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Your dog relies on her nose to make movements but the eyes as equally important. Poor eye health affects the quality of her life in more ways than one. When she develops cataracts, the clarity of her eyes’ lenses is greatly compromised. This happens when there’s a shift in the proteins in the lens causing the lens to become cloudy. As a result, light fails to reach the retina leading to blindness. The part of the eye that would appear black would then take on a white color.
Seeing your pup struggle to see her little world is nothing short of distressing. Besides affecting vision, cataracts also cause inflammation which can be painful and uncomfortable for the poor dog. While surgery via phacoemulsification is always the most effective option for treating cataracts in dogs, it is invasive, expensive, elective and comes with a few risks. And if you have an elderly dog who is 12+ years, you’ll be unnecessarily stressing her if you decide to put her through any kind of surgery.
Using certain eye drops is the next best option. If you do a quick internet search, you will find a number of eye drop products being marketed as potential solutions for cataracts in dogs. But is this true? Do eye drops for cataracts in dogs work?
Well, as of the time of writing this post, there were two promising options:
1. Lanosterol-Derived Eye Drops
Essentially, cataracts occurs when the sensitive structures of the crystalline proteins are disrupted, causing them to form clumps and make the lens cloudy. The lens is also composed of molecules called lanosterol, which is an essential building block of other vital steroids in a dog’s body. In 2015, Ling Zhao, a University of California San Diego’s molecular biologist and her research team began looking into lanosterol after they found that children who developed an inherited form of cataracts had a similar gene mutation that blocked the synthesis of lanosterol. They thought that perhaps lanosterol played a role in preventing cataract-forming proteins from clamping. They ran a series of tests on lab mice, humans, rabbits, and dogs. Lanosterol had the same effect on humans, rabbits, dogs, and other animals’ lenses: it reduced cataracts and improved lens transparency. They concluded that lanosterol plays a critical role in preventing lens protein aggregation and pointed to a novel strategy for cataract prevention in humans and other animals. However, like many other studies that have been carried on the topic, the findings of this particular study have been challenged.
2. NAC-Based Eye Drops
These are eye drops that are formulated with N-alpha-acetyl Carnosine (NAC), a powerful antioxidant that is believed to reduce the cross-linking or aggregation of proteins that cause cataracts. This human study seems to back up its efficacy. However, like Ling Zhao and the team’s study, the study has been criticized for having a host of flaws, particularly in the way the research was conducted.
Considering that the studies supporting the efficacy of eye drops in treating cataracts have been challenged and more research seems to be on-going, we cannot say that there exists a miracle eye drop that will dissolve your dog’s cataract. One thing that we know about eye drops that are marketed to be solutions for cataracts is the fact that they have had beneficial effects on the eyes of dogs with cataracts. Therefore, the products that we have included on our list are those that we believe functions so (help reduce or control cataracts in at least some dogs, offer support for dogs that suffer from cataracts, are marketed to have cataract fighting powers or those that pet parents have had success with in helping them manage cataracts with their pups). None has been proven to dissolve cataracts in dogs!
It is also important to note that after surgery, your dog will have to receive eye drops to reduce cases of eye inflammations for several months. And if you decide not to take your pup for surgery and let nature take its course, you will still need anti-inflammatory eye drops in the later stages of the condition.
Having said that, here is detailed overview of 10 the best eye drops for dogs with cataracts:
OcluVet Eye Drops formulation is one of the best out there. It contains NAC antioxidants and nutrients that give the eye clarity and deliver all-around ocular health. These work together to target the reactions in the eye that stimulate the formation of damaged proteins that cause cataracts. Not only does the formula deliver clarity but it also treats ocular degeneration and poor eyesight emanating from poor nutrition, UV light exposure, age, and trauma.
Applying OcluVet Eye Drops is as easy as it gets. All you have to do is administer one drop to the eye thrice in a day for the first bottle. The manufacturer claims that the eye drop formula has been studied and patented. Since it is not invasive, it is a natural and safe treatment strategy. Plus, one bottle will take you two months which is a long time. It is value for money.
Unfortunately, some pet parents who have already used the product claim that it doesn’t treat cataracts at all. It may deal with some eye irritations but it doesn’t help with even mild cataracts. Also, some dogs react to the formula. It can cause redness as it burns and stings some mutts. The bottle is also not the easiest to use. You always have to exercise caution lest your overly curious canine friend licks it.
- Effective in dealing with mild irritants
- One bottle stays for up to two months.
- Natural and safe formula
- 4-month supply
- Contains anti-oxidants for better eye health
- Can cause redness
- The formula can be licked
- The bottle is hard to use
- It may be ineffective in treating or preventing cataracts
Watching your furry family member live with cataracts is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, cataracts surgery is rather expensive and thus not an option for many dog owners out there. The LumenPro Pet Eye Drops by Heliostatix is a powerful formulation for restoring a dog’s vision and clarity. The product utilizes a lab-tested mechanism that delivers natural cataract-fighting potent ingredients to a pup’s eyes.
