Evaluating oxidative stress, serological- and haematological status of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, after supplementing their diet with fish or corn oil

Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Aug 26;15(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s12944-016-0304-6.


Background: Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of disease, and the antioxidant physiological effect of omega-3 from fish oil may lead to improvement of canine spontaneous osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: In this prospective randomized, controlled, double-blinded study, we assessed haematological and biochemical parameters in dogs with OA following supplementation with either a concentrated omega-3 deep sea fish oil product or corn oil. Blood samples from 77 client-owned dogs diagnosed as having OA were taken before (baseline) and 16 weeks after having orally ingested 0.2 ml/Kg bodyweight/day of deep sea fish oil or corn oil. Circulating malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH), non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI), free carnitine (Free-Car), 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), and serum fatty acids, haemograms and serum biochemistry were evaluated. Differences within and between groups from baseline to end, were analysed using repeated samples T-test or Wilcoxon rank test and independent samples T-test or a Mann-Whitney test.

Results: Supplementation with fish oil resulted in a significant reduction from day 0 to day 112 in MDA (from 3.41 ± 1.34 to 2.43 ± 0.92 μmol/L; P < 0.001) and an elevation in Free-Car (from 18.18 ± 9.78 to 21.19 ± 9.58 μmol/L; P = 0.004) concentrations, whereas dogs receiving corn oil presented a reduction in MDA (from 3.41 ± 1.34 to 2.41 ± 1.01 μmol/L; P = 0.001) and NTBI (from -1.25 ± 2.17 to -2.31 ± 1.64 μmol/L; P = 0.002). Both groups showed increased (albeit not significantly) GSH and 8-OH-dG blood values. Dogs supplemented with fish oil had a significant reduction in the proportions of monocytes (from 3.84 ± 2.50 to 1.77 ± 1.92 %; P = 0.030) and basophils (from 1.47 ± 1.22 to 0.62 ± 0.62 %; P = 0.012), whereas a significant reduction in platelets counts (from 316.13 ± 93.83 to 288.41 ± 101.68 × 10(9)/L; P = 0.029), and an elevation in glucose (from 5.18 ± 0.37 to 5.32 ± 0.47 mmol/L; P = 0.041) and cholesterol (from 7.13 ± 1.62 to 7.73 ± 2.03 mmol/L; P = 0.011) measurements were observed in dogs receiving corn oil.

Conclusions: In canine OA, supplementation with deep sea fish oil improved diverse markers of oxidative status in the dogs studied. As corn oil also contributed to the reduction in certain oxidative markers, albeit to a lesser degree, there was no clear difference between the two oil groups. No clinical, haematological or biochemical evidence of side effects emerged related to supplementation of either oil. Although a shift in blood fatty acid values was apparent due to the type of nutraceutical product given to the dogs, corn oil seems not to be a good placebo.

Keywords: 8-OH-dG; Dog; Fatty acid; GSH; MDA; NTBI; Natural model; OA; Omega-3; Omega-6; Osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Corn Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dog Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fish Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Osteoarthritis / diet therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis / veterinary
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils
  • Corn Oil