Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowI got worried about giving both, that it would be too much for her system. I think I read somewhere that you could overdo the omega fatty acids. Who knows where though? I'm paranoid about that kind of stuff! Not that you'd understand!
What is up with her immune system? Too bad you're so suspicious of the holistic vets...
Today Patricia M was talking about Chinese herbs for dogs on "Calling All Pets." She actually said that you have to be careful about which proteins you're feeding because some are just too warm. I knew what she was talking about but I'm sure the rest of the audience was like, WTF??????
We like warm proteins at my house...especially elk.
And Camper does prefer his meat warmed too! With a touch of garlic!
More than being concerned about giving too many fatty acids, I think we should be aware of the potential to go too far in one extreme or the other in terms of which ones.
This webpage is interesting: http://www.benbest.com/health/essfat.html.
The author cites a lot of studies; some of his correlations between studies are a little flimsy, but to me, there is a convincing argument that more than worrying about quantity of essential fatty acids (which after all, appear in pretty much all healthy foods), we need to worry about the balance
of the omega 3s and 6s.
Granted, this is human biology, but with animal studies. So there isn't a lot of reason to assume that especially the immune systems work so differently. Inflammatory issues are the purview of the immune system. So it deserves our special attention. Everything from allergies to arthritis to IBD is affected.
So...it seem to me that we need to pay close attention to what our dogs are eating. What fatty acids are in what foods? Memorize EFA tables if we must
. What is a reasonable ratio for dogs? For humans, 1/1, but we evolved as omnivores. For dogs? I've seen anywhere from 3:1 (O3:O5) to 5:1. Dogs evolved eating grass and foliage-eating prey. So it's not that odd that the ratio would be that high. It's not like their biology expected them to go fishing. They got the O3s from eating moose and deer who ate the green stuff in the ecosystem.
(They didn't really evolve to eat grain-fed cattle and chickens. That's an idea that didn't come along until the last 100-150 years or so. And that's why I have so many issues with the "prey model" of raw feeding. We raw-feeders aren't feeding our dogs true "prey.")
On the other hand, too many Omega 3 fatty acids can cause low blood pressure, bleeding issues such as internal bleeding, bruising, and difficulty clotting (again, these symptoms are those we look for in humans). Because animal and human studies have shown that Omega 3s are so effective in combatting inflammation and autoimmune syndromes, one has to wonder if the inverse is true: if your animal becomes immunocompromised (infections that won't heal, for example), could the Omega 3s be exacerbating this? http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-ltr11.html
This isn't something your vet will EVER think of.
I think we just have to be informed. Really aware and as informed as possible. If our kids are eating well-balanced diets, then we're probably ok supplementing with a variety of oils. But if they're they're just eating a diet of straight fish all the time (Orijen fish kids do eat a lot of fish...
), we should probably ask the Orijen or Natural Balance folks exactly what the content is of O3s in the food, per serving (per cup, per ounce, whatever) is. If our kids are eating a straight venison and rice diet (because we KNOW that venison isn't grass-fed venison) then they can use a good deal more O3s
BTW, I just found this: Flaxseed generally contains 9% saturated, 18% oleic acid, 16% omega 6 and 57% omega 3 fatty acids. However, flaxseeds themselves contain phytic acid that can hinder the absorption of such nutrients as iron, calcium, phosphorus and zinc.
So flax probably should be served separately from main meals.