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Vitamins


Dog Tip: Vitamins, Supplements and Ways to Use Them to Support Companion Animal Health

For this issue of Dog Tips, animal welfare volunteer Nancy Klein shares her longtime interest in holistic health. She has compiled the following guide with information adapted from the highly recommended book, Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats by Diane Stein.

Vitamins/Supplements and Their Uses

Vitamin C

  • A deficiency in vitamin C is a deficiency in the healing, glandular, circulatory, immune, and regenerative abilities of the body. Vitamin C is a major factor in the formation and maintenance of bones and tissues, prevents cancer, and may prevent arteriosclerosis.
  • The classic vitamin C deficiency is scurvy, with gum disease, loss of teeth, weakened bones, bleeding, bad breath, and general debilitation. Signs of clinical scurvy have been apparent under stress.
  • In dogs, [vitamin C] can totally resolve the problems of dysplastic hips in younger dogs and arthritis in older ones, as well as help or cure spinal myelopathy, ruptured discs, allergies, viral infections (including distemper), and skin problems. After the "cures," the pet needs to stay on C, but in lesser amounts.
  • The vitamin is an antioxidant, a pollution fighter that cleans toxins from the blood and tissues.
  • It helps protect against the side-effects of some veterinary drugs (including steroids/cortisone), and it is a major pain reliever.
  • It keeps the teeth strong in aging pets and retards the aging process.
  • Supplementing with vitamin C is a major disease preventive; therefore it's emphasized in the daily feeding plans.
  • Supplementing with vitamin C can mean the difference between life and death in the case of a sick cat or dog.
  • Contrary to myth and rumor, vitamin C will not cause kidney stones, it dissolves them.

The B Complex

  • This range of vitamins is necessary for a healthy nervous system.
  • Cats need almost twice as much of these vitamins as dogs do for proper absorption of nutrients throughout the body.
  • These vitamins require each other to work and so are taken in the B-complex unit, with occasional additions of the other single B vitamins.
  • Mouth, eyes, skin, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive organs are B deficiency disease sites, as well as behavior, intelligence, and brain and nerve functions.
  • Stress depletes the B vitamins, as it does vitamin C, and so does extremely cold weather.
  • The individual B vitamins known to be of primary use for pets are listed in the following sections.

Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)

  • A major issue for cats, as supermarket cat foods may not provide enough of it.
  • Results of this deficiency are brain damage, seizures, and loss of movement control, potentially leading to death.
  • Treatment with the vitamin by injection effects full recovery within 24 hours.
  • Many cat breeders supplement with B vitamins, and B-1 also helps hyperactivity, internal muscle weakness, flea resistance, appetite, learning ability, and intelligence.
  • Cats that eat fish and cats or dogs on supermarket pet foods are more likely to be thiamine deficient.
  • In dogs, B-1 deficiency signs are lack of appetite, vomiting, unsteadiness, and spasticity of the hind legs.
  • Dogs also respond to B-1 as a flea repellant.
  • A tablespoon of brewer's yeast contains 1.25 mg of B-1, but some pets are allergic to yeast and it should not be used on cats during urologic (FUS) attacks; a B-complex-50 from the health food store contains 50 mg and may be bought yeast free cheaply.

Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)

  • A B-2 deficiency may lead to cataracts in both dogs and cats.
  • Bloodshot eyes and conjunctivitis are often deficiency symptoms.
  • This vitamin is necessary for red blood cell formation, antibody production, food metabolism, and growth.
  • Riboflavin prevents birth defects and dandruff.

Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)

  • B-3 deficiency may cause black tongue in dogs which is the equivalent to human pellagra.
  • Niacin is an immense help in controlling seizures and reducing behavioral problems.
  • It reduces cholesterol levels, improves blood circulation, and aids in central nervous system functioning.
  • In cats, niacin deficiency signs are mouth ulcers; thick, foul smelling saliva that drools; weight loss and lack of appetite; and weakness and apathy, finally leading to death from respiratory disease.
  • Raw meat and brewers yeast are good niacin sources; cooking destroys many B-complex vitamins.
  • Because of the hot flush effect, niacin is usually given only as part of the full B-complex or as niacinamide.
  • Cats need more of it than dogs.

Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)

  • B-5 adds to animals' (and humans') longevity.
  • It is important for good immune system and adrenal function, and vitamin and food utilization.
  • It is essential in fighting allergies, inflammations, asthma, and infections.
  • Vitamin C and B-5 together are highly important for skin diseases and allergies in both cats and dogs.
  • The presence of allergies or infections is considered a B-5 deficiency symptom.
  • It also helps animals to combat stress, reduce depression, and ease anxiety.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)

  • B-6 deficiency symptoms include failure to grow and thrive, epilepsy, anemia, water retention, and kidney stones or kidney damage in dogs and cats.
  • Its deficiency is also implicated in artery disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma, and allergies in pets and people.
  • B-6 is essential for the metabolism of protein (and more protein is often needed by cats than by dogs).
  • It is required in the utilization of some minerals for a healthy nervous system, red blood cell production, good brain function, and a strong immune system.

Vitamin B-9 (Folic Acid)

  • B-9 deficiency results in reproductive problems, birth defects when the mother is deficient, weight loss and anemia, erratic appetite, low energy, seizures, eye discharge, depression and anxiety, as well as decreased immune function in both cats and dogs.
  • Red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and protein metabolism depend on this vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin)

  • B-12 deficiency in humans results in anemia that, if left untreated, leads to death; dogs can also suffer from B-12 deficiency anemia, but how much they (or cats) actually require is unknown.
  • Supplementing pregnant females with vitamin B-12 results in stronger, larger, and healthier young, with better disease resistance.
  • This vitamin prevents nerve damage, aids fertility, and promotes normal growth and development.
  • It is necessary for normal digestion and proper food absorption; raw liver is the best animal food source.

Biotin

  • Biotin deficiency results in hair loss and in hair and skin disorders in cats and dogs, but the exact requirements for it are unknown in both.
  • This B vitamin is essential for thyroid and adrenal health, strong nervous systems and nerve tissue, healthy reproduction, normal sweat glands and bone marrow, and healthy skin.
  • It is necessary for utilization of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates in the body.
  • Biotin is a cure for dogs that eat their feces; they may be looking for this vitamin, which is produced to some extent in the intestines. Raw egg whites contain an enzyme that depletes biotin. For this reason, eggs fed to pets should be cooked to deactivate this enzyme.

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets, a bone deformity disease that dogs may be more prone to than cats.
  • This vitamin prevents osteoporosis and hypocalcemia, and is essential for normal teeth, bones, and growth; and in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Vitamin D in nature is formed on the animal or human skin by sunlight-indoor cats have no way to synthesize it for themselves and the vitamin is not included in most pet foods.
  • Cod liver oil is a prime source.
  • Little is known about animal requirements, but tropical zoo animals deprived of sunlight in northern winters need supplements to prevent crooked bones.

Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is one of the wonder vitamins, and both dogs and cats need supplements.
  • It is essential for healing diseases of the circulatory system (and preventing them), including heart tachycardia and arteriosclerosis.
  • It promotes fertility, slows aging, prevents cataracts, boosts the immune system, protects the body against pollutants and cancer, and heals the skin.
  • Vitamin E prevents steatitis in cats and boosts muscle power and endurance in working dogs.
  • It helps in dissolving tumors, especially in breasts, and in relieving posterior paralysis and disc problems in dogs.
  • The vitamin oxygenates the blood and improves the function of all internal organs; its antioxidant abilities protect the lungs.
  • In humans, vitamin E deficiency disorders include heart disease, muscular dystrophy, brain and neurological problems, and reproductive failures.
  • Doses range from 100 IU per day for cats to 400 IU or more for larger dogs (in healing disease).
  • Diane Stein used up to 800 IU per day on a 45-pound puppy for a period of 3 months with good results and no side effects; higher doses resulted in vomiting.
  • Wendell Belfield used amounts of 1200 IU per day to cure cats of steatitis, a vitamin E deficiency disease.
  • This is one of the vitamins to supplement daily as part of a routine diet; it is a must for cats that eat fish and for dogs with skin ailments.

