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Reference Desk December 2012

New Study Published on Fatty Acids in Nutritional Management of Canine Osteoarthritis

    December 21, 2012—Recent findings published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition showed that a diet rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish provided significant benefits to dogs with osteoarthritis (OA).

    Researchers from the University of Montreal’s Department of Veterinary Biomedicine conducted the randomized, controlled and double-blinded trial. Their goal was to evaluate the nutritional benefits of a veterinary therapeutic diet containing a high level of omega-3 fatty acids in dogs with OA.

    The 13-week study involved 30 pet dogs with naturally occurring OA. Half of the dogs were fed Purina Veterinary Diets® JM Joint Mobility® Canine Formula, a therapeutic diet containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. The other 15 dogs were fed a control diet with the same nutritional profile, but a different fat source in place of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

    Researchers used force plate gait analysis, veterinary orthopedic evaluations and client-assessed activity scores to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the diet. Force plate measurements were taken at weeks 0, 7 and 13. During the trial, the gait of dogs on JM improved significantly, showing an increase in peak vertical force (PVF) by week 7. Client-assessed activity scores were also significantly improved. By comparison, there was no significant improvement in either PVF or activity scores for dogs on the control diet.

    “We believe this study is the first to show a true benefit from long-chain omega-3 fatty acids for dogs with OA,” says Dottie Laflamme, DVM, PhD, DACVN, senior research scientist, Nestlé Purina PetCare. Other clinical studies have looked at fish oil-based diets in dogs with OA, but the control diets in those studies were very different from the test diets.

    “A multi-modal approach to managing dogs with OA is important,” adds Laflamme. “This approach includes weight management, feeding long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and administering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) when appropriate. With this study, we have strong evidence of the important role diet can play in managing dogs with this condition.”

    Veterinary professionals with questions about JM can contact their Nestlé Purina Veterinary Sales Consultant; or call the Purina Veterinary Resource Center at 1-800-222-VETS (8387) weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CST.

    Source: Exponent PR press release

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