Professor Nick Jeffery, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Small Animal Practice, our Official Scientific Journal, highlights a paper from the September issue which looks at the evidence for using antioxidants in dogs.
Despite the paucity of supporting data, antioxidant supplementation in healthy individuals is widely assumed to be beneficial. On the other hand, there is stronger evidence to suggest that antioxidants may improve outcomes in sick human patients.
In September’s JSAP, Dr Hagen and colleagues report their investigation into whether hospitalised dogs might benefit similarly. They found that, although vitamin E levels were increased, there was no increase in survival or other benefits. It could be that the study selected the ‘wrong’ antioxidant combination, or was simply not large enough to detect a small difference between supplemented and non-supplemented groups, but the results suggest that indiscriminate use of these agents in hospitalised dogs might be inappropriate.