Calcium and Phosphorus

  • Calcium and phosphorus must be in balance in the animal and human body, along with magnesium.
  • Few animals are phosphorus deficient, but calcium is another story.
  • Calcium deficiencies can cause eclampsia in breeding and nursing female dogs and cats.
  • This mineral is essential for bone, tooth, and muscle growth; blood clotting; normal heart rate; and transmission of nerve impulses.
  • It helps the body to eliminate lead and other heavy metal poisoning.
  • Calcium deficiencies (sometimes brought on by high meat diets, as meat contains an unbalanced amount of phosphorus) can result in nervousness, lameness, muscle spasms, heart palpitations, eczema, decrease in bone density, osteoporosis, gum erosion, increased cholesterol levels, seizures, hemorrhages, high blood pressure, arthritis, breeding difficulties, and bone fractures.
  • Cats that are calcium deficient hide in dark corners and fight being handled.
  • For cats, supplement calcium in the amount of 500 mg to every 100 grams of meat fed; many breederssupplement calcium during pregnancy and nursing.
  • For dogs, supplement high amounts of calcium only in the first year of life, or during pregnancy and nursing, as too much can cause kidney stones (use vitamin C along with calcium to prevent this totally).
  • Many people believe that calcium deficiency causes hip dysplasia in dogs, but the lack of vitamin C is really the cause.
  • Vitamin D is required to activate calcium.

Iron

  • Iron can be deficient in both dogs and cats, causing anemia, fatigue, diarrhea, pale gums, and hair loss particularly in animals fed on low meat diets.
  • Dogs with low iron levels are especially susceptible to hookworm infestations.
  • Iron is important in cats, as it combats the lead poisoning that too easily comes with commercial cat foods.
  • Iron is needed in the creation of hemoglobin (red blood cells) , enzyme function, immunity, and energy, and may be important in protecting against feline leukemia
  • Cats need about 5 mg a day, which can be found in a good pet multivitamin and mineral tablet.

Magnesium

  • Magnesium helps to detoxify the body of lead and other heavy metals, and is important for the nervous system, enzyme function, heart rate, bones, and muscles.
  • Deficiency symptoms include heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, seizures, bone pain, nervousness, irritability, twitching, depression, muscle spasms, and retarded weight gain.
  • For dogs with arthritis, a calcium/magnesium tablet is a great pain reliever; dogs should seldom be fed aspirin, cats never, since it can be fatal.
  • Calcium/magnesium tablets are calmative as well, and for arthritis work best with vitamin C.
  • Dogs that chew plaster are probably looking for minerals missing from their diet, primarily magnesium and calcium.

Manganese

  • Manganese is necessary for enzyme utilization, lactation, normal reproduction, bone, cartilage and collagen growth, fat and protein assimilation, blood sugar regulation, healthy nerves and immune systems, and normal functioning of the pituitary gland (that regulates all of the other glands).
  • It is needed for utilization of thiamine and vitamin E.
  • Animal requirements have not been determined, but humans need 2 mg a day of this trace mineral.

Potassium and Sodium

  • Potassium and sodium must be kept in balance in the body, and the current over use of salt in the American diet and American pet food diet has become a hazard to human and pet health.
  • It is very rare that, other than in cases of heat exhaustion, sodium needs to be supplemented in pets.
  • Heat exhaustion with loss of equilibrium, decreased water intake, dry skin, hair loss, retarded growth, and an inability to maintain body water balance are signs of sodium deficiency.
  • Potassium deficiency symptoms include restlessness, heart arrhythmia, poor growth, muscle paralysis, tendency to dehydration, and heart or kidney lesions.
  • Potassium helps prevent strokes.
  • Some diuretic and heart medications deplete potassium in the body.
  • An excellent and easy source of potassium replacement is apple cider vinegar; place 1 tsp to each pint of water in the cat's or dog's water bowl daily. Never use aluminum or galvanized bowls.

Selenium

  • Selenium deficiency diseases include heart disease, cancer, tumors, immune deficiencies, lameness, muscular weakness, skin problems, low fertility, and retarded growth rates.
  • This trace mineral is required in very minute amounts as an antioxidant that helps to slow aging and regulate the pancreas (blood sugar).
  • It works very well with vitamin E.
  • Although recognized as essential in small amounts in dogs, it has not been investigated in cats.


Use of Vitamins to Deal with Certain Medical Conditions from Natural Healing for Dogs and Cats, Diane Stein

Allergies

  • Begin with a change of diet and the daily vitamin-mineral program.
  • Recommended vitamins are: vitamin C to bowel tolerance, B-complex and pantothenic acid (B-5), and vitamin E.
  • Pet digestive enzymes (dog or cat) are also recommended and helpful.
  • To reference amounts by body size, for a cat use twice a day (two meals): 500 mg vitamin C, _ low potency B-complex tablet (yeast free), 1/4 tsp feline enzymes or _ digestive enzyme pill; once a week, add: 400 IU vitamin E and a capsule containing 10,000 IU vitamin A and 400 IU vitamin D.

Arthritis and Hip Dysplasia

  • For arthritis, vitamin C 500-3000 mg per day, 10-20 mg B-complex (when using Dr. Pitcairn's Dog or Cat Powder, substitute B-complex for the yeast), and vitamins A and D.
  • For cats, Anitra Frazier suggests adding digestive enzymes (1/4 tsp feline enzymes per meal), 1-1/4 tsp Vita-Mineral Mix per meal (recipe is in her book The New Natural Cat), and 250 mg of vitamin C per meal; once a day, add 2 mg zinc, 100 IU vitamin E, and 5,000 units vitamin A (for one month, then go to recommended A, D, and E amounts).
  • In dogs, Wendell Belfield suggests vitamin C to bowel tolerance for arthritis and dysplasia; avoid steroids and aspirin. This alone can result in full cures for hip dysplasia in younger dogs and major relief for older ones. Belfield equates hip dysplasia with sub-clinical scurvy, a vitamin C deficiency disease.
  • Put 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in each pint of the dog's drinking water.

Cancers and Tumors

  • Use vitamin C to bowel tolerance, B-complex, selenium, and zinc; deficiencies in these have been known to stimulate cancer and tumor growth in laboratory animals.
  • Also use vitamins A and E; use amounts tailored to body weights.
  • Dr. Pitcairn suggests 2,000-6,000 mg (2-6 grams) of vitamin C daily, four times the usual level of vitamin E (400 IU daily), and double the amount of cod liver oil/vitamin A.
  • The natural diet is a must here.
  • Pat Lazarus lists the following supplements for both cats and dogs, using amounts that are high for the animal's body weight. She suggests vitamin A, B-complex, large amounts of vitamin C, large amounts of vitamin E, and pancreatic enzymes or bromelain. Suggested amounts:
    • Vitamin C: to bowel tolerance
    • Vitamin A: 5,000 IU per day
    • B-complex: 20 mg
    • Vitamin E; 400 IU
    • Pancreatic enzymes: by body weight (check label)
    • 50 mcg selenium and 5-10 mg zinc for medium sized dog (45 lbs)

Cataracts

  • Pat Lazarus states the B-15 eye drops used twice daily "will dissolve most early cataracts," and about 30% of advanced ones.
  • Lazarus recommends vitamin E and selenium in addition, and stresses the need for a preservative-free diet.
  • Wendell Belfield recommends high amounts of vitamin C, plus E (300 IU for a large dog), selenium (50 mcg), and vitamin A (20,000 IU a day).
  • Optimal treatment is begun intramuscularly (by injection) and continued at home by mouth.
  • Anitra Frazier uses 250 mg of vitamin C per meal for cats, with 100 IU vitamin E a day for 2 weeks (at that time, reduce to 400 IU of E per week); she also stresses a high quality diet with the daily supplements.

