Animals—131 client-owned dogs with stable chronic osteoarthritis examined at 33 privately owned veterinary hospitals in the United States.
Procedures—In all dogs, the dosage of carprofen was standardized over a 3-week period to approximately 4.4 mg/kg/d (2 mg/lb/d), PO. Dogs were then randomly assigned to receive a food supplemented with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids or a control food with low omega-3 fatty acid content, and 3, 6, 9, and 12 weeks later, investigators made decisions regarding increasing or decreasing the carprofen dosage on the basis of investigator assessments of 5 clinical signs and owner assessments of 15 signs.
Results—Linear regression analysis indicated that over the 12-week study period, carprofen dosage decreased significantly faster among dogs fed the supplemented diet than among dogs fed the control diet. The distribution of changes in carprofen dosage for dogs in the control group was significantly different from the distribution of changes in carprofen dosage for dogs in the test group.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis receiving carprofen because of signs of pain, feeding a diet supplemented with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids may allow for a reduction in carprofen dosage.
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.