WONDERS OF FISH OIL
Cardiac disease in both animals and people can benefit
from fish oil supplementation. Cardio-protective actions include increased refractory
period and reduced potential for arrhythmia via a reduction in electrical excitability.
Studies have shown increased survival times in dogs with chronic heart failure.
In a clinical research trial involving dogs, fish
oil was shown to slow glomerular changes and to preserve renal architecture.
It is assumed these positive effects on kidney disease would also occur in
cats afflicted with chronic renal disease. The anti- inflammatory properties
of fish oil should be helpful to those pets suffering from glomerulonephritis
and pyelonephritis. Future research may confirm an immune-mediated etiology
for feline renal disease stemming from vaccinations. If this is proven then
fish oil could be particularly helpful in reducing this type of inflammation
within the kidneys.
IMMUNE MEDIATED DISEASES
Fish oil may be beneficial in
treating a wide variety of immune-mediated diseases because
it blocks the production of inflammatory cytokines. In
a study of asthmatic children a small dose of fish oil
was found to decrease symptom scores. Environmental allergens
and food allergens are thought to play a significant role
in canine bronchitis and feline asthma. Fish oil is just
one supplement that can help to reduce inflammation in
the respiratory systems of these patients. Bone and joint
inflammation also responds to fish oil. Human clinical
trials have shown supplementation with fish oil allowed
patients with rheumatoid arthritis to reduce their dosage
of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications).
Reducing inflammation in joints equates with a reduction
in pain. At Animal Health & Healing we have found fish
oil to be helpful in reducing symptoms of arthritis, skin
allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies,
gingivitis, and stomatitis.
It is important to remember that
although fish oil is a great nutritional supplement it
is not a cure-all. It should just be a part of an overall
holistic therapeutic plan. A good natural balanced diet
is still the base of the pyramid upon which all other healing
modalities must build. Combining the best of western medicine
with holistic therapies offers our patients with chronic
disease the best chance to heal.
Dr. Teresa Garden is chief veterinarian and owner
of Animal Health & Healing, a full-service holistic
and conventional veterinary practice in the Maplewood/Richmond
Heights area. AnimalHealthandHealing.com; phone: 314-781-1738