Omega-3 fatty acids, collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin all improve symptoms of arthritis in dogs, in several new studies.
In an omega-3 study, veterinarians examined 38 privately-owned pet dogs with osteoarthritis and gave commercial food or a test food containing 3.5 percent omega-3 fish oil. After 90 days, dogs that ate the omega-3s could bear 5.4 percent more weight on the weakest leg compared to 0.4 percent for placebo. Measuring maximum resistance, 82 percent of the omega-3 dogs improved, compared to 38 percent for placebo. The omega-3 dogs also were much less lame compared to the start of the study.
In another omega-3 study, 127 pet dogs with arthritis in one or more joints ate a commercial dog food or a test food that contained much higher levels of omega-3s and had a lower ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. After six months, the omega-3 dogs had much higher blood levels of omega-3s and lower levels of omega-6s. While there was no change for the commercial-food group, dog owners reported that the omega-3 dogs got up faster from a resting position, played more, and walked better than at the start of the study.
In an arthritis study, 20 arthritic pet dogs took 10 mg of undenatured type II collagen alone, 2,000 mg of glucosamine plus 1,600 mg of chondroitin alone, these two supplements together, or a placebo. After 120 days, while there was no change for the placebo group, dogs in all three other groups had much less pain overall and after limb manipulation, and much less lameness after exercise, compared to the start of the study.
Reference: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association; 2010, Vol. 236, No. 1, 67