A post from the cats Sabrina and Smoky
For quite a few months Fay and Bob have been giving each of us a little bit of fish oil on our nightly treat. Smoky is especially excited about the results so he gets to tell his story first.
Mr Smoky says “My fur has never been very nice. I shed a lot and my grey fur was dull, not shiny and worst of all I had lots of dander. Fay and Bob brush me and tried treatments to make it better but I don’t like being brushed very much and only sit still for a short time. Now after getting my fish oil for months my fur is nice and shiny and I have almost no dander any more. I look so handsome.”
Miss Sabrina says “I have always had really pretty fur. My short black coat is shiny and smooth and I don’t shed much. Now my fur is not quite as shiny but is it every fluffy and soft. We aren’t quite sure if it is the fish oil or my summer fur coat or both but I sure like it when Fay pets me and tells me how soft I am.”
Fish oil also has many other benefits for dogs and cats, just like it does for humans. Here is some information from http://www.judyshealthcafe.com/fishoil.htm. Fay gets our fish oil from the Vet. She pokes a hole in each capsule and squeezes it on our treat. She sure would like to find it as drops, it would be so much easier.
Fish Oil Can Help Keep Your Dogs And Cats Healthy
Fish oil has shown positive benefits in helping dogs and cats with disease. Omega 3 fatty acids are among the most commonly used nutritional supplements used in treating pets. Fish oil helps keep your dogs and cats healthy! Veterinarians first used omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil to treat canine and feline allergies but now recommend it for a wide variety of conditions ranging from kidney disease to arthritis and high cholesterol. Adding fish oil to your pet’s food provides anti-inflammatory effects, can help relieve itching and scratching and allergy related skin conditions.
Fish Oil and Healthy Pets
In research studies, fish oil has shown positive benefits in helping pets with disease. Fatty acids are among the most commonly used nutritional supplements used in treating dogs and cats. Fortunately,they have been used successfully long enough that most conventional veterinarians include their usage in the treatment of at least some diseases. Though some pet diets may include Omega-3 fatty acids, virtually none include satisfactory amounts of the most important Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Many pet foods contain primarily Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils resulting in a highly unbalanced ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s. Research has shown that a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 of 5:1 to 10:1 is optimal for dogs and cats and therefore supplementing with a high quality Omega-3 fish oil supports pet health.
Omega 3 oils support heart, vision and joint health, provide important nutrients for proper immune function, and nourish the skin and coat. First suggested for use in treating allergies in pets, they are now advocated in cases of kidney disease, elevated cholesterol, and arthritis as well. Veterinarians are discovering that fatty acids can be valuable for a variety of conditions. Fish oil supplementation may be helpful for pets with inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and cancers. Pets with any type of inflammatory disease may benefit from fish oil supplementation. In general, more severe disease requires doses higher than those commonly recommended.
Fish oil is very effective in some pets with allergies and skin disease. It is easy to administer (via gel caps or liquid) and can reduce the amount of corticosteroid or antihistamine needed to control itching. Most pets take either form well. For pets that are difficult to “pill,” the liquid form is quite popular. Owners of dogs and cats 20 pounds and under find the liquid form more cost effective than the large bottle of fatty acid capsules that we prescribe. The response is variable in other diseases (such as kidney disease) but fish oil appears effective in research studies. In pets with some types of cancer, fish oil has slowed down the growth and spread of the cancer. While more studies are needed on other types of cancer, the general recommendation is to add fish oil to the diets of all pets with cancer.
As with other supplements, the use of fatty acids often allows doctors to lower the dosages of drugs such as corticosteroids or antihistamines. Choosing a high quality Omega-3 fish oil supplement with exceptional purity and freshness, as well as, high levels of Omega-3s is key to supporting pet health.
|Fish Oil Benefits|
Now it’s time to give our pets the benefits of the tremendous healing properties of fish oil.
