Thursday, March 12, 2015

Facts on DHA rich fish oil for puppies

DID YOU KNOW????  Taken from the Healthy Pet Challenge group.
New research suggests that puppies may benefit from DHA-rich fish oil.
A group of 48 weaned Beagle puppies were divided into 3 groups at 8 weeks of age. Each group received a diet that was low in fish oil, moderate in fish oil, or high in fish oil until 52 weeks of age. During this growth period, the groups of puppies were periodically evaluated for cognitive learning, memory, psychomotor, and eye retinal function. The puppies’ immune response to rabies vaccination was also evaluated.
Elaborate maze, object discrimination and displacement, visual contrast discrimination, and landmark discrimination protocols were administered to the puppies at various ages and stages of neurological development. These testing protocols measure learning function of the brain. A memory test protocol was performed by all of the puppies between 33 and 44 weeks of age. Psychomotor skills were evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months of age by timing the ability to navigate an obstacle filled maze.
Electroretinography examinations were performed on the puppies at 4, 6 and 12 months of age to measure the visual activity of the retina of the eye. Puppies were periodically blood tested to confirm that the amounts of DHA in the blood corresponded to the levels of fish oil fed.
Findings of the Fish Oil Study
The researchers found that with the exception of sight contrast discrimination, cognitive learning did not significantly differ among the groups. Psychomotor skills did not differ with fish oil treatments. However, retinal function was significantly improved with high levels of fish oil.
Interestingly, high fish oil puppies had a much higher anti-rabies antibody in their blood 1 and 2 weeks after their vaccination. The researchers concluded that since visual contrast discrimination and retinal activity correlated with blood levels of DHA, fish oil may aid in the neurological development of puppies.

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