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eye issues

by Joe
(Valley Stream, NY)

Left eye with glare

Left eye with glare

Left eye with glare
Left eye without glare
Right eye in the light
Right eye less glare

My dog Snitter started gradually exhibiting cloudiness in his eyes about two years ago, most noticeably in his left eye, though there is some in his right eye, as well.


He is a 13 year old German Shorthaired Pointer/Greyhound mix. He's always had reddish eyes since he was a pup. In addition, he always had a ropy mucous that had to be cleaned throughout the day. A holistic vet years earlier had suggested that he was likely allergic to something.

There were no additional symptoms with the cloudiness initially. I brought him to a conventional vet, who couldn't determine a definitive diagnosis, except keratitis.

It didn't appear to be cataracts or glaucoma.

For the keratitis, he was prescribed Vetropolycin, which seemed to clear up the cloudiness (and a bit of the redness). He was kept on this twice a day for about two or so weeks. I brought him back to the vet, and she noticed improvement in the eyes, though she noted that it might return.

The vet recommended an ophthalmologist, but I couldn't afford one at the time. I began experimenting with different foods, as I suspected that allergies might play a role.

Snitter's always been on premium (usually organic, but always natural) dog food. After trying different ones, I put him back on his old standard (Castor & Pollux Organix), and he began--after a week or so--displaying additional symptoms in his eyes (particularly the left) that he'd never displayed prior, including sensitivity to light, itchiness (he would attempt to scratch) and a more intense cloudiness.

After another week of this, I took him off the food, and put him on Dick Van Patton's Natural Balance Vegetarian formula. All of the symptoms cleared up, and the cloudiness went back to the way it had been before. I've since kept him away from chicken and beef, as I suspect those may be the culprits he's allergic to.

I would like to get to the bottom of the issue, as I can tell that he doesn't see as well as he once did (especially in low-light), as he's a bit clumsier. I'd be more than willing to put him on some kind of holistic, herbal solution that you think would work.

I understand that it might simply be old age, and symptoms of nuclear sclerosis, but I don't want to assume that's what it is.

Aside from the Natural Balance Vegetarian food, he's on GreenDog Naturals Healthy Motion Joint Supplement and gets Hip Bones (made with tart cherry concentrate and natural ingredients) for his mobility (his back legs aren't as strong as they once were).

For his teeth, he gets ProDen's Plaque-Off when needed. He also gets some of my MacroLife's Macro Greens once a day (just as a green supplement.)

Comments for eye issues

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Jan 15, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Eye Issues
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Joe,
Snitter's a cute dog, and certainly does not look his age! From the photos you took, it is difficult to do a complete eye exam, but you did give me a very good history.

From what I could determine from the photos, with a glare on the cornea of the left eye and the chronic 'red' eyes with ropey mucous discharge, I wondered if the conventional veterinarian did a Schirmer's Tear Test to determine if Snitter has dry eye. If his eye is not producing enough tears, the cornea will become edematous/thickened and appear hazy. The glands that line the eyelashes will attempt to compensate and increase their production of mucous, but this is not the same consistency as what the tear glands produce to keep the cornea moist at all times.

Using artificial tear ointment, or just olive oil, 3-4 drops into his eye every 3-4 hours should help provide moisture. If you use artificial tear drops (instead of ointment) you will need to apply it every hour.

In the meantime, he needs to have more moisture in his diet, including more Omega 3 fish oils. You are feeding him some very good quality food, but it is DRY food. See if you can mix in some raw turkey or lamb (and avoid the chicken and beef, if that may be what he has an allergy too.)

See our page on the 10 best dog food options and check out some raw diet options.

Add about 1,000mg of Omega 3 fish oil for dogs to his diet two times daily. Another good 'eye' supplement is IPlex by Standard Process. He would need one capsule in food two times daily.

I would suggest a total blood panel also, to rule out internal problems. In Chinese medicine, the eyes serve as the outlet for the liver. Chronic red eyes, may indicate an underlying liver disease.

I would also include a heartworm test, and thyroid function in the blood test.

And, if possible, I would avoid dog vaccinations. If you are able to contact a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption form for Snitter, that would be ideal. Also, a holistic veterinarian would be able to determine a homeopathic remedy that would also help to treat his eyes.

find a holistic veterinarian in your areaClick here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area.


Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Jan 15, 2011
Sound advice
by: Joe

Hey Dr. Tillman,

Appreciate the tips. He is in pretty good shape for his age! Aside from this eye-issue, and the relative "weakness" of his back-legs, he's never had an issue his entire life.

We just purchased fish-oil, so that'll work. I'll also go about getting some drops of olive-oil into his eyes. The former will be easier than the latter (he's accustomed to drinking my almond milk, so I don't think he'll balk at fish-oil).

As regards vaccines, my vet knows I'm 'non-compliant'. I feel that the initial ones are sufficient for the life of the animal. Booster shots are potentially harmful at worst, and unneccessary at best.

I used to subscribe to the Whole Dog Journal, which featured an annual Best-Foods list. I look forward to comparing your list to theirs.