It combines the power of lanosterol and N-acetylcarnosine to dissolve glycoproteins that cause cataracts. The brand is so confident of its product that it has a money-back guarantee on it. if you don’t like the drops after a month, you can return it and you’ll have your money back.
Typically, you should assess your dog’s progress after every six weeks of continually applying 2 drops every morning and evening. Please note that the product is not effective for cataracts caused by chronic diseases. If there’s an underlying condition, the drops will not take care of that and it is advisable to contact your vet for more professional input.
- It contains genuine and functional lanosterol
- Provides dual-action, thanks to both lanosterol and N-acetyl carnosine ingredients
- Doesn’t sting
- Runs out fast
- The spout can easily block, making application difficult
This unique formulation from Ethos Bright Eyes is another great product in the market. The active ingredient is N-Acetyl-Carnosine (NAC) which is effective in treated a plethora of eye issues including cataracts. It naturally dissolves proteins that stimulate the formation of cataracts.
Carnosine Eye Drop for Dogs is designed for human use but it is safe for all pets as well. It features advanced pharmaceutical nutrition that is rare out there. If you are looking for an alternative to cataract surgery, the eye drops will make the dream a reality. The formula has been tested on TV (The Richard & Judy Show) and proven to be effective. In addition to cataracts, this eye drop formula also helps with other eye-related issues including floaters, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Since it utilizes natural ingredients, it is safe, hypoallergenic, and 100% vegan-friendly.
- It is as effective as seen on TV (The Richard & Judy Show
- Treats other eye problems
- Can be used for both humans and animals
- It is made in the USA
- It is hypoallergenic
- It is a bit costly
The Can-C Eye Drops utilize n–acetylcarnosine as its active ingredient. Almost all eye drops on this list use this ingredient in their formulation. It does wonders to dog eyes. From reducing cataracts to soothing eye irritations to lubricating the eye, the ingredient can do it all. Other ingredients include potassium bicarbonate, boric acid, benzyl alcohol, glycerin, and carboxymethylcellulose. Each one has a role to play in treating cataracts and eye irritations. One or two drops of the product once or twice a day will make a significant difference in your dog’s eyes.
The eye drops come in two 5ml vials. To use it, simply remove the lower ring of one of the vials, twist the cap to break the seal, open the vial, and drop the product into the dog’s eyes. Once you are done, replace the cap to avoid contamination and store it away. It never gets simpler than that. The product is made in the USA meaning its quality can be trusted.
- Uses a potent formula that is effective in reducing cataracts
- Has good reviews on Amazon
- Comes in two convenient vials
- Easy to use
- When you first open the vial, you are likely to waste the product
- Can sting or burn
As the name suggests, the NHV Ey EAS is a great product for dogs with cataracts. It is formulated with several powerful ingredients including chamomile, goldenseal, eyebright, and rosemary. Each delivers its healing properties for a dog suffering from cataracts among other eye issues such as conjunctivitis. The ingredients have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling, soothe irritated eyes, and control increased discharge. Together, they work to restore the health of the eyes to what it once was. If your doggy has cloudy eyes because of cataracts or is experiencing infections that cause them to appear red and inflamed, the eye drops will help a great deal. It is also great for pups that cannot stop rubbing their eyes and those that tear way more than the average dog.
Despite the ingredients being natural, some of the ingredients can cause burning, stinging, and irritation in the eyes. It doesn’t happen to all pups but some negatively react to some of them. In addition, the 1-ounce bottle the eye drops comes in runs out fast. The glass dropper is also quite tricky to use.
- It is a natural blend
- The formula treats a wide range of eye problems
- The product doesn’t last long
- It is not the most effective formula in the market
- The bottle is not convenient to use
- Can sting and burn
The PetVision Eye Drops is another effective and safe product made in the United States. It is carefully formulated by scientists and vets to offer relief from a host of eye-related problems like cataracts. Its active ingredients include sterile water of pH 6.8-7.2, carboxymethylcellulose sodium (lubricant), benzalkonium chloride (preservative), and an antioxidant.
Like most products on this list, it targets proteins that form cataracts. It also reduces opacity in the eye lends and helps in maintaining clarity and vision. Whether your doggie has age-related cataracts, genetic cataracts, traumatic cataracts, or metabolic cataracts, the eye drops will alleviate the symptoms greatly.
The formula takes care of other issues including dry eye syndrome, nuclear sclerosis, and eye irritations. Dogs with any of these disorders can highly benefit from the product. This is especially true for canines that suffer from dry eyes. Nothing works magic other than using a lubricant that brings the eye back to life.
We absolutely love the squeeze-tube dose dispenser that comes with the package. It makes application easy as you get precise measurements every time. This way, you can minimize waste greatly. For the best results, apply 2-3 drops twice or thrice daily.
- Comes in precise and convenient application tubes
- Effective for eye dryness, cataracts, eye irritations, and nuclear sclerosis
- Takes care of all types of cataracts
- It may burn or sting
- One bottle goes for a month or less
In the 7th spot, we have the I-Drop Vet Plus Eye Lubricant. If you are looking for a product that adds moisture to your pup’s eyes, this one fits the bill. It is formulated with a special viscoadaptive solution that uses 0.25% hyalurona. If you know a thing or two about cataracts, you probably know that the condition causes dryness of the eyes. As a result, a dog suffering from the cataracts is bound to have dry eyes and will need some moisture in them.
The eye drop comes in a 0.33-ounce bottle which is a lot of product. You have the option of choosing a single, two, or three-pack depending on your needs. Besides introducing moisture to the eyes, I-Drop is also effective at reducing redness and itchiness. The best part is that the formulation is safe and doesn’t sting. As your dog blinks, the product will work its magic. Unlike other eye drops that will require repeated application, this formula continues to deliver its charm every time your pup blinks. The bottle is unbelievably easy to use.
The downside of using it is that can cause your dog to have calcium deposits after a while. Because of this, you need the approval of the vet to use it. Also, you have to follow directions to the T. If you skip a dose or two, you risk compromising the efficacy of the product.
- Doesn’t burn or sting
- Doesn’t need many applications to be effective
- Great at reducing eye irritations
- Adds moisture to dry eyes
- Comes in an easy-to-use bottle
- You need vet approval before buying it
- Can cause your dog to develop calcium deposits
Most eye products for dogs with cataracts have 1% N-Acetyl-Carnosine (NAC). The Cataract Clear NAC XTRAMAX Dog Eye Drops use the same ingredients but it is 4.2 times more than other products in the market—no wonder the name. Not only is this product effective but it delivers results faster than others.
That’s not all; the formulation doesn’t contain any additives, preservatives, chemicals, and thickeners as is the case with other eye drops. Its consistency is like that of water because of the lack of thickener. Despite not having these toxic chemicals, the eye drop still works great. It also stays fresh for longer as long as you keep it away from contaminants. The manufacturer claims to use the purest form of NAC (99%) to produce the product. If you want a Certificate of Analysis for the same, Cataract Clear will send it over to your address.
Because it contains NAC, there’s a possibility that the drops may sting your pooch. Thankfully, it only affects some dogs but not all of them. if the sting is moderate or low, keep administering the drops. Some customers notice that the product stopped stinging their dogs after a while.
- Utilizes 4.2% of NAC to make the product stronger than most
- Gets rid of cataracts fast
- It is devoid of toxic chemicals
- May sting your dog
The Thomas Pet C Bright Eye Drops contains an effective and gentle blend of zinc and vitamin C among other ingredients. Zinc helps vitamin A to produce melanin which protects the eye. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is a powerful antioxidant whose function is to ensure the health of blood vessels in the eyes. It also protects the eye from oxidative damage.
When you bring both ingredients, you get a potent blend capable of supporting capillary health in the eye, supporting normal eye vision, and promoting ocular health in general. Not only does it benefit a dog with cataracts but it also soothes irritated and itchy eyes caused by environmental factors and pollen. The product also offers relief from minor eye irritations.
Going by Amazon reviews, this product truly works in reducing the progression of different types of cataracts. It is a potent lubricant that deals with eye dryness thereby reducing irritation.
- Lubricates the eye
- Offers relief from eye irritation
- Safe for dogs
- Contains camphor which may burn or sting some pups
The last item on this list is the OcunovisBioHAnce Gel Eye Drops from Sentrx Animal Care Store. This is the only product on this list with a patented and crosslinked hyaluronic acid (HA) technology. HA is a natural lubricant that the dog’s body produces. When it cannot create enough because of cataracts or any other reason, the eye drops will do the job for the doggie. The drops are specifically created for the ocular health of your pet. Each drop created a sheer coating that protects the eye with every blink. The good thing with the product is that despite having a gel-like consistency, it is not too thick. It makes the application easy and accurate.
- Uses a unique and effective HA technology
- Protects and hydrates the eye
- Has a good consistency that is neither too watery nor too thick
- Does not contain preservatives
- The bottle can be difficult to squeeze
- Runs out fast
Cataracts can wreak havoc on your dog. With blurred or no vision of her world, life takes a bad turn. Your once active and playful pet will begin to take a backseat. You can help her by using any of these products on the list. If nothing changes, consider going the surgical route to permanently take care of the problem.