Vitamin C and the Dog

By | December 13, 2009

It is common knowledge that dogs product their own Vitamin C like most other animals, but they are comparatively poor producers. Stress can quickly burn up the small amounts that they make.

Table 1: Daily Production of Ascorbic Acid In Animals

Animal Milligramper kg of body weight
Snake 10
Tortoise 7
Mouse 275
Rabbit 226
Goat 190
Rat 150
Dog 40
Cat 50
Ape,man and guinea pig 0

Stress may take the form of separation from the mother and the littermates and the relocation in the new home. Immunizations, tail docking, ear cropping and deworming are further stresses. Teething is also another stress. If a puppy is put through confirmation and obedience training, there is added physical and mental stress. All these stressful conditions, place a great demand on the dog for Vitamin C, that it seems unable to meet. When less than optimal levels of Victamin C is available to the animal, the body as a whole or some of its organs, systems or parts are weakned enough to open the door to virus, bacteria, deformities and diseases.

The Antigerm Factor: If a dog is low on C, he is wide-open to disease. He constantly has his nose and mouth in places where germs abound. Vitamin C when used on high doses is a therapentic virucidal (antivirus) agent. It can be used to treat distemper. When put on a lower dose (maintenance dose) it has great preventive powers. Vic C is a key chemical in the body’s defense system. It has been known that the ability to destroy germs is directly related to the ascorbic acid content in the blood.

C for Collagen: Vitamin C in ample quantities is necessary for the production, formation and the maintenance of Collagen. Collagen is the substance that binds the muscle, the blood vessels, the ligaments, tendons and cartilage, giving them all strength and structure. Weak collagen means weak parts. A result of this insufficiency is hip dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is a loose joint problem. Mega doses of vitamin C given during pregnancy and the pups kept on a maintenance rigimen throughout puppy-hood helps prevent hip dysplasia. Vitamin C helps to prevent spinal myelapathy and ruptured discs.

C Kills Pain: Vitamin C acts as a good analgesic. Often pets sent to the veterinarian is treated with antibiotics and steriod drugs. These drugs eliminate the symtoms and may suppress the immune system. When the drugs wear out, the symptoms may return. The immune system weakens with extended treatment on these drugs. Adequate supplementation with Vitamin C will reverse or prevent the harmful side effects of steriod therapy.

The Great Detoxifier: Vitamin C is one of nature’s most competent general detoxifier. It takes on any foreign substance reaching the blood and can nullify the toxicity. Vitamin C has been found effective against acute and chronic lead poisining in humans. Cadmium is another toxic mineral that pets have to contend with. Animals – and humans as well – commonly get it in their food in small amounts, in drinking water, the air, from car exhaust fumes etc… Cadmium causes an iron deficiency anemia and depressed growth rate. Vitamin C is a cadmium stopper and provides a ‘marked protective effect’. Sodium nitrite is an additive used cosmetically to give dog food products a fresh reddish appearance. They can react with nitrogen to from so called nitroso compounds that can cause animal tumour. Vitamin C can reduce this risk factor for cancer. One of the body’s own toxin is this tamine. It is associated with allergic reactions. A constant itching problem may be due to the effect of histamine from an allergic reaction. Stresses can result in the release of histamine by body cells into the blood stream. Vitamin C has shown in a number of studies to be able to inhibit the release of histamines. Thus Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine.

Toxicity and the Kidney Stone Myth: Medical science has described ascorbic acid as one of the least toxic substance known. Apparently there have been no known case of urinary tract stones caused by Vitamin C. Just the contrary, there is medical evidence that points to a deficiency – not an excess of Vitamin C as the cause of stones and when corrective amount of Vitamin C are administered, the conditions have been shown to improve. In conclusion, in the wilds on his own, the dog does indeed seek out Vitamin C sources in his food. He eats the ingested material of the prey, which is rich in Vitamin C. He eats the liver where the ascorbic acid is produced, and the odrenal glands, a storehouse of Vitamin C and even the muscle tissue, which has some Vitamin C. He eats it raw, while man gives it to him cooked. Cooking destroys Vitamin C. In the wilds, the dog also eats vegetables, fruits and berries, additional sources of Vitamin C. People say that the dog makes enough and doesn’t need more. On his own, in nature, the dog acts like he needs more. From medical books, it is known that the indication of the amount of Vitamin C that is needed for good health is by determining the amount of this substance made by various animal species. It is found that the amount made is approximately proportional to the body weight. The average animal weighing 5 kg makes between 200 and 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C per day. Dogs (from Table 1) synthesise only about 200 milligrams of Vitamin C per day (for a 5kg animal), only about 1/5 as much as animals of most other species synthesize. It is probably for this reason that a large amount of supplementary Vitamin C is important for the preservation of the best of health in dogs.