Effect of a diet enriched with green-lipped mussel on pain behavior and functioning in dogs with clinical osteoarthritis

Green-lipped mussels can help ease pain in arthritic dogs

Source: P. Rialland, S. Bichot, B. Lussier, M. Moreau, F. Beaudry, J.R.E. del Castillo, D. Gauvin, E. Troncy
The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research vol 77 no 1, January 2013, pp 66-74

Dogs can suffer pain due to the joint disease, osteoarthritis, so they are given painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, which may have side-effects. Researchers have studied dietary supplements and other alternatives, which could help to reduce inflammation, while lacking side-effects occurs with osteoarthritis. This study examines the effect of Green-Lipped Mussels on canine osteoarthritis.

This Canadian study involved 23 dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The dogs were fed a control diet for 30 days, followed by a diet enriched with Green-Lipped Mussels for the next 60 days. The dogs on the enriched diet showed an increase in their blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. They also improved in terms of their peak vertical force, or the weight that a limb could bear, a common pain measurement. The dogs’ owners also saw an improvement in their dogs´mobility, which appeared to improve during the whole of the study, both in terms of owner assessment, and measured by an accelerometer.

The balanced control diet used during the study may have contributed to an alleviation of pain due to osteoarthritis, though enrichment with Green-Lipped Mussels appears to have brought an improvement after 30 days.
Some nutritional supplements may help to alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis by increasing levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, as happened in this study. These dogs may, however, have benefited from other nutrients which were not investigated. The result of this study indicates that it is worth carrying out more research on Green-Lipped Mussels as a way to alleviate pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.