Diet and physiotherapy in post-surgery recovery

15 October 2018 – News

The authors of this study set out to measure the effects of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid and of physical rehabilitation on the onset of osteoarthritis (OA) in dogs which suffered from cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCL).

48 dogs with unilateral CCL disease were selected for the study.  They were submitted to tibial plateau levelling osteotomy and arthroscopic surgery at the start of the trial. There were 4 testing groups:

  • Test Food (TF) + Rehabilitation,
  • Control Food (CF) + Rehabilitation,
  • TF + No Rehabilitation,
  • CF + No Rehabilitation.

Radiographs were taken and synovial fluid was collected immediately after surgery, at week 8 and at week 24.

The results indicate that feeding an omega-3 and protein rich diet (similar to TF), regardless of physical rehabilitation, will help to reduce the synovial fluid concentration of proinflammatory compounds, such as prostaglandin E2, and aid in delaying the onset of OA. Improved radiographic scores also confirmed that physical rehabilitation, regardless of diet, was effective in slowing the progression of OA following tibial surgery. The authors also observed that a TF diet slowed recovery from surgery but seemingly without any complications.  This area was viewed as meriting further research.

In Wendy I. Baltzer, et al (2018) Evaluation of the clinical effects of diet and physical rehabilitation in dogs following tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.