Fish Oils (EPA & DHA)
1) Give 20mg/lb of EPA every day to help treat & prevent arthritis, skin, bladder, heart and even urinary problems.
2) Convenient dosing using foods and some new high potency capsules (for large dogs) are the latest breakthroughs! see table below.
3) Consumerlab.com can give more background info for people and evaluates pet products to.
Correct dosing & reading labels are critical steps for this supplement!
• Decreases inflammation throughout the body if dosed at 20mg/lb EPA & 12mg/lb DHA per day (dogs & cats)
• Helpful for arthritis, skin conditions, cognitive, heart & kidney disease.
• Wide concentration range between products and dose on label rarely enough to prevent inflammation.
Background Fish oils have better evidence in human and pet literature than practically all other supplements combined. The challenges are in finding the correct dose and the best way to deliver it in a convenient and cost effective way.
Benefits: High doses (20 mg/lb) are used to treat and may prevent skin conditions, heart problems, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, “inflammation associated with daily activity” and improved cognitive function.
Active Ingredients: Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) & Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) or fish oils [Also referred to as Omega 3’s, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) and Free Fatty Acids (FFA’s)]
Dosage: Supplement at 20 mg /lb EPA & 12mg/lb DHA per day. Concentration varies widely among products but typical fish oil capsules contain 1000mg of oil of which 180 mg is EPA and 120 mg is DHA. (So a 60lb dog requires 7 capsules per day) Read labels closely for mg of EPA per capsule, serving size etc. Label doses usually require doubling or tripling to reach the 20mg/lb per day.
Natural sources: Sardines, anchovies, deep ocean fish (must know amount)
Drug interactions: None
Side effects: Diarrhea at higher doses (increase slowly to prevent)
Other facts you need to know before you give your pet fish oils:
1) Fish oils are highly prone to oxidation so they need to be protected from light and need adequate levels of Vitamin E or other antioxidants to preserve them.
2) Flax seed (and other Omega 3 FA’s) are not readily converted to the active forms EPA & DHA in pets.
3) There is CONSIDERABLE variability in supplements in terms of amount of EPA & DHA per capsule or ml of liquid in both human and pet products. Dosing is critical to achieve desired effects.
4) DHA is more important in cats (bladder & joint disease), and cognitive issues in both older dogs & young-where it is now being added to puppy foods to increase learning.
5) There are now 5 prescription dog foods and 2 prescription cat foods that deliver at least 20mg/lb of EPA. They range from 209 to over 600mg EPA per cup.
6) Bio-availability of triglyceride, ethyl ester and free form now being debated — Stay tuned!).
7) Finding a convenient way to dose to achieve daily compliance is a challenge!
Your pets wt_______in lbs EPA 20mg/lb = ________mg DHA 12mg/lb = ________mg
Typical Human Products:
_____ caps Human Fish oil capsules usually 180mg of EPA per capsule (Walgreens, Costco etc) out of every 1000mg fish oil.
______ caps of high potency human products (Carlson, Natures Bounty & others range from 300 to 700mg EPA per capsule) for every 1000 mg fish oil.
______ mls Liquid fish oil ____ 120mg to 180mg of EPA per ml)
(Need to make sure it is NOT citrus flavored, for pets taste buds!)
______mls Omega AllerG3 ® 180 mg EPA/ml
______mls Omega-3 Ascenta ™ 148mg EPA/ml
Prescription Dog Foods:
______cups Purina Prescription JM ® (290mg EPA/cup)
______cups Hills Prescription J/D ® (394mg EPA/cup)
______ cups Royal Canin Joint Mobility (330mg EPA/cup) (also contains green lipped mussel)
______ cups Royal Canin Prescription Joint Mobility Lg Breed (500mg EPA/cup) also contains Perna green lipped mussel
______ cups Purina DRM ® Trout & Salmon Food Allergy Diet (640mg EPA per cup)
Prescription Cat foods:
_____cups Hills Feline J/D (605.7mg EPA/cup 388 mg DHA/cup) but has 535 Cal/cup!
_____cups Royal Canine Feline Mobility JS (440mg EPA/cup 222 mg/DHA-also contains Perna green lipped mussel)
Checklist (if shopped): ( ) light protected ( ) fresh, reliable source ( ) Hg (mercury) free ( ) stabilized with Vit E
This information provided based on the scientific papers listed below as well as seminars, and evidence based sources. More information on the human nutraceutical site consumerlab.com and on our clinic website westsidefamilypet.com.
Evaluation of a Therapeutic Diet for Feline Degenerative Disease Duncan Lascelles J Vet Intern Med 2010, 1-9 Evaluation of the effects of dietary supplementation with fish oil omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis James K Rousch DVM,MS,DACVS;Alan R.Cross DVM, MS,DACVS et al JAVMA Vol236, No.1, January 1, 2010 Freeman, Lisa OSU Waltham 2002 Nutritional Conference Mueller RS, et al. J Sm An Proc 2004, 45:293-297. Simopoulos AP. J Amer Coll Nutr 2002, 21:495-505 Bauer JE. I Am Vet Med Assoc 2006, 229:680-684. Caterson B, et al. Hills European Symposium Genoa, Italy, Apr 2005:14-18. Brown SA, et al. J Nutr 1998, 128:2765S-2767S. Smith CE, et al. J Vet Inter Med 2007, 21:265-273.