Constipation and Diarrhea

  • For chronic constipation, again change the diet to a preservative-free high quality one, and add 1 tsp of bran per pound of food.
  • For cats, use 750 mg vitamin C per day and 100 IU vitamin E (increase these amounts for larger pets).
  • Richard Pitcairn suggests that chronic constipation in dogs or cats can be a result of heavy metal (aluminum) toxicity-avoid using aluminum cooking pots and bowls, processed cheeses, table salt, white flout, or tap water, which may all be high in this metal. Detoxify with high levels of vitamin C, 500-3,000 mg per day, plus zinc (5 mg for a cat or small dog, 10 mg for a medium-sized dog, and 20 mg for a large dog).
  • Also note that vitamin C in doses approaching bowel tolerance becomes a laxative.
  • Avoid using mineral oil as a lubricant or laxative as it drains the body of vitamins; use olive oil instead.
  • For diarrhea, when chronic, suspect food allergies and switch to a preservative-free diet with supplements.

Diabetes

  • Feed a low-fat, sugar-free, preservative-free diet with supplements, divided into several small meals a day.
  • Reduce the Dog Oil Mix to _ cup each of vegetable and cod liver oil, and feed only _ tsp of the Mix daily.
  • Increase the amount of vitamin E.
  • Add a trace of mineral combination that contains chromium, manganese, and zinc; vitamin C 500-3,000 mg divided into two daily doses; and 1/2-1 tsp of liquid lecithin per day.
  • Pat Lazarus suggests vitamin E (up to 300 IU per day), digestive enzymes or bromelain, and a natural foods diet.
For pancreatitis, use the diabetic diet with vitamin C and digestive enzymes; add a small amount of sesame oil to the food.

Anitra Frazier's recipe for cat diabetes is to add to each meal 1 tsp Vita-Mineral Mix, 1 tsp chopped alfalfa sprouts, 250 mg vitamin C powder, 1/16 tsp potassium chloride (sodium substitute), and 1 drop stevia extract. Daily, give 100 IU vitamin E; after 2 weeks, reduce to 400 IU weekly. Weekly, give 10,000 IU vitamin A and 400 IU vitamin D.

If your pet is on insulin, make very sure to monitor blood sugar levels, as these can change with the supplements.

When using supplements for diabetes, it is extremely important to be consistent.

The minerals chromium and manganese, and raw pancreas glandulars, have been proven important for people with hypoglycemia or diabetes; they lower blood sugar levels. Try them with pets, in amounts based on body weight.

Feline Leukemia

  • The big news is that this major killer of cats can be cured totally, asymptomatic animals with positive testing reverting to negative status in about 10-12 weeks; sick animals take longer.
  • The recipe: vitamin C to bowel tolerance, 3,000-5,000 mg per day divided into two meal time doses. Start small and increase the amounts gradually.
  • Use the improved diet and a pet multiple vitamin and mineral supplement; once testing negative, the cat still needs to remain on the supplements. Do not allow medication with steroids or cortisone.
  • Anitra Frazier adds other vitamins to 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day: with each meal, use 1 tsp. Vita-Mineral Mix, 1 tablet bioplasma (homeopathic), 1 capsule of liquid calcium (400 mg), _ tsp feline enzymes, 10 mg Co-enzyme Q10, 1/8 tsp olive oil, 10,000 IU vitamin A or 1/2 tsp cod liver oil, 2-3 mg zinc, and 1 tsp chopped alfalfa sprouts. She uses 400 IU vitamin E once a week.
  • The experts suspect lead poisoning may be a primary factor in the cause of this disease. Vitamin C helps to detoxify the body, and the changed diet removes lead from daily ingestion.
  • Use the recipes above for feline AIDS as well.
  • Gloria Dodd, DVM, comments on feline leukemia: "On August 5, 1992, a lady by the name of Minke Prince called me from Arizona. They've been curing a large number of their feline leukemia cats in the no kill shelter where she works with a blue green algae called ‘Cell Tech.' Minke said she had cancer herself and cured it by removing the silver amalgam fillings…and the use of Cell Tech." Cell Tech and other blue green algaes are available in health food stores.

