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Macular Degeneration

Eye DiseasePet supplements for eye diseases in dogs and cats.

Herbal treatments for cats and dogs to help relieve eye disorders and diseases.

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 support the process of free radical scavenging, the skin’s ability to withstand the effects of environmental exposure to toxins, antigens and microorganisms by maintaining proper liver, adrenal, immune, and intestinal function; protect the skin and all connective tissues, including the joints; to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the joints, acidify urine, improve immune function and build resistance to allergies.

A dog and cat’s eyes are very sensitive and crucial tools in every day exploration. Eye disease can affect both dogs and cats and is more likely to present in senior animals. 

Macular degeneration is sadly a common cause of vision impairment in animals. While senior pets experience it at a much larger rate, it can also affect young dogs and cats The primary cause is believed to be genetic, but other common factors include exposure to sunlight, hypertension, high blood pressure, cigarette smoke, obesity and prescription medication.

Symptoms of macular degeneration can include:

Impaired vision

Inability to distinguish colors

Inabilty to distinguish details

Inability to climb stairs, as the dog will not be able to see the edge of the stairs

Inability to find his food bowl or see small treats

Inability to recognize facial features and recognizes by smell

Difficulty judging distance

Ongoing accidents and injuries

Light sensitivity

Overcompensation with peripheral vision

Related eye 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), lack or decreased tear production 

Related eye infections include:

Cataracts (white opacities in the lenses of the eyes impair vision or cause blindness)

Cherry eye (a prolapse of the third eyelid, common in certain breeds)

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

Eye redness that doesn't improve during day

Squinting

Keeping eye closed

Swollen hard eye

Cloudy cornea

Loss of appetite

Lethargy (lack of energy)

Eye disease can be hereditary and breed specific. 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.

Organic Remedies - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets for this disease or condition - human grade meets highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies can help to promote eye health and to reduce macular degeneration and other degenerative conditions related to eyesight; to reduce inflammation and infections of the eye; for its eye-cleansing and detoxifying effects on eye tissues; to provide immune boosting properties; help to relieve pain and soothe eye discomfort, help to support healthy eyes and maintain problem free vision and shiny and bright eyes.  

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, for 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.

I Feel Good –  (learn more) promotes healthy immune response, reduces all types of inflammation, provides dermal support and growth of healthy cells and tissues in the body’s defense mechanism, reduces the histamine trigger for contact allergies, seasonal and chronic allergens, pathogens, skin rashes, infections, hot spots, inflammation, swelling, hair loss, itching and geriatria (dull coat, lethargy), for all types of arthritis, including Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and symptoms associated with rheumatism, including pain, strains, injuries, muscle pain, swelling and lack of mobility; plus contains prebiotics and probiotics useful in balancing digestive health and function plus much more. Recognized as one of the most important medicinal plants of the whole world, particularly related to supporting balanced immunity and limiting inflammation and inflammatory conditions.

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, promotes optimal immune responsepromotes strong teeth, bone, skin and coat, reduces allergic (acute and chronic) skin reactions and irritations, hot spots and soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infections and provides general mood support.

I’m Allergic to Needles – (learn more) is used for proper pancreatic support, health and function, charged with producing proper insulin levels, for all types of diabetes I and II, to reduce glucose levels in blood and for insulin resistance, to improve the glycemic index in pets with diabetes, to regulate metabolic stress, and maintain proper liver metabolism, circulation, bile production and flow, for hepatic immune function, useful in regulating excess weight and fatty deposits.

Other suggestions:

Good nutrition is vital. Feed your pet’s high quality pet food or organic foods high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Have your vet check your pet’s eyes when you visit for regular check ups

Keep daredevil dogs from riding with their heads sticking out of the car window—you never know what will fly into their eyes.

Remember to check your pet’s eyes when they’ve been out in long grass, grass awns have a nasty habit of wriggling their way into the corners of your pet’s eye and cause much discomfort.

Keep a careful eye on your dogs when introducing a new kitten into the house. Many a dog has had to be treated for corneal scratches after a terrified kitten tried to protect itself from a big, wet curious doggy nose!

Conventional Remedies:

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. It is important that you take note of when your pet’s eye problem started and what you noticed first. A thorough physical and ocular examination will be performed.

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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