An expert in veterinary nutrition points out that some of the problems of osteoarthritis in dogs, such as inflammation or pain, can be managed with a diet rich in various nutrients such as omega-3

Disruption of the normal movement of the joints can cause injury to the various components of a joint. This injury often results in what is known as osteoarthritis (OA), which often leads to physical disability, pain, and a reduced quality of life for the affected pet.

OA is the most common form of arthritis and is recognized in humans and all veterinary species. It is often a slowly progressive condition characterized by two main disease processes: degeneration of articular cartilage with loss of proteoglycan and collagen, and proliferation of new bone.

In North America, the prevalence of osteoarthritis ranges from 20% in dogs older than 1 year to 80% in dogs older than 8 years. The goals of OA treatment are multifaceted: reduce pain and discomfort, decrease clinical signs, delay disease progression, promote repair of damaged tissue, and improve quality of life.

Kara Burns, a veterinary technician specializing in physiology and psychology and president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians, explains how to improve the development of osteoarthritis through diet.

And it is that it has been suggested that the best results in dogs with chronic pain due to OA are the result of a combination of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications, as well as pharmacological treatments to alleviate the disease, but also from other areas, such as nutrition, exercise and physical therapy.

In fact, Burns explains that dietary factors can potentially modify some of the underlying processes involved in OA, including modulating the inflammatory response, supplying nutrients for cartilage repair, and protection against oxidative damage.


"When effective, diet management can help reduce or eliminate the need for conventional medications," says the veterinary technique, which highlights, among some of the elements that should be taken into account in the diet, amino acids or Omega-3 fatty acids.

In the case of omega-3s, Burns notes that these fatty acids have been shown to aid in the management of canine OA, and there are studies showing that foods high in total omega-3 fatty acids and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA ) may improve the clinical signs of canine OA.

In the pet food market, products rich in these nutrients are offered, such as those from Dechra's Specific range, which is committed to omega-3 in its diet, specifically of marine origin. Thanks to the use of alternative and sustainable protein sources, such as certified fish and krill, Dechra's diets are high in omega-3, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

In addition, omega-3 has other beneficial effects beyond osteoarthritis, as it helps in the maintenance of a healthy coat and skin, favors the development of the brain and eyes and strengthens the immune system, and promotes good heart health .

In conclusion, veterinary art believes that nutrition and specific nutrients provide an effective and safe way to control OA in dogs, and that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids have the dual benefit of controlling inflammation and pain while slowing the progression of the disease by decreasing the degradation of cartilage.

Author: Animal's Health

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