Intravenous Vitamin C Therapy can be useful for a number of critically ill patients, including pets with cancer, snakebite patients, pets with tick paralysis, and patients with severe overwhelming infections.

Early clinical studies showed that high-doses of vitamin C can improve symptoms and prolong life in patients with terminal cancer. Oral administration of the maximum tolerated dose of vitamin C (18 g/d) produces peak plasma concentrations of only 220 μmol/L, whereas intravenous administration of the same dose produces plasma concentrations about 25-fold higher. Larger doses given intravenously (50–100 g in humans) may result in plasma concentrations of about 14 000 μmol/L which is more than 60 times what can be achieved with oral dosing.

At plasma concentrations above 1000 μmol/L, vitamin C is toxic to some cancer cells, decreasing cell proliferation, but not to normal healthy cells when tested in a laboratory.

A scientific review conducted more than a decade ago found well-documented cases of advanced cancers where patients had unexpectedly long survival times after receiving high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy.

Because of the potential for increased survival times and improved quality of life in cancer patients, intravenous vitamin C therapy is an adjunctive therapy we offer to all of our cancer patients who will accept regular vet visits and intravenous cannula placement.  It is generally well tolerated, with few side effects when administered correctly.

Administration requires placement of an IV cannula and drip line, and slow administration of the Vitamin C bolus over a minimum 30 minute period.  The pet usually needs to pee afterwards, and may be a little sleepy that night.

Dog Sunset Maremma

IV Vitamin C will also increase the clearance of anaesthetic drugs, and so for senior or ill patients undergoing an anaesthetic we offer IV Vitamin C therapy to improve recovery and patient well-being.

If your pet has cancer, is about to undergo a major surgical or dental procedure, is critically ill, or has recently been treated for snakebite, tick paralysis, infectious disease, talk to us about whether IV Vitamin C therapy would be of benefit.