Dr. Belfield: Healing Cats & Dogs with Vitamin C Megadoses | FeLV, FIV, Distemper, Parvo, Jaundice, Dysplasia Prevention

Veterinarian Dr. Wendell Belfield pioneered an approach hat has helped many conditions in pets, including:

Dr. Belfield’s approach involved what he called nutritional immunotherapy — supplementing vitamins and minerals to optimize the primary immune system to protect the body.   The key ingredient was megadoses of Vitamin C (ascorbate only, not what is in typical human capsules), along with many other key vitamins, minerals and sometimes enzymes.  He reversed such conditions as FeLV in cats and epilepsy in dogs.  He discussed his approaches for both cats and dogs in his books, The Very Healthy Cat Book (1983) and How to Have a Healthier Dog (1981).


Vitamin C

The healing effects of Vitamin C have been known for decades.  According to Dr. Garry F. Gordon, MD, DO, MD (equine), some of the most common conditions that our pets suffer from today (allergies, arthritis, bladder problems, hip dysplasia, spinal myalopathy, viral infections like distemper, skin problems, fungal infections, and various cancers and tumors) can be directly associated with nutrition, and specifically vitamin C deficiency.  Vitamin C is vitally important for the glandular, circulatory, and immune functions, as well as the healing and regenerative abilities of the body.  Vitamin C is a major factor in collagen formation and maintenance of bones and tissues.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant and chelator that helps to rid toxins from the blood and tissues.  It can help protect your pet against the side-effects of vaccinations and some veterinary drugs including steroids and cortisones.  Vitamin C is a major pain reliever and it keeps the teeth strong in aging pets, retarding the aging.

Dr. Belfield discusses the pain relieving effects of megadoses of Vitamin C his 1983 study, ” Megascorbic Prophylaxis and Megascorbic Therapy:  A New Orthomolecular Modality in Veterinary Medicine”:

This effect was reported many years ago by Dr. F.R. Klenner (1949, 195, 1953, 1971, 1974) in the treatment of severe burns and snakebite in human medicine and recently has been observed in relieving the pain of terminal human cancer (Cameron, 1973).


Primary and Secondary Immune Systems

Dr. Belfield focused on the primary immune system.  The immune system has two separate functions.  The primary immune system is referred to as the Cell Mediated Immune Response, which consists of the white blood cells.  The secondary immune system is referred to as the Humoral Immune Response, which consist of antibodies.  The Cell Mediated Response is the first line of defense against any foreign matter and microorganisms.  When an infection persists for several days, the antibodies of the Humoral Immune Response begins to develop and assist and backup the white blood cells.


Nutritional Immunotherapy:  Nourishing the Primary Immune System Is More Effective

In a 2001 article, “Your Animal’s Health”, Dr. Belfield discussed how nourishing the primary immune system offered more powerful protection against microorganisms than just antibody production:

Because of the antioxidant effects against foreign invaders, vitamins such as C and E, and minerals like zinc and selenium are great contributors to the protection of the body and while protecting against foreign invaders, the body is also being nourished.

In his 1983 study, “An Orthomolecular Approach to Feline Leukemia Prevention and Control”, Dr. Belfield explains how producing antibodies may not even be needed if the primary immune system is able to do the job first:

Antibody production is dependent on the presence of microorganisms in the body and do not appear for some six or seven days after infestation.  It may be postulated that antibody production is the final line of defense for the body and antibodies may not be needed when the primary immunological defense (interferon, leukocytes, etc.) is functioning at maxiumum capacity.


Dr. Belfield Healed FeLV

In his 1983 study, Dr. Belfield reports on how nutritional supplementation reversed FeLV:

This clinical study clearly shows that FeLV can be prevented and controlled with small amounts of exogenous ascorbate plus other vitamins and minerals daily in the diet.  The plus in this study is the possibility of the virus being killed.  In 1975, Dr. Fukumi Morishige in a paper published in Tokyo, Japan, stated that “the target attacked by ‘C’ is nucleic acid, and the scissons [severing] of nucleic acid strands are mainly responsible for the inactivation of the virus.”  Many of the now negative felines discussed in this paper for FeLV have been exposed to known FeLV carriers and they still remain free of the virus according to the test.  It becomes obvious that antibody production is not necessarily the ultimate in the prevention of a virus but rather maintaining the primary immune components at the maximum functioning levels with ascorbate.  Antibody production appears to occur only when the ascorbate level in the primary defense components are at low levels thereby permitting some viruses to survive the primary defenses.

In his 2001 article, Dr. Belfield reported on a study done in which 50 cats with FeLV were healed:

To add credibility to my clinical experiences, the late Mardi Jacob, of Pet Pride Cats of Oregon, within a two year period, reversed some fifty FeLV positive cats to negative.  All of the testing was done at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University.


Hip Dysplasia Preventative

Vitamin C is vital to the regenerative abilities of the body, and it is a major factor in collagen formation and maintenance.  Dosing a pregnant dog with Vitamin C can prevent hip dysplasia in pups.  As discussed by Dr. Belfield in his 1976 article, “Chronic Subclinical Scurvy and Canine Hip Dysplasia“, he notes how the symptoms in hip dysplasia mirror those in scurvy.  He goes on to recount how for five years of breeding of German Shepherds known to produce dysplsastic offspring, the mother were maintained on megadoses of ascorbate, and the pups were supplemented as well.  “To date, not one of these pups has shown dysplasia.”  His protocol involved:

  • 2 to 4 gm of sodium ascorbate crystals in the ration daily for the mother.
  • At birth the pups are supplemented with Vitamin C  until about 2 years of age (also helping protect against bronchitis, kennel cough and other upper respiratory diseases in pets).

In cases of arthritis and degenerative spinal myelopathy, Vitamin C benefits by its anti-inflammatory and analgesic qualities.


Lead Poisoning, FeLV & Vitamin C

There is a correlation of FeLV with lead poisoning.  Dr. Belfield reports a finding that FeLV cats tested by a Southern California organization all had high levels of lead.  These cats had all been fed commercial cat food, which also tested high for lead.  Says Dr. Belfield, “Lead and the FeLV virus are both immunosupressive agents adversely affecting the body defenses.”

Heavy metals decreases the levels of Vitamin C in the liver and kidneys.  And Vitamin C production in the liver decreases with age.  However, studies indicate that Vitamin C and Zinc can serve as an antidote to lead poisoning.  Therefore, supplementing Vitamin C and minerals can help detoxify lead and build the immune system.



Dr. Belfield’s Nutritional Protocol

In developing his treatment, Dr. Belfield reviewed scores of studies and began applying key findings.  This included the research of Dr. Klenner in the 1940s, who had found that megadoses of intravenous Vitamin C cured numerous conditions.

Through the process of trial and error, Dr. Belfield developed the necessary combinations of nutrients that are indicated for specific disease processes.  He went on to formulate a product called, Mega C Plus, which contains all of the nutrients known to have a positive effect on the Cell Mediated Immune Response, the primary immune system.  Although Dr. Belfield used intravenous administration of his nutrients, the crystals in his Mega C Plus were designed to be incorporated into wet rations once or twice daily to felines testing positive for FeLV.  It is virtually tasteless.  If your pet isn’t eating, unfortunately you won’t be able to administer it.

Note that in the body, Vitamin C forms hydrogen peroxide.  Hydrogen peroxide and ozone, like Vitamin C, have a vast array of conditions they can help heal (called oxygen therapies).  However, dogs and chickens cannot tolerate hydrogen peroxide, at they lack the enzyme catalase to process it.

Doctors do recommend supplementing vitamins and minerals in addition to any oxygen therapy treatments.  So Dr. Belfield’s Mega C is well formulated.

Oxygen Therapy: Ozone & Hydrogen Peroxide Can Heal Heart Disease, Cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s, Candida & More


The Difference in Mega C:  Ascorbate, not Ascorbic Acid

Dr. Belfield’s Mega-C-Plus contains ascorbate, which is also what he used for IV therapy, like Dr. Klenner.  This is buffered Vitamin C, which is pH neutral.  Examples of ascorbates include:  Sodium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, zinc ascorbate and manganese ascorbate. Your cat will eat them and they won’t acidify the body.

Mega C Plus does not contain ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is acidic, with a pH of 3 (although it eventually metabolizes to an alkaline state).  Large quantities can cause problems like acidosis, diarrhea,etc.  Ascorbic acid is tart, and most felines won’t consume it.  (Most Vitamin C contains ascorbic acid, which is fine in regular amounts.)



The Mega C Plus protocol has been also successful with Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Feline immunosuppresive virus (FIV).  — Dr. Belfield, 2001.


How Much to Supplement


Dr. Belfield’s intravenous protocol typically involved massive quantities for a few days:  One-half gram twice daily per pound of body weight.  For a 150 lb. human that would amount to 75 capsules twice a day!  Dr. Belfield describes how his protocol helped viral and other conditions:

When used intravenously or subcutaneously at about 1 or 2 grams per pound body weight per day it provides rapid relief in viral diseases like distemper, influence and rhinotracheitis.  In addition to its virucidal action, “mega” doses of ascorbate also relieve stresses and stimulate the animal’s recuperative powers.  Successful case histories are given on the use of this orthomolecular treatment in other conditions met in a general veterinary small animal practice such as paralytic nictitating membranes, jaundice, pregnancy and whelping, hip dysplasia, allergies, pleurisy, epilepsy, cystitis, spinal degeneration.

