Therapeutic Effect of EPA/DHA Supplementation in Neoplastic and Non-neoplastic Companion Animal Diseases: A Systematic Review

In Vivo. 2021 May-Jun;35(3):1419-1436. doi: 10.21873/invivo.12394. Epub 2021 Apr 28.


Background/aim: The aim of this study is to identify and describe randomized controlled studies evaluating the therapeutic effect of EPA and DHA supplementation in companion animal diseases.

Materials and methods: A systematic search was conducted in PubMed database and the information collected was summarized and evaluated according to the risk of bias, using the revised Cochrane tool (RoB2).

Results: Twenty-three studies were eligible for inclusion: twenty performed in dogs and three in cats. A therapeutic benefit was found in canine allergic dermatitis, haircoat disorder, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, valvular disease, and canine and feline osteoarthritis. Dogs diagnosed with chronic heart failure and lymphoma and cats with allergic dermatitis also seem to benefit from supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, but studies with improved methodological quality are needed to strengthen this evidence.

Conclusion: EPA and DHA supplementation has proven benefits in the adjuvant treatment of various neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases in dogs and cats.

Keywords: DHA; EPA; Eicosapentaenoic acid; cats; docosahexaenoic acid; dogs; omega-3 fatty acids; review; supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases*
  • Cats
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Dog Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Pets
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid