Post # 1
We just found out our poor kitty most likely has nasal cancer. Waiting for the results to come back from the pathologist, but they found a mass in his nose during what was supposed to be a routine “nasal flush” yesterday, and the vet said she is 99% sure it’s cancer. Of course I went to Dr. Google, which is not at all encouraging about the prognosis for nasal cancer in cats.
I was telling my fellow crazy cat lady friend about it and she told me she’s been giving her cat who has cancer CBD. While it’s not a miracle cure, she said it’s made her kitty feel so much better…he’s not vomiting anymore and is acting like his old self. At this point, our goal is going to be making our cat feel comfortable for whatever time he has left. We decided we would have one appointment with the cat oncologist just to hear them out about treatment options, but I don’t imagine we will pursue chemo/radiation or any of the more invasive measures because I don’t want to put the poor baby through all that.
Anyway I did a little research and it sounds like CBD for pets is totally legal in the U.S., and that there are some reputable manufacturers who sell cannabis oil for cats. I’m wondering if anyone out there has tried this with their pets, what your experience was, and what product you used/where you found it. I will ask my vet about it when she calls me with the results from the pathologist, but I’m not anticipating she’lll tell me too much since there’s not enough research on CBD in cats for a vet to probably feel comfortable recommending it.
Post # 2
Ask your vet but I would definitely have considered it for my kitty! She’s doing okay now but when we initially thought she had cancer I immediately thought of using CBD to treat her symptoms. I’ve read that they can be particularly useful for nausea and appetite.
Post # 3
tiffanybruiser : it’s a tricky one. CBD derived from hemp is 100% legal. CBD derived from marijuana leaves is not legal across the US (but IS legal in some states). the problematic part is that CBD from marijuana leaves is much more effective, and CBD from marijuana leaves, when mixed with THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) is MUCH more effective than anything else (because of the entourage effect in marijuana compounds).
so basically, if you can get pet CBD with low-levels of THC, that’s your best bet. you want the THC to be enough to be effective, but low enough not to get kitty high. that’s tough…and really tough if you don’t live in a state that allows it and you dont have a vet who can talk to you about it (which is a whole other set of tricky laws).
if all you can get is hemp-dervied CBD, you might as well try it. honestly, it really can’t hurt. but if you’re looking for something truly effective, it’s a harder thing (and super sadly. vet medicine really needs to get on board with medicial MJ).
i have a kitty with lymphocytic leukemia (vet also wanted to put on chemo, but we said no – shes 14), and i had to put down my 12 yo dog last year due to DM. it’s tough. we’ve looked into kitty cannabis (she’s still not feeling any sympotoms of her cancer so far); and i wish i had the option of getting cannabis for my dog.
Post # 4
catskillsinjune : Thank you – this is super helpful. I didn’t realize there were two types of CBD – I guess the one I was reading about was just the hemp type since everything I read said it’s totally legal. Very frustrating that the medical community is resisting jumping on this. I’ll need to do some more research.
My cat’s main symptoms at this point are a totally clogged nose and spewing boogers. He’s also lost a lot of weight recently even though he’s eating fairly normally, which is another symptom of cancer (the vet says it tends to speed up metabolism). So, while he’s not throwing up or acting too differently behavior-wise, I’m pretty worried about his lifespan given the rapid weight loss. He can’t breath through his nose at all and he sounds terrible – constantly snorting and sneezing – its’s so heartbreaking. It’s also very frustraitng because we’ve been treating him for six months at two different vets, both of which assumed it was a bacterial infection…so we’ve shelled out obscene amounts of money on various antibiotics and procedures that don’t work, only to find out that nope, it’s cancer. 🙁
Post # 5
tiffanybruiser : ugh, god that’s the worst. I can understand your frustration.
