Cataracts in dogs (via)
We think of cataracts as a condition of aging, but they can come at any age, depending on the cause. In 2015, a University of California San Diego molecular biologist, Ling Zhao, and her research team, found that children who developed cataracts shared a common cause - the absense of lanosterol, a common steroid in the body that disrupts the protein molecules in cataracts.
When lanosterol was injected into cataract proteins in vitro, they did resolve. And moderate success was also seen in the eyes of cats and dogs when lanosterol was applied as drops into their eyes. (See YouTube video about the results of lanosterol here.)
The findings of this study have been challenged, as have studies of other proteins that are said to lead to a non-surgical correction of cataracts. But when I read the reviews of hundreds of pet parents who have had success treating their pets with lanosterol-derived eye drops, I am not ready to believe they are all imagining improved vision in their dogs, cats, and even themselves.
Cataract in cat (via)
I've had three dogs that developed cataracts as they aged. Two of them had cataract surgery. One lost an eye as a result of a steroid overdose administered during surgery. The other pup only showed moderate improvement, retaining some amount of cataract even after surgery. (Don't forget, cataracts can grow back, even after surgery.)
I'm not suggesting that cataract surgery is not successful; in fact, it claims a success rate of 90 to 95 percent in cats and dogs. But I am not going to put my nearly 15 year-old dog through any kind of surgery. So, when I saw an ad for Can-C in my email that said it could dissolve cataracts in humans and pets, I dropped everything and looked into it.
Can-C Eye Drops came about as a result of studies conducted in the U.S and Russia, in which a proprietary form of N-acetylcarnosine (NAC) was used in the eye to break down cataracts. Now, this breakdown doesn't happen overnight. It may take several months. It may not work at all. And you will read reviews of Can-C that extol its virtues and others that have seen no positive results either in their own eyes or their pets.
Having researched other cataract products, I can tell you that the reviews are nearly carbon copies of each other, even if the formulations vary. What I mean is that most reviews will be positive or somewhat positive, and about a quarter of the reviews will be negative, saying the product did nothing for them or their pets.
After getting confused in the mix of products, I finally decided to try Can-C for my dog; its reviews were as high or a bit higher than similar products and it was a bit less costly than most. I knew it could take up to six months to see any great results, and that I might not see any results at all, but reviewers often wrote that they saw progress right after the first few weeks, so I decided to look for some early signs of improvement before I tried something else.
I purchased the 2-pack of Can-C, as a starter, and began putting a drop into my pup's eyes as soon as it arrived, one drop in each eye 3 times a day. I tried the drops myself to see how they felt and they did burn just a bit, but ever so slightly. So I kept a bag of my dog's favorite treats nearby - Emerald Pet Turkey Sausages - to encourage him to let me put the drops in his eyes without a fight. This is a time when you want to give your dog something extra special!
Believe it or not, I could see changes in my dog's eyes within the first 2 weeks. The shiny blue-white globs of protein were smaller and my pup's vision had improved. So, just about to run out of the Can-C, I ordered a second 2-Pack (The 4-Pack and 6-Pack are more cost-effective and their reviews are better too, which may indicate that one needs to use them longer than a few weeks to see real improvement.), and I also added Ocu-Glo (image above) as a supplement because it's high in antioxidants needed for eye health. It's been four weeks now and this morning my dog took off on a puppy spurt around the outside of our house, running like crazy and, somehow, avoiding the posts, the planters, and the fences. I was frightened for him, but couldn't stop him - he's deaf.
But his eyesight had definitely improved - a lot - and he was confident enough to prove it! Hopefully, his sight will continue to improve as we continue to administer the Can-C. (After treatment, maintenance drops should be given just once a day.)
There are several other cataract 'drop' treaments for people and pets that have equivalent reviews, but I have not personally tried them.
C-Bright by Thomas Labs is an eye treatment for pets that has had success with dryness, irritations, and, though not specifically for cataract treatment, it does reportedly improve clarity. Many pet parents say it has reduced their pets' cataracts.
As you can see below, the makers of LumenPro Pet Eye Drops definitely expect results! "LumenPro’s dual-action support for pets suffering from cataracts combines the cataract-fighting power of lanosterol and antioxidant support of N-acetylcarnosine (NAC), it is significantly more effective than comparative eye drops," write the developers. Yet, they stress that cataracts that are established for a long time may not dissolve so readily as those that are newly developed. So, the sooner the better... which is true for all of the products listed here.
OcluVet Eye Drops For Pets contains N-acetylcarnosine as well as antioxidants and vitamins for pet eye support, but especially for pets with cataracts. Cost is not prohibitive and reviews are equivalent to the others mentioned above.
You may want to consider one of the above eye drops that help reduce cataracts in at least some dogs - before you decide on surgery for your pet. They can help dogs, cats, rabbits, and other pets, and some even treat human cataracts.
That's the buzz for today!