Animal Doctor: Can a Dose of Vitamin C a Day Keep the Sniffles Away?
Dear Dr. Fox:
Maggie, my 11-year-old female cat, tested positive for feline AIDS many years ago. A feral kitten when I took her in, she was spayed, tested and vaccinated against rabies. Her nose constantly runs, and she coughs heavily about two times a day. Fortunately, the sneezing has almost disappeared. When this occurred in years past, my vet gave her a steroid shot even though he was reluctant because of her AIDS. This helped for a month or two. We have tried many antibiotics, and none has worked.
I started giving her Vitamin C (100 milligrams daily) in hopes that this will alleviate the problem. So far, no luck. She gets raw chicken liver twice a day plus some dry food and a teaspoon of canned Fancy Feast wet food twice a day.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Delray Beach, Fla.
There are several beneficial supplements, including potent antioxidants and omega fatty acids, that will help strengthen your cat's immune system. Cod liver oil (one to two teaspoons daily in food) and a better-quality cat food (even a home-prepared diet) could make a world of difference.
Many cats with and without immune-deficiency disease develop chronic sinus problems. Antioxidant-rich supplements more potent than Vitamin C will help, but 100 milligrams of synthetic Vitamin C will do nothing.