We know intuitively that our pets enrich our lives, so it is not surprising that a growing number of scientific studies are demonstrating the positive effects that animals can have on human health and development. Here is just a partial list of the health benefits of pet ownership, as reported by the Delta Society, a non-profit foundation that promotes research on the bond between humans and their animals:
- Pet owners have lower blood pressure. (Friedmann, 1983, Anderson 1992)
- Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners. (Anderson, 1992)
- Pet owners have better psychological well-being. (Serpel, 1990)
- Seniors who own dogs go to the doctor less than those who do not. In a study of 100 Medicare patients, even the most highly stressed dog owners had 21 percent fewer physician contacts than
non-dog owners. (Siegel, 1990)
- Contact with pets develops nurturing behavior in children who may grow to be more nurturing
adults. (Melson, 1990)
- Having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually in the U.S. alone. (Friedman, 1980)
- Children’s cognitive development can be enhanced by owning a pet. (Poresky, 1988)
- Children owning pets are more involved in activities such as sports, hobbies, clubs or chores.
- Children exposed to pets during the first year of life have a lower frequency of allergic rhintis and asthma. (Hesselmar, 1999)
- Autistic children with pets are more highly socialized and are less self-absorbed. (Redefer, 1989)
Given the strong emotional bonds between humans and animals, it is not surprising that many of us will do almost anything to secure the health and well-being of our pets. According to estimates from the most recent National Pet Owners’ Survey, Americans in 2005 will spend $17 billion on veterinary care and medicine, and those costs are rising sharply.
It is an accepted medical fact that the same treatments are often found to be equally effective in both humans and animals. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration reports that, since the passage of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 (AMDUCA), it has been legal for veterinarians to treat pets with human drugs that have not been approved for animals. Fish oil, of course, is not a drug. Adding it to your pet’s food may very well be one of the best things you can do to help your animal companion to fight infections and to defend against debilitating chronic ailments. With fish oil, you will also know that the benefits you see are real.
|How Quickly Will My Pet Benefit From Omega 3 Supplements?|
While the pet begins benefiting quickly, you may not notice a difference for 3-4 months. The pet’s body will change from the inside out—first the individual cells, then tissues, then organs. Gradually you’ll notice the coat and skin become more radiant. When you see this, you’ll know the internal organs, including the kidneys, liver, heart, and brain, are also experiencing more radiant health.
Because fats are an expensive component of pet foods, many commercial foods do not contain high levels, especially of the Omega 3 fatty acids. Most pets benefit from fatty acid supplements.
|Fish Oil Purity|
We have no one but ourselves to blame for the toxic contaminants found in fish oil. These toxins include mercury (from the burning of coal), PCBs (used in electrical insulation), and dioxins (the active ingredient in defoliants used in the Vietnam War). Although production of PCBs and dioxins has long been banned, they rarely break down and thus accumulate in the marine food chain that ends with fish. These toxins are known carcinogens and neurotoxins. In fact, the levels in the Eskimo population, who consume large amounts of fatty fish rich in EPA and EPA, are well above the safety standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), and recent studies indicate that they are approaching the upper limits of safety in the Japanese population.
Here lies the dilemma – how to remove these toxins to obtain all the tremendous health benefits of EPA and DHA. The solution was the development of a new manufacturing process for producing ultra refined EPA/DHA concentrates.
If you or someone you know is using a fish oil that is not tested by an independent laboratory for concentration, purity and stability, it’s buyer beware. Ask the manufacturer of that fish oil what it is trying to hide. It’s one thing to print pharmaceutical-grade on a label, it’s quite another to actually make a truly “pharmaceutical grade ultra refined” fish oil.
|Fish Oil Manufacturing|
It’s very difficult to remove the toxins out in fish oil. That’s why most fish oils sold in health-food stores and supermarkets should be considered the “sewer of the sea.” Since the contaminants in fish are oil-soluble, all the toxic contaminants are concentrated in the crude fish oil. Not a very appealing thought if you are taking fish oil for its “health” benefits. Obviously, all crude fish oil is highly contaminated. If you do some minimal processing, you can get rid of the mercury, but not the PCBs and dioxins. This minimally processed product is what you get when you purchase inexpensive brands of fish oil. In other words, you will also be ingesting a good dose of PCBs and dioxins. Slightly more expensive fish oils are given a “touch-up” via crude distillation to remove some of the cholesterol and slight amounts of the remaining toxins, but the EPA and DHA concentration is low. Therefore, to get an adequate dose of these critical long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, you have to consume large amounts of fish oil and, thus, large amounts of toxic contaminants. If you break apart the fatty acids to make ethyl esters, then it is possible to concentrate the oils to higher levels, but the PCBs and dioxins still remain.