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12 consejos simples para cambiar la salud y bienestar de tu perro y gato.

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Cataracts Formation in Dogs


When dogs age, cataracts can occur. They're commonly characterized by a bluish-gray tint or cloudy appearance.

Determining cataracts can be tricky. Sometimes, what looks like a cataract can be cloudiness resulting from physical or chemical eye injuries. For example, a cactus spine injury (physical) or irritation from shampoo (chemical).

The other consideration is whether the cloudiness is from nuclear sclerosis, a canine condition which looks similar to cataracts. Differentiation is easy. In the dark and at a distance, shine a flashlight into your dog's eyes. Nuclear sclerosis causes a retina flashback. This is similar to flashing an animal at night with your car's headlights. Nuclear sclerosis rarely disrupts a dog's sight, although it may cause blurry close up vision. In contrast, light can't penetrate cataract film. They cause a gradual vision loss eventually resulting in blindness.

Supporting eye health with herbs and natural supplements, a fresh food diet, and routine eye check-ups can help prevent or slow cataract progression. Preventative measures such as proper diet, supplements and herbs, go a long way in preventing cataracts in your dog, or halting its progression.

Common Causes of Cataracts in Dogs 

Your dog has a protein-based ocular lens. When damaged, cataracts form but given the right conditions, most lens structure damage is preventable.

Liver stagnancy, oxidative stress (from internal and external toxin exposure), chronic steroid use, diabetes, and genetics can cause lens degradation. Steroids cause eye pressure and damage protein structures resulting in cataract formation.

Other cataract contributors include systemic diseases, radiation exposure, ultraviolet light exposure and diabetes. Diabetic and galactose-induced cataracts (sugar cataracts) happen with chronic high blood sugar levels. Overtime, lens structure changes result in cataract acceleration.

Aging is commonly attributed to cataract formation. Organ decline and toxin accumulation weaken bodily defenses and cataracts indicate your dog's usual protective mechanisms are slowing down.

Your dog's ocular lens depends on sufficient amounts of antioxidant enzymes. For example, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione.

Nutrients also play a role. Lutein, selenium, vitamins E and vitamin C help free radical induced cellular damage. Dogs with higher antioxidant intakes have a lower risk of developing cataracts.

Whole food sourced vitamins and minerals provide more bioavailable nutrition over synthetic, lab-created varieties. Studies comparing naturally sourced nutrients versus synthetic showed significant improvement over synthetic supplementation.

For example, whole food vitamin C contains naturally occurring flavonoids and phytonutrients rather than fillers and non-beneficial inert ingredients. Naturally-sourced vitamins and minerals provide "useable" nutrition. This is why your dog's diet is so important.

Ensuring your dog is getting a balanced, optimal, fresh-food diet can go a long way in stopping disease progression and reversing early onset ocular lesions.

Note: Avoid free-radical producing oils. These include canola, flaxseed and peanut. Free radical damage contributes significantly to cataracts in geriatric dogs.

Diet Guidelines 

Please note: dosing for all vitamins, minerals, supplements and herbs below are general guidelines and dosing should be based on your individual dog. Seek the guidance of a herbalist professional or holistic vet for specific dosing. Use organic real food sources that have not been combined with other ingredients whenever available. Buying individual ingredients means you have more control over the quality, can know the source, and then mix them with your dog's raw food.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is necessary for normal vision.

* Carrots
* Chlorella
* Wheat/barley grass
* Spirulina
* Beet greens
* Turnip greens
* Parsley
* Kale
* Sweet potato
* Dunaliella

B vitamins 

B vitamins, specifically B2, B12 and B9

B2 (Riboflavin)
Your dog's ocular lens requires riboflavin. Riboflavin deficiency may enhance cataract formation. However, don't administer more than 10mg to dogs with cataracts because it reacts with light forming superoxide free radicals.

Extra-small dogs: 700-750 mcg
Small dogs: 750-800 mcg
Medium dogs: 800-850 mcg
Large dogs: 850-900 mcg
Extra-large dogs: 900-950 mcg

Hijiki (algae)
Beef Liver
Wild Salmon
Chicken Breast

Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Vitamin B9 contributes to healthy red blood cell formation. Red blood cell depletion causes vision problems.

Extra-small dogs: 700-750 mcg
Small dogs: 750-800 mcg
Medium dogs: 800-850 mcg
Large dogs: 850-900 mcg
Extra-large dogs: 900-950 mcg

Sources: Feed raw sources. Folate is easily lost in cooked food.
* Microgreens
* Leafy greens
* Chlorophyll-rich foods

B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 supports a healthy corneal nerve layer.

