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Discussion Starter #1
Our breeder supplied us with an interesting article about the need for Vitamin C.

Apparently, dogs and other animals produce it.. However, dogs don't produce enough... Even rodents produce more vitamin C.
This vitamin plays an important role in more than 300 functions even reduces stress, regulates muscle function, has a role in deterring hip dysplasia (collagen production).

The article mentioned that gun dogs may eat grass and berries ( if they find them) before going out in the field - some of these may contain Vitamin C.

As far as dosage, the article was vague in setting a guide line (mentioned 500 mg, 1000 mg, even 2000 mg studies conducted)

I will ask the Vet too, has anyone come across more info on Vitamin C?
 

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Hi,

You might want to share the link below with your breeder and vet the research study authored by William Cusick, "Animal Advocate" who has 18 years of Pharmacological testing which identified each dog breed's specific nutritional requirements. Very interesting opposing view point for Vit C. Makes you stop and pause about giving this supplement.
JCM

http://www.wdcusick.com/013.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Would like to see more journal research on the topic. Specifically, scientific research or articles that are not associated with Dr. Belfield. I'm a little skeptical, especially after the human craze over vitamin C that basically was a lot more hype than good science. I tend to be skeptical though which is often a fault of mine :)
 

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kellygh said:
Would like to see more journal research on the topic. Specifically, scientific research or articles that are not associated with Dr. Belfield. I'm a little skeptical, especially after the human craze over vitamin C that basically was a lot more hype than good science. I tend to be skeptical though which is often a fault of mine :)
The world would be a much better place if more people were a little more skeptical.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Indeed, I am also questioning the validity of these Vitamin supplements.

Would like to know if there are any other dog owners who do or don't supplement their dog's diet.

Hence, the need for posting.

On a side note, we met our V's grandmother (15 year old dog) when we picked up our pup.
She was the first to greet us and she left an quite an impression on us.

Julius
 

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Here are some more recent primary literature articles on vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and dogs.

The Hesta et al. article focuses on any effects vitamin C might have on the immune system, and was published just a couple of years ago. They didn't find any major benefit of supplementing a canine's diet with vitamin C.

The Wang et al. article looks at the pharmacokinetics of vitamin C in dogs. It doesn't really make any statements on whether or not vitamin C is good, bad, or negligible, but it mention a previous study that found that of animals that endogenously produce vitamin C, dogs were found to have lower production capacity.

The Anderson article doesn't mention vitamin C, really, but it does discuss most current treatment options for canine hip dysplasia, in case anyone is interested.

I haven't run across any articles on vitamin C supplementation and hip dysplasia published recently--most articles are from the late 80s and 90s. There have been some other studies that look at cognitive function in relation to antioxidant-rich diets, etc., however.
 

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I just don't put stock into articles or breeder info that's not backed by strong, replicated science. If vitamin C prevented or deterred hip dyplasia (HD), then we would not have HD. If a deficiency of vit C is behind the development in HD, then one could assume other joints would be affected too; however, I have not found any other claims that vit C is associated with other skeletal disorders in dogs. It seems silly to assume vit C deficiencies are only found in the hip joints. That would be like me saying I have a vit A deficiency in my knees but not elbows; however, I am not a scientist & could be very wrong. Some hip dysplasia has been reduced by responsible breeders having their breeding stocks hips scored by OFA in order to eliminate breeding a predisposition to a congenital disorder. Even if folks don't believe HD is congenital, then an "acquired" form seems much more likely to be based on other environmental factors. If we were to believe it's acquired, then other factors are assumed responsible since we'd be operating on the premise that ALL dogs do not produce enough vit C. I'm really not trying to be argumentative :) I'm glad this thread was started, because I have not thought about it before. Anyway, I'm just saying there is no evidence to support my giving our dogs vit C supplements. How much? What if your dog has carrot or apple snacks? Does that affect the dosage? Is there any scientific evidence to support what dose is correct based on weight etc.? Is it titrated based on predisposition of certain breeds? If all dogs lack vit C, then why don't smaller breeds get CHD? These are just some of the questions I have. Sorry to go on & on ::) Another fault of mine: lack of brevity. I have attached an article from 29th World Congress of World Sm. Animal Veterinary Association 2004 & an exert from research symposium in 1995 @ The Western College of Veterinary Medicine-D.Richardson, DVM Diplomat
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?
CID=WSAVA2004&PID=8727&O=Generic

" Excess vitamin C supplementation is generally considered to have little or no effect on the skeleton. The relationship between vitamin C and developmental disorders of the skeletal system in the dog is as yet unproven.

Megadoses of ascorbate fed to the bitch during pregnancy and provided to the offspring until young adulthood have been reported to eliminate CHD.(26) Ascorbate therapy was rationalized as an antistressor, a detoxicant, a metabolite necessary for maintaining biochemical homeostasis in the body, and a component in collagen synthesis. Eight litters of German shepherd puppies from known dysplastic parents or from parents that had produced dysplastic offspring were studied. The bitch received 2 to 4 g sodium ascorbate crystals per day during pregnancy. The puppies received calcium and vitamin supplements from birth to 3 weeks, 500 mg ascorbate per day from 3 weeks to 4 months, and I to 2 g ascorbate per day from 4 months up to 2 years. No CHD was reported in any of the offspring. However, no radiographs were taken to document presence or absence of dysplastic changes, and no long-term follow- up studies have been published. Neither this nor any other study has verified ascorbic acid levels, much less deficiencies, in dogs with hip dysplasia.(8) If CHD were to be associated with a low vitamin C level, lower concentrations would be more likely in younger animals undergoing the stresses of growth. No other studies have demonstrated a positive effect of oral supplementation of vitamin C in preventing CHD in growing dogs that are genetically at risk for the disease. Decreased levels of hydroxyproline found in arthritic cartilage from CHD joints are probably a reflection of degradation changes rather than lack of production .