I'll get on the blood-work asap, as well. He's overdue for a vet-visit anyway.

Thanks again!
Joe

Jan 15, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Eye Issues
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Joe,
You are very welcome. Keep us posted on the lab results. I am more than happy to help you interpret any discrepancies.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section

Apr 07, 2012
thyroid good diagnoses
by: Anonymous

With hind leg weakness and eyes dry and cloudy also if there is a weight problem it is thyroid related and need thyroid test asap to get pup on thyroid hormone.. i had to diagnose my wolf by myself and barely saved her life. she was a mess lossed hair, eyes dry and cloudy. insullin not regulated and weakness in her back legs then started rapid weight loss and nerveous all the time stressed, scratching and eating grass. I started her on thyroid hormone also Nuvet natural vitimins with 3 a day for her 130 weight and legs became stronger, hair grew back and itchy stopped but still having dry eyes and cloudy also insullin stable at 15 u abotu 1/2 the dose they had her on but after last test they reduced thyroid to one 6 mg a day and I don't trust any vet around here when they kept blaming weight and diabetes iregular on me without even looking for the underlying cause that she almost died from and several times appeared low blood sugar symptoms that had vet assist concerned enought to check but blood sugar not issue and believe she was close to coma from thyroid that was ignored by everyone and was 0 with Eurothyroid diagnosed in one of her first medical records that I had not even been informed about with all her problems with weight and insullin changing then infections dehydration repeated low blood sugar epidsodes and a year of vet visits for compliations of thyroid that was IGNORED so thyroid should be number 1 to check if dog is losing fur, weight problems dry eyes and hind leg weakness, asap thyroid because it will not heal without natural or prescription and coma could result from non treatment

Apr 08, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Eye issues
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hello Anonymous,
Sorry to hear about your dog's problems, and I am glad the she is doing better now.

For Joe's dog Snitter, in the last post, I DID suggest a thyroid test be included in the blood panel.

I wrote:
"I would suggest a total blood panel also, to rule out internal problems. In Chinese medicine, the eyes serve as the outlet for the liver. Chronic red eyes, may indicate an underlying liver disease.

I would also include a heartworm test, and thyroid function in the blood test."

I am not sure if any of the veterinarians you consulted with were holistic or not. Perhaps, that would have made a difference.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us
by clicking the like button at the top of the left
margin
. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.


May 24, 2012
3 yr old dachshund with dry eye and weight gain
by: Anonymous

I was reading the comments about having the thyroid checked with the symptoms described by the first post. I have a 3 year old female dachshund who started with eye issues about a year and a half ago. First it started with the mucous discharge so my vet examined her eyes, did a corneal examine with the yellow eye drops to check for scratches and he did the schirrer (i believe you called it) test with the strips in the eyes to measure tear production, and one eye was producing slightly let's than normal and the other significantly less than normal. He put her on cyclosporine drops for a few months. Some days ty seemed to help and others not so much. We went back and he continued the test with the strips but both eyes grew progressively worse to the point one eye wasn't producing any tears Throughout that time she was on the cyclosporine, he also had me giving her an anti biotic ointment twice per day which helpedwith discharge production, and also supplementing with OTC eye drops (systain). January of 2011 Emma weighed 14 lbs and by July she had gained 6lbs. She is classified as a mini but I would say more like a tweeny. I have had her on reduced fat wellness core since last fall. We do not do organic but do grain free. Finally she has lost two lbs as of the end of march and her eyes seem to have cleared a bit. They aren't as light sensitive as they normally had been and she isn't squinting as much. I have always thought her weight gain and her eyes were connected. Would you recommend having her thyroid checked?

May 24, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Eye Issues
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Anonymous,
For your 3 year old Dachsund with Dry Eye and Weight Gain you wrote,

"I have always thought weight gain and her eyes were connected. Would you recommend having her thyroid checked?

Weight gain and low thyroid are definitely connected. Eye problems (in Chinese Medicine) is associated with liver weakness. A total blood panel that includes thyroid would be a good idea.

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to answer more, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Feb 12, 2015
My little poodle
by: Anonymous

Hi Joe,

I'm sure glad I decided to come to this site. My little poodle is about 14 years old now and I noticed a film over her right eye the other day. It looks kind of bluish white though. I have the same problem my husband will bitch but want pay to take Venus to the vet, She is part of our family given to us by my son and I'm very worried about her. Her favorite food is chicken. Believe or not awhile back I was getting a film over both of my eyes and was afraid she could have caught it from me. She had it once but it went away. Now I'm trying to find out if there is anything I can do at home for her without money for the Vet. I kind of figured it was some kind of clergy problem because she sometimes makes sounds with her nose like she can't breath and I pick her up and rub her gently trying to calm her so she will relax and quit. I really get scared when she has these episodes. I wonder if I can use my eye drops on her? I notice the Vet said eye drops but she didn't say whether it was their type or any type of eye drops. Thank you for the information though it has helped me greatly to pinpoint her problem.
Sincerely,
Diane

Feb 13, 2015
My Online Vet Response For: Eye Issues
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

February 12, 2015

Hi Diane,
Thanks for your question.

I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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