Has either vet done blood work for hyperthyroidism? Ours has cancer, but is ALSO hyperthyroid and that very much affected her appetite and caused her to lose a ton of weight very quickly. She’s now been on thyroid meds for about a year and it’s been such a 180 in her eating and overall health. If neither has tested kitty’s thyroid, make sure they do because that might be the primary driver of kitty feeling terrible (rather than the cancer). The nose just seems awful though ):
its not really that there’s two types of CBD…it’s all the same stuff, but the potency of it is different. It’s from the same plant (marijuana), but hemp is just the stems, while what people typically think of as marijuana are the leaves. The concentration of CBD available in the leaves is just higher than the stems. The stems also don’t contain THC (which is why hemp is legal is all states) while the leaves do. And it’s really the interaction of CBD with THC that produces the desired pain relief effects.
I think a lot of the vet community wants to get on board with cannabis, but the current state of the laws don’t allow it. I believe i read that vets can’t actually “recommend” or “prescribe” any medical marijuana, but can just have a “educational discussion” about it – meaning that depending on your vet, they might just shut the convo down for fear of legal backlash. It sucks. They really need to get on the cannabis laws for pets (it’s kinds strange that we are more liberal in death for pets – euthanasia is permissible – than for humans, but less liberal when it comes to palliative care. Go figure).
Anyway – update us with what you decide to try for kitty and how it goes. I hope he feels better ):
Post # 6
tiffanybruiser : from one cat lady to another, I just want to tell you how sorry I am about your kitty!! That is heart-breaking. I would definitely try to get some CBD for the little guy. Are you close to a state that sells the pot-based kind? I live next door to Colorado and as long as you’re willing to take the minor risk, it’s no big deal to go to a dispensary where it’s legal and bring it home. They have it packaged so there’s no smell etc. Also, I’d try feeding him some high-calorie cat food or lots of extra treats to try to fatten him up.
Poor guy, and I’m sorry this is happening 🙁
Post # 7
I’m sorry about your baby. 🙁
I haven’t used CBD for my cats, but I do have a kitty with some chronic nasal issues. I have a few tips with that:
1) It sounds silly, but I keep packs of tissues with lotion on hand in case I have to wipe her nose. I figure it’s less scratchy than regular tissues/toilet paper/etc.
2) Turning your bathroom into a steam room or getting a humidifier can help clear up some of the extra mucus. If you do that, don’t be too surprised if your kitty starts making a bit of a throat clearing noise—that’s just the drainage. It caught me off guard before!
3) I’d check with the vet to make sure it won’t interact with any meds you might have her on, but it’s safe to give cats small doses of Chlor-trimeton (a human OTC anti-allergy medication). I usually start by giving my cat a 1/4 of a pill. If she doesn’t really improve in a few hours (she’s kind of chubby), I’ll give her another 1/4. I only give it to my cat when she has flare-ups, so it may not be okay for regular use, but I really don’t know—I’d check with your vet about that.
4) If you ever get worried about her not getting enough water/electrolytes, I’ve given my cats pedialyte in a pinch. The clear, unflavored stuff is safe for them. This tip falls under cat parent instinct—if you think she’s really dehydrated, she may need subcutaneous fluids, but if she’s just a little parched or not drinking much water, pedialyte will help. When I had to give my cat some (she was recovering from an infection), I just swaddled her like a burrito and used a baby medicine dropper to give her the fluids. If you don’t know how to check a cat for dehydration, just gently pinch a few inches of her skin in your fingers and pull it a bit away from her body. If the skin doesn’t snap back to normal right away but goes back rather slowly, it means she’s dehydrated.
Post # 8
KittyYogi : Thanks bee – we live pretty far from Colorado and THC products are illegal here, so I’ll have to look into other options. For now, I bought a hemp-based CBD product for cats at a local pet store and just gave him a few drops, hopefully that’s better than nothing. We also bought kitten food at the vet’s suggestion since it’s higher in calories and he’s been wolfing that down, so that is encouraging!
bretagne422 : Thaks for the tips bee! We’ve already been doing some of these things…wiping his nose multiple times a day with soft tissues and “steaming” him whenever we take a shower lol. I don’t think he has allergies so probably going to avoid medication for that for now. And he drinks plenty of water and doesn’t seem dehydrated either – but I’ll keep an eye on it and keep the pedialyte in mind. We’ve gotten very good at administering meds through a syringe after all these months of giving him antibiotics that did fuck all for him, sigh. He fought us in the beginning but now he takes his meds like a champ.
