The aim of the trial was to compare the effect of a veterinary therapeutic diet (VTD) rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish origin to a regular diet used as control (CTR) in dogs afflicted by naturally occurring osteoarthritis (OA). Thirty privately owned dogs had lameness confirmed by an orthopedic examination, stifle/hip OA and locomotor disability based on the peak of the vertically oriented ground reaction force (PVF) measured using a force platform.
At baseline, all owners were asked to determine two to five of the dogs’ daily activities that were most impaired. Activities were scored (0â€“4) in accordance with severity using case-specific outcome measures (CSOM). Dogs were then randomly assigned to receive either the CTR or VTD. CSOM were completed twice weekly; the recording of PVF was repeated at weeks 7 and 13.
The VTD-fed dogs showed a significantly higher PVF at weeks 7 and 13 compared to baseline, with a mean change in PVF recording at week 13 of 3.5 Â± 6.8% of body weight (% BW) compared with 0.5 Â± 6.1% BW in CTR-fed dogs. At the end of the study, CSOM was significantly decreased only in VTD-fed dogs.
In lame OA dogs, a VTD with high levels of omega-3 from fish origin improved locomotor disability and performance in daily activities. Such nutritional approach appears interesting for managing OA.
Source : M. Moreau et al., 2012. Effects of feeding a high omega-3 fatty acids diet in dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis. JAPAN online July 2012. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2012.01325.x