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February 11, 2010

We are a full 11 days into Ginko’s confinement due to ongoing knee issues, and things are going remarkably well. One thing that seems to be helping is an increase in how much fish oil we give him.

We’ve always given both Ginko and Lilly one capsule with each meal, but I’ve bumped Ginko up to two … which is about 600 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per meal. So, about 1,200 mg per day.

And, for now, with his activity greatly limited, this routine seems to be working as well as one of the anti-inflammatory drugs we had to use for about 10 days after the holidays to get him past his major swelling, limping episode.

I’ll be writing more about fats, essential or otherwise, in the coming weeks over at the new Dog Food Dish blog, but here are a couple things I wanted to share with you now.

Omega-3 fatty acids are less immunologically stimulating than Omega-6 or Omega-9 fatty acids, so they can help from a dietary standpoint to reduce inflammation from things like:

  • Surgery or injury
  • Cancer treatment
  • Skin issues
  • Arthritis
  • Various intestinal issues ending in “itis”

What’s interesting too is that omega-3s help prevent water loss through the skin … that’s why fish oils and such improve a dog’s coat.

We’re also giving Ginko more Level 5000 with each meal. It’s a liquid glucosamine supplement with a bunch of other anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. We call it “knee juice” or “monkey juice,” and it has helped him a lot over the years. We pay about $56 per bottle at the local feed store, and that lasts about two months.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. I am just concerned about the main source of Omega 3 which is the liver of fish. as you can see, fishes can accumulate mercury and pcb. ~;’

  2. Thanks for this helpful info. I’m always looking for trusted sources to help me understand what my little greyhound could benefit from!

  3. Thanks, KB, for that additional info. I would love to see any research and calculations you’ve used for R’s dosage and mix of EFAs.

    Allie, right after Ginko’s knee surgery (when he was 3) I met three people in totally diverse settings who SWORE by Level 5000 for their dogs with joint issues. We can tell a big difference, if we run out and he goes without it for a few days.

    Sam, I believe their are people who give preventive supplements to their agility dogs. You might check the Clean Run site or magazine. I could swear there was an article at some point about supplements for performance dogs.

    And, yes, Sam … you’re right. That piece I emailed you is the original version of what was on the old design and what now lives in the side by as Why Champion of My Heart.

  4. Thanks for the info. This may or may not be related, but I’ve thought of giving Marge a supplement to protect her joints as her agility career heats up. Do you have any experience with that kind of thing?

    PS – I loved your Winning Moment piece. I vaguely remember it, but may just be thinking of your sidebar on the old version of your blog, which, if I recall, took snippets out of that piece. But really.. it captures the emotion so well. I can only hope that that will be me (and YOU!) one day.

  5. Interesting post, Roxanne. Thanks! Gobo’s surgeon recommended he should be on Glucosamine for life since he has knee issues, and I didn’t know about Level 5000.


  6. I agree on the Fish Oil but no studies except for two show how much to give. Sadly, both studies were done by companies that make ‘joint’ dog foods, Hill and Iams. Both studies looked convincing to the scientist in me that Fish Oil in large quantities makes a huge difference in joint arthritis. So, what I did was calculate how much of each type of omega fatty acid my dog would get if he ate one those foods. Then, I supplemented with capsules to reach that quantity. It’s a lot of capsules (20)… and there are a lot of details to pay attention to (e.g., ratio of DHA to EPA, which needs to be different in dogs than in humans – email me if you’re interested in that kind of detail).

    BTW, fish oil is also a blood thinner. If your dogs ever need surgery, stop it a good long time ahead of surgery or inform them before an emergency surgery that your dog takes fish oil.

    One more thing – Adequan can now be given subcutaneously, which would be quite easy for you to learn to do at home. It used to be an intramuscular injection, which is harder for a lay person to learn to do well. But, sub-Q is very easy… just in case you’re still considering that option.

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