Extra-small dogs: 700-750 mcg
Small dogs: 750-800 mcg
Medium dogs: 800-850 mcg
Large dogs: 850-900 mcg
Extra-large dogs: 900-950 mcg

* Mushrooms
* Turnip greens
* Parsley
* Fermented foods
* Microalgae (Wild blue-green, kelp, dulse, nori, chlorella, spirulina)
* Nutritional Yeast
* Sardines
* Herring
* Mackerel
* Eggs
* Beef liver, kidney and heart
* Chicken liver

Vitamin C

Studies show vitamin C benefits for decreasing cataract progression and, in some cases, improving vision. Whole food vitamin C includes flavonoids and polyphenols helping preserve ocular lens integrity while decreasing oxidative stress and toxins.

The ocular lens requires 20 times more vitamin C than the blood. Maintaining proper vitamin C levels helps systemic levels rise improving ocular lens integrity.

Extra-small dogs: 200-400mg
Small dogs: 400-600mg
Medium dogs: 500-800mg
Large dogs: 800-1,000mg
Extra-large dogs: 1,000-1,200mg

* Alma fruit
* Black Currant
* Broccoli
* Cabbage
* Citrus
* Rosehips (Rosa canina L.)
* Sprouts

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is high in antioxidants and is necessary for proper vitamin A functioning.

Nuts and seeds provide vitamin E. Keep nuts out of plastic containers and away from heat. Heat causes oxidation and decreases A, E and F in foods and bodily tissues. Soaked and sprouted seeds and nuts have bioavailable nutrients making fats and proteins more digestible.

Extra-small dogs: 25-50 IU
Small dogs: 50-75 IU
Medium dogs: 100-125 IU
Large dogs: 125-150 IU
Extra-large dogs: 175-200 IU

Other Sources Include:
* Organic Wheatgerm Oil
* Organic Soybeans
* Bean sprouts
* Asparagus
* Organic Cucumbers


Selenium is a trace mineral. Studies show it decreases cataract formation. Selenium and vitamin E are both antioxidants and synergistically work together. Without selenium, Vitamin E can't do its job. Why is this important? Selenium supports healthy methylation, proper liver function, and heavy metal detoxification. Brazil nuts provide adequate amounts of selenium.

Brazil Nut Dosage:
Extra-small dogs: 1/16th nut
Small dogs: 1/8 nut
Medium dogs: 1/4 nut
Large dogs: 1/2 nut
Extra-large dogs: 1 nut

Other Sources Include:
* Eggs
* Red Meat
* Poultry
* Organ Meat


Zinc is necessary for proper vitamin A function.

Extra-small dogs: 5-10mg
Small dogs: 10-15mg
Medium dogs: 15-20mg
Large dogs: 20-25mg
Extra-large dogs: 25-30mg

* Sprouted pumpkin seeds
* Phytoplankton
* Red Meat
* Poultry
* Mushrooms
* Nettles

Dark Purple or Blue Colored Foods/Berries

Purple and blue colored fruits are high in antioxidants and flavonoids. You can feed raw fruits (1 tsp to 1 tablespoon) as a nutritious snack depending on what variants your dog favors. Flavonoids help prevent oxidation and support organ and cellular health. According to one study, cataract occurrence in rats declined when researchers changed their diet from processed to fresh flavonoid rich fare (Hess, 1985, as cited in Murray and Pizzorno, 2012).

* Bilberries
* Blackberries
* Black Currants
* Blueberries
* Huckleberries
* Organic Purple Sweet Potato
* Organic Purple Kale

Orange Vegetables

Orange vegetables are full of carotenoids. A popular carotenoid is beta-carotene, a synergist of Vitamin A and Zinc. Carrots are full of beta-carotene. Lutein is a yellow-orange carotenoid. Other carotenoids include: lycopene, a-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Lutein has been proven to decrease cataract proliferation. Whole-food supplementation including organic freeze-dried powders are the most effective sources of carotenoids and beta-carotene. In fact, in long-term studies, beta-carotene supplementation on its own had no impact on cataract prevention.

* Broccoli
* Dark, leafy greens
* Organic Kale
* Organic Spinach
* Carrots
* Watermelon
* Yams


Amino Acids

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) 

Amino acids are coined "essential amino acids" or "non-essential amino acids". Amino acids are the building blocks for both proteins and neurotransmitters in the body.  The essential amino acids must be obtained through diet and are necessary for proper functioning. They're also catalysts for producing other non-essential amino acids.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) comes from the amino acid L-cysteine which provides strength to protein-based structures (ocular lens). NAC also provides antioxidant support, a key factor in cataract prevention. Glutathione is a master antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals and protects the kidneys and liver. and without NAC, it can't exist. The body generates NAC from consuming real foods (not kibble, packaged wet food, etc.) that are rich in the essential amino acid L-cysteine. All dogs need healthy glutathione levels especially dogs with cataracts and in order for the body, to make Glutathione it needs access to real food that contains the essential amino acid L-cysteine.

