The secret powers of vitamin C

vitamin c for cats and dogs

Last year, when my dog Roxie was diagnosed with cancer, I immediately came home and spent hours and hours researching things that would help get her better.  A lot of the supplements I read about that were recommended, I’d never heard of. There was one that caught my attention though, because of how it is administered in dire cases and what ailments it can help with in both cats and dogs.  It was vitamin C.  I never realized how many things vitamin C was good for treating in cats and dogs until I researched further.

How I stumbled across vitamin C

As soon as my dog Roxie got her cancer diagnosis and seeing how quickly her health was deteriorating, I knew if there was any chance of saving her, I had to find what would work the best and the quickest.  Unfortunately, what I read about treating cancer successfully with vitamin C, involved it being injected intravenously in very high doses.

Because that wasn’t an option for me, I tried to find the next best thing.  Somewhere I’d read about liposomal vitamin C that was supposed to be better absorbed by the body than conventional vitamin C.  I set about trying to find the best brand of it I could find.

vitamin c for cats and dogs
Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C

During my research, I ran across this Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C here,, where the first review was from someone who had a senior poodle with pneumonia that had basically been brought home to die because it was so sick.  With around the clock dosing, the dog had been brought back to life.  It was the encouragement I really needed at that moment to show me that miracles were possible.

After reading through some more information and the reviews, I decided to order it for overnight delivery and get Roxie started on it right away.  Along with several other supplements I’d ordered for her, I hoped I’d somehow found the magic concoction of things that would save her.

In the past, prior to treating Roxie’s cancer, I’ve taken vitamin C in capsule form along with Echinacea to stave off or treat colds.  I’ve also given it periodically to one of my dogs as an ingredient in Dr. Pitcairn’s “Healthy Powder” recipe.

Also, on at least one occasion, I used it as sort of an antibiotic, like when I gave it to one of my new dogs after he got into a skirmish with another male dog I have.  Their tussle resulted in a puncture wound on the new dog’s chest. He was reunited with his owner before I got to see how he healed up after being given the vitamin C, but his wound wasn’t that bad before he left, so I’m not sure I would have been able to tell if it was actually helping.

Up to that point, healing things like infections in animals or treating a cold I was getting or got, was really only what I associated using vitamin C for.

Using vitamin C  as part of a vaccine counter protocol 

In his book, ‘The Nature of Animal Healing’, Dr. Goldstein, a holistic vet whose book I reference often, recommends a vitamin cocktail, including vitamin C, be given to cats and dogs two to three weeks prior to and after vaccinations.  Dr. Goldstein recommends this to help boost the immune system to counter the barrage of multiple diseases forced on it at once.

I’m not going to go into the details, including the amounts he recommends, as I just wanted to point out the use of vitamin C as part of a vaccine counter protocol.  I have read a lot about how to counter the effects of vaccines, with things like Thuja, but this was the first I’d ever heard of using vitamin C.

Vitamin C for numerous cat and dog ailments

Dr. Goldstein also discusses how vitamin C can help deter hip dysplasia and other joint inflammation by enabling the immune system to properly mobilize calcium, which helps keep bones and joints from deteriorating.  He also shares his protocol for cats diagnosed with leukemia and other cancers, as well as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), based on Dr. Wendell O. Belfield’s work.  Dr. Belfield is a well-respected holistic vet known for treating pets with virtually every form of serious illness using massive doses of vitamin C intravenously.

In addition to helping deter hip dysplasia and joint inflammation, and fighting cancer in cats, vitamin C is also recommended and has been used for, protection against heart disease and respiratory issues.  As the body is subjected to more and more stress, the more it needs help with vitamin C supplementation to restore the balance.

Stress can be emotional or physical, like relocation or getting vaccinated.  Due to the stress, the vitamin C a dog normally produces on its own decreases.  In younger dogs, common stressors include surgery, rapid growth, and vaccinations.  With older dogs, it is more a need for antioxidants.

Dosing information

Several resources I looked at offered differing dosage amounts, based on different factors or guidelines.  Having to take into account the severity of the disease, amount of stress and if that stress amount changes, as well as the size of the animal, you can see how it’s hard to be a one-size-fits-all dosing schedule.

With so many variables, I don’t feel comfortable just giving random dosage amounts out to be followed.  They are available,  but with most things pet related, one size does not always fit all.  This is not an area I am well versed enough in to be that comfortable, either, to offer my own experience.

With Roxie, I was just trying to get enough high doses of vitamin C into her to fight the cancer.  One site did say that a healthy dog produces 18mg of vitamin C per day, per pound of body weight, so you could roughly calculate your dog’s vitamin C maintenance dose requirements using that formula.  I read that many holistic veterinarians take that number and multiply it by 3-4x for a maintenance dose.

Monitoring vitamin C

In my research, I also found that for therapeutic dosing in dogs, it was recommended to start with a conservative dose spread out over several feedings.  Every couple of days, increase the amount by 100 to 500 mg, to the point that diarrhea starts.

