Food supplemented with fish oil improves clinical signs and weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA). This study was conducted on 177 client-owned dogs with stable chronic OA of the hip or stifle to determine whether increasing the amount of fish oil in food provides additional symptomatic improvements in OA.
The dogs were randomly assigned to receive a baseline therapeutic food (0.8% eicosopentanoic acid [EPA] + docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) or experimental foods containing approximately two- and three-fold higher EPA+DHA concentrations.
Serum concentrations of EPA and DHA rose in parallel with food concentrations. For two of five clinical signs (lameness and weight bearing) and for overall arthritic condition and progression of arthritis, there was a significant improvement between the baseline and 3X EPA+DHA foods but not between the baseline and the 2X EPA+DHA foods.
Increasing the amount of fish oil beyond that in the baseline food results in dose-dependent increases in serum EPA and DHA concentrations and modest improvements in the clinical signs of OA in pet dogs.
Source : D. Fritsch et al., 2010. Dose-titration effects of fish oil in osteoarthritic dogs. J. Vet. Int. Med. 24: 1020-1026. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0572.x