Carnosine in Dogs

by Alisia Compton Google
    Your veterinarian will examine your dog's eyes to determine if cataracts are present.

    Your veterinarian will examine your dog's eyes to determine if cataracts are present.

    Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Carnosine is capable of improving canine cataracts, according to a 2006 study performed by veterinarian ophthalmologists D.L. Williams and P. Munday of the University of Cambridge. A cataract is the opacification, or opaqueness, of the capsule or the ocular lens. Only a veterinarian can diagnose and treat cataracts. Your veterinarian may prescribe carnosine during early stages of cataracts when antioxidant support is the most beneficial.

    Immature Cataracts Can be Treated with Carnosine

    Studies performed by both the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge and the Australian Cataract Research Foundation have found that only immature cataracts see improvement when treated with carnosine drops. The lens opacification index, or LOI, determines how opaque a canine’s eye lenses are. The more opaque the eyes are, the more difficult it becomes to see. During testing, LOI was improved in all dogs after carnosine treatments were applied, but only immature cataracts saw significant improvement. This is why early veterinarian detection is best when treating cataracts.

    How Carnosine Works

    Carnosine is composed of two amino acids: beta-alanine and histidine. It’s also concentrated in muscle and brain tissues. These elements work together to form a beneficial eye drop that has a number of antioxidant properties. During testing, carnosine was diluted into a drop and applied to animals suffering cataracts, including dogs. It was found that carnosine works to reduce cloudiness, as well as heal immature cataracts.

    Diagnosing Cataracts and Treating with Carnosine

    Only a veterinarian, or a veterinary ophthalmologist, can diagnose cataracts and prescribe carnosine. In general, veterinarians will prescribe N-acetyl-carnosine eye drops to treat cataracts. These eye drops are the leading medicine used to treat canine cataracts because in most cases there is significant cataract reduction and eyesight improvement. The mediation is applied at various times throughout the day using an eye dropper.

    Carnosine Side Effects and Warnings

    Carnosine’s side effects are minimal. If you notice an increase in redness around the eyes, as well as leaking mucus or lens damage, discontinue use and contact your veterinarian immediately. Carnosine does not come without warnings. Britain’s Royal College of Ophthalmologists has formally stated that safety and ability haven’t appropriately been demonstrated to fully recommend carnosine’s use as a cataract treatment. Your veterinarian is the best person to discuss carnosine with, including its side effects and warnings.

    Photo Credits

    • Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Alisia Compton is a pet care writer from Western NY. She has experience training dogs, raising cats and riding horses. Her love of animals transfers to her writing, where she educates others about the special care animals sometimes need.

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