The aim of this 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) over a period of 13 weeks in dogs afflicted by naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Thirty dogs were selected. All owners were asked to determine two to five activities of daily living that were the most impaired. Activities were scores in accordance with severity using case-specific outcome measures. Dogs (15/group) were then randomly assigned to receive either the CTR or the VTD. The outcome measures were completed twice weekly. The VTD-fed dogs showed a significantly higher peak of the vertically oriented ground reaction force at Week 7 and at Week 13 when compared to baseline. Conversely, dogs fed the CTR did not show significant change in force measurements. At the end of the study, the case-specific outcome measures were significantly decreased only in VTD-fed dogs.
In lame osteoarthritis dogs, a VTD that contains high level of omega-3 from fish origin improved the locomotor disability and the performance in activities of daily living. Such nutritional approach appears interesting for the management of naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Source: M. Moreau et al., 2013. Effects of feeding a high omega-3 fatty acids diet in dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis. JAPAN online, October 2013. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2012.01325.x.