What Will You Do About Your Dog's Cataract?
Cataracts are one of the most common problems affecting the eyes of dogs. Affecting all breeds and ages of dogs, there are many different types and causes of cataract formation. Despite the fact that they are very common, a lot is still unknown about canine cataracts. Up until now the only treatment option has been surgery and the procedures and equipment used to remove cataracts in dogs are the same as those used in humans.Â
Once the affected animal has undergone a thorough examination to determine if it is a good surgical candidate, a small incision is made in the eye and a hole is made in the capsular bag that holds the lens. A special probe ultrasonically emulsifies and removes the cataract. This procedure is called phacoemulsification. Once the lens is removed, an artificial intraocular lens or IOL, is placed in the bag.Â
There is a limited choice of IOLs available for dogs and an exact replacement of the original lens is not possible. So an operation will usually show some degree of success but it is far from a perfect solution. Post-op dogs will have more inflammation in their eyes than humans and more scarring. This scarring does slightly decrease vision and although most owners notice an increase in their dog's vision after cataract surgery, they can still detect certain visual difficulties.Â
Similar to cataract operations in humans, in the majority of cases the outcome is relatively successful. In dogs 5% to 10% will not regain good vision due to complications, and could actually be permanently blind in the operated eye.
If you suspect your dog is developing cataracts - visit a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Once a lens has developed a cataract, you could choose to have the immature or mature cataracts surgically removed or treat your beloved pet in the same way you would choose to treat your own cataract(s). If there was a chance to reverse a cataract using a soothing eye drop rather than going under the knife in a potentially risky operation, what would you do?Â There is a choice.
If you have determined that your dog has cataracts your next step should be to ask the veterinary ophthalmologist about the cost to your dog (risks) and to your bank account (ouch!). It is highly improbable that the vet will recommend an eye drop as he/she will not have had experience in treating a dog in this way. Eye drops containing the super antioxidant n-acetyl-carnosine (NAC) are a breakthrough product. As with virtually all vitamins, supplements, natural and holistic products the drops have not been â¬Ëapproved' by the FDA because they are NOT a drug and therefore nothing to do with the FDA. What is likely though, is that your vet will probably advise you to go down the only route they know - surgery.Â
We encourage people to have an eye test before and after using the eye drops to gain the hard evidence that they actually work. The same should be done for your dog.
Those dog owners already using NAC eye drops on their dogs are copying the same daily dosage regimen needed in humans. Clinical studies have proved that there can be no over-use with these natural, specifically formulated NAC eye drops.
In the study conducted by Innovative Vision Products (IVP), the clinical effects of a topical solution of N-acetyl-carnosine on lens opacities were examined in patients with cataracts and in canines with age-related cataracts. The data showed that N-acetyl-carnosine is effective in the management of age-related cataract reversal and prevention both in human and in canine eyes.