Finally, the relationship between vitamin C, joint laxity, and CHD in the dog is suspect because a decrease in systemic vitamin C levels could be expected to affect other joints. Canine hip dysplasia is often associated with degenerative disease in multiple joints; however, joint laxity other than in the hips is not reported."


Thanks, datacan, for bringing up a thoughtful discussion. I wonder if there is any evidence to support VitC use in dogs already diagnosed with HD? Not as prevention but symptom reduction &/or pain relief? hmmm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, it seems I read instructions quite late!

My wife read the article on Vit C supplied by our breeder - the first day (in the car as we were driving home) on April 11, 2011.
I read the article not long ago (beginning of June) and posted on this forum shortly after.

My wife reads and follows printed instructions quite well.
Sam has been receiving a small crushed tablet of Ester C daily at lunch.
I was not aware of this since I only bond with him in the morning and late afternoon. ???

Thank you all for contributing to this post.
Julius
 

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Maybe Sam is less stressed than I am :) I was not suggesting vit C is harmful. Many people, some vets included, believe it may be beneficial. I know nothing about using vit C for stress & coat.
 

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I also found this, from 1996: http://www.workingdogs.com/doc0039.htm

It's quite anecdotal, and I can't even find the paper the author writes about near the end, though I will always be wary of any company-sponsored or requested research, double-blind or not.

But I thought it was interesting that they mentioned that despite the fact that the dog seemed better, structurally the dog still had joint problems and arthritis.

Vitamin C does play quite a few roles in biology, so perhaps these observations are all due to a combination of all of the effects of vitamin C. Regardless, while I wouldn't consider vitamin C a cure for hip dysplasia, I also wouldn't consider it an overly dangerous prophylactic or even palliative treatment (unless your dog has an contraindications) as long as people aren't megadosing their dogs, especially as any unneeded amount is urinated out.

This is a super-interesting topic. I've done more literature searches for this than I have for my actual thesis in the past couple of days. Whoops! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry to drag you all into this.
Good reading material. I am also not sure about big business backed research.
But Vit C cannot make it into kibble or dog biscuits since it oxidizes during the baking/extrusion process and even if they spray treat it with Vit C it still doesn't make it into Sam's gut unoxidized once the bag is opened.

And to think there are so many other Vitamins and amino acids to look up!

Meanwhile, Sam is on 250mg Ester C/day crashed into his wet kibble (Costo puppy brand - hey 4 stars).
No harm so far.


**** Unrelated! Read a book on how dog are not wolfs (even genetically different) (Red[/color]rover thanx) ****
 

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Hello Again,

A response from William Cusick was requested who is the "Dog Advocate" from the link provided in the beginning of this discussion about not providing your dog Vit C supplements:

"I am well aware of Windell O Belfield DVM and his writings. They could NOT be backed up with accredited test results when he wrote his articles or can they be today."

Also, Mr Cusick has stated: "I urge pet owners who decide to learn more about what is in their dog's or cat's food to think logically about who they can go to for UNBIASED information. A simple rule to follow is to consider the source. When you ask for nutritional information about a product from anyone, consider if the person you are asking is trying to make money by selling a food product. Then consider if that sales connection may be biasing the information they are giving you. Also ask about their nutritional training. What qualifies them to be giving nutritional advice. If they are a veterinarian do not assume that they have had nutritional training. Ask if they graduated from one of the schools that has a class on animal nutrition, or are they from one of the schools that does not have a class on animal nutrition? A survey of the 26 schools of veterinary medicine in the USA showed the average amount of training on animal nutrition provided in the curriculum to graduate with a D.V.M. totals five classroom lecture hours. The majority of the five hours is spent on dairy and beef cattle, poultry or swine production and horses. This can be confirmed by the college catalogs from the 26 schools."

Beyond the link stating the long term problems with Vit C....Mr Cusick further stated:"The list of quotes I could use from the National Research Council's Nutrient Requirements of Dogs, Revised 1985 which back up my claims that different breeds of dogs have different nutritional requirements is very long. Another interesting fact is that in all the tests throughout the entire government publication there is not one test cited where two different breeds of dog were used and found to have the same requirements for any one nutrient."
 

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Discussion Starter #15
http://www.yourdoghealth.com/dog_ester-c.htm - hi, kellygh.

Oh, my head hurts,
Vitamin C adminstered to dogs (& horses) is "Calcium ascorbate" from what I understand is basically Ester C.

Calcium Ascorbate is a buffered salt form of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Calcium is reacted with ascorbic acid to buffer the acidic nature of this vitamin, making it more gentle for the special needs of those who may have a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.
The pH of Calcium Ascorbate is approximately 6.8—7.4 as compared to ascorbic acid that is about a pH of 2.5. Calcium Ascorbate provides approximately 10% elemental calcium.

I could test the PH of his urine to gauge the PH of his blood. If urine is acidic then blood is alkaline and vise versa.

And - jcminner thank you for providing the link to William Cusick's website.
This is part of the reason for digging deeper into this topic. I shared the link on a different post as well - dealing with raw food (interesting reading).
Indeed, there are not many tests documenting nutritional needs of pets maybe because conclusive testing would be labeled animal cruelty at least in North America.
 
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