CBD oil for dogs and cats Sarcoma
A mass, growth, or swelling beneath the skin of a dog or cat can be a sign of soft tissue sarcoma (STS). STS is a type of malignant cancer that affects pets worldwide. In fact, there are approximately 27,000 to 95,000 dogs diagnosed with STS in the United States each year. This is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Find out everything about STS in dogs and cats in this quick guide.
What is soft tissue sarcoma in dogs and cats?
Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is the umbrella term for malignant cancers that occur in the skin as well as the subcutaneous connective tissues. These include fat, nerves, fibrous connective tissue, cartilage, muscle, and the “pericytes” of tiny blood vessels beneath the skin. Tumors in this group typically appear as firm masses under the skin. They may be found on the extremities, trunk, neck, or head.
This group of tumors in dogs and cats are due to their similarity in clinical behavior. The tumors are usually slow-growing, but it may also come up quickly. They may also appear discrete, but the tumors are actually locally invasive. However, they are not likely to metastasize or go to other sites in the body.
Different types of soft tissue sarcoma
There are various types of sarcomas that are classified according to their parent tissue. Here are some of them:
- Fibrosarcoma – Fibrous connective tissues
- Hemangiopericytoma – Pericytes
- Hemangiosarcoma – Blood vessel walls
- Histiocytic sarcoma – Histiocytes, a type of immune cell
- Liposarcoma – Fat tissues
- Osteosarcoma – Bones
- Rhabdomyosarcoma – Skeletal muscle tissues
- Schwannoma, Neurofibrosarcoma – Nerves
- Synovial cell sarcoma – Joint tissues
Grade and stage of STS’s in dogs and cats are similar to what is seen in humans. These tumors are graded 1, 2, or 3. The grades are also referred to as low, intermediate, and high.
Most cases in pets are grades 1 to 2. Grade 1 is the least aggressive. This means the tumor has relatively little chance of spreading to surrounding tissues. It also has a lower chance of regrowth following the removal of the mass. Grade 3 is the most malignant. It has the highest chance of spreading, with cells quickly dividing and invading.
How to prevent soft tissue sarcoma in dogs and cats
STS’s are often treated in three ways: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The kind of treatment required depends on many variables. The grade and location of the tumor can dictate the treatment required to prevent sarcoma in dogs and cats.
In most cases, surgery is performed to remove the visible tumor and all the invisible cancer extensions. Usually, this procedure is done to treat low- to immediate-grade sarcomas. The surgeon cuts with clean surgical margins to ensure no microscopic cells are left behind. If tumor cells are left behind, this can lead to the regrowth of the lump. In this case, a second surgery may be recommended to ensure complete removal of the cancer cells.
Radiation therapy is done to prevent or delay the recurrence of the tumor. This may be done if surgery alone cannot completely remove the tumor. Radiation in pets is similar to people, and the side effects are limited to the area where radiation was used. This kind of treatment is also performed to remove large tumors that cannot be removed with surgery.
For high-grade sarcomas, chemotherapy is used. Anti-cancer drugs are administered to fight off tiny clusters of cells in the body. It may be given alone or with other chemotherapy drugs.
Symptoms of soft tissue sarcoma in dogs and cats
Since STS’s can virtually develop in any part of the body, symptoms vary depending on the affected tissues. However, one common sign is when a noticeable mass grows in size beneath the skin.
Other symptoms related to STS include the following:
- Pain due to the mass developing in nerves, muscles, bones, and joints
- Limping due to the mass developing in the limbs
- Vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of appetite, and abdominal pain due to the mass developing in the intestine
- Loss of appetite, difficulty eating, bleeding in the mouth, and bad breath (halitosis) due to the mass developing in the mouth
- Difficulty urinating or defecating due to the mass developing near the reproductive system
Masses growing beneath the skin that are squishy fatty lumps, are often dismissed as lipomas. Lipomas are benign harmless fatty tumors that grow in the body. This perception often causes delays in the diagnosis of STS which heavily affects treatment options and survival chances. This is why it’s vital for owners to consult a veterinarian should a mass develop in their pet’s body.
A fine needle aspiration, biopsy, or staging may be performed to diagnose a STS in dogs and cats.
Dogs and cats soft tissue sarcoma natural home remedies
While surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are used to treat STS’s, owners can do more to ease the symptoms of cancer in their pets. One way is to give natural home remedies such as CBD oil.
Several studies have shown how CBD helps in easing various conditions in dogs and cats. This includes anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Hemp’s analgesic and antiemetic properties are slowly finding their way into the medical limelight. And fortunately, CBD oils have no life-threatening side effects in pets if given properly.
How much CBD should I give my dogs and cats with soft tissue sarcoma?
As of today, data on CBD dosage for pets is scarce. But pet owners can start giving their dogs and cats low dosages. Then, monitor how the pets react and adjust from there. Consult a veterinarian for the best results.
Each year, there are a lot of dogs and cats who get diagnosed with STS. Pet owners should not delay bringing their dogs and cats to the vet should a mass form beneath their skins. Remember: the best time to treat STS is the first time it occurs. Watch out for the symptoms and take immediate action to increase the chances for your pet’s health.