Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dogs, Cats and Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, and Thiamine

Dogs and cats share most health problems with humans. Readers of my blog know that I believe in attacking healthcare problems by all available means. I recommend following the advice of physicians and, in addition, taking extra vitamins. Most owners, however, can’t afford to provide their pets with the same quality of healthcare that they arrange for themselves. Fortunately, for the first time in human history, pet owners have access to affordable, high-potency vitamin supplements. Because of vitamins, this seemingly tragic situation may turn out to be a blessing for both pets and their owners.

My dog was beset with a bad case of arthritis. Every time I took her for a walk and she ran around, she would return in pain. It had gotten to the point where it was affecting all four legs and I was starting to need to carry her up and down the stairs. It was a sad situation. Then she got a cancerous growth on her face. After the surgeon removed the growth, I decided to treat her with vitamin D, niacin, and vitamin C. Specifically, I treated my 60 lb dog with 800 IU of vitamin D, 125 mg of time release niacin, and 2000 mg of vitamin C every other day (I coat the pills with peanut butter and she wolfs them down). I did this because all three vitamins are known to help the body fight off cancer. The result has been nothing short of miraculous. My dog is running around like she did when she was a puppy, and she jumps in and out of the back of the car on her own. I’ll let you know about the cancer after a year has gone by. So far, however, so good.

Dogs and cats provide our society with an opportunity to test the full potential of vitamins for treating cancer, because vitamins are often the only practical approach. We took Toffee to the dog oncologist. For us, the most difficult part of the recommended radiation treatment was the sheer effort involved. We both work and we have two kids in school. We might have been able to pull together the thousands of dollars needed, but driving the dog to and from chemotherapy sessions, and then nursing her in-between was more than we could manage.

Animals (including humans) are naturally resistant to cancer. Cancer is a disease of old, older, and oldest animals. Studies of cancer have proven that the cause of cancer typically involves multiple failures of basic metabolism. It is a complex disease, and there is a lot of variability between one case and another. Even a single cancer, e.g. colon cancer, can be fairly described as a family of diseases rather than a single disease. As a result, some patients diagnosed with colon cancer live for decades and die of other causes while other patients die in months. Due to the complexity of cancer, it is a near certainly that failures of vitamin-dependent metabolic pathways are sometimes involved.

I believe that treatment with vitamins is relatively straightforward. Four vitamins are the most important. Read more here These are vitamin C, niacin, fat-soluble thiamine, and vitamin D. As a starting point, I recommend feeding dogs and cats with cancer the following daily doses: 125 mg time release niacin, 2000 mg vitamin C, 800 IU vitamin D, and 20 mg of the fat-soluble thiamine known as TTFD. Doses in this range will cause side effects. Vitamin D can be particularly toxic. The most important side effect to watch out for is nausea. Never force a nauseous pet to eat vitamin supplements. The second most important side effect to watch out for is burning, itching skin (a niacin side effect). The pet can lick the fur off the irritated spot. Other than that, just observe. If the pet seems uncomfortable, give the vitamins a break for a week. If a vitamin is the problem, the discomfort will rapidly diminish (and return again when the supplements are resumed).

Vitamins are a safe, cost-effective treatment for a wide variety of animal health problems. They are a particularly interesting approach for cancer in animals. Because they are inexpensive and readily available, vitamins are often the only practical approach. In these cases, there is much to gain and nothing to lose by supplementing pets with high potency vitamins.

8 Comments:

At 3:35 PM, Anonymous LISA said...

hi i'm lisa my cats and i take the same food grade vitamins by standard process and this morning i left 3 vit b on dresser i went into kitchen came back and they were gone my youngest cat i think ate them and i dont remember if i took 1 or two of them but QUESTION IS THE TOTAL OF NIACIN IN THE 3 VIT B'S IS 60 MG . IS THAT AMOUNT DANGEROUS FOR MY GOOFY 10-15 LB KITTY? OR WILL HE BE OK? IM FREAKING OUT AND CANT REACH MY CATS HOMEOPATH PLEASE HELP

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Lisa,

Please don't freak out. Your cat will be fine. There is no known toxic dose for B-complex vitamin tablets - that's why they can be sold without childproof caps. Your cat might be uncomfortable for a day (no more than two days), but will make a swift recovery. I hope you didn't have to worry for too long.

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dog got ahold of on of my 100 mg niagin tablets. What do I need to do.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Anonymous,

I'm sure this is too late, but will be helpful to others having the same problem. Again - don't freak out. The dog will not die - niacin has very low toxicity. If your dog swallow alot of niacin he/she will be very uncomfortable for 24 hours (vomiting, itching, etc.) but will then recover quickly. There's nothing better to do than wait it out.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger KATHY said...

MY 1 YEAR OLD LARGE, MIXED BREED ATE NIACIN 1000 MG. TUESDAY NIGHT. HE DIDN'T EAT YESTERDAY OR THIS MORNING. YEST. HE SEEMED FINE WITH HIS ACTIONS, BUT THIS MORNING IS VERY LETHARGIS. HAS HE OD'D ON THIS?

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger KATHY said...

MY DOG ATE 1000 OF NIACIN ON TUESDAY NIGHT. HE HASN'T EATEN YESTERDAY OR THIS MORNING. HE WAS FINE IN HIS ACTIONS YESTERDAY, BUT THIS MORNING SEEMS LETHARGIC. HE IS A 1 YR. OLD LARGE MIXED BREED. HE WEIGHS ABOUT 75 LBS.

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my dog ate about 20 1000 mg Vitamin d tablets? Any idea what we should do/look for?

 
At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous: A toxic dose for dogs would be 20,000 IU per kilogram.

 

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