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Effective alternatives to surgery for pets with cataracts

April 21, 2021

A cataract is defined as any opacification of the eye lens.  Most cataracts in canines and felines are inherited, although they may be caused by congenital defects, nutritional deficiencies, toxic substances, uveal adhesions, senility, and diabetes mellitus. 

The basic abnormality in cataract formation is the degeneration of the normal protein structure of the lens fibers. As such, cataract formation affects predominantly the lens cortex. The glycation of eye lens proteins (aggregation of alpha, beta and gamma crystalline) occurs in vivo and may contribute to cataractogenesis. While anti-glycation compounds are a preventive, some medications can reverse eye lens opacity in in-vivo studies. 

Studies investigated this effect using canine eyes with incipient cataracts, (glycated eye lens proteins), and after the application of anti-glycation compounds for 36 days, the size of the glycation-aggregates decreased.  

Data analysis supports this hypothesis; anti-glycation compounds disaggregate glycated proteins (alpha, beta and gamma crystalline), reducing opacification on the eye lens due to cataract development, and assist in maintaining its clarity.  

This article is intended to share more of the safety and efficacy of anti-glycation compounds that also help address Lenticular Sclerosis and Dry Eye Syndrome (KCS) in pets. One of those anti-glycation compounds is PetVisionPro®

PetVisionPro was introduced to the eye care market 16 years ago and has achieved a high degree of success, with limited media exposure. A nutraceutical eye drop that helps reduce the opacity of the lens due to veterinary cataracts, PetVisionPro requires a 30-45 day regimen of applying, on average, 1-2 drops per affected eye, 2-3 times per day. After the initial regimen is completed, it is recommended the veterinarian sees the patient again after six months to stay ahead of any cataract redevelopment. The reason for this is that, after the initial treatment, improvement in the pet’s vision will have reached its apex and will plateau.  

Over time, some cataracts will redevelop, so it is recommended that a follow-up card be given to the client to bring the pet back in after six months. This will allow the veterinarian to keep up with the level of lens clarity and, if necessary, to prescribe a new prescription to be used as directed for 30 days.  Prescribing a package every six months will allow the eye to stay ahead of any redevelopment curve.  

As you consider eyecare solutions like PetVisionPro, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of anti-glycation compounds: 


  • Non-invasive alternative to surgery 

  • Main ingredients are naturally occurring amino acids that all mammals produce 

  • Can help address senile, traumatic, and congenital (juvenile) cataracts 

  • Anti-glycation compounds can help address three of the four most common types of cataracts 

  • No post-operative side effects  

  • Pet never has to be put under anesthesia to use anti-glycation compounds 

  • Can also help address Lenticular Scleroisis and Dry-Eye Syndrome (KCS) 

  • Safe and easy to apply 

  • Does not contain N-A-C (N-acetyl-carnosine) 

  • Significantly less expensive than surgery 

  • Provides an alternative for pets who are not candidates for surgery 


  • Should not be used on a pet taking any type of steroid-based medication (topical or systemic). Although this combination wouldn’t harm the pet, the steroid present in the pet’s system would break down the compound and neutralize it. A pet currently on steroid medication should wait 2-3 weeks after ceasing the medication, allowing the steroid to get out of its system. 

  • Will not alleviate a diabetic cataract. The best one can hope for in this case is to try and maintain what vision the pet has left. Anti-glycation compounds cannot reduce the diabetic cataract because this type of cataract is more aggressive than most other types of cataract. If a pet has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, this product can be used as a preventative tool – not in a pulse therapy context but on a daily basis for the balance of the pet’s life. 

As with any medical condition, the sooner the cataract can be addressed the better. An ideal case for use of anti-glycation compounds is an incipient cataract (less than 15% coverage) in a non-diabetic pet, not on any steroids. There is a possibility of helping an immature cataract (15-95% coverage), but as with anything, the longer one waits to apply the eye drops, the chances for success begin to decline.




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