By 1A.C. Beynen and 2E. Legerstee, 1Vobra Special Petfoods BV, Veghel, The Netherlands, 2University of Applied Sciences, Van Hall Larenstein, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
ABSTRACT Problem statement: There are indications for a beneficial effect of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans on the clinical signs of dogs with osteoarthritis. Data from a controlled trial were necessary to prove or disprove the indications. Approach: A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with privately owned dogs was carried out to assess the efficacy of a preparation of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans in the treatment of osteoarthritis. With the use of a questionnaire, the clinical signs were evaluated by the owners.
For a period of 8 weeks, the test dogs daily received a complete dry food without or with 800 ppm beta-1,3/1,6-glucans. There were 23 dogs per experimental group. Results: When compared with the baseline values, the administration of beta-1,3/1,6-glucans significantly improved activity (vitality) and significantly reduced stiffness, lameness and pain. In the placebo group there only was a significant change in the clinical signs of stiffness. When the changes over time for the two groups were compared, there were no statistically significant differences, but the test group showed greater numerical improvement as to the scores for activity, stiffness, lameness and pain. Conclusion: Beta-1,3/1,6-glucans can be considered safe and it is suggested that a dose of 800 ppm in a dry food would be beneficial for dogs with osteoarthritis.
Key words: Dog osteoarthritis, beta-1,3/1,6-glucans