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Thread: Boosting the Immune System

  1. #1

    Default Boosting the Immune System

    I am wanting to boost my guys immune systems.
    I have heard Echinacea and Vitamin C can be good but I wouldn't know what sort of dosage or strengths to use, as well as the usual ie: fish oils, vit E and vit D, green lipped mussel, probiotics, shark cartilage etc which I already use.
    I asked my vet for some advice, but they weren't really that helpful!
    They felt prescribing me prescription stuff a better option which I am not entirely happy with.
    Which is fine for short term, but for long term boosting of the immune system. I don't feel comfortable with long term use of Imuran (Azathioprine) and Cortisone.
    What I am looking for is some natural ways, supplements or products that others have or do use and feel they are helping boost there fur mates.
    Or a really good vet in Melbourne who looks at or is happy and opened to talk about All forms of medical treatments.
    I did go to one, I found myself (not naming names) but he was So radical and closed minded to everything short of his own natural alternatives and his opinions it sort of left a bad taste in my mouth!
    So I am looking for honest reviews and recommendations that others have used please
    Thank you
    "No amount of time can erase the memory of a good dog or cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove their fur from your couch"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    se qld


    I give my dogs 1000 mg per day of Vit C.
    1/4 large clove cooked garlic.. umm ummm
    sorry I am not so vigilant these days..

    Too much Vit C will cause runny poop so try 1000
    (how big are your dogs?) maybe scale it back.
    Snoopy is about 50kg he can handle 2000 if I feel he needs it.

    Re: Holistic Vet in Melbourne
    Margaret O'Riordan - Member Details - Australian Veterinary ...
    Home - Australian Veterinary Acupuncture Group › Locate A Vet › Member Details‎
    Name: Margaret O'Riordan. Practice Name: Animal Natural Health. Address: 160 Collins Street Thornbury VIC 3071. Telephone: 03 94801823. Mobile ...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    To be honest if the dog is healthy IMHO it only needs fresh water, walkies and love.

    There could be medical issues of course which would change my opinion.

    I feed my dog BARF as often as possible, I add omega 3 oil to almost every meal and he's tip top.

    I have heard of some immune boosting supplements out there. Not sure on them though. All the best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Hunter Valley NSW


    PCH, seconding goindeep. If you have a happy, healthy dog, there is no need to go nuts on supplements. "If it aint broke, don't fix it."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I wouldn't be messing too much with supplements either.

    I just found an article about too much vitamin C - contributing to urinary crystals (which can hurt like hell). And some breeds are quite prone to those.

    I think as long as you feed your dog a balanced diet - with as little processed food as possible (eg not too much commercial tinned stuff or processed human food like salami or ham...) - that includes the right amount of protein, calcium and veg then you're all good. Somewhere in there is a balance between convience and most healthy. Eg Raw / BARF can be the most healthy option, but isn't as convenient as dry food.

  6. #6


    I feel at a bit of a loss at the moment.

    One of my babes has Rhinitis/Bronchopneumonia Serum IgA (immune problems) and is on long term Imuran and Cortisone, diagnosed a couple of years ago.

    Now one of my other guys has just been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis (all legs) which he had shown no symptoms until about a month ago when he started limping on one front leg out of the blue. I nearly fell over when they showed me the xrays. I cant believe I hadn't seen anything before and am so bloody angry with myself.

    According to the vets, they cant understand how he walks around like he does? I don't understand how I couldn't see anything prior to this on/off limp. No that's a lie, he would occasionally be a bit stiff in the morning for the 1st 5 minutes or so, but would be running around like a loopy not much later after that.

    He as with all of my guys have been on glucosamine/chondroitin for years. We would walk 2 - 4 k's a day which I am kicking myself now for after the vet gave me such a look after saying so. I honestly didn't know....There just wasn't the signs like my older girl shows.. She doesn't do the long walks, just what she feels comfortable with.

    They have put him on Cartrophen monthly, now he has finished his 4 weekly injection course and have prescribed monthly doses of Trocoxil because they believe he has to be in some form of pain, even though he hasn't or still doesn't show any pain symptoms. I cant even describe how bad or disgusted in myself I felt for him or do still feel.

    My baby girl (9 & 1/2) is showing her age so badly at the moment (eye sight deteriorating, signs of soreness, (no arthritis) loss of muscle mass, teeth loss) and the vets have said I doing all the right things for her and she is still comfortable and we cant do anymore. It just doesn't help me wanting to do more.

