Preventing cataracts

My oldest B, Copper, is going to be 10 years old in a couple of months. At our most recent vet visit the vet mentioned that he's beginning to get cataracts so I started doing some research on preventing them in dogs and one article mentioned bilberry extract. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this or any other supplement that may improve his eye health.

Thanks!

My 'Natural Health for Dogs' book recommends bilberries for eye health but also cites Cineraria to help reverse cataracts. I've no personal experience of either though. If you do have suvccess with a natural remedy please let me know.

Fortunately, cataract surgery seems to work pretty good. I found only this link on research (mostly human but still pertinent):
http://www.opt.indiana.edu/optlib/cataract/opt.htm

I truly would contact this guy:
https://pro.osu.edu/profiles/chandler.111/

I believe some supplements help, but I like research and usually feel if it really worked, there would usually be research to support it. On bilberries and eyes only found this, which suggests because humans who are NOT predominately carnivores may benefit, some may assume dogs have same dietary lack and could benefit:

Ocular Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements may be a beneficial alternative to those who can not consume adequate nutrients directly from fresh fruits & vegetables. Researchers are investigating the claims that certain nutrients are beneficial to eye health. For instance:

1. Bilberry Extract: European studies have suggested that bilberry may be associated with improving night vision and dark adaptation.

No research found on Cineraria for humans or dogs for eye issues, except here which gives a bit alarming other info. Not sure if exactly the same:
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Smoke from the leaves is suggested for eye troubles, but the fruit is said to be indigestible, inducing biliousness, and destroying nails and hair.

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I looked up cineraria, btw, because another forum of it I plant around my mail box 🙂 (dusty miller is what we call it in the south, but real name is senecio cineraria).

Please note it is listed as TOXIC (just as cineraria) by aspca:
http://www.vspn.org/library/misc/vspn_m01235.htm

What I've read about cineraria so far is that it's given in drop form, so that explains why it's on the poison list but still used to reverse cataracts. I'd like to try something that I can drop in his food first…I can't imagine trying to hold him down to put drops in his eyes every day but will do it if I have to 🙂 One article I read mentioned a human study in which a mixture of bilberry extract and vitamin E actually stopped lens clouding in 97% of patients.

Debra - thank you for the link to the OSU professor! I'm going to wait until after the holidays but will contact her to see what she recommends as well.

Thank you for the information links on Bilberry and Cineraria, Debra. I can use them to update on my Basenji health information.

Mandi, I agree with you about drops in the eyes. I always get my vet to do things like that because he has become an expert in 'persuading' Basenjis to accept all sorts of 'indignities' (from their perspectiev).

Can you find a link to the article on the drops?

I haven't found any articles giving information on the effectiveness of the drops but I have read several other forums where pet owners say they're using them. There's plenty of information on the drops on product sites but you can't depend on them to be impartial or completely truthful. I have seen a couple of forums where doctors have recommended them to people for their dogs, so that makes me feel better. I'll keep looking though and let you know what I find.

Patty - I can cut their nails and brush their teeth but anything out of the ordinary I've discovered is best handled by the vet 😉 However, if drops are what he needs then so be it…we'll figure it out.

Please let me know how Copper progresses and particularly if you decide to use either bilberry or Cineraria. I'm very interested in natural medicine for Basenjis, our natural dogs.

Can I ask if foods high in Vitamin A can help with the overall health of a basenji's eyes? Can these foods help prevent cataracts?

Before I forget, I do know that high fat content can result in fatty deposits in the eyes. They don't know if any issues, and reducing fat percent in food can help the deposits go away.

As for A.. if the diet supplies normal amt, not sure supplementing is helpful. If problem with it, maybe. I'd ask your vet. Vitamin A overdose is very toxic, affects the liver etc.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/01/5.3.01/gene_therapy_dogs.html

@Patty:

My 'Natural Health for Dogs' book recommends bilberries for eye health but also cites Cineraria to help reverse cataracts. I've no personal experience of either though. If you do have suvccess with a natural remedy please let me know.

Patty - do you have an ISBN for that book?

smharr4 - the ISBN no is 1-57954-057-0. There is also a web site which I've never checked out (don't know why) - www.petspartofthefamily.com.

I find it a very useful book, full of ideas for natural treatment of dogs and acts.

@Patty:

smharr4 - the ISBN no is 1-57954-057-0. There is also a web site which I've never checked out (don't know why) - www.petspartofthefamily.com.

I find it a very useful book, full of ideas for natural treatment of dogs and acts.

Yay, it's on Kindle… I think I just found my Christmas reading...

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