool (Peanut Butter Apple)

~ Skin & Coat (Salmon)Dog Treats with CBD have quickly become  a trend in pet products during the past few years. Fab CBD’s proprietary formulation for their CBD Dog Treats is wheat-free oat base and with a hemp extract. that is broad spectrum That means that they use using multiple terpenes and cannabinoids extracted from hemp plants for creating a unique blend that uses a Chromatography process for creating their hemp extract. In addition, there’s 3mg of CBD in every yummy treat.

Example of Ingredients:

Active Immune Formula: Hemp Extract Oil (Organically Grown), Bone Broth, Chicken, Coconut Oil (dogs love it and it reduces inflammation), Oats, Flaxseed, Milk Thistle Extract, Tapioca Syrup, and Turmeric, .Calorie Content: 30 kcal per treat.

Daily Dosage Example Recommendations:

½ to 2 treats daily (depending on dog’s size).

Dogs under 10 lbs= 1.5mg of CBD (½ treat)

Dogs between 10 and 25 lbs= 3mg of CBD (1 full treat)

Dogs between 25 and 50 lbs= 4.5mg of CBD (1.5 treats)

Dogs over 50 lbs= 6mg of CBD (2 treats)

The potency of each CBD dog treat is 3mg of CBD extract in every treat. And, you can also get a 15 percent discount with a coupon code just by providing your email address.

6. Best Customer Rewards Program: HolistaPet   

https://www.holistapet.com/products/cbd-for-dogs/

Holistapet is a company that believes that your dog’s comfort and health must always come first. They’re dedicated to offering only natural remedies for reducing your best friend’s discomfort without any of the side effects that can come from giving him or her a traditional prescription drug. The company’s products are crafted for promoting well-being and providing extra comfort at a time when your dog needs it the most. In fact, many of their recipes are made with supplements and superfoods that are carefully selected for improving the overall efficient delivery of the CBD as well as to supply additional nutrients. Their CBD treats for dogs are available in three unique formulas from Heart and Immune Care to Joint Mobility, and Anxiety and Stress Relief.

HolistaPet has made it their corporate mission to teach the world all about the amazing power of effective, natural, and completely safe cannabinoids derived from hemp plants. The company was founded by a special group of people who are not only health-conscious but also have more than 25 years of organic food industry combined experience. They came up with a truly unique line of plant-based organic CBD pet products containing only the very best vegan ingredients that are gluten, dairy and cruelty-free, as well as non-GMO with only the purest wholesome ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors. They also offer a 30-day 100 percent money-back satisfaction guarantee and free shipping.

The highest quality pure CBD oil is derived from what is called the CO2 extraction method. Then, it’s combined with hemp seed oil, which is an excellent carrier oil choice because it’s rich in both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. And, you can earn points with every purchase, which can be redeemed for a discount at checkout.

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CBD Oil – Helping Dogs With Cancer

Dr. Jerry Klein, the AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, has stated that CBD is helpful for dogs with cancer because of its anti-inflammatory features, anti-nausea effect, appetite stimulation, heart benefits, and anxiety prevention. In fact, in some cases, CBD oil is recommended for use right alongside traditional medications for reducing side effects and increasing overall pet wellness.Dr. Klein also added that this type of oil is often used for the potential anti-cancer properties, however, there isn’t definitive data in that area yet. On the other hand, some proof  has emerged from subsequent studies and it shows that giving dogs CBD could potentially be used as a potent anti-tumor agent.

Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from hemp and has many beneficial properties. Based on this fact, many people use it for a wide range of canine illnesses, including alleviating cancer symptoms.  When it’s properly extracted, CBD contains very little to absolutely no THC left in it and that’s why it has become well-known as a substance that’s safe for dogs. These days, medical marijuana is quite popular based on its many benefits. Those benefits are derived from the plants’ CBD compound. The CBD extraction causes it to end up being a non-psychoactive version of marijuana albeit with zero THC content, making it safe for pets.

Canine cancer can do many things to your dog’s body and any one of them could cause incredible pain and discomfort. They range from joint pain to appetite loss and even seizures in a very long list of symptoms. This can cause you, as a loving pet parent, to struggle a great deal because it becomes so challenging to help your best friend during this tough time. Sometimes, it can even lead to choosing his or her quality of life over the length of life. All of this makes it a difficult time, filled with heartache and stress. However, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel because CBD can shine bright as something that fights for your dog’s comfort and quality of life.

Some of CBD’s impacts on dogs with cancer include the prevention of several common negative symptoms. Often, loss of appetite is one repercussion and CBD oil helps by rebuilding your pet’s hunger and ensuring that he/she has enough energy for sustaining through the struggle with cancer. So, it’s important to stock a variety of healthy snacks as well as a supplement for strong teeth and bones.

Choosing the Right CBD for Your Dog

There are many CBD oil forms, so you have the option of choosing the best one for you and your dog. If he/she’s receiving other types of medication, you should be discussing your decision to start adding CBD oil to your dog’s diet with your vet. Some medications could have a negative interaction with CBD oil. Also, higher CBD doses could slow down the metabolizing of specific drugs by the liver and this could have a negative impact on the efficacy of those medications.

What to Look For

Here are the top features of CBD oil to look for to ensure your dog is benefiting from taking it:

1. Look for Broad or Full Spectrum Hemp,

2. Make sure it’s a CO2 extraction,

3. Don’t buy any product unless it has a certificate of analysis and look for the following in that analysis:

A. Where are the hemp plants for the CBD oil grown?

B. Is it safe?

C. What is the CBD dosage for dogs with cancer?

And, it’s also very important not to be cheap when making your choice.

FAQs

Q – Are CBD and hemp the same and what makes CBD oil safe and effective?

A- CBD and hemp are not the same. That’s where information sharing, proper testing, and a good support staff come into play. Selling a good product doesn’t just entail bottling the CBD oil, putting on a label, and selling it. You want a CBD oil company that has performed the necessary work involved in finding the very best CBD strains and has then tested their product in clinical trials before selling a product that’s safe and effective for your dog.

Q – How Much Should I Give My Dog For Cancer?

A- Your veterinarian might recommend starting with a smaller dose of CBD oil and then working up from there. However, that being said, there are some specific dosages for certain dogs and of a certain weight:

(1.) Labrador Retriever- Start with 15 to 40 mg of CBD oil.

(2.) German Shepherd- Use 10 to 35mg.

(3.) Golden Retriever- Give 15 to 40mg.

(4.) French Bulldog- Begin with 5 to 15mg.

(5.) Bulldog- Use 5 to 25mg.

(6.) Beagle- Give 5 to 15mg.

(7.) Poodles- Begin with 5 to 25mg.

(8.) Rottweiler- Give 20 to 45mg.

(9.) Yorkshire Terrier- Start with 1 to 4mg.

(10.) German Shepherd (short hair)- Use 5 to 25mg.

Now, this is just the recommended dosages based upon the breed of dog and  there are also dosage recommendations for dogs by weight. They are:

[1.] 10 pounds= 1 to 5mg

[2.] 20 pounds= 2 to 10mg

[3.] 30 pounds= 3 to 15mg

[4.] 40 pounds= 4 to 20mg

[5.] 50 pounds= 5 to 25mg

[6.] 60 pounds= 6 to 30mg

[7.] 70 pounds= 7 to 35mg

[8.] 80 pounds= 8 to 40mg

[9.] 90 pounds= 9 to 45mg

Your best bet is giving your dog an initial dose so that you can then gauge his/her reaction to it and then altering it accordingly.

Q – Can CBD Oil Save Dogs From Cancer?

A- Canine Cancer won’t be cured by using CBD oil, however, the symptoms that accompany cancer can be affected in a positive manner and even lessened by using it because the same CBD oil that is used for people with cancer reacts similarly in dogs. It does it by reaching the endocannabinoid system and positively interacting with the brain’s receptors, which are modulating anxiety, nausea, and pain, all of which can be the negative side effects of any cancer treatments. This helps with ensuring that your best friend gets enough to eat and also helps with regulating the pain that can be felt throughout your dog’s entire body.

The underlying fact is that CBD oil can also be used concurrently with your dog’s carefully thought-out cancer treatment plan. Also, using CBD oil can support tumor-related medications, even helping with drastically reducing the size of a tumor while also providing a much-needed boost to the immune system since cancer and chemo can weaken it. CBD oil also reduces inflammation in the digestive tract as well as in the other organs. All in all, using CBD oil can improve numerous symptoms that your dog could be suffering from.

Q- What are the best CBD oils for canine cancer?

The best CBD oils should be those that provide positive benefits, like decreasing anxiety. His or her anxiety could be stemming from going to the vet or just the fact that your dog has to undergo another round of chemo treatments. CBD oil also helps by  improving the pain that your dog’s feeling and can be utilized for pain management. It’s excellent for canine cancer as well as some other chronic conditions that could be making your best friend feel uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know a bit more about CBD oil for treating your dog’s cancer and read our reviews of the top choices, you’re on the road toward helping your dog through this difficult time. With less pain and anxiety, he or she can weather the cancer treatment much more comfortably and you can rest easy, knowing that you’ve done your very best to help your best friend. We hope that our reviews will help you to decide on the best CBD oil for your dog’s needs!

Categories
Therapy and Support

Best CBD Treats for Dogs: The Healthiest CBD Chews for Canines

Since the CBD industry is booming, people are using this product for a variety of illnesses, conditions, and disabilities. Because of the Cannabidiol ingredients, it helps provide a lot of natural and holistic approach in promoting a healthy lifestyle.

However, CBD isn’t just beneficial for humans; but dogs love it as well. It comes with barely any side effects, and the majority of times none at all, which is why people are going online or in-store to purchase CBD treats for their canine companion.

Many leading brands across the country are creating products for dogs. This is mainly because owners love their dog and will spend a significant amount to keep them healthy and happy.

It’s essential to find quality CBD treats for your fur baby to manage their anxiety, keep them active, and to ensure that they are healthy. It could be challenging to find quality products, it requires a lot of research and precaution, but that is why we are here.

Our goal is to help dog lovers find the best CBD infused dog treats and to ensure that they know everything about the health benefits of CBD.

What are the criteria for picking the best CBD dog treats?

There’s so much to choose from when it comes to picking Cannabidiol treats for your dog, but there’s a lot to consider. This is why we are here to help you narrow down the critical criteria to find the best snack out there:

Hemp source

It’s vital to ensure that any cannabinoid products that you consider are made of naturally grown and high-quality hemp. This is why it’s imperative to look at each brand’s growing process to make sure you get nothing but the best.

Effectiveness

If you’re looking for an organic solution, then take note that it’s useless if it’s not effective. When doing your research, make sure to look at how effective that each dog brand is.

Brand reputation

When you’re buying products that have a lot to do with your dog’s health and well-being, make sure that you’re buying from a reliable and reputable brand. In order to do that, you can go online and read reviews and comments from other dog owners.

Price value

Owners should not be cheap when it comes to CBD dog treats because a premium price often means quality ingredients. Fortunately, it’s also a good idea to get the concentration of CBD per dollar to get a better idea of how the value of each brand product range.

The Best CBD Dog Treats and Brands of 2020

When it comes to top-quality CBD dog treats, HolistaPet is the editor’s choice and is the best in the market. The second one would Pet Hemp Company that offers a wide array of selection as well as an amazingly affordable price. FAB CBD does pretty well with small to medium dog breeds. Joy Organics provides the best and most delicious soft chews.

1. HolistaPet

This is the highest quality, and the best CBD dog treats in the market. This brand stands out from the rest, and it’s definitely hard to compete.

