Omega Fatty Acids
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith


Fatty acid supplements are used in dogs and cats to relieve itching associated with allergies, add luster and improve the health of coat and skin, and reduce inflammation associated with many conditions. Often the pet will need to take the fatty acid supplement for 2-3 months before a positive effect is seen. Overdosage can result in vomiting or diarrhea.

Generic Name
Omega-3 and omega 6-fatty acids

Brand Names
Drs. Foster and Smith Vitacaps, Drs. Foster and Smith Vitacoat, Derm Caps, EFA-Caps and Liquid, Omega EFA, 3V Caps, Omega-3 Caps

Type of Drug
Fatty acid supplements

Form and Storage
Capsules and liquids
Store in a cool, dry place.

Indications for Use
Aid in managment of itching and inflammation associated with allergies, idiopathic seborrhea, certain cancers, dull and dry hair coats, and, in cats, itching due to miliary dermatitis and eosinophilic granuloma complex. Are also thought to support the health of joints and other organs in the body.

General Information
Available by prescription and over the counter. The two main types of fatty acids are omega-3 and omega-6. These are necessary to have in a certain level in the diet to allow for healthy skin and haircoat and the normal functioning of many other body systems. May take 2-3 months before notice an effect from the treatment. May need to treat seasonally. Recommended to give year-round for the best results.

Usual Dose and Administration
See label on container. Usually given twice a day.

Side Effects
May see vomiting or diarrhea if given in higher doses. Cut back on the amount given and slowly (over a period of a week or more) increase the dose to the recommended amount.


If product includes vitamin A, determine the amount of vitamin A in the food and any other supplements which are given so the entire amount of vitamin A given is not over the maximum recommended amount.

Drug or Food Interactions

No known food interactions.

May see vomiting, diarrhea. In rare cases of extreme overdosage, could see pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas caused by an increase of fat in the diet). If product contains vitamin A, may see vitamin A toxicosis if excessive amounts of the supplement are given.

   Click here for the web viewable version of this article.

Click here to email this article to a friend.

Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($35.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Copyright © 1997-2015, Foster & Smith, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted from