Supplements for Akitas with Immune-Mediated Problems

A few years ago, I started doing research into immune-mediated problems in the Akita. The focus was my belief that nearly all, if not all systemic health problems in the breed are connected. In other words, we may give the disorders different names, i.e. lupus, VKH, SA, polyarthritis, etc., but it is actually one condition manifesting different symptoms.

One direction lead to another. After plowing through hundreds of scientific articles, I began to suspect a nutrient-link to these health problems. In essence, an inability to convert amino acids to proteins coupled with damage to certain receptors–the important co-factors for conversion. Based on this premise, a friend (she has an Akita diagnosed by punch biopsy at UofPenn as having SA) and I formulated a list of supplements. We put her Akita on the stuff and watched.

That was nearly 4 years ago and my friend’s Akita no longer has crusty skin, is growing coat, albeit not as lush as before and seems to be thriving. Eventually, I got a call from someone whose young female Akita was diagnosed with SA but seemed to have painful lesions covering her body including her vulva–the dog was in agony. She was put on the supplements (3 years ago). She’s also free of sores, growing coat and thriving. This Akita recently began suffering from seizures. The frequency of these seizure episodes demanded some action but we opted to try her on GABA (an amino acid) with amazing success–she is free of seizures.

During this same period, two Akita owners with confirmed VKH dogs contacted me. Some changes were made to the supplement list and these Akitas were started on the program. So far they are maintaining nicely without further episodes.

Keep in mind that not every Akita will be helped by these supplements–it’s trial and error. It takes patience. Unlike drugs, nutritional supplements take time to kick-in but ultimately are safe, permanent treatments.

I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up–just because we helped a few Akitas does not necessarily mean we can help them all. But, it’s worth a try.

Use capsules instead of tablets wherever possible. Where no amount is indicated, follow the directions on the bottle. Strained baby food meat is a great way to give supplements. Mix the meat with the pills and scoop onto your finger until it’s gone. Everything should be given twice daily unless noted.

Vitamin B complex 50mg.
Vitamin E 200 IU
Vitamin A (Use the emulsified type) 25,000IU for three weeks then 10,000IU for three weeks. Rotate in three week cycles.
Vitamin C Plus Bioflavanoids 1,000mg

Bilberry: three capsules
Dandelion: three capsules
Burdock: three capsules
Milk Thistle: 300mg
Grape seed extract (given by weight: follow directions)
Isoflavone – 10mg
Bee Propolis (follow directions)
Turmeric: two capsules
Bromelain: 1000mg

Organic Flaxseed Oil 1,000mg once daily
Primrose Oil, 1500mg

Zinc: Rainbow Light puts out a product called Daily Zinc which is the proper ratio of zinc and copper with 20mg zinc. One additional tablet daily.
Manganese 50mg once daily (use chelated form)

Kelp or sea meal…2,000mg once daily
Alfalfa tablets: 5 tablets twice daily

Kyolic garlic (a deodorized form) 2 gels caps twice daily
Super Oxide dismutase (SOD) with catalase
Co-Enzyme Q10: 50mg twice daily

Free-form amino acid complex Plus:
N-acetylcysteine – 500mg
L-glutamine – 500mg
L-methionine – 500mg
L-tyrosine – 500mg

Complete digestive enzyme: must include ox bile and the proteolytic enzymes Give two capsules with each meal…this is very important.

Everything listed above is there for a reason. It is this combination of supplements that has been successful, so please do not leave anything out. Buying vitamins mail order is a real savings.


Biotin: 5mg daily (Country Life has a 5mg capsule)

Choline and Inositol: 225mg each twice daily (can be purchased as a combination capsule)

NAC (N-aceytlcysteine): 500mg twice daily
L-Tyrosine: 500 mg
Selene E (this product is by Schiff and is a combination of Vitamin E-400IU and selenium–200mcg) one daily

*Pau d’Arco: 3 capsules twice daily
*Echinacea: 2 capsules twice daily
*Horsetail: 3 capsules twice daily
Note: these herbs can be withdrawn AFTER all odor and crusts are gone. If there is a flare up, reinstate the herbs.

DO NOT VACCINATE. Use the homeopathic nosodes instead of vaccines. Your dog’s immune system is already damaged and modified live vaccines will further damage the immune process.

DO NOT USE PESTICIDES. Contact me if you need information on safe alternatives.

DO NOT GIVE CHLORINATED WATER. If bottled water is not convenient, put a filter on your kitchen water supply or give distilled water.

FEED AN ALL NATURAL DIET. Raw fruits and vegetables should be ground up; fresh fish, brown rice, tofu, miso, sea vegetables like nori,wakame, dulse are excellent additions. If you do not feed a home made diet, use a dry food that is manufactured from ingredients “for human consumption.”