In 2016, they were on a mission to bring the best allergen-free and all-natural products in the pet industry. They have done so well to the point that they have built a prestigious reputation not only for quality but for their outstanding ethics in customer service.

Currently, HolistaPet offers a variety of dog treats to help your canine companion combat a range of health conditions. Each dog treat is jam-packed with delicious flavor and filled with medicinal and organic ingredients.

Here are the types of CBD dog treats that they have:

Anxiety treats

If your dog suffers from severe stress and anxiety, then delicious peanut butter and green apple flavor can brighten up his day. These miniature dog biscuits contain the highest quality and purest form of CBD with L-threonine and chamomile for peace and relaxation.

Joint and mobility treats

As your dog gets older, they start experiencing joint pain from arthritis or osteoarthritis. This can lead to reduced mobility and more pain and discomfort in his or her life. This can be very heartbreaking, but fortunately, with the cinnamon and pumpkin spice, they will experience a tail-wagging experience jam-packed with flavor and anti-inflammatory property for joint health. The treat also contains amazing ingredients like turmeric route Boswellia, and hemp oil.

Immune system treats

The sweet potato and blueberry contain an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins to pump up your four-legged friend’s immune system. It’s a perfect and mouthwatering treat for dogs dealing with a weak immune system and skin allergies. After all, HolistaPet ensures that they have the proper process and approach on the CBD extraction process to delivers all-natural benefits to your pet.

What is the hemp source
Their organic hemp is grown in Colorado.

Effectiveness
Each treat contains about 5 mg of CDB along with beneficial ingredients like hemp oil, so you know that you’re getting nothing but the best when it comes to a relaxing dog treat.

Brand reputation
HolistaPet has developed an expertise and a trustworthy reputation for over four years.

Price
The average price for HolistaPet treats is around $.18 per milligram of CBD, which is the most affordable quality and healthy dog treats on the market.

Overall, HolistaPet definitely deserves to be on the top of the list. Their quality product and fantastic customer service have definitely set them apart, which is why they are the top of the brand in the industry.

2. Pet Hemp Company

If you’re looking for a great selection along with affordable prices, then definitely check out this company. Pet Hemp Company is a popular brand that contains all-natural products that are highly effective. One thing that sets them apart is their amazing hemp seed powder along with cannabidiol extract and other distinguished ingredients.

What are their three main treats flavors:
Pumpkin spice and cinnamon
Blueberry and sweet potato
Green apple and peanut butter

Here is some excellent characteristics of Pet Hemp Company:

Hemp Source
They don’t really tell you where they get their hemp, but with some research, it’s definitely pointing towards an organic farm in Colorado.

Effectiveness

These delicious dog treats contain 5 mg of CBD per treat, making them highly potent and effective.

Brand reputation
They have an excellent reputation and are often highly transparent and honest with their customers. They even provide third-party lab testing of all their products, so you will know exactly what goes into your dog’s body.

Price
The bag of doggie treats cost around $.20 per milligrams of CBD; now how affordable is that.

Pet Hemp Company is definitely an excellent choice with a wide range of products to choose from. If you want something affordable, you can also bundle and save.

3. FAB CBD dog treats

This brand of CBD snacks for your four-legged friend is jam-packed with cannabidiol ingredients along with a delicious selection. It is targeted to specific areas to improve your dog’s life. They have ingredients such as chicken for the immune system, Salmond for skin/coat, and peanut butter with apples for relaxation. Each treat contains around 3 mg of CBD ingredient and various organic hemp oil to further improve your dog’s well-being.

One aspect that makes this brand stand out is its commitment to producing quality CBD for dogs. All of their products do not contain wheat, dairy, soy, or corn, which means that it’s entirely allergen-free. They are grown organically in Colorado, so you can rest assured that you are getting a quality product.

That in mind, here are some attributes of FAB CBD dog treats:

Effectiveness
The perfect dosage for most breeds is 3 mg of CBD per treat, which is what the company has.

Brand reputation
This is a well-respected brand because of its organic approach and expertise to get the best CBD products for pet owners.

Price
The cost of this product $.28 per milligram of CBD; how awesome is that.

If you go with FAB CBD dog treats, you will not regret it; in fact, your pet will love you for life.

4. Joy Organics CBD dog chews

If you’re looking for a mouthwatering chew with an excellent amount of CBD to benefit your dog’s diet and lifestyle, then Joy Organics CBD dog chews are something you should check out. The great thing about this brand is that it’s certified kosher, and you get a pure all-natural CBD product for your dog. It does not contain any THC or allergens, so you know that your dog will not get high, sick, or develop an allergic reaction. They have natural meat flavors such as bacon and beef, which will have your companion begging for more.

With that in mind, let’s check out some positive attributes of Joy Organics CBD dog chews:

Effectiveness
They are less potent than the traditional 5 mg CBD options, which makes them gentler for sensitive dogs.

Brand reputation
They have developed the healthiest reputation with an all-natural approach to wellness, making them the best wellness brand for pets and humans.

Price
A bag of CBD goodies cost around $.58 per milligram of cannabidiol, which is quite expensive, but worth it.

The bottom line is, if you don’t mind the high price, you will definitely enjoy this brand for their quality and organic ingredients as well as mouthwatering treats that your dog will love.

CBD oil versus CBD dog treats: what’s the difference?

If you want to implement CBD treats into your dog’s life, there are a couple of choices to consider. Two of the most common options are CBD oil and CBD dog treats because they can easily be incorporated into your dog’s diet. Both of these approaches go to the oral route, but it’s hard to tell which one is right for your furry little friend.

CBD oil is sometimes called CBD tinctures and is often deemed the most effective by CBD experts. This is because they are fast-acting and have a high bioavailability. Plus, dosing is very fast and efficient with tinctures; you can accurately measure out the proper amount of CBD oil in milligrams to give to your companion. If you want to incorporate CBD into the food, you can implement some oil into their treats, dog food, or just regular healthy food.

Keep in mind that CBD dog treats also have some significant advantages over CBD oil:

  • You don’t have to measure CBD treats for your dog because a quality brand will have a set amount in the dog treats.
  • CBD infused treats are easier to give to your dog mainly because they love mouthwatering and flavorful treats. Plus, some dogs are very picky; if they see something mixed into their food, they will not touch it.
  • A lot of CBD oil has flavors in them, but some may not be very pleasant, so you generally have to hide it in your dog’s food. However, CBD dog treats are often flavorful and delicious.
  • CBD dog treats may take a little longer to kick in, but the effects can last for 48 hours, which is longer than CBD oil.
  • For some reason, people prefer cannabidiol infused dog snacks over CBD oil.

Are CBD treats safe for your dog?

If you are worried that CBD might be detrimental for your canine companion, you can sit back and relax because it’s actually pretty safe. There’s barely any side effects, so there’s not much to worry about.

Keep in mind that CBD is different from THC. THC is a psychoactive compound that can cause your pet to get high. CBD does not have any of those psychoactive effects and will not harm your pets. In fact, CBD strengthens the immune system and promotes excellent health for your pet. However, it’s vital that cannabidiol snacks are entirely organic and high-quality. Some Brands have a high amount of sugar, artificial flavoring, and other inorganic secondary ingredients that can be harmful to your pet’s health. All of this can lead to unnecessary weight gain.

How many CBD dog treats should you give to your companion?

The first step is to check the dosage information that comes with the treats you purchase. Each brand is different, and have their preferred recommended dosage, and it’s also dependent on your dog’s well-being as well. For a traditional guideline, the CBD dosage for your beloved pet is similar to the dosage for humans.

On average, each CBD dog treats should contain 5 mg of CBD. You should then weigh your dog, and take that number and give your dog .25 mg of CBD per pound of body weight.

For example, if your dog is 40 pounds, then you can give them 10 mg of CBD, which is around two dog treats. However, each brand of treats may have different potency, so you should check out how much CBD content is in each treat.

What to look for in a CBD dog treat?

Since there are a lot of brands in the market, we can rest assured that there are a lot of options. A lot of people are wondering what they should look out for to ensure that they make the right purchase for their four-legged friend.

With that in mind, here are three things to consider:

All-natural

All-natural ingredients, like hemp oil and coconut oil, are suitable for your dog. Try to avoid chemicals by-product, trace chemicals, artificial flavoring, and unprocessed pesticides because that can be harmful to your dog’s health.

Purity

Since CBD isn’t exactly cheap, it’s best to get the purest form. This way, your pet can get optimal potency and effectiveness from the snack. A lot of brands out there tend to use secondary additives to drive down the cost of the CBD dog treats, but that will only reduce its potency. However, if you’re going for an organic brand, then you should be safe in that aspect.

A lot of brands focus on a farm approach with limited processing involved. This is an excellent system because it creates high-quality and pure CBD extract. Therefore, retaining all its medicinal benefits that your pet can obtain.

Potency

Even though purity and quality are important, but you should never ignore potency and the CBD dollar value. Before you start shopping, think about what you are planning to use the dog treats for.

Are you looking for wellness supplements? Or trying to alleviate your dog’s stress.

Figuring out the purpose will act as a crucial guideline to the type of potency you want in your treats. Some treats are created to manage a particular condition, but you can always reduce the dosage if that’s not what you are looking for. It’s best to consult a veterinarian before incorporating CBD into your dog’s life.

Bottom line

As a dog owner, you want nothing but the best for your furry little friend. When it comes to improving their health, an all-natural and organic CBD snack is the best option. There are a variety of brands and products to choose from.

With this guide and review, we are hoping that our top recommendation and strategies in finding the best CBD treats can point you in the right direction in giving your dog the best product.

Categories
Therapy and Support Uncategorized

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs? Your Questions Answered

CBD has become very popular; it’s practically everywhere, from coffee shops to restaurants and pharmacy shelves. The fun part is that humans are not the only ones reaping the benefits but their canine companion as well. It can turn man’s best friend from a stressed-out pup into a happy tail-wagging dog.

In fact, there are a variety of CBD products online and in pet stores.

There is a wide array of health benefits for pets that are very similar to humans, such as treatment for arthritis, seizures, joint pain, anxiety, back pain, stress, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, and much more. Unfortunately, the research is still limited in terms of the effectiveness of the CBD oil.

CBD oil is usually safe, but it’s best not to exceed a certain dosage. If you give a small dog an extremely high dosage, it can lead to unfavorable side effects such as loose stool. However, this has not stopped pet owners from giving their anxiety-prone companion CBD oil. The whole idea is to alleviate pain and reduce anxiety from events such as the Fourth of July fireworks.

If you are interested in giving CBD to your pet, it’s best to know as much information as possible.

Human CBD oil versus pet CBD oil

People who use CBD oil often wonder how it affects their dog and if there are any differences. The answer is no; there’s no difference in a high-quality CBD oil for humans and dogs.

The one thing to keep in mind is dosing. Human CBD oil tends to have a high dosage than regular pet oil, so it’s best to do your math correctly.

So the question is, can humans take pet CBD oil without any harmful effects? The good part is that if the CBD oil came from quality manufacture, then both humans and animals should not have a problem taking the same oil.

Why is quality important?

There is a wide selection of CBD oil market mainly because of the 2018 farm bill, which allows hemp production in the US. Keep in mind that CBD oil can originate from marijuana or hemp; both components are from the cannabis plant. Since marijuana is illegal on a federal level, people are most likely to seek CBD oil with hemp ingredients on the market.

Either way, the CBD oil on the market for your dog usually does not contain marijuana or ingredients that will make your four-legged friend high. However, the important factor as a pet owner is to find quality products.

