Anyone who has been following my blog for any significant period of time knows how much I am a strong proponent of vitamin C for health management, treatment and prevention of disease. However, before I expand on the use of vitamin C for prevention of chronic recurring urinary tract infections in dogs, I must be very clear that the purpose of this article is educational and for discussion with your veterinarian to encourage an integrative approach management of disease; NOT to be a means to self-diagnose or treat a dog with suspected urinary tract disease. Signs of urinary tract disease (including pain vocalization while urinating, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, inappropriate urinating in the home) could be indicative of serious infections, stones, prostate disease, and even bladder cancer. If you suspect urinary tract disease in your dog, you should have your dog seen by a veterinarian for a proper examination, diagnostics, and treatment. This article is for owners of dogs with ongoing histories of properly diagnosed, treated, but recurrent urinary tract infections to have an integrative health boosting strategy to proactively prevent the incidence of disease.
Dogs predisposed to urinary tract infections often have predispositions to disease due to systemic or local immune deficiencies that are genetic, because they are immune suppressed due to treatment of other diseases with immune suppressive drugs, or result from unique anatomical considerations or have a tendency to excrete alkaline urine. Vitamin C may assist with mitigating some or all of these predispositions.
Vitamin C is a proven, powerful immune boosting nutrient. As a water soluble vitamin, vitamin C helps to acidify the urine to neutralize alkaline urine and inhibit bacterial growth. Vitamin C is also a powerful free radical scavenger that helps to detoxify the body and boost general health.
To be effective in management/prevention of urinary tract infections in dogs, the dose is much higher than most would expect. The dose is 10 mg per pound of body weight administered two times daily by mouth. For example, for a 50 pound dog, you would multiply 50 pounds x 10 mg = 500 mg two times daily.
However, many dogs will not tolerate this level of dosing right from the beginning, and diarrhea may ensue if dosing is not gradually attained over time. Thus, I generally recommend starting at 10% of the recommended dose, increasing every 2-3 days until the desired dose is achieved.
Dr. Roger Welton is the President of Maybeck Animal Hospital in West Melbourne, FL, Chief Editor of the Veterinary Advice and Information Website, Web-DVM, and founder/CEO of Dr. Roger’s Holistic Veterinary Care.