Monday, 12 December 2016

Natural, Herbal Treatment for Dogs, Cats with Blocked Tear Duct

If your dog or cat is suffering from a suspected, or confirmed blocked tear duct, a natural herbal treatment can help. A blocked tear duct is a symptom of an underlying condition. It’s important to treat the blockage, and identify the root cause.

In order to keep the eyes lubricated, a dogs and cats body naturally produces a thin layer of tear-film, called a pre-corneal tear film. This film protects the surface of the eye from debris, bacteria, virus and other pathogenic microbes. The tear-film is replenished on a regular basis, and distributed over the surface of the eye when your dog or cat blinks. Excess tear film normally drains from the eye, into tear ducts (lacrimal) - located at the inner corner of the eye; and into then into the nose via the nasolacrimal duct.

When a tear duct is damaged or blocked, tear-film cannot drain as it normally would. This can lead to an overflow of the tear film, and overflow of tears (epiphora) from the eyes. Overflow can result in wet fur under the eye, red or brown stains, irritation, inflammation and infection of the skin under the eye.

Root Cause of Blocked Tear Duct 
·       Allergies
·       Age-related narrowing of duct
·       Birth defects of the face or eye
·       Conventional drugs – ingested or topical
·       Cysts in the tear-drainage system
·       Eye infections, including chronic eye infections, infections caused by Lyme disease, etc.
·       Inflammation of the eye
·       Injury to the eye or face
·       Nose polyps
·       Particulate, and stones in the tear drainage system
·       Scar tissue in nasal passage
·       Tumor
·       Other causes

Symptoms of Blocked Tear Duct
·       Chronic…
o   Excessive discharge from eye
o   Tearing
o   Mucous discharge
o   Eye infections
·       Eye inflammation, conjunctivitis
·       Swelling at inside corner of eye
·       Tinge of blood in tears

Natural Herbal Treatments for Blocked Tear Duct 

Step 1 - Calm Anxiety
If your dog, or cat is anxious or otherwise adversely reactive to having his / her eyes or nose touched, you may want to consider an initial calming step.

Aromatherapy using an essential oil (EO) can help. For a dog, you can hold an uncapped bottle of essential oil, in-front of your dog’s nose and let him sniff (not lick, not touch) the EO. Offer one of the options I provide further below – you can also let your dog choose which EO he / she prefers.

Cats are more sensitive to the natural chemical compounds in essential oils. For cats use a hydrosol. Add 1 drop of EO to just under 8 ounces of distilled water mixed in an 8 ounce or larger spray bottle. Use the resulting hydrosol to give one spray (one pull on bottle trigger) in the room were you will be treating your cat. Wait a few minutes to allow diffusion of the hydrosol. Then bring your kitty into the room. 

Appropriate Essential Oil Options for Cats
·       German chamomile - anxiety, inflammation  
·       Lavender - worry, infection
Appropriate Essential Oil Options for Dogs
·       Bergamot - anxiety, infection
·       Clary sage - high strung temperament
·       English yarrow - over-sensitive, pain
·       German chamomile - anxiety, inflammation
·       Hemp - anxiety, stress, pain
·       Lavender - worry, infection
·       Rose (rosa damascene) - Past trauma, infection
·       Jasmine - comfort, inflammation

Step 2 - Herbal Tea Cleanse
Choose from one of the following herbal teas - organic chamomile, eye bright (euphrasia), or Echinacea.
·       Brew a tea bag in 8 ounces of distilled water.
·       If treating both eyes brew a second tea bag.
·       Allow to cool, until just slightly warm.
·       Remove the tea bag, place the tea bag on a clean plate.
·       Pour a little of the tea into a small cup, pour the remainder of the tea into a clean glass bottle.
·       Dip a clean soft cotton pad into the tea in the cup.
·       Use the tea-dipped cotton pad to gently wipe around the eye, from inner corner to outer corner.
·       If doing both eyes use a fresh pad for each eye.
·       Wash your hands.
·       If you are treating both eyes, wash your hands in-between treating each eye.
·       Cleanse the eyes two time to three times a day.
·       Store the brewed tea in the refrigerator.

Step 3 - Warm Herbal Tea Compress
·       Take the slightly warm tea bag, and gently place against eye.
·       Gently hold in place for at least 30 seconds, if your dog will tolerate your doing so – keep compress in place for at least 60 seconds.
·       Wash your hands.
·       If you are treating both eyes, wash your hands in-between treating each eye.
·       When you are finished doing the compress, discard the tea bag – do not reuse.
·       You will need to brew a fresh tea bag for each application.
·       Do this warm compress two to three times per day.

Step 4 – Simple Eye Massage
·       Massaging after compress can help open the blocked tear duct.
·       Place your index finger close to the inner corner of the eye, next to your dog’s cat’s snout, follow the line of the nasal duct (see photo below).
·       Gently apply light pressure to the inner corner for several seconds, release pressure.
·       Slide your finger down from the corner along the side of the snout.
·       Wash your hands.
·       If you are treating both eyes, wash your hands in-between treating each eye.
·       Repeat this massage at least 3 times.
·       Do this two times to three times per day.
If your dog or cat is experiencing a lot of pain from inflammation at the corner of the eye, don’t do the above.

Step 5 - Natural Eye Drops
DIY Eye Drops
·       Use a glass eye dropper to administer eye drops 2 times to 3 times per day. Choose one of the following options…
·       Silver water – i.e. colloidal silver, ionic silver, sovereign silver, etc.
·       Herbal eye drops – i.e. the herbal tea from Step 2 above, or select another herbal tea drop option as discussed here.

Purchased Eye Drops
·       Or you can purchase a commercial pre-made eye drop product, i.e.
·       Homeopathic eye drops.
·       Herbal eye drops
·       Make sure the product you choose is toxic additive-free.
·       Follow the instructions for use on the product label.

Step 6 - Natural Antibiotic, Ingested Treatment
A natural, ingested antibiotic is a good course of action to help treat, and prevent infection while dealing with tear duct blockage.

Silver water
An excellent choice for dogs and cats.
For extensive information on dosage, cautions and interactions go here.

This is another good choice for dogs only.
For extensive information on dosage, cautions and interactions go here.

Raw, 100% Natural Honey
An excellent addition for dogs and cats.
If you are treating a puppy or kitten use pharmaceutical grade honey only.
For extensive information on dosage, cautions and interactions go here.

The above are just a few of the natural antibiotics that can be used alone or together to naturally help fight infection.   

Step 7 - Diet
Make sure your dog and cat are on an appropriate, anti-inflammatory immune system supporting daily diet that support immune system and eye health.  

Highly processed pet food (kibble or wet/canned) is not health-supporting – this is so for all such products, including veterinary prescription dry and canned food; off-the-shelf so called ‘premium’ dry and canned pet food products; and vegetarian/vegan pet food.  

If you must use highly processed pet food, consider adding herbs and fresh foods that support eye health, for ideas you can go here.

Best choice is a good quality commercial or homemade raw food diet.
Second best choice is a good quality homemade raw and gently cooked diet made with fresh whole food ingredients.

Third best choice – gently cooked, home made diet.

Do take action to identify, and address the root cause of your dog's or cat’s blocked tear duct.

If your dog or cat has a medical condition always check for health condition interactions and drug interactions with foods, herbs and essential oils you are considering using.

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld