Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dogs, fish oil supplements and nausea: Yes, they are connected

Liam the pug spots his lunch on the counter
Liam spots his lunch on the counter.
Liam has a long and luxurious coat, but it takes a significant amount of work from me to keep him looking good. Allergies can cause his brown face to turn red, hives can make him dig at his skin and low-quality dog foods can make his fur simply fall out. To help keep him a bit healthier, I add a fish oil supplement to his food.

Until just recently, I had thought I was doing something wonderful that Liam would thank me for.

Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and these substances can increase oil production in the skin. This can make a dog a bit less itchy, and it can also help the coat stay thick and shiny. Also, some studies suggest that fish oils can reduce yeasts, so pugs like Liam might get fewer infections in their facial folds when they're taking in these substances.

Apparently, however, some sensitive dogs can get nauseated from fish oils. Last week, Liam became one of these dogs.

While he never vomited and his appetite was good, he left puddles and puddles of drool everywhere he went and he just seemed to feel terrible. When I stopped giving the fish oil, the problem went away.

According to some articles I've read, humans who get nauseated due to fish oil have had success when they've frozen the capsules. Apparently, this allows the oil to hit the intestines rather than the stomach, and this makes nausea a bit less likely.

It all sounds good, but I'm not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon yet. While I like the idea of reducing nausea, I am a little worried about Liam swallowing something large and hard. Choking is a real danger with this plan.

So for now, I am giving his fish oil supplements in the middle of the day, instead of in the morning. In the morning, he also has a vitamin powder, and perhaps the two substances together are too much. Also, in the middle of the day, he probably still has a little food in his stomach from breakfast, and perhaps this little food buffer will reduce his nausea. At this point, he doesn't seem nauseated, so my plan seems to be working.

Keep your fingers crossed!