How Does Vitamin C Help Dogs with Distemper?
Vitamin C is widely known for its antioxidant and immunity-boosting properties. For us, humans, including it in our daily diet is necessary if we want to stay in tip-top health. Since our bodies can’t naturally produce vitamin C, we need to consume it from an outside source like fruits, vegetables, or tablets.
Dogs, however, are capable of doing so. This initially led nutritionists to believe that it was unnecessary to include vitamin C in a dog’s diet. Times have changed though, and the number of harmful toxins in the environment has significantly increased over the years. So, vitamin C supplementation just might save a dog’s life.
Vitamin C works to boost the immune system and helps the body fight against viruses, bacteria, infections, and even cancerous tumors by triggering the production of antibodies. The vitamin also aids in the body’s healing process and therefore, helps the body recover faster.
According to an article from Plant-Powered Dog, animal researchers have tested the therapeutic benefits of vitamin C on dogs suffering from canine distemper. Normally, only 5-10% of dogs with canine distemper recover once central nervous system disturbances occur. However, 44% of the dogs receiving vitamin C supplementation recovered.
Forms of Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is the most popular form of vitamin C, but because of its acidity (pH level), it’s not easily absorbed in the body and can cause disturbances in the digestive tract.
Sodium ascorbate is a lot less harsh for the body than its acidic counterpart and more easily absorbed.
Calcium ascorbate is one of the most ideal forms of vitamin C since it has a neutral pH and is generally more gentle on the stomach.
Liposomal vitamin C
Liposomal vitamin C is similar to vitamin C capsules, except instead of vitamin C as a regular capsule, it’s inside a sphere of liposomes which are made up of phospholipids.
How Much Vitamin C Should I Give to My Dog?
According to the Whole Dog Journal, the average dog produces 18 milligrams of vitamin C per pound of body weight per day. So, the amount of vitamin C produced by a dog’s body and how much they need daily varies from one dog to another. Underlying diseases and age also play a role in the equation. If you’re interested in going down this route, you can talk to your veterinarian and ask for their professional opinion. They’re best equipped to help you find the right form of vitamin C and calculate the best dosage for your dog.
How Should I Give Vitamin C to My Dog?
Once you’ve consulted with your veterinarian and have your vitamin C of choice, you can now begin incorporating vitamin C into your dog’s daily diet. If you went with vitamin C tablets, you can simply crush them and add them to your dog’s meals.
On the other hand, if you chose to go with a vitamin C syrup, all you need to do is follow your veterinarian’s dosage instructions and use a medicine dropper to orally administer the vitamin C. Be sure to divide the dosage throughout the day to avoid digestive issues. If you’re interested, you can also view our favorite vitamin C supplements for pets here!