I appreciate all the support from fellow cat mamas. Watching your pet suffer is so effing hard. 🙁
Post # 9
catskillsinjune : Thanks for the tip on hyperthyroidism – I’ll ask the vet about it for sure. They did a bunch of blood work on him a few months ago but I’m not sure if they tested for that. All his blood work came back normal but I have no idea what tests they actually ran.
And ugh, your point about how euthanasia is widely accepted for pets but cannabis for palliative care is sooo taboo is spot on and makes me fucking furious.
Post # 10
We give our sweet kitty Goose CBD oil in addition to phenobarbital for severe epilepsy, while it definitely isn’t a cure all it has been a really nice alternative to Valium. My only issue is that we were told that it wouldn’t make him “high,” but it definitely does!
This is our sweet little man! He isn’t quite 2 yet so it was important for us to be able to use CBD since a lot of other seizure medications can be incredibly damaging to the liver.
Post # 11
I have no advice re: CBD. But I did want to tell you how sorry I am for you and your fur baby.
You of course know your kitty and what they have been through already and can decide with your vet the best course of treatment. I will just say that cancer is not necessarily a death sentence for a pet so definitely go into the meeting with the oncologist with an open mind. Our precious baby girl had breast cancer and went through 2 rounds of surgeries and lived another 12 years cancer free after treatment before she finally passed this May due to kidney failure at the age of 21.
We had many people (family, friends, coworkers) express shock that we were pursuing such invasive and very expensive treatment for as they thought just a “cat”. That “cat” meant more to me then all those people combined and I would have done anything to make her happy and healthy.
Post # 12
My neighbor is a vet and we’ve discussed this at length and she’s firmly in the “There isn’t enough data to really say if it works or doesn’t” camp right now. This is definitely best talked over with your vet, they may have different experiences!
Post # 13
sable : Wow! What an amazing story. 21 years…that is epic.
Yeah, we’ll meet with the oncologist and see what they have to say. Steve is about 9 now, and until now has always been in excellent health, so I really thought he’d be with us for many more years. 🙁 My husband is taking it really hard, which is something given he was an avowed cat hater when I met him. But Steve totally “adopted” him. Dh is a pianist and Steve will come and sit next to him on the piano bench for hours while he practices. <3
From what the vet said, surgery probably won’t be an option due to the location of the mass, which is pretty close to his brain. The vet said there are some types of chemo that are relatively low key and inexpensive…just one pill every few weeks for a couple months or something. I could see trying something like that provided the side effects aren’t too terrible, but first we have to find out what type of cancer we’re actually dealing with (it’s probably a lymphoma but still waiting on the results from the pathologist).
Hyperventilate : Did your vet friend say if there are any downsides to CBD oil for cats? I understand there’s not enough research to say whether it definitely helps or not, but to me if there’s no danger it would be worth giving it a try in our case.
cparker2 : LOL! I just gave our cat a couple drops of some hemp CBD we got at a local pet store…he is snoozing contentedly right now, but that’s not too different from usual. we’ll see! I’d like to get my hands on the stronger THC based stuff if I can but that’s going to be tricky in this part of the country. I’m glad the CBD is helping your kitty…he is so cute!
Post # 14
This is what happens to Goose when we give him CBD, along with near constant meows 😂
Sending good vibes to you and your kitty!
Post # 15
CBD wirh thc has been an absolute blessing, but this is what he looks like when he takes it, plus near constant meowing 😂
Sending good vibes to you and your kitty!