Fish Oil

VCA Animal Hospital

What is fish oil?

Fish oil (brand names: Eicosaderm®, Dermapet®, Welactin®, AllerG-3®) is a supplement derived from coldwater fish, such as salmon. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA act as anti-inflammatory agents, and therefore can be used for inflammatory diseases including skin allergies (atopy) and dermatitis, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and some types of cancer. Fish oil is used widely in cats and dogs, as well as horses.

Dietary supplements are substances that can be used to supplement the diet, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals, enzymes, and probiotics. While many supplements are sold over the counter, they still contain ingredients that have biological effects that should be managed by your veterinarian. Follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

There are differences in how countries regulate supplements. In the United States, these substances are not as vigorously regulated by the FDA as other medications, which means they can be sold without the manufacturer proving their effectiveness, safety, and without a guarantee of consistent or accurately reported ingredients. In Canada, products that have been evaluated for quality, safety, and effectiveness by Health Canada and authorized for sale will have a license number on the label.

How effective is fish oil?

Fish oil has been studied in animals more than most dietary supplements, and studies show that fish oil is effective for treating allergic skin disease and some types of cancer. With other conditions, more studies are needed.

How is fish oil given?

Fish oil is given by mouth in the form of a liquid or capsule. It may be given with or without food; however, if stomach upset occurs when dosed on an empty stomach, give future doses with food. Fish oil can easily be mixed into wet food. Measure liquid forms carefully.

This medication can take up to a few weeks before full effects are noted, but gradual improvements are usually noticeable.

What if I miss giving my pet the supplement?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

Fish oils are generally very safe. Side effects, particularly at high doses, may include diarrhea, vomiting, delayed wound healing, sleepiness, a fishy odor to the breath or skin, increased itchiness, or an oily coat and skin flakes. Discontinuation of the supplement should resolve these side effects. In cats, changes in blood clotting can occur. Serious side effects include persistent stomach upset, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), abnormal bleeding or bruising, or heavy metal toxicity characterized by appetite loss, incoordination, or seizures.

This moderate-acting medication may last for several days and may last longer in pets with kidney or liver disease.

Are there any risk factors for this supplement?

Fish oil should not be used in pets that are sensitive to it. Do not use unreputable sources of fish oil, as heavy metal toxicity can occur. Fish oil should be used cautiously in pets that are also taking anticoagulant medications or that have blood-clotting disorders, as this supplement can increase the anti-clotting effects. It should be used cautiously in pets with diabetes, diarrhea, or a history of pancreatitis. Fish oil should be used cautiously in pregnant or nursing pets. High doses should be used carefully, as vitamin A overdoses can occur.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

The following medications should be used with caution when given with fish oils: anticoagulants, doxorubicin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Vitamins, herbal therapies, and supplements have the potential to interact with each other, as well as with prescription and over the counter medications. It is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including all vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this supplement?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working. Monitor your pet at home for serious side effects.

How do I store fish oil?

Store in a cool dry place and protect from sunlight. Some products require refrigeration after opening. Follow storage recommendations according to the bottle label.

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

Fish Oils are good for your Health : USDA ARS

Fish Oils are good for your Health

Jay Cao

Fats and oils are an essential part of healthy diets. They provide energy, help in forming cells and tissues, and many supply vitamins A, E and K.

Excessive intakes of fats - in fact, excessive intakes of any type of calories - can lead to overweight and obesity, which affects more than 60 percent Americans. Obesity is linked to increased risks for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers.

Yet, some fats and oils can benefit health. Those containing long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids support important biological functions.

Fish can be a rich sources of long-chain omega-3s; but not all fish are created equal. Oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines and anchovies have high levels of omega-3s; while tilapia, walleye and farmed catfish typically have little or no omega-3s. Studies have shown that including oily fish in your diet can lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some researchers have also found positive effects on hypertension and rheumatoid arthritis.

Research has also found consuming adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids may help preserve muscle, maintain a healthy body weight and reduce risk of osteoporosis. Adding omega-3s to high-fat diets of mice has been shown to prevent those animals from becoming obese. Fish oil supplements have been found to increase muscle protein synthesis in healthy, older adults.

Many Americans eat heart-unhealthy diets that are low in omega-3 fatty acids and contain relatively high amounts of saturated and other unsaturated fatty acids. Ample evidence suggests that this imbalance may also contribute to osteoporosis. For example, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of some 14,000 Americans found intakes of saturated fats from animal products to be associated with low bone mineral density. Several animal studies have found that increasing intakes of omega-3 fatty acids improved the formation and retention of bone mineral.