Source of L-cysteine:
* High Protein foods
* Chicken
* Turkey
* Eggs
* Yams
* Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
* Sprouted sunflower sprouts
N-acetylcysteine can be taken as a supplement but it would be in a synthetic form, not from real food. Synthetics may help for a short period but aren't recommended long-term as they're a band-aid covering up diet deficiencies and negatively impact your dog's long-term health.

Extra-small dogs: 20-50 mg
Small dogs: 50-100 mg
Medium dogs: 75-150 mg
Large dogs: 100-200 mg
Extra-large dogs: 150-250 mg

Liver Health

Your dog's eyes are directly effected by their liver health. The liver acupuncture meridian passes through the tissues surrounding the eyes. Sufficient amounts of B6 B12, NAC and Zinc help overcome liver stagnancy. Raw food stimulates a stagnant liver's energy flow. So looking at your dog's food, grooming products and exposure to environmental toxins can help decrease your dog's liver load from having to clear toxins from the consumption of fake foods such as kibble, chemical-based shampoos, flea treatments, etc. from the body.

Feed raw vegetables, broccoli sprouts or other sprouted greens from the choices above. But don't overfeed as too much food slows liver function. Avoid feeding late at night ideally feed your dog before 6pm, as this will allow the liver and gallbladder time for regeneration. Liver regeneration time is 11pm to 3am. If your dog seems itchy or unsettled at this time, this is a sign of waning liver function.

Heavy Metals and Radiation

Heavy metals play a role in cataract formation. Get your dog heavy metal tested through hair analysis or do a heavy metal detox for your dog.

Cadmium is two to three times higher in dogs with cataracts. It displaces zinc, increases oxidation, and cellular repair. Avoid heavy metal sources including tuna, mollusks, non-organic bone broth, and non-organic CBD, kale and spinach.

Radiation exposure through electromagnetic frequencies can also contribute to cataract formation. Turn your Wifi off when you're sleeping or leave the house. Your dog doesn't need Wifi and it causes more harm than good. Only schedule your dog for x-rays when absolutely necessary i.e your vet can't work out what's going on from doing a proper hands-on examination.

Herbal Support

Note: Dose twice daily unless otherwise noted

Black Currant (Ribes nigrum) Phytoembryonic Therapy
Black currant has a high vitamin C content and helps detox heavy metals and radiation from the body.

Extra-small dogs: 1 diluted drop
Small dogs: 1 drop
Medium dogs: 2 drops
Large dogs: 3 drops
Extra-large dogs 4 drops

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Bilberry supports eye health with high levels of flavonoids and anthocyanosides. Look for at least 25% vaccinium or bilberry extract when using the powder.

Bilberry Phytoembryonic Therapy
Extra-small dogs: 2 drops
Small dogs: 4 drops
Medium dogs: 6 drops
Large dogs: 8 drops
Extra-large dogs 10 drops

Bilberry Extract Powder
Extra-small dogs: 20-40 mg
Small dogs: 40-60 mg
Medium dogs: 60-80 mg
Large dogs: 80-100 mg
Extra-large dogs: 100-120 mg

Elecampane (Inula helenium) Tincture
Elecampane contains anthocyanadins which strengthen the eyes' blood vessels.

Extra-small dogs: 2 drops
Small dogs: 3 drops
Medium dogs: 4 drops
Large dogs: 5 drops
Extra-large dogs: 6 drops

Hazel (Corylus avellana) Phytoembryonic Therapy
Hazel is high in vitamin C and supports healthy ocular blood flow.

Extra-small dogs: 2 drops
Small dogs: 4 drops
Medium dogs: 6 drops
Large dogs: 8 drops
Extra-large dogs: 10 drops

Pine Bark (Pinus maritima) Extract
Pine bark is extremely high in antioxidants. Make sure the pine bark is at least 95% standardized procyanidolic oligomers (OPCs).

Extra-small dogs: 20 mg
Small dogs: 40 mg
Medium dogs: 50 mg
Large dogs: 100 mg
Extra-large dogs: 150 mg

Phytoplankton contains Superoxide Dismutase SOD, an antioxidant enzyme. When SOD levels decline, cataracts progress. SOD provides naturally occurring minerals, especially zinc, helping prevent cataracts. Feed 1/8 tsp per 20 lbs in food.

NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback so LEAVE A COMMENT and feel free to share this with people you think will love it.

Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

Allegretti, Jan and Sommers, Katy D.V.M. The Complete Holistic Dog Book. Celestial Arts, 2003.
Murray, Michael T. N.D., and Pizzorno, Joseph N.D. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Atria Paperback, 2012.
Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books, 1993.

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