Heart Disease and Hypertension

  • These were both unheard of in pets 40 years ago, and unheard of in people before the manufacture of white flour and white sugar. Change of diet is essential.
  • Vitamin E is primary in all forms of heart disease and hypertension: use 100 IU daily for cats and small dogs, 200 IU for medium and large dogs, and 400 IU for giant breeds. Double the dose for aging pets.
  • Use a pet multiple vitamin and mineral tablet and vitamin C as well.
  • Pat Lazarus suggests vitamins A, C, and E in high doses, adding the vitamin E only after the weak heart has been stabilized. She recommends weight reduction, no-salt diets, a natural diet, and moderate exercise.
  • When using A or E in high amounts, try the water soluble (dry) forms that cannot be overdosed, and use vitamin C in the ascorbic acid (salt free) form.
  • For high blood pressure (hypertension), Lazarus recommends the minerals magnesium and potassium. For potassium, put 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in each pint of drinking water.
  • Dr. Richard Pitcairn prescribes the following: a complete B-complex (20-50 mg), dolomite powder instead of bone meal in the Dog and Cat Powders, trace minerals containing selenium and chromium, and zinc 5-20 mg daily.

Injuries, Cuts, and Burns

  • After standard first aid/veterinary care, the improved diet with multiple vitamin and mineral supplements is important.
  • Vitamins to aid the healing of cuts, internal and external injuries, wounds, and burns are: vitamins C, E, and A, and zinc. All speed healing. Vitamin C reduces bruising and bleeding, prevents infection, and reduces inflammation. Vitamin E induces healing of skin and internal tissues and prevents scarring-it is particularly important both internally and externally for burns.
  • Zinc is necessary for wound and burn healing, and boosts the immune system to speed healing and prevent infections.
  • Where there has been shock or trauma, the B-complex is also important.
  • Use these vitamins after surgery for rapid recovery. Increase the daily dietary amounts when higher levels are needed for healing.

Skin and Coat Ailments

  • When a dog or cat has chronic skin problems, hair that is falling out, bald patches, rashes, dandruff, or poor coat, the causes are virtually always dietary.
  • Change to a preservative-free diet and supplement with the daily pet multiple vitamin and mineral tablet, and vitamins C and E. This usually does the job.
  • Many skin problems are specific deficiencies, including vitamins A, E, C, or zinc.
  • Animals on vegetable oil or cod liver oil tend to need more vitamin E in their diet.
  • Chronic skin ailments, demodectic mange, or seborrhea usually respond to vitamin C; rashes, eczema, and hair loss are often vitamin E deficiencies; abscesses and sores respond to zinc; and bacterial skin eruptions, scratching, or sebaceous cysts require vitamin A.
  • Use 200 IU daily of vitamin E, 10,000-20,000 IU vitamin A, 5-20 mg of zinc, and 500-3,000 mg vitamin C per day.
  • Pat Lazarus suggests the following vitamin amounts for a 50-lb dog with skin problems (these are added to the daily vitamin-mineral supplement):
  • Vitamin C: 1,000-2,000 mg
  • Vitamin E: 400 IU per day
  • B-complex 50 with B-12
  • 2 T cold pressed vegetable oil (sunflower or sesame) per meal
  • 2 tsp. kelp powder
  • Zinc: 30 mg
  • Selenium: 50 mcg
  • 1 T bone meal (per day)
  • 2 wheat germ oil capsules per meal
  • Pat Lazarus advises a change of diet to natural, preservative-free foods, beginning with a veterinary-supervised fast on distilled water for a few days. Do not fast a diabetic pet unless advised by a veterinarian. Anitra Frazier suggests that the fat be on a high calcium chicken broth.

Spinal Problems

  • Too many dogs in particular have been euthanized for spinal myelopathy, spinal degeneration, posterior paralysis, or disc troubles. Modern chiropractic and veterinary acupuncture can help tremendously here.
  • Vitamin supplements also can work wonders, particularly vitamin C to bowel tolerance (as much as 6,000 mg per day) with a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. Response time varies with the individual and the severity of the problem.
  • Intravenous injections of vitamin C work faster than oral dosage.
  • Pat Lazarus adds vitamin E (400 IU), trace minerals, and manganese to vitamin C.

Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney and Bladder Disease

  • Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) is a leading cause of disease and often death in cats. It can almost always be prevented by feeding a preservative-free natural diet and vitamin-mineral supplement, along with vitamin C.
  • Anitra Frazier suggests at the first sign of urinary infection to withhold solid food and give 500 mg of vitamin C in 1 tsp of chicken broth, plus 100 IU vitamin E. During an attack, along with veterinary care, use a B-complex 10-mg twice a day, 100 IU vitamin E daily for a month (then decrease to 400 IU once a week), and 1/4 tsp cod liver oil or 10,000 IU vitamin A with 400 IU vitamin D. After attacks, continue vitamin C (500 mg per day divided into two meals), and vitamins E, A, and D weekly. Her information on diet, supplements, care, and medication is highly recommended (Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckrote, The New Natural Cat: A Complete Guide for Finicky Owners, [New York: Plume Books, 1990]).
  • Richard Pitcairn offers the same protocol for cats and adds the following recommendations for bladder infections and kidney stones in dogs:
  • Vitamin A as cod liver oil or 5,000 IU vitamin A capsules daily for cats and small dogs, 5,000-10,000 IU for medium dogs, and 10,000-20,000 IU for large dogs
  • Use vitamin C twice daily: 500 mg per day for cats and small dogs, 1,000 mg daily for medium dogs, and 500 mg three times a day for large dogs
  • Use a 10-mg B-complex for cats and small dogs, and 20 mg for larger ones
  • Where there are kidney stones in dogs, add 50-300 mg of magnesium, depending on the pet's size
  • Wendell Belfield uses vitamin C to bowel tolerance to dissolve kidney stones in cats and dogs, 500-800 mg per day.
  • For intestinal nephritis and kidney degeneration, use high amounts of vitamins C, A, and E.
  • For cats with FUS, he uses a catheter douche of 25% vitamin C solution (sodium ascorbate), followed by a change in diet with a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement and 1,000-1,250 mg of vitamin C per day divided into two meals.
  • Serious cases of FUS take as long as 6 months to heal completely and stop returning. The supplements can prevent recurrences, veterinary drugs, catheterizations, surgeries, and even death.

Viral Diseases

  • These are the infectious diseases that require yearly vaccinations, but sometimes the vaccinations don't work. An animal that is on a natural diet and supplements has a better chance of resisting these diseases, and surviving them if it gets sick.
  • Wendell Belfield treats these diseases by using mega-doses of vitamin C administered intravenously, in amount of half a gram (500 mg) of the vitamin per pound of animal body weight twice a day. Vitamin E and selenium are added, as well as zinc, the B-complex, pantothenic acid (B-5), and B-6 (pyridoxine). The treatment must be done twice daily without missing a single treatment for a period of about 5 days in cases of canine and feline distemper, influenza, kennel cough and parvovirus in dogs and upper respiratory diseases in cats. He has achieved remission of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), usually considered fatal, if treatment is started early enough.
  • Raw thymus extract along with the vitamin C may help to boost the immune system. Fluids are also given intravenously to prevent dehydration.
  • If IV injection of vitamins is out of reach, along with veterinary treatment, try the following:
  • Give no solid food while fever and vomiting are present.
  • In cats, use a liquid fast and high amounts of powdered vitamin C dissolved in water. Use 100 mg per hour of vitamin C in this way for kittens, and 250 mg per hour for adult cats. For larger dogs, increase the amount.
  • Vitamin E (50-100 IU three times a day) and cod liver oil (vitamin A) (1/4 to 1 tsp three times a day) can be added.
  • When using high doses of vitamins, decrease them gradually after the animal no longer needs them.
  • For recovery from viral diseases, continue with smaller amounts of vitamins C and A, calcium/magnesium, selenium, vitamin E, and B-complex. These can also alleviate central nervous system damage residues.
  • Acupuncture is recommended in case of nervous system damage from distemper.

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Last Updated: June 23, 2013 (LET) PawSupport