Animals—38 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis examined at 2 university veterinary clinics.
Procedures—Dogs were randomly assigned to receive a typical commercial food (n = 16) or a test food (22) containing 3.5% fish oil omega-3 fatty acids. On day 0 (before the trial began) and days 45 and 90 after the trial began, investigators conducted orthopedic evaluations and force-plate analyses of the most severely affected limb of each dog, and owners completed questionnaires to characterize their dogs' arthritis signs.
Results—The change in mean peak vertical force between days 90 and 0 was significant for the test-food group (5.6%) but not for the control-food group (0.4%). Improvement in peak vertical force values was evident in 82% of the dogs in the test-food group, compared with 38% of the dogs in the control-food group. In addition, according to investigators' subjective evaluations, dogs fed the test food had significant improvements in lameness and weight bearing on day 90, compared with measurements obtained on day 0.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—At least in the short term, dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids resulted in an improvement in weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Animals—127 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis in 1 or more joints from 18 privately owned veterinary clinics.
Procedures—Dogs were randomly assigned to be fed for 6 months with a typical commercial food or a test food containing a 31-fold increase in total omega-3 fatty acid content and a 34-fold decrease in omega-6–omega-3 ratio, compared with the control food. Dog owners completed a questionnaire about their dog's arthritic condition, and investigators performed a physical examination and collected samples for a CBC and serum biochemical analyses (including measurement of fatty acids concentration) at the onset of the study and at 6, 12, and 24 weeks afterward.
Results—Dogs fed the test food had a significantly higher serum concentration of total omega-3 fatty acids and a significantly lower serum concentration of arachidonic acid at 6, 12, and 24 weeks. According to owners, dogs fed the test food had a significantly improved ability to rise from a resting position and play at 6 weeks and improved ability to walk at 12 and 24 weeks, compared with control dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ingestion of the test food raised blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and appeared to improve the arthritic condition in pet dogs with osteoarthritis.