In some cases of simple infection or irritation, a herbal wash can clear the problem immediately. In other cases, conditions such as chronic runny eyes, cataracts, glaucoma etc indicate an underlying unbalance.
Prevention Starts With Diet
Prevention is Always the Best Cure and a fresh, varied diet is the first step to promote and maintain your dog’s eyes health.
Nutrients like Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamin E will help keep off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Aim to include in your dog’s meal:
- Carotene-rich foods : orange foods like bell peppers, carrots and pumpkin.
- Antioxidants-rich foods : like berries.
- Phytonutrients and lutein-rich foods : like green leafy vegetables.
- Omega-3-rich foods : like oily fish / phytoplankton.
- Zinc-rich foods : like oysters and beef.
- Vitamin E-rich foods : like sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil.
Regularly cleaning your dog’s eyes is a good practice which:
- Keeps eyes clean and reduces the risk of infection
- Prevents irritation
- Reduces tear stains
As a daily routine:
- Use a clean cotton cloth or gauze and soak it in a cooled clear light tea of calendula, chamomile, lavender, thyme, bee balm, chickweed, dandelion leaf or rose petals.
- Always start at the centre (closest to the nose) and clean out towards the cheek.
- Be very gentle.
In Case of Irritation
Recipe for a simple astringent eyewash in case of irritation:
- ½ tsp of cooled clear raspberry leaf or nettle tea.
- ½ tsp of cooled clear Oregon grape or goldenseal tea.
- 1oz (30ml) of sterile saline (available in the eye care section of supermarkets and pharmacies) – alternatively, you can also make a warm saline solution with just a tiny bit of salt: about ¼ cup (60ml) warm filtered or bottled water with just a tiny pinch of salt.
Hold the dog’s head to one side and use a dropper pipette to rinse the eye laterally from the nose to the dog’s cheek.
Repeat 2/3 times daily until the condition improves.
In case of further irritation, stop using it, your dog might be sensitive to a certain herb.
Make always sure the teas and herbs are organic and free of particles, dust and toxic residues.
The eyes are very sensitive, if you have any doubt a visit to the vet is always recommended, especially in case of:
- eye issues accompanied by fever
- illness before the eye issue
- pawing / rubbing of the eye
- keeping the eye shut
- chance of sting or puncture
- sudden changes