With the lack of regulation, it’s vital for consumers to educate themselves on the manufacture of the product. The worst part is that a lot of products on the market are not labeled properly. For example, in November 2017, a study has researched 84 CBD products from 31 companies and found that only 30 to 31% are properly late labeled.

The best way to see if the manufacture is reputable is to ensure that there’s a certificate of analysis from a testing lab. You can also see if the manufacture came from a CGMP compliant facility, which follows FDA standards. When you read the bottle, make sure that it has all the active ingredients in CBD serving, weight, distributor/manufactures name, date code/badge, and suggested use.

It’s highly recommended to purchase a full spectrum CBD that is made with organic material without any additives other than the carrier oil.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?

CBD oil is safe for both dogs and humans, but more research is required to confidently indicate that. For example, the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinarian Medical Association has provided CBD oil to 30 beagles. They found that dogs can tolerate the product, but some of them experience elevated ALP levels and diarrhea. They concluded that CBD oil is typically safe, but it’s essential not to exceed a high dose, or it can be detrimental for smaller breeds.

They also found other side effects of CBD, such as low blood pressure, drowsiness, lightheadedness, and increased thirst.

They decided to try CBD oil derived from THC, which they’ve found to be a little bit dangerous. Keep in mind that in states where cannabis is legal, CBD oil with marijuana tends to have a higher dosage of THC that exceeds .3%, which is the highest amount that is allowed in other states. Because of the lack of regulation, some CBD products may have more THC concentration, so it’s essential to do your research before giving your companion these products.

If the dog experiences symptoms of dilated eyes, ataxia, dormant activity, dribbling urine, slow or rapid heart rate, and vomiting, then there’s a chance that he or she has consumed a higher than normal amount of THC from the CBD oil.

Is hemp safe for dogs?

Be very cautious when there’s a product that claims to have hemp oil or any hemp seed ingredients, mainly because these are usually not included in CBD. Without cannabinoid, hemp will not elicit the required relaxing and therapeutic effect as CBD oil. Fortunately, hemp oil does have excellent nutritional value for both dogs and humans. The seeds are pressed at high pressure to create the oil, which contains high amounts of minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, and vitamins.

Is it safe to give your dog human CBD oil?

If the product has the proper label and it came from a quality manufacturer, then the answer is yes, you can give your four-legged friend human CBD oil. However, it’s vital to ensure that you get the proper dosage. It’s highly recommended to give 1 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight. If you are using human CBD oil, then it’s important to calculate the milligram of CBD in a milliliter of oil. Usually, there is about 30 mL per one fluid ounce, which is normal for a bottle size.

For example, if the standard dropper is 1 mL in a 130 mL bottle has 500 mg of CBD, then some quick math can help you figure out the proper dosage. All you have to do is divide the CBD milligram by the oil in the bottle. That means, based on the example, you should have 16.6 mg of CBD.

If you’re interested in doing, it’s best to start on the lower end and keep an eye on your dog. If the dog is exhibiting symptoms, then either lower the dosage or stop the CBD completely. If you find that the dog is taking in the product very well, then you can slowly and gradually increase the dose.

How do you give your dog CBD oil

You can administrate oil in your dog’s food, treats, water, or simply by mouth. In fact, most dogs just lick it off the dropper. If you have a glass dropper, make sure that your canine companion doesn’t bite down, or that will lead to some serious consequences. If your dog has A skin condition, you can apply the CBD oil directly to his or her skin to alleviate allergic reactions or inflammation. In fact, there are also CBD dog shampoos on the market to help soothe the skin.

Is CBD oil good for dogs?

Osteoarthritis
Research has found that 2 to 8 mg of CBD twice a day can help improve the activity level and comfort of dogs diagnosed with arthritis. The study also reviews that 80% of dogs have shown significant improvement in both mobility and pain. The only problem with CBD is an elevate ALP liver enzymes.

Epilepsy
There is research in 2019 that found that CBD can reduce seizure reoccurrence. The best result is using both seizure medication in CBD to help lower the frequency of attack. However, certain research is needed to determine the proper dosage that will reduce seizure by 50%.

Stress and anxiety
Sometimes there are constant fireworks, or that the dog is alone in the house, all of this can cause extreme stress and anxiety. The dog may start whimpering, whining, or partake in destructive behavior. Fortunately, CBD oil is known to relax and calm your companion down during a firework event or to help alleviate any separation anxiety.

Bottom line

If you are asking, is CBD oil good for dogs? Or can I give my dog CBD oil? Well, we have answers for you.

You won’t harm your pet by giving him or her some CBD oil as long as you make sure that there are no THC ingredients and that it came from a manufacturer that is FDA approved and known for creating quality products.

You also want to make sure that the oils come from pure hemp and does not contain any artificial flavors or sugar. You should calculate the proper dosage for your pet to ensure proper consumption.

It’s best to consult with the veterinarian before considering CBD oil, especially if your companion is taking medications for other health problems. The veterinarian can give you more insight into the product as well as checking to see if the CBD oil will interact with the dog’s medication.

With the right research and precaution, your pet can definitely take CBD oil safely and reap the benefit from it as well.

Categories
Diagnosis

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer? Is It Worth Getting?

It is a struggle to see your pet get diagnosed with cancer, and not have the financial means to save their life. The only option left may be the heartbreaking decision to euthanize them.

Now the question you must be asking, is pet insurance for cancer worth the price?

Well, let’s dive in and find out.

How serious is cancer in pets?

When a cat or dog gets cancer, they have a 50/50 chance of surviving. However, cancer does not have to win. The great part is that technology and medicine are constantly advancing every year that cancer care has significantly improved and is rapidly evolving.

SRS/SRT or stereotactic radiation has played a significant role in treating cancers that were previously deadly and incurable. Similar to humans, it’s vital to prepare financially for your pet’s health. Fortunately, with health and pet insurance, you will be able to emphasize your decision on what’s best for your dog or cat without thinking about finances. With that in mind, you will not have to choose between your wallet and your companion.

If your pet is part of the family, and you want to give them the best care, and you don’t have the financial means to cover everything, then the answer is yes, pet insurance is definitely worth it.

How Much Does Cancer Care Cost for Pets?

In the veterinarian professions, doctors that decided to undergo further education to become a specialist in cancer care are called veterinarian oncologist. These individuals specialize in treating and diagnosing cancer in pets. The veterinarian radiation oncologist focus on using radiation therapy to treat cancer.

As the years go by, the specialists are performing the latest procedures and using advanced equipment, so pets can live longer and receive better care. However, this often means a very expensive cost to save the pet’s life. The cost of treatment depends on the individual treatment strategy. If the patient requires a combination of chemotherapy and surgery, then the cost can add up to more than $10,000.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cancer?

If the dog or cat is covered by the insurance before getting diagnosed with cancer, most companies will cover the care. If you’re pet already has been diagnosed, then this is considered a pre-existing condition. That means no insurance carrier will cover that, so the earlier you get your beloved pet insured, the better.

Usually, cancer is often included in the coverage plan. The majority of the carriers often provide advanced treatment, especially for cancer. It’s essential to contact the insurance provider to see which plan includes comprehensive cancer care, make sure to check if it covers testing and diagnostic, and get a list of cancer treatments that they offer coverage.

How do you know which insurance is right for your pet?

It really depends on the coverage you get, so here are some factors to consider:

  • Wellness care
  • Acupuncture or rehabilitation
  • Pet discounts
  • Diagnostic test for cancer
  • Congenital or hereditary condition

How to choose the perfect pet insurance?

Finding the perfect pet insurance can be challenging, and it does require some careful research and comparison. The good part is most insurance provider can talk to you on the phone to guide you to the perfect coverage.

The best place to start is to contact your veterinarian for more information on the breed and the pet’s health. Your veterinarian can provide you with information that you can ask the insurance provider to get a better idea of which plan is perfect for your four-legged friend.

What to do if your pet has cancer, but you don’t have pet insurance?

Here are some ideas to help you during this stressful situation:

Crowdfunding
Use crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe to ask friends and family to support your pet. This is an excellent way for you to share your story and collect financial support. Ask the veterinarian if you can include their information, so people know that this is a real situation.

Financing
you can go to the bank and get a credit card or loan to finance the diagnostic tests, treatment, and procedures.

Look For An Organization
Some programs and organizations offer financial support to pet owners that can’t afford to pay their vet bill. Some organizations emphasize on particular pet conditions and breed. You can ask your veterinarian where you can find the organization to help you. The American Veterinarian Medical Foundation has plenty of information and guidance for pet owners.

Does Figo Pet Insurance Cover Cancer
You must be wondering about pet insurance that covers cancer. Well when it comes to Figo, the answer is yes; they cover cancer treatment, diagnostic tests and procedures, and plenty more. They have other coverage, such as:

  • Emergency and hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Veterinarian specialist
  • Congenital and hereditary condition
  • Cancer
  • Chronic condition
  • Prescriptions
  • Exam and consultation fees
  • New conditions
  • Orthopedics
  • Imaging
  • Hip dysplasia

What to Look for in a Pet Insurance Plan?

Every pet insurance company may seem identical, but they are quite different. It’s vital to look at the ratings, reviews, policies, prices, and much more to get an idea of which plan fits your needs.

With that in mind, here are some factors to look for when it comes to your Pet’s Insurance

Condition Deductible versus Annual Deductible
If you choose an annual deductible, you will not have to pay deductibles for the remainder of the period. However, a condition deductible emphasizes specific illness or health issues that the pet has. That means cancer treatment might be a separate deductible than an ear infection. Keep in mind that the annual deductible usually reimburses you more than per condition or per-incident deductible.

Coverage 
You want to know the medical expenses that are covered and ones that are not. It’s best to compare those with other pet insurance companies. All the coverage is usually provided on the website, policy, or you can get it through the phone.

Reimbursement
Not all companies will pay the veterinarian bill, and some don’t even cover the fees. It’s essential to check the insurance plan to see what injuries, illnesses, and examinations they cover and reimburse. In addition to that, some plans provide a deductible associate with treatments that are urgent and life-saving as well as co-pay.

Claim limits
Some pet insurance companies will have a claim limit every year, per incident, or over the pet’s lifetime.

Terms and testimonials
It’s best to read the contract terms thoroughly and ask any questions that you need to the insurance provider.

Pre-existing conditions
No pet insurance provider will reimburse or cover any pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is any illness, symptoms, or injury that manifested before the animal’s policy or during the waiting period.

Conclusion

Seeing your beloved pet suffering from cancer is very heartbreaking. It’s even worse if you don’t have the financial means to save his or her life. This is why it’s critical to get pet insurance, so you will not have to choose between breaking the bank and your pet’s life.

With that in mind, make the right choice today, and call an insurance provider, compare rates, read the reviews, check what’s covered, and look through the policy to get the perfect pet insurance.

Categories
Therapy and Support Uncategorized

Holistic Therapy

The following information is simply informational. It’s intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinary physician for confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pets life may depend on it.

As more and more of our dogs are being diagnosed with cancer, we are also looking for more treatment options. Holistic therapy is a wonderful resource in helping in the fight against cancer. Some choose to use holistic/alternative therapy alone or in conjunction with the more conventional chemotherapy treatments. Again, we stress that you consult with a holistic veterinarian before giving your pet any of the following. Not all situations are the same and need to be adjusted according to a particular dog’s need. We will be adding more holistic supplements to this page as the information becomes available to us.

CO-Q 10

  • Coenzyme Q10 is made naturally by the human body.
  • Coenzyme Q10 helps cells to produce energy, and it acts as an antioxidant.
  • Coenzyme Q10 has shown an ability to stimulate the immune system and to protect the heart from damage caused by certain chemotherapy  drugs.
  • Low blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been detected in patients with some types of cancer.
  • No report of a randomized clinical trial of coenzyme Q10 as a treatment for cancer has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement.