I recommend writing the dosage amount and time given, along with your increasing amounts on a calendar, so you can track the dates, times, and amounts easily.  Check off if that day and the dosage amount given produced a solid bowel movement day.

Once your dog gets diarrhea, that means it has taken too much vitamin C and you’ll want to back off to the previous days’ amount, before the diarrhea started.  That should be the amount of vitamin C that particular dog can handle.  Just to be safe, I recommend continuing to monitor their bowel movements in case more reductions need to be made.

From what I’ve read in Dr. Goldstein’s book, as well as online, it appears vitamin C is pretty commonly used by holistic vets.  As always, if you have access to a holistic vet, please try to go that route to get the most accurate diagnosis and treatment information.

Whatever way you arrive at administering vitamin C, just remember that it’s important to keep an eye on the stool consistency.   An already stressed dog doesn’t need unchecked diarrhea to deal with on top of whatever issue you are trying to cure.  As a matter of fact, you should always monitor your pets’ bathroom habits, and definitely when it’s on any form of medication or supplement.

My personal use of vitamin C

My current personal vitamin C regimen now includes taking the Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, at the first sign of feeling like I might be coming down with something.  I decided to first try it after having some left from treating Roxie.  The couple of times since last December that I’ve felt a little “off”, I’ve taken it.  The first time I took it, I also included Echinacea, but the 2nd time, I took it without anything else.

Both times, within a few hours, I felt fine again.  Having been impressed with just those two times taking it, and not having the option of a sick day, I’m going to be a permanent user.  Despite the price, only having to take a dose or two to avoid being sick is worth it.  It also comes in 30 little individual packets, so you can send some with the kids to school, keep some in your purse or your desk at work, in case you start feeling bad while away from home.

The directions say to pour the gel-like orange goo into a small amount of water and drink it.  I find it’s just easier to open the packet, squirt the contents into my mouth, then take a drink of something to wash it down.  Otherwise, you have to drink a small glass of water containing a goo glob that doesn’t disintegrate.

Vitamin C for peace of mind

Having the Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C on hand is also peace of mind knowing that in case of emergency, I have it on hand for one of the animals.  My Solaray Vitamin C caplets are nearly out and I’ve been researching affordable brands to start on my two seniors who are both around ten years old.  I like this powder form,  since Abby, my lab, isn’t a fan of pills, but has no problem eating the powder inside them sprinkled over her food.

If you are interested in purchasing Dr. Goldstein’s book, which overwhelmingly had more information than all of my other pet reference books combined on this subject, here is the link: The Nature of Animal Healing: The Path to Your Pet’s Health, Happiness, and Longevity.  I also did a review of all of the holistic vet books I own recently, all of which at least touched on this vitamin C topic, here, if you are wanting to start or add to your own holistic pet care book collection.


If you have any experience with vitamin C, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.


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7 thoughts on “The secret powers of vitamin C

  1. My dog Rocky was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma back in May 2016 and given 3 months to live.
    He is alive and well

    I gave him powdered vit C and Alpha Lipoic acid.
    He also eats a Ketogenic diet.

    1. Kathryn, that’s amazing! I love hearing stories like yours. Congratulations on going outside the conventional medicine box and saving Rocky. I hope you guys have many more happy, healthy years together!

  2. I, too, am a fan of this product. We first used it when my brother was diagnosed with cancer. It gave him much needed energy and prolonged his life.

    I am a foster/rescue person as well. I presently foster seven cats and two dogs. One of my dogs has been diagnosed with heart disease as well as an enlarged liver and spleen. He almost died about a week ago and has been at the vet hospital since, stabilizing his condition. They offer little hope except to make him comfortable.

    I remembered using this product for my brother and had wondered if it could be given to animals as well. Because Vitamin C helps oxygenate the blood, I thought it, along with B12 would be helpful for my little friend. Thanks to your article, I feel comfortable in giving him this supplement, and because of what you wrote, I also now have a guideline to follow.

    This was very helpful. Prayers and good energy for your continued work with our four legged friends.

    1. Zande,

      Thank you visiting my site and for your foster/rescue work as well! I’m sorry to hear about your dog’s health problems. I’m glad you found this information helpful and I hope it helps your dog.

    1. Darcy,

      Depending on how picky your cat or dog is, there are a few tricks that I shared in my post ‘Tricks for giving medicine to cats and dogs’, Those tips also apply to supplements. The secret is to disguise the taste either in food (stirred in) or hidden in a piece of food. I’ve cut a slit in a piece of pork before for my dog who tends to avoid pills and stuffed the pill inside then hand fed it to her. For my cats, I add a little bone meal to the green mix powder to make sure they eat it all. You might be able to do that for the vitamin C if you are giving it as a powder. It kind of takes some experimentation as some animals are super picky and some are not, so it’s not a one size fits all solution, unfortunately, but I think between my other post and what I’ve shared here, you hopefully have something that will work for you and your pet(s).

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