    I know some of this is a natural progression of life, but they are apart of my life and I love em to bits.
    And it doesn't stop me feeling like I am never doing enough for them all and I spend most of my time thinking how else can I help, whether it be any extra form of health boosting, natural pain reliefs, any other things I can do to help with their quality of life regardless how old they are or how healthy they may be.

    Sorry for the waffle and I don't want this post to come across as I am just feeling sorry for myself (which I guess I am! so I apologise now for that and my ramblings.)

    I just think I wanted and felt I needed to get it out. I am such a sook with all my animals and cry way too much.

    Sorry for turning you all into some sort of "ask aunty betty, cry on your shoulders site" I seriously just want to help them any way I can.

    No different I know and appreciate we all want to do for our guys.

    Thanks heaps for the previous responses

    Off to get "off myself" and do some serious research and maybe make an appt for a holistic vet for another take on things.

    Cheers and thanks
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 05-21-2013 at 01:51 PM. Reason: put some white space in so I can read it.
    "No amount of time can erase the memory of a good dog or cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove their fur from your couch"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    there are costs of using steroids.
    loss of bone density, loss of vision, weight gain etc etc etc. They are not long term meds really. Or not without costs, put it that way.

    I seriously question a vet wanting to put a dog on pain killers, before the owner can tell the dog is in pain! Pain killers have side effects too.
    Losing weight has a side effect of less strain on the ruined joints.
    Adding heat, as cold aggrivates nasty joints. Put the heating on.
    Extra blanket for warmth
    Rest is good for aching joints
    Ice is good for swollen joints

    Its horrid that our dogs have to suffer these things. Be strong and brave, put a line in the sand of how long you will allow your dog to remain in pain, and stick to it. I have a deck. The day my dogs cant make it on or off, is the day we say farewell. I have to be like this, or i keep them going way too long due to my needs, not theirs.

    My dog is running around with a dislocated knee. He's stiff to get going in morning, but fine after this. Shows no signs of pain, even when it comes out. So how would you know your dog has a chronic slow onset bone issues? Forgive yourself.
    Your dogs allready have im sure

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    Now I can see why you're wanting to supplement.

    I think for some forms of arthritis - some exercise is good. I'm worried for my dog - I let her exercise way too much before she was 6 months old. I didn't know any different. And she was desexed by AWL at 8 weeks - which sometimes leads to joint problems later in life as their whole skeletal structure can be a bit elongated.

    Swimming would be great - but may be not in ponds - for the rhinitis dog.

    Cortisone - is something I'd only use short term for getting over an injury (me or the dog) or at end of life when nothing else can be done. Long term - it's pretty bad stuff and causes almost as many problems as it fixes.

    I'm also a bit wary of pain killers - depending how the critter responds. I once gave my old and stiff horse some bute pain killer and instead of resting pain free - he ran round the paddock like a yearling foal. Uh Hum. Not good for him and he was very sorry for himself the next day when all those under used muscles started recovering...

    But for the horses (and some older human athletes) a good exercise regime helps keep everything working. Not exercising because it's "too painful" can actually make things worse. So you can exercise in ways that are less damaging. Eg swimming - tho weight bearing is better for preventing osteo arthritis, and walking on softer surfaces like irrigated grass instead of concrete footpaths is good.

    You might want to find a specialist vet, often the greyhound vets know a lot about maintaining healthy joints. And some owners like to keep their successful racers happy and healthy for their whole natural life span.

    The guy with nose problems - I really don't know - I'd be looking at the Uni / research guys.

  9. #9


    Information is power when backed up by a vet.

    "I am wanting to boost my guys immune systems."

    It sounds like you are doing the right things, but if you want to know how far you can go, then one interesting undisputed info source are the aafco tables.

    That is because all dog food manufacturers must abide by the nutrient values to get a "balanced and complete" tick on their pack and sell it as dog food. If your vet sells dog food then they are agreeing that the aafco tables are right, how else would they sell the product?

    You will find that most manufacturers will provide just enough nutrients to reach the minimum requirements. Because they dont have to give %'s you will never know for sure.

    I dont know what your dogs main diet is (manufactured or home made) but the reason I mention aafco, is that for quite a few of the nutrients they also have a maximum amount. If you are raw feeding, you can find nutrient lists to know what you are giving your dog. just ensure that with whatever supplements you use that you don't exceed the maximum - not all nutrients are given a maximum. And of course know the signs of excess of the major vitamins and minerals just in case.

    Good luck
    Bruce is a "dog walker in inner west Melbourne" & sells "Healthy Dog treats." My dog Archie approves of these things.

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