Case after case, we have seen the miracle of Vitamin C go to work to help to heal horses from a wide variety of conditions and ailments, over and over again, during the last ten years of running our horse rescue centre.
From wounds to disease and illnesses-to hoof abscesses and thrush, muscle and joint inflammation, to mud fever, to skin allergies and a whole array of dermatitic conditions, to eye problems, and stomach ulcers, to laminitis, to damaged tendons and ligaments, to conditions involving stress and colds, and every other ailment in horses in between.....we have seen the outstanding benefits of boosting the horse's own natural immune system with pure Vitamin C, and now it's the first thing we reach for when any of the horses are sick, or injured or stressed etc....or we need to address medical issues for new horse arrivals to our centre.
Initially the the scientist in me was very sceptical about all these claims of how good the miracle of Vitamin C was that was being touted around, and I was reserved about it back then......That was until I saw first hand what it could do when I used it one day with a horse through sheer desperation.
As after exhausting all standard veterinary medicine with a very sick horse, we were down to the wire with the decision to put him to sleep, so I decided I had nothing to lose to try this to try to save this horse , and I added some Vitamin C to his feed....... and wow, I genuinely could not believe how fast the horse improved.
In fact I was blown away by it.........
But even so I explained these impressive results away as a fluke and coincidence with that old scientific brain of mine-lol, ......
That was until I used Vitamin C again, this time with a horse who had a horrific eye ulcer, and after seeing him in the morning and calling the vet out to ask for other treatment options as after treating this nasty ulcer with a topical antibiotic eye ointment, as well as eye rinses and shots etc...for ten days so far, we had seen absolutely no improvement. So I decided to try the Vitamin C once more, as the eye was getting worse, and yes you have guessed it...... the results were nothing short of amazing.....
In fact the vet came the following day to inspect the horse in question, and we were both equally as stunned as he exclaimed "OMG, it's all but fully healed in 24 hours"! and it had too :)
So that was the start of my journey into the wonderful results of using Vitamin C with horses :).....
And for anyone interested here are some facts about this excellent Vitamin:
WHATS SO GOOD ABOUT VITAMIN C ANYWAY: When mammals get ill, or run down, or stressed or have a medical condition etc...., the tissues and organs suffer from oxidation damage, from molecules which are produced from this stress which are all missing electrons, and are called Free Radicals.....and this increase in turn causes inflammation..... so with Vitamin C being a powerful antioxidant, it plays a pivotal role in neutralizing these harmful free radicals therefore reducing inflammations and helping sooth irritation due to its powerful antihistamine abilities too. Besides its antioxidant functions, vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis, hormone synthesis, conversion of vitamin D3 to calcitriol, bone calcification, as well as antihistamine control to help your horse be less effected by allergies, and therefore more comfortable, so it truly can be a fantastic ally to having a happy, healthy body, and we recommend every horse owner to have a packet in their horses first aid box.
PLEASE READ THIS BELOW AS THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT USING VITAMIN C WITH HORSES.
1-HEALTHY HORSES DO NOT REQUIRE ANY VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENTS: Horses produce their own Vitamin C naturally, as unlike Humans along with apes, some fruit bats and guinea pigs, who all lack the enzyme that allows most other animals, including horses to convert glucose to vitamin C, which is called -gulonolactone oxidase. Therefore as horses produce this enzyme in the liver naturally, they SHOULD NOT be fed any Vitamin C supplements-and if we add extra to their feed it can compromise their bodies natural ability to make it for themselves....so check your supplements and if they have Vitamin C you should give them a miss. 2-OLDER AND AGING HORSES NEED EXTRA: Aging horses start to lose the ability to produce enough of their own daily Vitamin C requirements, and need a little extra by supplementing their feeds with this vitamin, but be warned once you start to give Vitamin C to an older horse, it will need to be given daily for the rest of the aging horses life as their ability to produce their own Vitamin C with be even further reduced by supplementation.
3-SHORT TERM VITAMIN C COURSE CAN HELP WITH VARIOUS CONDITIONS: When your horse is injured, ill, run down or stressed etc....a short 7-10 day course of a higher than normal amount of pure Vitamin C can help boost his immune system to help him recover and fight off these ailments naturally. However we cannot stress enough that this should not be used for long term use, and gradual weaning off of the extra Vitamin C is required to allow the horses own body to take over production of this as his functions return to normal at the end of a short course of vitamin c:PLEASE REMEMBER THAT HEALTHY HORSES DO NOT REQUIRE VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENTATION as they produce their own, and therefore this should only be used when your horse is suffering from and illness or injury etc..
4-WHAT FORM OF VITAMIN C IS BEST-we use a powered form of ascorbic acid,which is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties, also called pure vitamin c. In this form it can easily be added to food, or dissolved in water, or used as a paste in a drench, and therefore can be administered to horses in a multitude of ways.
It is available on this link to buy from our Trademe listings on this link
I hope this article will provide straight talking information that will help you decide if Vitamin C is right for your horse.