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Can J Vet Res. 1997 Apr;61(2):145-53.

Effect of an omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid-containing commercial lamb and rice diet on pruritus in atopic dogs: results of a single-blinded study.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


A commercial, lamb and rice, dog food with an omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 5.5:1 was fed in a single-blinded, self-controlled clinical trial to 18 atopic dogs. The pruritus in 8 of these dogs (44.4%) was satisfactorily controlled within 7 to 21 d, returned within 3 to 14 d after the diet was withdrawn, and was again controlled when the diet was reinstated. Plasma and skin levels of examined fatty acids changed in all 18 dogs when their diet was switched to the test diet. Dogs responding to the test diet had a different pattern of fatty acid change as compared to the dogs which failed to respond to the diet, suggesting that there are subsets of atopic dogs with different fatty acid metabolism capabilities.

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