If your dog has osteoporosis, there’s a good chance that your veterinarian has recommended you try out omega 3 fatty acids for their anti-inflammatory effects.
While they haven’t been in favour as long as glucosamine and other canine osteoporosis supplements, omega 3 for dogs is gaining credibility with experts as new studies support the supplement’s use.
One such expert is Steven Budsberg, director of clinical research at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. In an interview with DVM magazine, Dr. Budsberg commented on recent studies focused on the effectiveness of omega 3 for dogs:
“We’re starting to see some clinical data that supports the use of high omega-3, low omega-6 fatty-acid diets. The concept behind them is that changing the types of polyunsaturated fatty acids that go into the animal changes the lipids in the cell membrane, which actually changes the inflammatory response in the body.”
The Spring 2010 issue of Natural Dog summarizes two studies that offer the kind of data Dr. Budsberg describes. Completed at Kansas State University, both studies measured the effectiveness of omega 3 dogs in improving canine osteoporosis.
In the first of these studies, researchers found that concentrated doses of omega 3 fatty acids improved the tested dogs’ mobility.
After six weeks of taking the supplements, the dogs were more easily able to get up from resting. After 12 to 24 weeks, the dogs were more easily able to walk.
The second study at Kansas State measured the strength of the dogs’ legs as they moved. Over the course of 90 days, the dogs significantly improved in their ability to move and bear weight.
Another recent study, this one at the University of Florida, also confirmed the value of omega 3 for dogs as a osteoporosis treatment. The study compared the use of natural supplements for dogs with conventional drugs and found that the two approaches had similar results. The notable difference was that, with the natural approach, the tested dogs didn’t suffer uncomfortable gastrointestinal side effects