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Anti-inflammatory response of dietary vitamin E and its effects on pain and joint structures during early stages of surgically induced osteoarthritis in dogs

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There is evidence that vitamin E (VE) has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in human osteoarthritis (OA). This double-blinded and randomized pilot study used a broad spectrum of clinical and laboratory parameters to investigate whether such beneficial effects could be detected in a canine experimental OA model. Dogs were divided into 2 groups: control (n = 8), which received a placebo, and test group (n = 7), which received 400 IU/animal per day of VE for 55 d, starting the day after transection of the cranial cruciate ligament. Lameness and pain were assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS), numerical rating scale (NRS), and electrodermal activity (EDA) at day 0, day 28, and day 55. Cartilage and synovial inflammation lesions were assessed. One-side comparison was conducted at an alpha-threshold of 10%. At day 56, dogs were euthanized and concentrations of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) were measured in synovial fluid. Concentrations of NOx and PGE2 in synovial fluid were lower in the test group (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.03, respectively). Values of VAS, NRS, and EDA showed a consistent trend to be lower in the test group than in the control, while statistical significance was reached for VAS at day 55 and for EDA at day 28 (adjusted P = 0.07 in both cases). Histological analyses of cartilage showed a significant reduction in the scores of lesions in the test group. This is the first time that a study in dogs with OA using a supplement with a high dose of vitamin E showed a reduction in inflammation joint markers and histological expression, as well as a trend to improving signs of pain.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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  • The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research (CJVR), published by Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, is Canada's only veterinary research publication. This quarterly peer-reviewed journal has earned a wide international readership through the publishing of high quality scientific papers in the field of veterinary medicine. CJVR publishes the results of original research in veterinary and comparative medicine.
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