There is a large body of evidence supporting beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids for both primary and secondary prevention of cardiac disease in people. However, evidence is increasing for the use of omega-3 fatty acids in dogs with cardiac disease as well. Omega-3 fatty acids' anti-inflammatory and anti-arrhythmic effects may be beneficial in managing the loss of lean body mass and arrhythmias that are common in heart failure. However, omega-3 fatty acids also may have positive effects on myocardial energy metabolism, endothelial function, heart rate and blood pressure, and immune function. Additional research is needed to determine optimal indications, doses and formulations for dogs and cats with cardiac disease.
© 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.