Coenzyme Q (also known as Co Q, Q, vitamin Q, ubiquinone, or ubidecarenone) is a benzoquinone compound synthesized naturally by the human body. The “Q” and the “10″ in the name refer to the quinone chemical group and the 10 isoprenyl chemical subunits, respectively, that are part of this compound’s structure. The term “coenzyme” denotes it as an organic (contains carbon atoms), nonprotein molecule necessary for the proper functioning of its protein partner (an enzyme or an enzyme complex). Coenzyme Q10 is used by cells of the body in a process known variously as aerobic respiration, aerobic metabolism, oxidative metabolism or cell respiration.

Through this process, energy for cell growth and maintenance is created inside cells in compartments called mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 is also used by the body as an endogenous antioxidant. An antioxidant is a substance that protects cells from free radicals, which are highly reactive chemicals, often containing oxygen atoms, capable of damaging important cellular components such as DNA and lipids. In addition, the plasma level of coenzyme Q10 has been used, in studies, as a measure of oxidative stress (a situation in which normal antioxidant levels are reduced). Coenzyme Q10 is present in most tissues, but the highest concentrations are found in the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and the pancreas. The lowest concentration is found in the lungs.

Tissue levels of this compound decrease as people age, due to increased requirements, decreased production, or insufficient intake of the chemical precursors needed for synthesis. In humans, normal blood levels of coenzyme Q10 have been defined variably, with reported values ranging from 0.30 to 3.84 micrograms per milliliter. Given the importance of coenzyme Q10 to optimal cellular energy production, use of this compound as a treatment for diseases other than cancer has been explored. Most of these investigations have focused on coenzyme Q10 as a treatment for cardiovascular disease.

In patients with cancer, coenzyme Q10 has been shown to protect the heart from anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (anthracyclines are a family of chemotherapy drugs, including doxorubicin, that have the potential to damage the heart) and to stimulate the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system by this compound has also been observed in animal studies and in humans without cancer.

In part because of its immunostimulatory potential, coenzyme Q10 has been used as an adjuvant therapy in patients with various types of cancer. While coenzyme Q10 may show indirect anticancer activity through its effect(s) on the immune system, there is evidence to suggest that analogs of this compound can suppress cancer growth directly. Analogs of coenzyme Q10 have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cellsin vitro and the growth of cancer cells transplanted into rats and mice. In view of these findings, it has been proposed that analogs of coenzyme Q10 may function as antimetabolites to disrupt normal biochemical reactions that are required for cell growth and/or survival and, thus, that they may be useful for short periods of time as chemotherapeutic agents.

Several companies distribute coenzyme Q10 as a dietary supplement. In the United States, dietary supplements are regulated as foods not drugs. Therefore, premarket evaluation and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not required unless specific disease prevention or treatment claims are made. Because dietary supplements are not formally reviewed for manufacturing consistency, there may be considerable variation from lot to lot.

LABORATORY/ANIMAL/PRECLINICAL STUDIES

Laboratory work on coenzyme Q10 has focused primarily on its structure and its function in cell respiration. Studies in animals have demonstrated that coenzyme Q10 is capable of stimulating the immune system, with treated animals showing increased resistance to protozoal infections and to viral and chemically induced neoplasia. Early studies of coenzyme Q10 showed increased hemotopoiesis (the formation of new blood cells) in monkeys, rabbits, and poultry.

Coenzyme Q10 demonstrated a protective effect on the heart muscle of mice, rats, and rabbits given the anthracycline anticancer drug doxorubicin. Although another study confirmed this protective effect with intraperitoneal administration of doxorubicin in mice, it failed to demonstrate a protective effect when the anthracycline was given intravenously, which is the route of administration in humans. Researchers in one study sounded a cautionary note when they found that coadministration of coenzyme Q10 and radiation therapy decreased the effectiveness of the radiotherapy. In this study, mice inoculated with human small cell lung cancer cells (a xenograft study), and then given coenzyme Q10 and single-dose radiation therapy, showed substantially less inhibition of tumor growth than mice in the control group that were treated with radiation therapy alone.

Since radiation leads to the production of free radicals, and since antioxidants protect against free radical damage, the effect in this study might be explained by coenzyme Q10 acting as an antioxidant. As noted previously, there is some evidence from laboratory and animal studies that analogs of coenzyme Q10 may have direct anticancer activity.

ADVERSE EFFECTS

No serious toxicity associated with the use of coenzyme Q10 has been reported. Doses of 100 milligrams per day or higher have caused mild insomnia in some individuals. Liver enzyme elevation has been detected in patients taking doses of 300 milligrams per day for extended periods of time, but no liver toxicity has been reported. Researchers in one cardiovascular study reported that coenzyme Q10 caused rashes, nausea, and epigastric (upper abdominal) pain that required withdrawal of a small number of patients from the study.

Other reported side effects have included dizziness, photophobia (abnormal visual sensitivity to light), irritability, headache, heartburn, and fatigue. Certain lipid-lowering drugs, such as the “statins” (lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin) and gemfibrozil, as well as oral agents that lower blood sugar, such as glyburide and tolazamide, cause a decrease in serum levels of coenzyme Q10 and reduce the effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation. Beta-blockers (drugs that slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure) can inhibit coenzyme Q10-dependent enzyme reactions. The contractile force of the heart in patients with high blood pressure can be increased by coenzyme Q10 administration. Coenzyme Q10 can reduce the body’s response to the anticoagulant drug warfarin. Finally, coenzyme Q10 can decrease insulin requirements in individuals with diabetes.

ARTEMISININ

So far, the most extensive study on the use of Artemisinin as an anti-cancer agent was carried out by bioengineering scientists Drs Narenda Singh and Henry Lai of the University of Washington. This study was reported in the Journal Life Science (70 (2001): 49-56).

Iron is required for cell division, and it is well known that many cancer cell types selectively accumulate iron for this purpose. Most cancers have large number of iron attracting transferring receptors on their cell surface compared to normal cells. In laboratory studies of radiation, resistant breast cancer cells that has high propensity for accumulating iron revealed that artemisinin has 75 percent cancer cell killing properties in a 8 hours and almost 100 percent killing properties within 24 hours when these cancer cells are “pre-loaded” with iron after incubation with holotransferrin.

On the other hand, the normal cells remained virtually unharmed. Another study showing the effectiveness of artesunate in treatment of cancer was also published in Oncology (April 2001: 18(4): 767-73). The fact that iron content of cancer cells is high has also been used in another anti-cancer therapy called Zoetron therapy, where iron containing cancer cells are induced into motion  using a magnetic device to induce resonance. Resonance generate heat.  Cancer cells are more sensitive to heat compared to normal healthy cells. When cancer cells are heated to a certain temperature, they die while normal cells still survive.

Artemisinin is effective against a wide variety of cancers as shown in a series of successful experiments. The most effective is leukemia and colon cancer. Intermediate activities were also shown against melanoma, breast, ovarian, prostate, CNS and renal cancer. Although artemisinin is insoluble in water, it is able to cross the blood brain barrier (the water soluble artesunate is the weakness among the derivates) and may be particularly suitable for curing brain tumors, together with Poly-MVA (an metalo-vitamin)

In laboratory studies, iron needs to be added to enhance the effects of artemisinin. Within the human body, no such addition is necessary, as iron already exist in the body. It can also be taken orally and therefore high doses are not required. Some people believe that as nitrogen (tertiary amine) is absent in ART, cancer cells cannot get rid of it once it enters into the cancer cell. As a result, ART stays in the cell much longer.

In addition to the high affinity for iron in aggressive cancer cell types, most cancer cells also lack the enzyme catalayse and gutathione peroxidase. Catalayse breaks down hydrogen peroxide. A low catalayse content means a higher hydrogen peroxide load, which can release superoxide free radicals when properly stimulated to do so. This is in fact one common mechanism among chemotherapeutic agents as well as vitamin C. These traits make cancer cells more susceptible to oxidative damage as compare to normal cells in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. For this reason, administration of vitamin C in high dose is acceptable, although a gap of 2-3 hours is preferred.

According to Dr Rowen , a naturally oriented medical doctor and editor of the medical newsletter ” Second Opinion” , the Hoang family of physicians in Vietnam had used arteminisin in the treatment of cancer for years. They have reported that, over a 10-year period, more than 400 patients were treated with artemisinin in conjunction with a comprehensive anti-cancer program with 50 to 60 percent long-term remission rate. The safety record of artemisinin has well been studied for over 25 years. No significant toxicity in short-term use for malaria at high dose of up to 70 mg/kg per day has been reported.

Artemisinin is not a stand-alone chemotherapeutic agent. A combination of nutritional supplements (such as green tea, CoQ10 and pancreatic enzyme) as well as a good anti-cancer diet is required.

ART may be administered orally, with a 32 percent bioavailability as compared to injections. It is highly bound to membranes. Laboratory measurement of its serum level is therefore not exact.

FORMS OF ARTEMISININ

There are three common forms of artemisinin. The water soluble form is called artesunate . It is the most active and the least toxic. It also has the shortest life within the body Artemether is the lipid soluble form. It has the longest life but also the most toxic in high dosage which is seldom needed. The biggest advantage of artemether is that it can cross the blood brain barrier.  Artemisinin is the active parent compound of the plant.  It’s half-life is intermediate. It is also very safe, and can cross the  blood-brain barrier. Some clinicians prefer to use a combination of all three forms, while others tend to favor the use of artemisinin alone with great success.

Toxicity and Side Effects

High doses of artemisinin can produce neurotoxicity such as gait disturbances, loss of spinal and pain response, respiratory depression, and ultimately cardiopulmonary arrest in large animals. In human beings, there are very few reports of adverse effects except for one case of first-degree heart block. According to Robert Rowen, MD, there is a dose related decrease in reticulocyte count for 4 days after artesunate or artemether at doses of 4 mg/kg per day for 3 days.

However, the count returns to normal by day 14. When artemisinin suppositories are used, doses as high as 40 mg/kg per day have no effects on the reticulocyte count. In a study, it was reported that up to 35 percent of the volunteers had some form of transient drug induced fever.

When ART is tested with monkeys, they showed no toxicity when they received up to 292 mg/kg of artemether over 1 to 3 months. This is equal to a human dose of 20,000 mg for a 70 kg male (Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2(1):31-36 1982). In another study, there was also no sign of toxicity in over 4000 patients. This does not exclude possible cases of long-term cumulative toxicity which is unknown at this time.

CAUTIONS

No artesminin should be taken within 30 days of radiation therapy because of possible free iron leaks to the surrounding tissues after radiation therapy.

b. Preliminary laboratory studies include: CBC, reticulocyte count, liver function test, ferritin, TIBC, ESR, C reactive protein, and appropriate tumor markers. If the iron load is low, supplementing iron for a few days can be considered prior to starting artemisinin.

c. Tumor markers may increase during the initial stages as the tumor starts breaking down.

d. Vitamin E may work against the effectiveness of ART in vitro. However, this has not been shown to be a concern in human clinical cases.

DOSAGE

The therapeutic dose ranges from 200 mg a day  up to 1,000 a day (in divided doses 4 times a day) for those with active cancer. Some doctors are recommending up to 1,600 mg per day

Artemisinin  should always be taken with food. Cod liver oil , cottage cheese, or fish oil may be administered at the same time to enhance absorption. Generally, 400 to 800 mg per day can be used for at least 6 to 12 months. After that, it can be tapered off slowly. Artemisinin is a “cooling herb” in the traditional Chinese medicine perspective, and some may find it too “cooling” with symptoms such as tingling. If this occurs, then the dosage should be reduced.