(“Megascorbic Prophylaxis and Megascorbic Therapy:   A New Orthomolecular Modality in Veterinary Medicine”, Dr. Belfield, 1975.)

For liver and kidney problems he also added enzymes including glutathione peroxide, superoxide dismutase, and catalase; and minerals selenium, manganese, and zinc, which act to promote enzyme metabolism.  He has used B complex to cure seizures. (Source.)

At Home

Mega C lists amount to supplement by weight on the product.  The product allows the pet owner the opportunity to supplement large quantities of Vitamin C orally in lieu of intravenous treatments.  However, unlike intravenous treatments, it can take time when treating at home with supplements, a month or two for the body to adjust.  Said Dr. Belfield:  “Unfortunately, there is no quick fix.  It does require time for the immune system to respond to Mega C Plus.  This protocol may not be effective for those cats that have become positive after being vaccinated for the above diseases.  The nutritional supplements to be effective, they must interact with food, therefore, if your pet is not eating, the protocol will have minimal results.”

Paws Place Animal Sanctuary Example

Paws Place Animal Sanctuary feeds their cats about 750 mg of Vitamin C a day (¼ tsp).  That translates to about eleven 1000 mg Vitamin C pills for a 150 lb. human!  But along with other supplements, the rescue has reversed cancer, arthritis, urinary, and other issues.


Raw Meat Diets

Dr. Belfield’s 1983 study points out that cats fed raw meat diet fared better than those on cooked meats.  The raw food cats “survived operations, the unoperated cats appeared to be in better health, and the kittens were born vigorous.”  By comparison female cats fed cooked meat “were irritable and dangerous to handle.  The males were more docile amd unaggressive.”  They expeienced more disease, mother cats experienced more abortions and death in labor, mortality of the kittens was high.

This is because vitamins an enzymes are destroyed during cooking.

So this is why also supplementing enzymes is important.


Current Products Available

When Dr. Belfield passed away, some customers were concerned that they’d lost access Dr. Belfield’s nutraceuticals, which they used for their own pets.  They contacted the estate and bought the rights to sell his formulas.  They used his products daily on their pets and wanted to make sure they continued.

Below are the current products available.  Also included are links to Dr. Belfield’s archived posts, as they typically contain more information.

Carpon Tablets:  Urinary acidifier, for treatment and prevention of struvite crystals of cats and dogs.  Carpon Tablets are derived from vaccinium macrocarpon, a member of the cranberry family.  It has been found, clinically, to render alkaline urine acidic (pH 6.0 to 6.5), which will dissolve the crystals within five hours after being administered orally.   Maintaining the treatment protocol will prevent future formation of the struvite crystals.

  • Contains:  Vaccinium macrocarpon, a member of the cranberry family
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Mega C Plus:  For prevention of canine hip dysplasia (CHD), optimize immune function, anti-inflammatory, minimize pain of arthritis, and degenerative  spinal myelopathy,  and treating allergies in concert with Vital Tabs.

  • Contains:  Same Mega C Plus formula in liquid form.
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Mega C Drops — Pediatric Formula:  For kittens or puppies, to prevent canine hip dysplasia (CHD), optimize immune function, anti-inflammatory, and other benefits of Mega C.

  • Contains:  Same Mega C Plus formula in liquid form.
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Oroderm:  For development of healthy skin and hair coat of dogs and cats

  • Contains:  Vitamin A, Zinc, Pyroxidine HCL, Biotin.
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Vital Tabs:  For treating and preventing inflammatory bowel disease, gingivitis, chronic renal failure (CRF), and allergies in concert with Mega C Plus. 

  • Contains:  Stabilized tocopherol, nutrients of wheat germ, yeast, and selenium to aid in the optimum antioxidation of the cells and tissues.
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Vital Liquid:  Same formula as Vital Tabs, in liquid form.  Treatment, Prevention, and Control of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Gingivitis.

  • Contains:  Stabilized tocopherol, nutrients of wheat germ, yeast, and selendium to aid in the optimum antioxidation of the cells and tissues.
  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.

Not Available:

BetaPlex:  High Potency B Complex.  The current owners likely have the formula for this product if you are interested.  Also consider just adding nutritional yeast to your pet’s food.

  • Dr. Belfield’s archived post.


Dr. Belfield’s Studies & Articles

Dr. Belfield’s developments in orthomolecular and veterinary medicine have been published in numerous journals and magazines.  Below are a few publications found on an archived page of Dr. Belfield’s site (duplicates are also archived in this folder).