What can you do to treat Cataracts and Nuclear Lenticular sclerosis in the Horse, Dog and Cat?
by Dr Stephen R. Blake
A Cataract is defined as any opacity of the lens of the eye. Most of the cataracts in canines and felines are hereditary in origin. There are other causes, such as congenital defects, trauma, nutritional deficiencies, vaccines, pesticides, chemicals, drugs, adhesions to the uveal and diabetes. The formation of the cataract, is the degeneration of the protein structure of the lens fibers, primarily effecting the lens cortex.
The pathogenesis of cataract formation is directly related to the metabolism of the lens. Unhealthy metabolism of the lens results in an irregularity in the distribution of the lens fibers, disruption of protein conformation, hydration, cell membrane stability and electrolyte imbalances.
Congenital cataracts are present at birth and tend to be nuclear and may also have clear cortex around them. They may stay the same or progress to mature cataracts and may or may not be inherited.
Juvenile cataracts develop before the dog becomes 1 or 2 years of age. Adult cataracts are noted in animals before they are 8 years of age. Senile cataracts are seen in older animals beyond nuclear sclerosis.
The stages of development of the cataracts begin as an incipient cataracts, which are small opacities and vision is still maintained. Immature cataracts result in vision impairment and impair light from reaching the retina. In patients with immature cataracts will still maintain tapetal reflex. Mature cataracts involve the entire lens resulting in no tapetal reflexes or retina visibility.Â
Nuclear Lenticular Sclerosis usually occurs in older animals and appears as a density of the lensâ€™s nucleus. A blue-gray, cloudy appearance develops in the nucleus of the lens. Often times it isÂ confused with a cataract, which can be diagnosed correctly,Â by performing distant direct ophthalmoscopy. Typically, signs of lenticular sclerosis begin around 6 to 8 years of age in the dog and slowly become more obvious as the dog ages. Most animals with lenticular sclerosis, appear to have normal vision except in subdued light. The difference is in the sclerotic cases, you have a translucence condition, which allow light to pass through to the retina and in cataracts you do not.
These drugs can cause or worsen cataracts:
Photosensitizing drugs (drugs that make you more sensitive to the sun) are drugs that absorb light energy and undergo a photochemical reaction resulting in chemical modification of tissue. They can make you more susceptible to cataracts and macular degeneration.
The following is a list of those drugs:
Birth control pills
Oral anti-diabetic drugs
NSAIDS (for example aspirin, ibuprofen, advil, meclofen)
Steroids – may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts. Steroids work by mimicking the action of the body’s own hormones to help control inflammation. They are usually prescribed for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease,and lupus. Long- term steroid use can cause posterior subcapsular cataracts and increases in intraocular pressure. These cataracts will develop in up to 50 per cent of people taking 10 to 15 milligrams of prednisone daily for one to two years. These cataracts are very dense and can cause a rapid loss of vision. They will not go away even after you stop the medication and will have to be surgically removed. Though not as common as cataracts, sustained treatment of steroids can cause a rise in intraocular pressure leading to glaucoma, though after the steroid use is stopped the intraocular pressure will return to normal. The bad news is any damage done by the rise in pressure will remain. Steroid use can also indirectly damage the eye by causing an increase in blood sugar therefore causing diabetes. If you must take steroids make sure you take high doses of anti-oxidants such as alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E , and lutein to help prevent cataract formation.
Fluroquinone, terbinafine, mefloquine type antibiotics
In Chinese medicine the eyes are considered the windows to the liver. When I observe changes in the eye, my first concern is the possibility of inflammation of the liver at clinical or sub-clinical level. By this I mean where there are physical symptoms, IE symptoms in the animal that can be observed either by observation or blood analyses, or where there are no obvious clinical signs present respectively. The reason for this is because the eyes often reflect sub-clinical, undetectable changes the blood tests are unable to detect.
I then approach the case based on nourishment for the eye directly and detoxing the liver. As part of my program, I make sure none of the drugs or chemicals listed above, are being used by the caregiver and work on an individual program of detoxification. The purpose of the is paper is show how you can use PetVisionPro as topical treatment for both cataracts and nuclear lenticular sclerosis as an adjunct therapy to detoxification.
The idea of the treatment is based on applying a solution containing antioxidants to reduce free radical production and help with the repairing of the protein fibers of the lens. The antioxidant consists of 3 salts of essential amino acids which are necessary for the health of the lens of the eye.The studies have shown that over a 36 day period of 1 to 3 drops two to three times per day, helps alleviate cataract and lenticular sclerosis.
The main process of the development of the cataract is a degeneration of the protein structure of the lens fibers, resulting in glycation of the lens proteins. Glycation is the aggregation of alpha, beta and gamma crystalline which may contribute to cataract formation. PetVisionPro in an anti-glycation compound which can reduce aggregates and reduce the opacity of the lens and help maintain clarity as well.
How do PetVisionProÂ® and EquiVisionÂ®, help dissolve incipient and immature cataracts?
In conclusion, I would like to remind all pet owners to make sure what they are feeding their animals is of the highest quality of ingredients and try to avoid over vaccinating, use of any drugs or chemicals if at all possible. Any of these may contribute to the formation of cataracts or lenticular sclerosis.