PRO-EPO - Evening Primrose Oil Supplement 


Provet Data Sheet/Technical Briefing

V : 14.06.04

(Scientific References are numbered in brackets) 

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Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are naturally occurring essential nutrients for both cats and dogs. Evening primrose oil contains the Omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids linoleic acid and g-linolenic acid

PRO-EPO Product Presentation

Product content: linoleic and g-linolenic acids, derived from evening primrose oil

Product format:  Capsules

Product sizes:

                        45mg g-linolenic acid /capsule for dogs - 2 to 4 capsules (per 10kg bodyweight) /day

22.5mg g-linolenic acid /capsules for cats - 1 to 2 capsules per day

Uses for Omega-6 Fatty Acid Supplements

The Omega-6 essential fatty acids have many important roles in the body, including (1,2,3) :

  • Maintenance of healthy skin and hair coat in cats and dogs
  • Ensuring normal pregnancy and lactation in cats and dogs
  • Ensuring normal growth in kittens and puppies
  • Ensuring normal cell membrane structure and function in cats and dogs
  • Enhancing skeletal muscle activity in working dogs (7,8,9,10)
  • Promoting normal food intake in growing kittens
  • Normal activity in kittens
  • Normal immunity in cats
  • Normal liver and kidney structure in cats

PRO-EPO  supplementation is recommended as a nutritional aid in the maintenance of all these functions.

Fat also supplies 2.25 times as much metabolisable energy (ME) per gram as either proteins or carbohydrates, and they are important as a vehicle for carrying essential fat-soluble vitamins (1,2,3).

Recommended Feeding Rates


Cats have poor delta-5 and delta-6 desaturase activity, and as a result they have a nutritional requirement for both of the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid and arachidonic acid (2)

It is recommended that cat foods contain 5g lineolate and 0.2g arachidonic acid/kg diet (2)

In addition, g-linolenic acid is a biologically important n-6 fatty acid as it improves physical condition when fed to cats on a fatty acid-deficient ration (2,4,5,6)

PRO-EPO supplement:                Cats:  1 capsule (22.5mg) /cat/day


Omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential components of a canine diet (1) however the absolute minimum amount required has not been established. It is recommended that dog food contains at least 5% fat on a dry matter basis.

For growth the minimum requirement recommended for n6 fatty acids is 540mg n6 fatty acids/kg body weight/day (1)

For maintenance in dogs the minimum requirement recommended is 200mg n6 fatty acids/kg body weight/day (1)

For racing and working dogs supplementation with 50mg EFAs /kg has been recommended, and the n-6:n-3 ratio should be 5-6:1. (7,8,9,10)

PRO-EPO supplement:                Dogs:   1 capsule (45mg)/10kg body weight/day

Contraindications, Warnings etc

Nutritional supplement for animal use only

Keep out of the reach of children

Use as directed by your veterinarian

Over-supplementation should be avoided


Store in a cool dry place

Legal Category

Nutritional Supplement

Package Sizes

Bottles of 90 x 45mg g linolenic acid/capsule for dogs

Bottles of 30 x 22.5mg g linolenic acid /capsule for cats

Scientific References

1.      Nutrient Requirements of Dogs (1985) National Research Council, Washington DC, Academic Press

2.      Nutrient Requirements of Cats (1986) National Research Council Washington DC, Academic Press p13-15

3.      Hand M et al. (2000) Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4e Mark Morris Institute, Topeka, Kansas.p909-914

4.      Frankel T.L and Rivers JPW (1978) the nutritional and metabolic impact of g-linolenic acid (18:3n6) on cats deprived of minimal lipid. British Journal of Nutrition 39:227.

5.      Rivers JPW (1982) Essential fatty acids in cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice 23:563.

6.      McDonald ML et al. (1984) Essential Fatty Acid Requirements of Cats: Pathology of Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency. American Journal of Veterinary Research45: 1310.

7.. Grandjean D (1996) in BSAVA Manual of Companion Animal Nutrition and Feeding p74-75  

8. Hammel EP et al (1977) Metabolic responses to exhaustive exercise in in racing sled dogs fed diets containing medium, low or zero carbohydrate. Am J Clin Nutr 30 :409

9. Therriault DG et al. (1973) Intramuscular energy sources in dogs during physical work. J Lipid Res 14 : 54

10. Downey RL et al (1980) Diet of Beagles affects stamina . J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 16: 273

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