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Eye Disease in Dogs and Cats

Eye Disease in Dogs and Cats
Natura Petz supplements to help address and relieve eye disorders and diseases in dogs and cats.

Herbal nutrition to help address and relieve eye disorders and diseases in dogs and cats.

Nutrition plays a major role in bone, teeth, skin and coat health and is the result of a well-functioning, synchronized effort by the immune systems and tissues and organs in the body. Plant botanicals work against the degenerative free radicals, promoting the body's ability to withstand exposure to toxins, antigens and microorganisms. Nutrition helps support the liver, adrenal, immune, and digestive functions, and helps feed critical tissues, including the eyes. 

A dog or cat’s eyes are very sensitive and important tools of detection. Eye disease can affect both dogs and cats and is more likely in those animals that are reaching the later years of their lives.

Related eye diseases and conditions include:

Glaucoma, which is an elevation of pressure in the eyeball due to an obstruction

Conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the mucous membranes

Dry eye / Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), which occurs when tear production stops or is decreased

Related eye infections include:

Cataracts, which presents when the white opacity of the lens becomes cloudy and impairs vision or causes blindness

Cherry eye (more common in certain breeds), which is a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid

Watery eyes, (Entropion) occurs when the eyelashes turn inward and scratch the cornea, causing the eyes to water.

Eye redness that does not improve

Squinting

Keeps eyes closed

Has a swollen hard eye

Has a cloudy cornea

Eye problems accompanied by loss of appetite or lethargy (lack of energy)

Eye disease may have a number of causes. Eye problems may be hereditary, found predominantly where breeds have been highly specialized. Degeneration of cells and tissues due to old age is the most common cause in dogs and cats

Cataracts are an eye disorder that frequently affects both older dogs and cats. When a cataract develops, fibers in the back portion of the lens of the eye break down and become cloudy, preventing clear vision. A healthy lens is usually transparent and allows clear, sharp vision.

The cataract blocks the light through the eye and as a result the transparency of the lens is lost affecting the pet’s vision. As the cataract matures, a milky spot in the black pupil is visible.

Warning signs that you should watch for include inflammation, squinting, bumping into things or a reluctance to jump or run. Small cataracts may not affect your pet’s eyesight while a larger cataract will cause blurred vision, and eventually lead to blindness.

Although the exact cause is not known, chemical changes within the lens may contribute to cataract development. Other factors such as genetics, congenital defects, eye infection, trauma to the eye, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to heat or radiation, toxins, eye disorders or diabetes may also be associated with cataracts.

Cataracts tend to be more common in dogs than cats. Certain dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Schnauzers, Afghans and Old English sheepdogs.

Dry eyes, also known as Kerato-conjunctivitis Sicca or KCS is a painful eye condition that describes when the glands of the eyes do not produce sufficient tears. In order for your pet’s eyes to be healthy and well lubricated, there are two glands for each eye which provide various components of tears.

If adequate amounts of tears are not produced, the eye becomes inflamed which results in scarring and pigmentation of the cornea. If left untreated, this may lead to reduced vision and eventually blindness.

Dry eye is more common in dogs than cats. It is also likely to affect certain breeds more than others, including Cocker Spaniels, English bulldogs, the Miniature Schnauzer, West Highland white terrier and pugs.

Preventative measures to help support eye health: 

Feed your pet a premium, holistic diet that includes vegetables (carrots, kale, broccoli) and is free of corn, wheat, soy and chemical preservatives 

Incorporate sources of antioxidants in the form of Vitamin E and C, and beta carotene to protect the eye tissues

Trim hair around the eye area to avoid eye irritation

Check your pet’s eyes regularly

Avoid exposing your pet to irritants such as pollen, plant seeds, toxins, chemicals, pollution and dust

Protect your pet’s eye carefully when using shampoo or applying flea repellents

Keep your pet’s head inside moving vehicles as foreign objects or substances may easily become lodged in the eye

Visit your vet annually for an eye examination

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies help to promote eye health and support the eye matrix nutritionally as well as tone and strengthen connective tissue and capillary strength to the eyes; help promote clear vision and help maintain problem free vision by cleansing, eliminating and detoxifying eye tissues, soothing and healing infections of the eyes, eye infections and eye diseases. 

All Shins & Grins – (learn more) supports the skin’s ability to withstand environmental toxin, antigen and microorganism exposure due to its Vitamin C and antioxidant content; stimulates collagen production which directly affects bone mass, bone strength, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues and blood vessels (important for cases of arthritis) as well as eye and teeth health (important for macular degeneration and dental disease); promotes optimal immune response; promotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat; may help reduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats; may work  to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support; may help fight infection in the animal body.

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore funcions) immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

Vitamin Ninja – (learn more) is used holistically as a super food, nutritive, adaptogen and multi-vitamin blend, containing spirulina and camu camu, which may help fight oxidative damage, may promote heart health by lowering lipids in the blood, may help support immunity and may help prevent disease in dogs and cats; may help stimulate collagen production due to its antioxidant proanthocyanins, flavonoid and glycosaminoglycan’s content, which directly affects bone mass, bone strength, cartilage, joints and joint health, muscles, connective tissues and blood vessel support as well as may help to promote the strength and health of the eyes and teeth;  may help sustain and nourish the skeletal structure of your pet over its lifetime and may be important in cases of arthritis, bone loss and joint diseases, such as Intervertebral Disk Disease and Degenerative Joint Disease.

Yummy Tummy – (learn more) promotes Probiotic digestive, urinary, bladder and gall bladder support, for all types of digestive disorders, promotes proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, for bladder (cystitis) and kidney (pyelonephritis) infections, tones and strengthens the connective tissue of the bladder related to urine leakage and urinary incontinence, as a natural, plant-based steroid alternative, provides important support for cramping, pain, discomfort, Gastroenteritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), prostate inflammation, BHP, prostatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and for Candida albicans

Conventional Remedies:

Your vet will perform an ophthalmic examination and treatment involves surgical removal of cataracts. This is a very intricate procedure and can also be quite costly, but an improvement in your pet’s vision will be noticed.

Because eye problems are varied and occur due to a number of factors, your veterinarian will most likely ask you a number of investigative questions. 

Your vet may also:

Look in the eye with an ophthalmoscope

Use anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye and get a better examination

Check behind the third eyelid for a foreign body

Measure eye pressures

Perform a Schirmer tear test to check for dry eye

Use a few drops of fluorescent eye stain to rule out a corneal scratch or ulcer

Use blood and urine tests to detect serious causes of uveitis, such as infection

Check your pet’s blood pressure and kidney status (if hypertension is suspected)

Scratches on the surface of your pet’s eye are not always visible and may need a specific diagnostic test: the fluorescein test. This is a bright orange substance that is placed in your pet’s eye and will show fluorescence in areas where the cornea has been damaged.

Treatment depends on the cause of the eye condition and may include eye drops or ointments. Serious eye disease may require surgery, anti-inflammatory drugs or intraocular pressure-lowering drugs. These drugs may have side effects for your pet. Please speak to your vet about the risks vs. rewards and quality of your pet’s life depending on the treatment course pursued.

 

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