Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Vitamin C - When and Why" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Vitamin C - When and Why

Since dogs naturally manufacture Vitamin C, a reasonable question is, "Why supplement it?" The major reason to do so is that dogs do not manufacture enough to meet their requirements in many circumstances. There are adequate studies to support the use of Vitamin C (along with Vitamin E!) in the battle to control "free radicals." While the body may do a good job in its battle against free radicals when all is normal, any form of bodily stress or physiological disturbance can dramatically increase the free radical burden. Those stresses may be something as simple as dietary substances found in kibble; (specifically high-fat kibble and poor quality kibble,) infections; injuries or surgery; arthritic conditions including canine hip dysplasia; over-exercised dogs, (long hikes for unfit animals;) and even vaccinations.

Vitamin C -- to the rescue!

The studies that have produced the most profound results have been done with the product known as Ester-C. That is a trademarked form Vitamin C with ascorbic acid combined with calcium to neutralize it so that there is no upset to the gastro-intestinal track. There are other forms of Vitamin C known as calcium ascorbate, which function just as well at considerably less cost. While plain old ascorbic acid is useful, it can and does upset the stomach and leaves the system much more rapidly than calcium ascorbate.

One study (in Utah) showed that 78 percent of the dogs suffering from chronic arthritic conditions receiving Ester C showed improved mobility within four to five days. Those results parallel studies done in Norway and presented in the Norwegian Veterinary Journal, Volume 102, August-September, 1990.

The amount to be given to the dog varies with individual tolerance and the sure-fire way to determine when the dose is too great is a soft stool! That is referred to as "stool tolerance level." Carol Schwartz, DVM, offers this guide: give Vitamin C to dogs with a variety of illnesses, including upper respiratory conditions, "small dogs, 125-500 mg. twice daily; medium dogs 250-1,500 mg. twice daily; large dogs, 500-1,500 mg. twice daily; skin allergies, small dogs 125 mg. twice daily, medium and large dogs, up to 750 mg. twice daily." It is a good idea to begin with smaller amounts and build up to the levels suggested.

From my own personal experience, I gave my Giant Schnauzer up to 7000 mg. daily, divided in two doses, when his hip dysplasia gave him the most discomfort. His maintenance level was about 4000 mg. daily. He received lots of other help for his progressive disease but there is no doubt in my mind that the calcium ascorbate acid that he received contributed to his well-being.

Help your dogs live healthier lives -- feed the best diet possible and start giving them calcium ascorbate acid!
[Please see Charlotte's Recommended Reading.]

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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