Despite its seemingly high degree of effectiveness, it is important to note that artemisinin is not a stand-alone compound. Concurrent use of high dose pancreatic enzyme , daily enema, liver detoxification, and periodic laboratory measurement should also be considered as part of an overall agressive anti-cancer program.

PRODUCT CONCERNS

Due to the increasing popularity of this product, the consumer should exercise extreme caution and buy only from the most reputable supplier. Only genuine and pure artemisinin should be used, and only buy from sources you are familiar with. There is tremendous variation in the potency of the herb.  A 100 mg of artemisinin from one source may be manytimes more potent than the same 100 mg from another source. Only buy from source you can trust, and not be fooled by inexpensive “alternatives”.

Since the herb comes from China and South-east Asia, proper quality assurance on purity and standardization is of tremendous importance. High-grade artemisinin must always be confirmed by independent laboratory analysis on a batch by batch basis to ensure consistence and purity.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR ON ARTEMISININ

Michael Lam, M.D., M.P.H., A.B.A.A.M. is a specialist in Preventive and Anti-Aging Medicine. He is currently the Director of Medical Education at the Academy of Anti-Aging Research, U.S.A. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from  Loma Linda University School of Medicine, California. He also holds a Masters of Public Health degree and  is Board Certification in Anti-aging Medicine by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Lam pioneered the formulation of the three clinical phases of aging as well as the concept of diagnosis and treatment of sub-clinical age related degenerative diseases to deter the aging process. Dr. Lam has been published extensively in this field. He is the author of The Five Proven Secrets to Longevity (available on-line). He also serves as editor of the Journal of Anti-Aging Research.

Categories
Therapy and Support Uncategorized

Support Groups on the Web

Support groups are a wonderful way to gain knowledge and to share experiences. This information can help you to better understand some of the decisions you may be faced with, provide you with questions to ask your vet and, just as importantly, to give you the strength to fight this disease knowing that you are not alone.

Not all support groups have the same “tone”. Some provide more support and comfort, while others are geared towards the technical side of handling canine cancer. You may want to consider joining more than one and see which ones suit your needs best.

If you know of, or moderate a canine cancer support group not listed here, please contact us at [email protected] so that it can be listed.

Canine Bone Cancer
Canine Cancer Comfort
Pets with Cancer
Canine Cancer
Canine Bone Cancer
Bone Cancer Dogs
Circle ofGrey
DELPHIFORUMS PET CANCER SUPPORT GROUP

Joining this group will require a bit more effort on your part but will be worth it. This link will take you to their main page…Under Explore, keyword in: pet cancer. Another window will open showing threads on the subject. Find one with “Pet Cancer Support Group” and click on it. You will need to register to join at that point.

Categories
Therapy and Support Uncategorized

Chemotherapy Drugs

The following information is simply informational. It’s intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinary physician for confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pets life may depend on it.

This is not an all-inclusive list. Though it mainly consists of Chemotherapeutic drugs, other drugs which are widely used in cancer dogs are also included below. We will be adding more information on chemotherapy drugs as it becomes available to us. Unless otherwise stated, the following work was originally published by Veterinary Information Network, Inc. (VIN) and is republished with VIN’s permission.

L-ASPARAGINASE

(Brand names: ELSPAR, ONCASPAR, ERWINASE) Available as injectable only.

BACKGROUND

To make an effective medication for the treatment of cancer, some fundamental difference between normal cells and cancer cells must be defined. The chemotherapy agent must exploit this cellular difference such that normal cells are spared and only cancer cells are injured. L-asparaginase exploits the unusually high requirement tumor cells have for the amino acid “asparagine.”

Asparagine is an amino acid required by cells for the production of protein. Asparagine can be produced within a cell through an enzyme called “asparagine synthetase” or it can absorbed into the cell from the outside (ie it is consumed in the patient’s diet, absorbed into the body and made available to the body’s cells.)

Tumor cells, more specifically lymphatic tumor cells, require huge amounts of asparagines to keep up with their rapid, malignant growth. This means they use both asparagine from the diet as well as what they can make themselves (which is limited) to satisfy their large asparagines demand.

L-asparaginase is an enzyme that destroys asparagine external to the cell. Normal cells are able to make all the asparagine they need internally whereas tumor cells become depleted rapidly and die.

HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED

Mostly this medication is used against lymphoma but it also is used in some mast cell tumor protocols. Unlikely other chemotherapy agents, it may be given as an intramuscular, subcutaneous, or intravenous injection without fear of tissue irritation. This is not a medication that one would use at home.

SIDE EFFECTS

L-asparaginase is an enzyme commercially produced by bacteria. It is inherently a foreign protein and as such can produce an anaphylactic reaction. This is a rare complication but pre-treatment with anti-histamines or corticosteroids may be prudent in some cases.

L-asparaginase may interfere with blood clotting, may raise blood sugar levels, may raise liver enzyme blood tests, and may cause liver disease in some patients.

The only common side effect of this medication is vomiting.

Unlike other chemotherapy agents, suppression of blood cell production by the bone marrow is not considered to be a substantial problem with this medication.

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS

Methotrexate is another common anti-tumor drug. L-asparaginase and methotrexate work against eachother and should be administered at least 48 hours apart.

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

When L-asparaginase destroys asparagine, ammonia is a by-product. In patients with compromised liver function, the transient high levels of ammonia in the blood could pose a toxic problem. Liver disease does not preclude the use of L-asparaginase but it is important to watch for symptoms referable to liver disease (generally neurologic abnormalities/”hepatic encephalopathy”).

The use of L-asparaginase has been associated with pancreatitis.

PREDNISONE – PREDNISOLONE

AVAILABLE IN 5 mg & 20 mg TABLETS

USES OF THIS MEDICATION

Prednisone and prednisolone are members of the glucocorticoid class of hormones. This means they are steroids but, unlike the anabolic steroids that we hear about regarding sports medicine, these are “catabolic” steroids. Instead of building the body up, they are designed to break down stored resources (fats, sugars and proteins) so that they may be used as fuels in times of stress. Cortisone would be an example of a related hormone with which most people are familiar. Glucocorticoids hormones are produced naturally by the adrenal glands.

We do not use the glucocorticoids for their influences on glucose and protein metabolism; we use them because they are also the most broadly anti-inflammatory medications that we have. Their uses fit into several groups:

  1. Anti-inflammatory (especially for joint pain and itchy skin)
  2. Immune-suppression (treatment of conditions where the immune system is destructively hyperactive. Higher doses are required to actually suppress the immune system)
  3. Cancer Chemotherapy (especially in the treatment of lymphoma)
  4. Central Nervous System Disorders (usually after trauma or after a disc episode to relieve swelling in the brain or spinal cord)
  5. Shock (steroids seem to help improve circulation)
  6. Blood Calcium Reduction (in medical conditions where blood calcium is dangerously high treatment is needed to reduce levels to normal)

Prednisone is activated by the patient’s liver into Prednisolone.

Prednisolone may be administered in tablet form or produced by the body from prednisone. These medications are considered to be interchangeable.

SIDE EFFECTS

Prednisone & prednsolone have activity in the kidney leading to the conservation of salt. This creates the classical side effects of prednisone/prednisolone use: excessive thirst and excessive urination. If this occurs, another steroid can be selected or the predisone/prednisolone dose can be dropped.

Prednisone/prednisolone are commonly used for several weeks or even months at a time to get a chronic process under control. It is important that the dose be tapered to an every other day schedule once the condition is controlled. The reason for this is that body will perceive these hormones and not produce any of its own. In time, the adrenal glands will atrophy so that when the medication is discontinued, the patient will be unable to respond to any stressful situation. An actual circulatory crisis can result. By using the medication every other day, this allows the body’s own adrenal glands to remain active.

Any latent infections can be unmasked by prednisone use. (Feline upper respiratory infections would be a classical example. When a cat recovers clinically, the infection simply goes dormant. Glucocorticoid use could bring the infection out again.)

Glucocorticoid hormone use can be irritating to the stomach at higher doses.

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS

Glucocorticoid hormones should not be used in combination with medications of the NSAID class (ie aspirin, Rimadyl, phenylbutazone etc.) as the combination of these medications could lead to bleeding in the stomach or intestine. Ulceration could occur.

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

Prednisone and prednisolone are considered to be intermediate acting steroids, meaning that a dose lasts about a day or a day and a half. After two weeks or more of use, it is important to taper the dose to an every other day schedule so as to keep the body’s own cortisone sources able and healthy.

The same salt retention that accounts for the excessive thirst and urination may also be a problem for heart failure patients or other patients who require sodium restriction.

Diabetic patients should never take this medication unless there is a life-threatening reason why they must.

Glucocorticoid hormones can cause abortion in pregnant patients. They should not be used in pregnancy.

Prednisone/Prednisolone use is likely to change liver enzyme blood testing and interfere with testing for thyroid diseases.

When prednisone/prednisolone is used routinely, serious side effects would not be expected. When doses become immune-suppressive (higher doses) or use becomes “chronic” (longer than 4 months at an every other day schedule), the side effects and concerns associated become different. In these cases, monitoring tests may be recommended or, if possible, another therapy may be selected.

CISPLATIN

(Also called cis-Platinum II, cis-DDP, CDDP, DDP, or cis-diamminedichloroplatinum)

BACKGROUND

Cancer is the condition where a significant number of malignant cells have defeated the body’s natural protective mechanisms and have proliferated.

Malignant cells are dangerous because they have reverted to characteristics typical of embryonic cells. Instead of doing the jobs that normal cells of their tissue type are supposed to do, they simply divide rapidly over and over and ultimately obliterate the normal tissue from whence they came. Often they invade local lymphatic or blood vessels so as to spread to distant body areas and set up new cancerous areas far from where they originally started.

If a group of cancer cells is localized to one area it may be possible to surgically removed them but treatment is more difficult if they have spread. For this situation, we need medications that selectively kill cancer cells and leave normal cells alone. We can use the body’s own bloodstream to carry these medications to all the distant sites where cancer may have set up. . This kind of treatment is called “chemotherapy.”

Most chemotherapy drugs target the fact that cancer cells are rapidly dividing and interfere with cell division. I is not known exactly how cisplatin attacks cancer cells.

HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED

Cisplatin is used intravenously only. Administration requires a process called “diuresis,” which helps protect the patient’s kidneys from damage. This means that your pet will have to be hospitalized on the day of treatment and receive intravenous fluids.

Tumors for which cisplatin is effective:

Tumors for which cisplatin is effective:

  1. Squamous cell carcinoma
  2. Transitional cell carcinoma
  3. Ovarian carcinoma
  4. Mediastinal carcinoma
  5. Osteosarcoma
  6. Nasal carcinoma
  7. Thyroid carcinoma

SIDE EFFECTS

Nausea beginning six hours after treatment and persisting for another six hours is expected with use of cisplatin.

Cisplatin can cause kidney damage. Monitoring blood tests are done regularly so that therapy can be modified should kidney parameters elevate.

Bone marrow suppression can also occur on cisplatin. Monitoring tests are also regularly performed to assess the counts of different blood cells.

Cisplatin can interfere with normal hearing by affecting the cochleovestibular nerve which controls hearing. (Cisplatin is what is called an “ototoxic” drug.) In humans, a cisplatin-associated neuropathy has been described (involving a sensory nerve interference). This has not been documented in the dog but several cases of dogs who developed nerve problems (“Lower Motor Neuron” weakness) in their rear legs have been reported. It is not clear if this weakness, though, was part of their cancer syndrome or due to the medication.