Osteoporosis affects nearly 10 million Americans, especially postmenopausal women. Its risk and impact increase with age and may worsen with obesity due to the effects of chronic inflammation and the strain of excess weight. It is thought that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils, which have anti-inflammatory properties, may be useful in improving bone health while preventing obesity.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults get 8 or more ounces of oily fish per week. This level of intake should provide about 250 mg per day of omega-3s, a level that has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and should also help maintain healthy body weight and healthy bones.

To learn more about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, visit:

Top 9 Benefits of taking fish oil every day

Fish oil is a dietary supplement which is extracted from the tissues of certain kinds of oily fish. The most vital components of fish oils are the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), omega-3 fatty acids and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These components are considered to have many health benefits like ability to enhance mood & immunity reduce oxidative damage &inflammation in the body.

What is fish oil good for?

The essential nutrients in fish oil such as omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA offer health benefits from tip to toe. Many studies have proven the benefits of fish oil supplements, especially the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in various kinds of medical conditions like mental health including anxiety and depression. Even though fish oil has numerous health benefits, top 9 benefits of fish oil are discussed here.

1. Benefits of taking fish oil in recovering from a stroke

Taking fish oil can benefit during recovery from stroke. Stroke survivors can benefit from the bbrain-boosting qualities of DHA and omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil has also been noted to reduce the risk of thrombotic stroke.

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2. Benefits of taking fish oil for heart

Fish oil is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These components are considered to have cardioprotective qualities. Omega 3 fatty acids help in lowering the levels of triglycerides, consequently reducing a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack. It is also believed that fish oil promotes suppression of irregular heartbeats and thus contribute to heart health.

3. Benefits of taking fish oil for mood

Mood and cognition is controlled by a chemical called serotonin that is secreted in the brain. Regular consumption of fish oil promotes the release of serotonin. An uninterrupted release of serotonin thus helps in improving social behaviour and uplifts mood. As a result, taking fish oil on a regular basis helps serotonin to work better by reducing brain inflammation and facilitating its release. So it will help to improve mood and social behaviour and overall happiness. Improvement of brain functioning also helps in faster cognition and decision-making process.

4. Benefits of fish oil supplements for memory

Omega 3 fatty acids make an essential building block for the brain cell structures and membranes. As a result, they are vital for optimal brain functions. Further, Omega 3 acids are also necessary for adequate performance of the nerve cells. It has been shown in certain studies that fish oil can help in improvement of memory, although as one ages, this effect is likely to decrease.

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5. Benefits of taking fish oil for immunity

The number and activity of the disease fighting cells of the body called B-cells goes up with regular consumption of omega 3 fatty acids. This along with its anti- inflammatory action helps in building stronger immunity.

6. Benefits of taking fish oil to counter the effect of air pollution

Contrary to the popular belief that air pollution affects the respiratory system, air pollutants affect every organ and system of the body. Studies have found that omega 3 fatty acids due to their ability to reduce and prevent inflammation can also help reduce the oxidative stress on organs caused due to pollution and other environmental factors. Some scientists believe that up to 35-40% of the damage caused by pollution can be reduced by fish oil supplements.

7. Benefits of fish oil supplements for eyes

Fish oil is considered to be of benefit for preventing dry eyes if consumed regularly due to moisture retention capabilities of omega 3 fatty acids. Some researchers also believe that early development of age-related macular degeneration, a degenerative condition of the eye can be prevented by routine consumption of fish oil.

8. Fish oil for effective weight management

Even though, the most definitive strategy for losing weight is doing regular exercise and eating right, the process of weight loss may be catalysed by the addition of fish oil to your diet. Consumption of fish oil decreases the appetite, as a result, body fat storage is reduced thus making a workout session more effective.

9. Fish oil as a nourishment for skin

Omega 3 fatty acids can help in repair of damage to the skin cells due to its ability to restore cell membranes from the inside. Skin conditions causing redness and irritation can also benefit due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 acids making the skin more even.

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10. Benefits of taking fish oil during pregnancy

Bonus benefit: If you were wondering, that is all. We have a bonus fish oil benefit for you, especially if you are pregnant.

Since Omega-3 fatty acids form an important constituent or building blocks for the nervous tissue, they have a beneficial effect on the development of the fetal brain, nervous system and the eyes. Boosting the immune system, combating postpartum depression or mood swings, and general well-being of the mother are some other benefits of fish oil.


Even though fish oil supplements are available without a physician’s prescription, there may be a possibility that a medical condition or any medications that you may be taking is incompatible with the supplement. Hence it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any such supplements. You may want to seek your doctor’s opinion about the best fish oil to take.

Eric Carter