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Feeding high-omega-3 diet to dogs with OA

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 (0–4) 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 ± 6.8% of body weight (% BW) compared with 0.5 ± 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

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