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

Cisplatin concentrates in the liver, intestines and kidneys and is still present in the body six months after treatment but 80% eliminated in urine after 48 hours.

Cats are vulnerable to severe pulmonary (lung) side effects and cannot receive cisplatin.

Cisplatin cannot be used in patients with renal disease or bone marrow suppression. Patients with renal disease can take another medication called Carboplatin.

Cisplatin impairs fertility and causes birth defects.

LEUKERAN

ALSO KNOWN AS CHLORAMBUCIL

AVAILABLE IN 2 mg TABLETS

BACKGROUND

The treatment of cancer with medication (as opposed to surgery or radiation) is especially helpful when the cancer in question is not localized to one body area. Using medication allows the body’s blood vessels to carry the medication to even remote or otherwise inaccessible areas. This form of treatment is called “chemotherapy.”

In order for chemotherapy to be effective, the medications must destroy tumor cells and spare the normal body cells which may be adjacent. This is accomplished by using medications that affect cell activities that go on predominant in cancer cells but not in normal cells. Most chemotherapy agents focus on the rapid cell division that characterizes the spread of cancer cells.

Chlorambucil is what is called an “alkylating agent” of the “nitrogen mustard” group. Alkylating agents work by binding DNA strands so that the double helix cannot “unzip” and replicate. (In other words, cell division is not possible). They also bind other important biochemicals impairing their function and can even break DNA strands. Cancer cells (and other cells that rapidly divide) cannot reproduce. Lymphocytes, whose normal function involves antibody production and other immune activities, are also very sensitive to the effects of alklyating agents thus making the alkylating agents helpful in treating immune-mediated diseases (i.e. disease where the immune system erroneously attacks the body).

Alkylating agents as a group have had problems with side effects. Because Chlorambucil is relatively slow acting, fewer side effects have been an issue with this medication, especially in feline use. The use of chlorambucil has made the treatment of numerous cancers and immune-mediated diseases more successful especially in cats.

HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED

Chemotherapy protocols for the following cancers have included chlorambucil:

  1. Lymphocytic leukemia
  2. Multiple myeloma
  3. Ovarian cancer
  4. Lymphoma
  5. Polycythemia rubra vera

Immune Mediated conditions where chlorambucil may be especially helpful include:

  1. The Pemphigus diseases
  2. Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex
  3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  4. Feline Infectious Peritonitis
  5. Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
  6. Immune-mediated platelet destruction

Chlorambucil is typically given daily or every other day.

SIDE EFFECTS

The main side effect of concern with chlorambucil is bone marrow suppression. The bone marrow is one’s source of all blood cells both white cells and red cells. When the bone marrow is suppressed, one can develop an anemia (inadequate amount of red blood cells), a drop in white cells (which constitute the bulk of the immune system), or both. This side effect is generally evident at some point during the second week of therapy and blood testing at this time is definitely in order to determine if this side effect is occurring. Once the medication is discontinued, the marrow should recover in another 1-2 weeks, though more severe and long lasting suppression has rarely occurred.

Poodles and Kerry Blue Terriers may have hair loss problems on chlorambucil but the hair loss humans experience with chemotherapy generally does not occur with dogs and cats.

Overdose of chlorambucil results in bone marrow suppression in all cell lines as well as seizuring.

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS

Chlorambucil’s bone marrow suppression side effect may be compounded if chlorambucil is used with other medications that also share possible bone marrow suppression as a side effect. Such medications include:

  1. Chloramphenicol
  2. Azathioprine
  3. Colchicine
  4. Cyclophosphamide

The use of chlorambucil may lead to the need to increase the dose of allopurinol for patients who take it (such as uric acid bladder stone forming Dalmatians).

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

The DNA poisoning effects of this medication precludes its use in pregnant patients; further, pregnant women should not handle this medication, nor the urine/feces of animals taking chlorambucil.

Chlorambucil should not be used in patients with pre-existing bone marrow suppression.

Chlorambucil is suppressive to the immune system and should be used with caution in patients already immune suppressed (such as FIV+ cats) or with chronic infections.

Chlorambucil may cause permanent infertility when given to patients prior to puberty.

BENEDRYL

ALSO KNOWN AS DIPHENHYDRAMINE

AVAILABLE IN 25 mg & 50 mg CAPSULES
(Oral suspension is too high in alcohol content to be used for animals)

BACKGROUND

Histamine is an inflammatory biochemical that causes skin redness, swelling, pain, increased heart rate, and blood pressure drop when it binds to one of many “H1″ receptors throughout the body. Histamine is a very important mediator of allergy in humans, hence a spectacular array of different antihistamines has proliferated. Histamine, perhaps unfortunately, is not as important a mediator of inflammation in pets which means results of antihistamine therapy are not as reliable in pets.

HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED

Diphenhydramine has several important effects and thus several uses. Most obviously, diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and it is used for acute inflammatory and allergic conditions such as:

  1. Snake Bites
  2. Vaccination reactions
  3. Blood transfusion reactions
  4. Bee stings and insect bites

Diphenhydramine is frequently included in antihistamine trials for allergic skin disease. It is not one of the more effective antihistamines in this regard but its availability and inexpensiveness make it worth trying in many cases.

Mast cell tumors are tumors involving cells which contain granules of histamine. Patients with mast cell tumors experience chronic inflammatory symptoms due to circulating histamine. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine may be helpful given long term.

Diphenhydramine has a strong anti-nauseal side effect which makes it helpful in treating motion sickness.

Diphenhydramine causes drowsiness in animals just as it does in people and can be used as a mild tranquilizer.

SIDE EFFECTS

With so many possible uses of this medication, it is difficult to separate out a side effect from a primary effect. Drowsiness is generally regarded as an undesirable side effect.

At doses higher than the recommended dose, human patients complain of dry mouth and experience difficulty with urination.

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER MEDICATIONS

In the treatment of allergic skin disease, antihistamines are felt to synergize with omega 3 fatty acid supplements and, as a general rule for this condition, it is best to use these medications together.

Diphenhydramine should not be used with additional tranquilizing medications.

In animals that experience a hyperactivity reaction while taking Metoclopramide (Reglan), this effect can be reversed with a dose of Diphenhydramine.

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

It is important to realize that the name “Benadryl” is a brand name. It is easy to try to save money and try to buy over-the-counter diphenhydramine and end up with an inappropriate product. It would seem like it would contain diphenhydramine but, in fact, it contains a combination of diphenhydramine and other medications, including a dose of acetaminophen which could be lethal to a pet.

Never buy over-the-counter medication for your pet without knowing exactly what you are supposed to get and never medicate your pet without your vet’s guidance.

PHENOBARBITAL

AVAILABLE IN 15 mg (1/4 GRAIN), 30 mg (1/2 GRAIN), & 60 mg (1 GRAIN) TABLETS

USES OF THIS MEDICATION

When animals have frequent seizures, medication becomes necessary. In the dog and cat, phenobarbital is probably the first choice for seizure suppression. It is effective, safe if used responsibly, and is one of the least expensive medications in all of veterinary practice. Since treatment with phenobarbital is generally life-long, monitoring blood tests are periodically recommended.

Most often phenobarbital is used to suppress epileptic seizures (i.e., seizures for which a cause has not been identified) but phenobarbital can also be used against seizures due to brain tumors, poisonings, or infection as well.

Phenobarbital is absorbed well into the body when given orally and it’s peak activity occurs 4-8 hours after the pill is given.

When phenobarbital is started, it takes 2-4 weeks to reach a stable blood level and cannot be fully relied upon to prevent seizures until this period has elapsed. It is usual to run a blood phenobarbital level at the end of this period to determine how the pet is absorbing the medication.

SIDE EFFECTS

Excessive thirst and urination and excessive appetite are not uncommon side effects of phenobarbital. If they occur, they do not generally go away as the patient adjusts to medication. If they are severe, medication may have to be changed.

It is not unusual for some patients to demonstrate depression or sedation when phenobarbital therapy is initiated. This effect is generally transient and resolves as the patient acclimates to the medication. If this problem has not resolved after two weeks, a phenobarbital blood level can be drawn to determine if the dose is too high for the individual in question. Running a blood level sooner may not be useful as it takes a couple of weeks to achieve a stable and meaningful blood level.

Rarely, anemia (lack of red blood cells) can occur with phenobarbital exposure. Should this occur, a different seizure medication should be selected.

Chronic exposure to phenobarbital can lead to scaring in the liver and liver failure that can be irreversible. Proper monitoring tests are geared for heading off such an event in plenty of time to change medication.

MONITORING

Phenobarbital is able to “induce” the metabolic enzymes, thus making them more efficient at removing toxins. Part of this phenomenon involves elevation of liver enzyme tests on a blood panel. As previously mentioned, monitoring by periodic blood testing is important in catching any impending liver problems while they are still insignificant but this is complicated because elevations in liver enzymes occur with normal phenobarbital usage.

There are many monitoring protocols. Our hospital recommends a phenobarbital blood level drawn at the time of day when the level is the lowest (a “trough” level) 3-4 weeks after starting phenobarbital followed by a similar phenobarbital level every 6 months. We also run a liver function test called a “bile acids” test every 6months to accompany the phenobarbital level.

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS

Phenobarbital is removed from the body primarily by the liver (75% is removed by the liver, 25% by the kidney). As mentioned, in the liver, phenobarbital has a unique ability to “induce” the microsomal enzymes which means in more simple terms that chronic exposure to phenobarbital makes the liver more efficient at removing other toxins. Other medications which will not work as well in the presence of phenobarbital include: lysodren (treatment for Cushing’s disease), chloramphenicol (an antibiotic), corticosteroids (such as prednisone, desamethasone), doxycycline (an antibiotic), cardiac beta-blockers, quinidine (a heart rhythm medicine), theophylline (an airway dilator), and metronidazole (a multi-purpose antibiotic/GI medicine). They will not work as well because they are removed from the body much faster than usual by the phenobarbital induced enzymes.

Phenobarbital’s activity can be enhanced by concurrent administration of the following medications: chloramphenicol (an antibiotic), any anti-histamine associated with drowsiness, or any other sedative or tranquilizer.Rifampin, a special antibiotic, may reduce the effectiveness of phenobarbital when the two are used concurrently.If phenobarbital is used with griseofulvin (treatment for ringworm), the griseofulvin may not be absorbed optimally into the body and may not be as effective.When unacceptable side effects develop with phenobarbital use, phenobarbital dose may be substantially cut back or even discontinued. Potassium bromide can be used as a seizure control medication in such cases.Primidone is another anti-seizure medication that was once more popular in the past. The liver converts primidone to phenobarbital thus it is generally more efficient (and less expensive) to simply use phenobarbital. Further, if there is any question about liver function in a seizure patient, phenobarbital is likely to be a better choice.

CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS

Missing even one phenobarbital dose can be enough to trigger a seizure.

It is very important to comply fully with medication recommendations.Because of the induction of microsomal enzymes previously mentioned, it is normal to see elevated liver enzymes (“AST”, “ALP”, and “ALT”) on any blood chemistry that is performed. This makes interpretation of these values somewhat difficult.
The blood level of phenobarbital attained in an individual is not completely predictable by knowing the oral dose given. With time, the patient’s liver becomes especially able to remove phenobarbital from the system and the level may go down. Or the opposite may be true and the liver becomes less efficient so that blood level goes up. For these reasons, blood levels of phenobarbital are periodically measured so as to periodically adjust the oral dose as noted above.In patients with poor liver function or liver failure, phenobarbital may not be the best choice in seizure control.The use of phenobarbital will interfere with thyroid function testing as well as with adrenal function testing. Monitoring hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease in patients taking phenobarbital is extremely difficult as test results will be difficult to interpret.

