Pet Nutrition

Cataracts in Dogs

Vitamins That Heal the Eyes

Eye Anatomy

Vitamin C and Zinc Eye Drops

Older dogs (cats and horses too) get a "bluing," or grayish, hazy-like opacity, of the eyes that affects their vision. C and Zinc eye drops can give some aid in slowing or even stopping the progression of cataracts that develop with age. In some cases, the C and Zinc drops actually help to diminish these cataracts. If the drops are used regularly they often clear up the opacities. In many cases within six to eight weeks you will notice improvement. Many people report that their animal is seeing better. These drops will also help with conjunctivitis, on their own or as a topical enhancement to your vets antibiotic treatment.

Dose

Two drops in the eyes once or twice daily. Or, follow the manufactures directions on the product label.

Vitamin C, A and E for Cataracts

Vitamin C

This water soluble vitamin as been determined to improve vision in elderly people suffering from cataracts. It retards the aging process and is a major disease preventive; therefore it should be supplemented into the pet's diet daily.

Dose

Cats: 250 milligrams of vitamin C daily. This can be given in a split dose, 1/2 in the morning and the other 1/2 with the evening feeding.

Dogs: 250 milligrams vitamin C daily for a small dog; 500 milligrams daily for medium dogs; large and giant breeds, up to 1,000 milligrams daily. The dose can be split into the morning and evening meal.

Note: Vitamin C should always be given with food. Try to give the vitamin in divided doses throughout the day with food. The best form of vitamin C is buffered (nonacidic) sodium or calcium ascorbate crystals, which easily mixes into food. We recommend Ester-C®.

Vitamin A

Like a shield of armor for the body, it acts as both inner and outer protection. It's often call the skin vitamin because it maintains the integrity of the epithelium. That's the top layer of cells that forms a continuous sheet over every surface of the body that comes in contact with foreign substances. The epithelium covers the teeth and gums, the eyeballs (think, cataracts, macular degeneration and night blindness), the entire digestive tract, the respiratory mucous membranes and the air sacs of the lungs, the lining of the bladder, and the living growing layer of skin that covers the animal's outer body — and it protects it all against infection and degeneration.

When there is even a mild deficiency of vitamin A, the epithelium suffers. Often it is first noticed, in a dryness, hardening, and itching of the skin. When ever you see an animal with a chronic skin condition consider vitamin A as part of a supplemental program to bring the animal relief.

Dose

Cats: 1/2 teaspoon of cod liver oil (a prime 'natural' source for vitamins A and D) or give the contents of one capsule containing 10,000 IU (international units) of vitamin A and 400 IU (international units) vitamin D. Once weekly.

Liver is a super source for vitamin A and can be given to cats in lieu of supplements, but we advise against feeding more than 1 teaspoonful of liver to a kitten or one ounce to a fully grown cat more than 2 or 3 times a week. If you normally feed liver on a regular basis you would have to adjust the dose of a vitamin A supplement accordingly.

Dogs: Small dogs, 1,500 IU daily; Medium dogs, 3,000 IU daily; Large dogs, 5,000 IU daily; Giant breeds, 7,500 IU daily.

Note: Remember, vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and what the animal's body doesn't need will be stored by the liver. If you give too much of it, it can lead to a toxic excess and trouble later on - more is not better!

Vitamin E

There is a lot of positive information to the effect of vitamin E therapy curing cataracts in dogs (even in advanced cases). Vitamin E will help to energize aging animals. Studies have shown that older animals need more of this important antioxidant vitamin in order to slow down the oxidative damage of tissue associated with aging. Additional animal research has shown that vitamin E improves circulation, the immune system, endurance, stamina, skin problems, and libido.

Dose

Cats: Therapeutically start with 100 IU vitamin E daily for 2 weeks. After two weeks, reduce the dose to 400 IU of vitamin E per week.

Dogs: 100 IU daily for a small dog; 200 IU daily for a medium and large dogs; giant breeds, 400 IU daily.

Coenzyme Q10 for Cataracts

Sometimes you can arrest, and occasionally even reverse, the typical opacities that develop in aging dogs with coenzyme Q10 a potent antioxidant. The opacities (cloudiness) may or may not involve cataracts. The surface sign of the clouding lens is a decent indicator of tissue degeneration occurring throughout the animal's body. C10, has a good reputation in strengthening and protecting the eyes, sometimes on its own and sometimes in conjunction with other antioxidants. It is a good supplement for older dogs all the way around. It helps to energize cells and counteracts free radical oxidative damage in the body.

Note: For best absorption, Q10 should be given with a fatty meal or at the same time as an oil supplement.

Dose

Small dogs, 15 milligrams daily; large dogs, 30 milligrams daily.

Herbal Remedies for Cataracts in Dogs

Bilberry

Bilberry, related to blueberry, is most commonly given internally to help with disorders of the eyes, including macular degeneration and cataract formation, due to its antioxidant effects. Its flavonoids have several effects, including improved capillary strength, decreased platelet clumping, lowering of blood sugar (making it potentially useful for diabetic pets), and protective effects against gastric ulcers (due to increased mucus production). Bilberry's anthocyanosides have a special attraction to the retina, which may explain this herb's apparent usefulness in eye diseases.

Dose

Small dogs and cats, 1/4 capsule daily; medium dogs, 1/2 capsule daily; large dogs 1 capsule daily; giant breeds, recommended adult human dose on the product label.

Milk thistle for the Eyes

Cleanse and nourish the liver. Supporting the liver will usually help chronic eye problems that have not responded well to conventional treatment. In Chinese medicine there is a strong correlation between the liver and the eyes. Milk thistle, is an herb that strengthens and detoxifies the liver.

Dose

Small dogs and cats, 1 capsule daily; medium dogs, 2 capsules daily; large dogs, 3 or 4 capsules daily. Giant breeds follow the recommendations for the adult human dose on the product label. Give Milk thistle with a meal.

Note: It is always a good idea when beginning a new treatment program to "Start low - Go Slow." Begin by adding the supplements in smaller amounts than the suggest dose. Work up to the recommended amount slowly over several days, adding a little more each day. This gives the animal's body time to get accustomed to the new addition. We find when people follow this rule, that there are few if any problems with tummy upsets or the pet refusing the supplement.

Recommendations: Fast Forward to the Cure. Learn the advanced methods of homeopathy. This is an easy to follow step-by-step book that details everything you need to know about dosing, choosing a potency and naturally treating and healing chronic and acute disease using homeopathic remedies for animals. If you are a professional, or brand new to veterinary homeopathy this is definitely a must have. No matter what disease you are treating, the methods you will learn can reduce a pets healing time dramatically, by 1/4 to 1/2 or more!

For keeping pets healthy the natural way, we recommend using Pet Remedy Charts, a Step-by-Step Holistic Home Healthcare System that will enable you to easily calculate doses and naturally treat your pet at home (without drugs) using safe, side effect free, healing methods for dogs, cats, horses, birds, pet rats and backyard chickens.

Please Note: Any information given in this website is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Anyone with an animal with a medical condition requiring veterinary attention should consult a qualified DVM practitioner or veterinary emergency care clinic.



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