Melatonin is most well-known as a supplement to help us sleep. How could this help our dogs? And, more importantly, how could it help a dog with cancer? Sleep is a precious commodity for dogs with cancer. However, even if your dog’s cancer has progressed to the point where he is no longer able to sleep, he may still be experiencing some of the same problems as his healthy counterparts.
Sleep is Crucial to Health
Sleep is crucial to our health and well-being. It restores energy and improves our moods. It also plays an important role in healing and repairing damaged cells in our bodies.
When a dog suffers from cancer, sleep can become a serious issue — both in terms of quality and quantity. Some dogs experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to pain or discomfort.
Others are unable to get restful sleep because of the stress associated with their illness. And many find it difficult to sleep when they’re at home because they miss their routine at the veterinary hospital or clinic.
This is where melatonin for dogs with cancer can be beneficial.
Overall Benefits of Melatonin for Dogs
Melatonin is a useful supplement to give your dog in many cases. Melatonin’s sedative properties make it beneficial for calming and soothing stressed pets. Melatonin helps your pet’s mood and anxiety concerns, such as hyperactivity, restlessness, separation anxiety, and phobias like as loud sounds, to improve.
Melatonin can help your dog de-stress, relax, and sleep comfortably before stressful occasions such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or leaving the house. It can also assist senior dogs with insomnia to get back into a more regular sleeping pattern.
Melatonin has been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of mild Cushing’s disease, a hormonal imbalance that affects dogs. Finally, because melatonin increases hair development, it’s an effective supplement for dogs suffering from alopecia.
Melatonin also helps dogs with cancer cope with the negative effects of chemotherapy and promotes weight gain, which can be beneficial given the regular occurrence of weight loss in cancer patients.
Night Shifts Increase Risk of Cancer
Many studies conducted on humans can actually be utilized for our dogs as well. Although our bodies aren’t exactly similar, there are many similarities among the two.
Research has found female nurses who stay up to work during the night have an increased risk of breast cancer. And, guess what the cause is thought to be from? Lack of sleep during the night hours.
When our dogs are resting, a hormone known as melatonin is released by the pineal gland in the brain. The deeper the sleep, the more melatonin is produced. In most cases, the melatonin our body produces (and our dogs if they are on the same schedule) peaks at about 1:30 AM.
Here’s the amazing news we have discovered from the research we have completed: melatonin is a major cancer fighter.
Melatonin Dosage for Dogs
Melatonin is safe for dogs when used correctly. It’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before administering any supplement or prescription to your pet. When talking to your vet about giving your dog melatonin, make sure to ask about the proper dosage. The following is a typical rule of thumb for melatonin dosage (up to 3x day) in dogs:
- Dogs less than 10 lbs should be given 1 mg
- Dogs weighing 10-25 lbs should be given 1.5 mg
- Dogs weighing 26-100 lbs should be given 3 mg
- Dogs weighing over 100 lbs should be given 3-6 mg
If you do offer your dog melatonin, make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol by reading the label first. This is a common artificial sweetener that is extremely dangerous to dogs. Also, as with any new prescription or supplement you give your dog, keep an eye on them after the first dose to see if they have an allergic response.
Melatonin begins to function within 15 minutes after ingestion and lasts for roughly 8 hours.
Understanding Melatonin for Dogs with Cancer
Melatonin is a great natural supplement for dogs with cancer, but it can only help if you give it at the right time. You should consult your holistic veterinarian before beginning any new treatment program for your dog with cancer, so that they can determine if melatonin would be beneficial for them and also make sure there are no side effects from using this supplement.
Cancer metastasis: Mechanisms of inhibition by melatonin
Melatonin and breast cancer: Evidences from preclinical and human studies
Melatonin and cancer: From the promotion of genomic stability to use in cancer treatment
Melatonin for the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Melatonin, mitochondria, and the cancer cell
Molecular and cellular mechanisms of melatonin in osteosarcoma
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