GENERALIZED NOTE ON CHEMOTHERAPY AS PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA ONCOLINK SITE

Chemotherapy may be used as the sole treatment for certain cancers or may be used in combination with other treatment modalities, such as surgery and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is likely to be recommended for cancer that has already spread to other areas of the body (metastatic disease), for tumors that occur at more than one site (multicentric disease), or for tumors that cannot be removed surgically (nonresectable disease).

In some cases, chemotherapy can be used to try to shrink large tumors prior to surgery or to help eradicate certain types of microscopic cancer cells that cannot or have not been completely removed surgically. For cancers that are at high-risk for metastasis early in the course of disease, chemotherapy can be used after surgery or radiation therapy to help slow down the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body.

Chemotherapy drugs attack cells in the process of growth and division. Individual drugs may work through many different mechanisms, such as damaging a cell’s genetic material (DNA) or preventing the cell from dividing. However, chemotherapeutic drugs cannot distinguish between malignant cancer cells and normal cells. All rapidly dividing cells are potentially sensitive to chemotherapy. Toxicity to normal, rapidly growing or self-renewing tissues in the body is the reason for most of the side effects seen with chemotherapy.

Fortunately, these normal tissues continue to grow and repair themselves, so the injury caused by chemotherapy is rarely permanent.Compared to people who receive chemotherapy, pet animals experience fewer and less severe side effects because we use lower doses of drugs and do not combine as many drugs as in human medicine. The normal tissues that typically are most sensitive to chemotherapy are the intestinal lining, the bone marrow (which makes red and white blood cells), and hair follicles.

Toxic effects to the gastrointestinal tract are responsible for decreased appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. These effects may be mild, moderate, or severe. In most cases, these signs are mild and usually resolve on their own or with oral medication given at home. Although infrequent, some dogs (and cats) may develop severe diarrhea requiring hospitalization and fluid therapy.

In many cases, the gastrointestinal side effects from chemotherapy are not seen on the day of treatment. They often occur 3 to 5 days later.Suppression of the bone marrow by chemotherapeutic drugs may cause a drop in the white blood cell count, leading to increased susceptibility to infection. The infection usually comes from the animal’s own body (such as bacteria normally found in the intestines, mouth, skin, etc.).

Severe infections may require hospitalization for intensive supportive care, including intravenous fluid and antibiotics. When a chemotherapeutic drug is used that is known to have a high potential for bone marrow suppression, a complete blood count (CBC) is checked several days after the treatment. If the white blood cell count is low but your pet is feeling well, antibiotics are prescribed as a preventive measure.

Subsequent doses of chemotherapy are adjusted based on the results of the CBC. Anemia (low red blood cell count) is often a complication of cancer but is rarely caused by the chemotherapy drugs used in veterinary medicine.Hair follicle cell in dogs (and cats) that are wire-haired or non-shedding may be particularly susceptible to chemotherapy. Certain breeds of dogs, such as terriers and poodles, will experience variable amounts of hair loss.

Hair loss often is most evident on the face and tail. Whiskers and the long hairs over the eyes often fall out in cats. The hair will regrow once chemotherapy is stopped, but may initially have a modest change in color or texture. There are many different types of chemotherapy agents and each has a different likelihood of causing side effects.

If your pet is treated with drugs known to cause certain side effects, we will prescribe medications to help prevent these complications, such as antiemetics (anti-nausea and vomiting medication). In addition, we will give you instructions on what to do if and when a problem arises. We seldom see severe side effects as described above; it is estimated to be less than 5% of all pets receiving chemotherapy. With proper management, most animals recover uneventfully within a few days.

Please keep in mind that any animal can have an unexpected reaction to any medication.How a chemotherapeutic drug is administered, how often it is given and how many treatments are given varies from case to case. The type of cancer, the extent of disease, and general health of the animal help the oncologists to formulate a treatment protocol (type of drugs, dose, and schedule used) appropriate for your pet.

Some drugs are oral medications (pills) that you give at home. Others are brief injections that require an outpatient appointment. In some instances, slow infusions or repeated treatments throughout the day may require an animal to spend the day in the hospital. The treatments are typically repeated from weekly to every third week. Blood tests may be needed to monitor the effects of chemotherapy during the weeks between drug treatments.

The duration of chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer and the extent of disease. Some animals need to receive chemotherapy for the rest of their lives. In others, treatments may be spread out or discontinued after a period of weeks to months provided that the cancer is in remission, i.e., there is no detectable evidence of cancer in the body. Chemotherapy can be resumed when the cancer relapses.

We usually recommend that every patient receive at least 2 cycles of chemotherapy and then be evaluated for response before we decide to continue the treatment, change drugs or discontinue chemotherapy.It is imperative that you, as a pet owner, are committed to treatment and that you bring your pet to the veterinary hospital when scheduled for therapy. In many cases, we are unable to cure our veterinary cancer patients.

Our goal is therefore to improve a pet’s quality of life. To this end, chemotherapy can be used to minimize the discomfort caused by a tumor or to slow down the progression of the disease. For most (but not all) types of tumors, the oncologist will provide information on average life expectancy with and without treatments.The decision of whether to pursue chemotherapy treatments can be complex.

Medical information, practical concerns (such as need for repeated visits, your pet’s temperament, etc.), and financial responsibility all play a part in this decision. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with the oncologist and/or our social worker when making this decision.

Categories
Diagnosis Uncategorized

Anal Sac Adenocarcinoma

The following information is simply informational. Its intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinary physician for confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pet’s life may depend on it.

 OVERVIEW

Anal sac adenocarcinomas are tumors arising from the apocrine glands present on either side of the rectum. They occur primarily in older (average 10 years) female dogs. Dogs might have symptoms such as straining to have bowel movements (either due to the tumor itself or due to enlarged lymph nodes in the pelvic area), or the tumors might be found incidentally on a routine physical examination. Sometimes dogs may have symptoms such as increased drinking and urinating which results from very high calcium levels in the blood (due to hormones produced by the tumor) which in turn can affect the kidneys.

Categories
Therapy and Support Uncategorized

Laboratory Values

The following information is simply informational. It’s intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinary physician for confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pets life may depend on it.

Once you become more familiar with the type of cancer you are dealing with, you are possibly going to want to be involved in your dog’s care. Bloodwork is as important for our dogs on chemo as it is in humans receiving therapy. Below is an alphabetical listing and definition of normal veterinary ranges in both blood chemistry and hematology values. Please keep in mind that normal ranges may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. Also included in this list is information pertaining to normal body temperature in your dog.

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP): 23 – 212 U/L (units per liter)
Definition: An enzyme predominantly produced in the liver and bone. Levels are elevated in liver disease.

Alanine transaminase (ALT): 10 – 100 U/L
Definition: An enzyme found in the blood which can be found in many tissues of the body but more highly concentrated in the liver. High levels can be an indicator of liver disease.

Albumin (ALB):  2.70 – 3.80 g/dl
Definition: Synthesized in the liver, Albumin contains the highest concentration of protein in plasma. It’s prime function is to keep fluid from leaking into the tissues and is also a good indicator of kidney and liver disease.

Amylase (AMYL): 500 – 1500 U/L
Definition: An enzyme released in the pancreas. Useful in diagnosing pancreatic disorders.

Bilirubin (TBIL):  0.00 – 0.90 mg/dl
Definition: Bilirubin is the product that results from the breakdown of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Abnormal bilirubin can be a sign of liver problems

Calcium (Ca): 7.90 – 12.00 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter)
Definition: Tests calcium levels in the blood to detect any disorders in the bones or kidneys.

Cloride (Cl): 109.0 – 122.0 mmol/1
Definition: Linked with Sodium, changes in this level often accompany the changes in the sodium level.

Cholesterol (CHOL):  110.0 – 320.0 mg/dl
Definition: A steroid made in the liver, it’s function is to form cell membranes that are utilized in all parts of the body.

Creatinine (CREA):  0.50 – 1.80 mg/dl
Definition: Part of muscle make up, creatinine levels can determine kidney function.

Globulin (GLOB):  2.50 – 4.50 g/dl
Definition: A measurement of this protein in the blood.

Glucose (GLU): 77.0 – 125.0 mg/dl
Definition: The source of energy for red blood cells, brain and most parts of the body.

Granulocytes (GRANS): 3.3 – 12.0
Definition: Produced in the bone marrow, they comprise 70% of all white blood cells as they include neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils.

Hematocrit (HCT) normal range:   37 – 55%
Definition: The hematocrit is the percent of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. The hematocrit is the compound measure of Red Blood count number and size.

Hemoglobin (HGB) normal range:   12.0 – 18.0 g/dl  (grams per deciliter)
Definition: Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying protein in the red blood cells.

Lipase (LIPA): 200 – 1800 U/L
Definition: Secreted by the pancreas, lipase values can be an indicator of the function of the pancreas.

Lymphocytes/Monocytes (L/M): 1.1-6.3
Definition: Lymphocytes are produced in the lymph nodes through the body and are responsible for the activity of the immune system by producing antibodies. Monocytes make up about 5% of the white cell count and act as scavengers for the removal of debris from dead tissue and areas of  inflammation.

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC): 30.0 – 36.9 g/dl
Definition: Hemoglobin concentration per red blood cell.

Phosphate (PHOS): 2.50 – 6.80 mg/dl
Definition: An indicator on how the body uses calcium and can be an indicator of kidney problems.

Platelets (PLT):  175 – 500
Definition: Also called a Thrombocyte their function is to halt bleeding (form blood clots).

Potassium (K): 3.50 – 5.80 mmol/l
Definition: Found in cells, it’s main responsibility is to carry different products into and out of the cells.

Reticuloctyes (Retics): 0 – 0.2%
Definition: These are slightly immature red blood cells.

Sodium (Na):  144.0 – 160.0 mmol/1
Definition: Measures the amount of sodium in the body and is a indicator of dehydration.

Total Protein (TP): 5.20 – 8.20 g/dl
Definition: Consisting of Albumin and Globulin, this result can also be an indicator of liver and kidney disease as well as malnutrition and other conditions.

White Blood Count (WBC) : 6.0 – 16.9
Definition: Measures the white blood cells. White blood cells are the major infection fighting cells in the blood.

Normal Body Temperature:
Normal body temperature of your dog should range from 101 to 102.5  F. The best way to determine body temperature is rectally. You may also obtain axillary (between the front leg and the body – e.g.: armpit) body temperature readings, but this method is not recommended when an accurate reading is required. You may use a glass mercury or a digital thermometer.

A digital thermometer may be more easily read, it’s safer, and they are relatively inexpensive to purchase. If the body temperature has exceeded 103  F, contact your vet immediately. This is especially important if your dog is receiving chemotherapy as some chemo drugs can lower immunity and leave them susceptible to infection.

METHOD OF TAKING TEMPERATURE
When using either a glass or digital thermometer, lubricate the thermometer with a good water-soluble lubricant such as KY. Slowly and gently insert the thermometer into the rectum about 1-2 inches. When using glass, hold in place for 2 minutes; a digital will signal when the reading is complete.

REFERENCES: Labtests Online, MEDLINE plus

If you would like more detailed, professional information about any of these tests, please use this link which will bring you to Medline’s website. From there, click on Medical Encyclopedia and type in the name for the particular test you are seeking information on. Though geared for humans, it will give you a greater understanding to why these tests are being done on your pet.

Categories
Diagnosis Uncategorized

Osteosarcoma

The following information is simply informational. Its intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinary physician for confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pet’s life may depend on it.

OVERVIEW

Most primary bone tumors in dogs are malignant, and approximately 85 % are osteosarcomas. Osteosarcomas are highly aggressive tumors, characterized by local invasion/destruction and distant metastasis (spread to other organs). Osteosarcoma commonly affects the appendicular skeleton (limbs) of large to giant breed dogs, but can also occur in the axial skeleton (skull, ribs, vertebrae, pelvis), which is a more common primary site in smaller dogs. Other bone tumors include chondrosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, liposarcoma, multiple myeloma, and metastatic bone tumors. The biological behavior, prognosis, and treatment of these tumors depends on tumor type, primary site (location), and extent of disease (stage). Therefore, various diagnostic tests such as radiographs (X-rays), bloodwork, and a biopsy are required to determine the most appropriate treatment.

CLINICAL SIGNS

The signs associated with a bone tumor may be nonspecific and depend on the primary site. Tumors in the limbs often cause various degrees of lameness and pain, and a firm swelling may become evident as the tumor size increases. The pain can cause other problems such as irritability, aggression, loss of appetite, weight loss, whimpering, crying, sleeplessness, and reluctance to exercise. Tumors in non-weight-bearing bones may initially appear as a solid, firm mass. Other clinical signs may vary, depending on the primary site and involvement of underlying structures.

DIAGNOSIS AND WORKUP (STAGING)

Initial evaluation of a dog with a suspected bone tumor often includes: complete physical exam, blood tests, radiographs (both the primary site and the lungs), and a biopsy. The biopsy can be incisional or excisional. An incisional biopsy is performed for diagnosis only. A small sample of the tumor is removed to determine the specific tumor type. An excisional biopsy involves removing the entire tumor, both for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes. The work-up and staging are important for two reasons: it is necessary to determine the tumor type and extent of the cancer, but also provides the clinician with information regarding the dog’s general health and may identify concurrent medical or musculoskeletal problems, all of which may influence the treatment recommendations.

TREATMENT

As stated above, the treatment recommendations for bone tumors depend on multiple factors, and a complete physical exam and work-up may be necessary to accurately determine the most appropriate treatment for an individual dog.

Since osteosarcoma is by far the most common tumor type, this treatment discussion will focus on osteosarcoma. We often classify osteosarcomas as appendicular or axial, because the location of the tumor may have implications both for the surgical approach as well as the tumor’s biological behavior, and therefore require different follow-up treatments.

Appendicular (limb) osteosarcoma commonly causes lameness and pain because of invasion and destruction of normal bone and periosteum (sensitive structures surrounding bone). These tumors are also highly metastatic (likely so spread to other organs), and the average dog with appendicular osteosarcoma will live 4-6 months if treated with surgery alone. Surgery at VHUP usually involves amputation of the affected limb, but limbsparing procedures may be an option in selected cases. The surgery serves two purposes; it removes the primary tumor which is necessary for cancer control, but it also removes the source of pain, and may therefore dramatically improve the quality of life of the patient.

The most common cause of death is lung metastasis. Because of this, systemic chemotherapy is recommended as follow-up therapy for dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma. Chemotherapy is not likely to cure most dogs with osteosarcoma, but can prolong a good quality survival. We currently recommend to use a combination of 2 different drugs: Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and cisplatin or carboplatin. Most dogs tolerate this chemotherapy well, with only mild, self-limiting side effects such as depressed appetite, nausea, occasional vomiting and diarrhea for a few days. Less than 5 % of dogs will experience severe, life-threatening side effects requiring hospitalization and supportive care. If your dog’s side effects are severe and compromise his/her quality of life, the dosages of these drugs are reduced in the subsequent treatments. The average survival in dogs with osteosarcoma treated with surgery and chemotherapy is approximately 1 year.

Axial osteosarcomas are often diagnosed as a firm, solid mass. Other clinical signs vary, depending on the tumor location and the involvement of normal adjacent tissues. Because of the location of most axial osteosarcomas, a complete surgical removal is often not possible. Microscopic tumor cells are left behind, and the tumor is therefore likely to recur at the same site. The average survival in dogs with axial osteosarcomas is 4-5 months, and the most common cause of treatment failure is local tumor recurrence. Therefore follow-up treatment is focused on improving local tumor control, and radiation therapy is a reasonable choice. There is currently limited information regarding the effect of adjuvant radiation therapy in dogs with axial osteosarcomas. The metastatic potential of these osteosarcomas vary depending on the location, and chemotherapy may be indicated in some cases as well.

The above are general treatment guidelines for dogs with osteosarcoma. In addition, palliative measures might be suggested for dogs that are not candidates for any of these options for various reasons. A palliative treatment is given to alleviate pain and symptoms from the tumor, and may involve the use of different types of pain medication and/or a few high doses of radiation therapy. Such treatments may help control the pain in dogs with osteosarcoma and therefore provide the client and pet with additional good quality time together.

LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON OSTEOSARCOMA

MarVista Vet

Bath-Brunswick Veterinary Associates

DaviesWhite Veterinary Specialists

Flat Coated Retriever Society of America

WSAVA/VIN

Shannon’s Story

ONGOING CLINICAL TRIALS FOR OSTEOSARCOMA

Clinic Seeks Dogs with Appendicular Osteosarcoma for Trial

The University of Illinois Cancer Care Clinic recently secured resources to initiate a funded clinical trial involving osteosarcoma (OSA), by far the most common primary bone tumor in dogs. The main goal of this trial is to objectively assess the effectiveness of aminobisphosphonates for the management of bone pain associated with canine appendicular OSA. Aminobisphosphonates have been used effectively in humans for more than 10 years, and our Cancer Care Clinic has been safely using them in dogs since 1996.

Dogs with appendicular OSA meeting study inclusion criteria will be provided FREE aminobisphosphonate every 28 days for palliative therapy of bone pain. (The normal cost of this aminobisphosphonate is fairly expensive: for a dog weighing greater than 75 pounds, it would be approximately $600/dog/treatment.) The provision of up to three doses of aminobisphosphonate at no cost may serve as a significant financial incentive. Additionally, owners will be compensated in the amount of $300 when returning for the first monthly scheduled recheck appointment.

Background on Treatment of OSA:

It is estimated that over 8,000 dogs per year will be diagnosed with OSA in the United States. Canine patients diagnosed with OSA are often middle-aged to older dogs of large or giant body size, with definite over-representation of certain breeds such as the Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Golden retriever, Irish wolfhound, and Greyhound. Conventional standard therapy for canine appendicular OSA includes amputation of the affected limb, and administration of adjuvant chemotherapy.

A fair number of patients may be poor candidates for amputation, due to complicating factors such as severe degenerative joint disease, significant obesity, and multiple tumor sites, or because of owner reluctance for this radical procedure. Therefore, other means to effectively control local bone pain, and possibly halt or slow the progression of the primary bone tumor growth, should be investigated. While pain management is recommended through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids, these analgesic agents usually do not provide adequate pain control in dogs with advanced osteolytic diseases, including OSA.

Although palliative radiation therapy has proven to be effective in significantly decreasing bone pain in 75 to 80 percent of dogs with OSA, this form of therapy is not readily available everywhere, and can be relatively expensive. In the past decade, human beings suffering from painful bone cancers have demonstrated a survival advantage, and benefited from significant pain reduction, when treated with a class of potent antiresorptive agents known as aminobisphosphonates.

Contact Information:

For a more detailed description of the Funded Clinical Trial for Appendicular Osteosarcoma, please contact the following individuals at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital:

Timothy M. Fan, DVM
(217) 333-5375

Louis-Philippe de Lorimier, DVM
(217) 265-4088

Sarah Charney, DVM
(217) 244-8747

CLINICAL TRIAL RESULTS

TRIAL Results: J Vet Intern Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;14(5):495-8.

Cisplatin and doxorubicin combination chemotherapy for the treatment of canine osteosarcoma: a pilot study.

Chun R, Kurzman ID, Couto CG, Klausner J, Henry C, MacEwen EG.

Kansas State University, Manhattan, USA. [email protected]

Sixteen dogs with histologically confirmed appendicular osteosarcoma were treated by amputation followed by cisplatin and doxorubicin chemotherapy. All dogs began chemotherapy within 24 hours of surgery. Cisplatin was administered at 50 mg/m2 intravenously (IV) concurrent with saline-induced diuresis. Doxorubicin was administered 24 hours later at 15 mg/m2 as a slow IV bolus. This protocol was given on a 21-day cycle for 4 cycles. No dose delays were required, but dose reduction of doxorubicin was required in 2 dogs because of neutropenia. Thoracic radiography was performed every 2 months after completion of therapy to monitor for metastatic disease. Two dogs were still alive and free from disease at the time of last contact (24 and 75 months, respectively). Postmortem examinations were performed on 13 of the 14 dogs that died. Eight of these dogs were euthanized because of metastatic osteosarcoma. Of the remaining 5 dogs, euthanasia was performed because of complications of idiopathic megaesophagus (n = 1), arthritis (n = 2), and hemangiosarcoma (n = 2). The median disease-free interval and survival times were 15.7 and 18 months, respectively. When compared to a historical group of 36 dogs with appendicular osteosarcoma treated with surgery and 4 doses of cisplatin. both disease-free interval and overall survival were significantly longer in the study population (P < .015 and P < .007, respectively).

PMID: 11012111 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

TRIAL RESULTS: Mol Ther. 2003 Feb;7(2):163-73

A canine conditionally replicating adenovirus for evaluating oncolytic virotherapy in a syngeneic animal model

Hemminki A, Kanerva A, Kremer EJ, Bauerschmitz GJ, Smith BF, Liu B, Wang M, Desmond RA, Keriel A, Barnett B, Baker HJ, Siegal GP, Curiel DT.

Division of Human Gene Therapy, Department of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Department of Surgery, and the Gene Therapy Center, Birmingham, Alabama, UK

Oncolytic adenoviruses, which selectively replicate in and subsequently kill cancer cells, have emerged as a promising approach for treatment of tumors resistant to other modalities. Although preclinical results have been exciting, single-agent clinical efficacy has been less impressive heretofore. The immunogenicity of adenoviruses, and consequent premature abrogation of replication, may have been a partial reason. Improving the oncolytic potency of agents has been hampered by the inability to study host-vector interactions in immune-competent systems, since human serotype adenoviruses do not productively replicate in animal tissues. Therefore, approaches such as immunomodulation, which could result in sustained replication and subsequently increased oncolysis, have not been studied. Utilizing the osteocalcin promoter for restricting the replication of a canine adenovirus to dog osteosarcoma cells, we generated and tested the first nonhuman oncolytic adenovirus. This virus effectively killed canine osteosarcoma cells in vitro and yielded a therapeutic benefit in vivo. Canine osteosarcoma is the most frequent malignant disease in large dogs, with over 8000 cases in the United States annually, and there is no curative treatment. Therefore, immunomodulation for increased oncolytic potency could be studied with clinical trials in this population. This could eventually translate into human trials.

PMID: 12597904 [PubMed – in process]

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Any information on this site is published under the “fair use” act. If you are the author, researcher or contributor to any of the information contained herein and would prefer not to have your information included on the site, please contact us and it will be removed immediately.

Canine Cancer Awareness gratefully acknowledges the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center ( OncoLink http://www.oncolink.com/ ) for granting us permission for the use of the above information.

PubMed, Published for MEDLINE, National Library of Medicine