Homeopathy for Eye Disorders

By Todd Cooney, DVM, CVH | February 9, 2017


We say the eyes are the window to the soul. One can gauge an individual’s health with a thorough gaze into this amazing organ. Eyes are also a window to the outside environment, and crucial to most animal species. Eye disorders are a regular part of veterinary practice, and homeopaths treat eye symptoms as part of the individual’s total symptom picture, or totality. Let’s consider how homeopathy is useful in treating some of the most common eye disorders seen in practice today, after this quick overview of homeopathy basics.


Homeopathic treatment is based on true natural laws of healing, which do not change over time. Homeopaths study the same textbooks used over 200 years ago, and practice according to the same principles outlined by the old masters of this healing art. Three basic laws undergird all of homeopathy:

1.    The Law of Similars states that any substance that produces symptoms in a healthy individual can cure the same symptoms in disease. For example, the watery nasal and ocular discharge of hay fever or a cold may respond well to Allium cepa, a remedy made from onions, because sliced raw onions cause similar symptoms (it may help any individual with watery ocular discharge).

Another good example is parvo virus in puppies, with its characteristic nausea, vomiting, and foul liquid diarrhea, often helped by Arsenicum album, which causes the same syndrome in healthy individuals. Symptoms are the body’s attempt to restore homeostasis, or balance, and the correct homeopathic remedy supports this process, rather than opposing it. Opposing symptoms or surgery often lead to suppression, forcing the natural disease deeper into the body.

2.    Hering’s Law states that disease tends to develop in a certain direction, and leave in the opposite direction. All cure starts from within and moves out, from the head down, and in reverse order as the symptoms appeared, or were suppressed. This translates to symptoms moving from more vital to less vital organs, from the interior to exterior of the body (think skin), and from the top down (or head to tail in animals) as healing occurs. For the eye, a cure would move from a cataract to an ocular discharge. This direction of cure is universal, and happens regardless of the type of medicine doing the curing.

3.    The Law of Dilution/Potentization states that repeated dilutions and succussions (forceable mixing) of remedies results in a greater strength of effect. A 6c potency is diluted 1:100 six times and succussed each time; the much more potent 200c is diluted 1:100 a total of 200 times with succussions. Quantum physics is shedding some light on possible explanations for this phenomenon, as is nanotechnology (see the two-part article “Homeopathy: a 200-year-old nanomedicine” by Shelly Epstein, DVM, CVH and Iris Bell, MD in the Summer and Fall 2013 issues of IVC Journal), and clinical experience confirms this law.


A noted human homeopathic ophthalmologist, Edward Kondrot MD, CCH, DHt (healingtheeye.com), believes that the largest cause of all eye disease in people is suppression caused by modern medicines and treatment methods. I feel this also translates to our animal patients.1 The following are a few contributing factors:

·        Antibiotics for conjunctivitis

·        Treatment of chronic blepharitis

·        Steroid eye drops and ointments

·        Cataract surgery

·        Laser surgery and injections for retinal disease

These “opposite” treatments cause the disease to go deeper into the body, resulting in more serious eye problems. A good example are the “side effects” listed for steroid eye drops, which are actually the result of suppression – corneal ulcers, infections, cataracts, increased intraocular pressure, to name a few. This is also true in our veterinary patients, as antibiotic/steroid medications are the first line of allopathic treatments for most eye conditions seen in practice. How do we address some common veterinary ophthalmological conditions with homeopathy?

1.    Conjunctivitis

Up to 90% of eye cases have some degree of this inflammatory symptom. Many clients present an animal with eye discharge and want an antibiotic, fearing infection. However, true infections are rare. The ocular organs given the body a route of cleansing and detoxification (lacrimal system), along with the saliva, lungs, skin, gastrointestinal tract, urine, etc.

The most common causes of conjunctivitis are poor diet, toxin accumulation from vaccinations (vaccinosis), GI imbalance, and possibly tight dog collars (harnesses improve many health conditions). Bathing the eye with soothing solutions can be taught to clients.

·        Saline: ¼ teaspoon salt in one cup clean, distilled water.

·        In severe cases, add up to ten drops per cup of water of one of the following herbal tinctures: goldenseal, euphrasia, calendula or hypericum.

Here are a few of the most useful homeopathic medicines for conjunctivitis, with common indications (the symptoms of the patient should be present in the remedy, but not all the remedy symptoms need to be present in the patient):

·        Aconitum – sudden onset; intense fear; exposure to bright sunlight/ snow reflection or cold weather; early stages with intense painful inflammation; profuse watery discharge; bloodshot eyes

·        Allium cepa – minor irritations; watery, bland tears

·        Apis mellifica – swelling is key; chemosis; thick, sticky discharge; thirstlessness

·        Argentum nitricum – young animals; copious yellow/green discharge

·        Arsenicum album – yellow/watery discharge; chilly, restless, thirsty patient

·        Belladonna – sudden, intense inflammation; dry eyes; dilated pupils

·        Euphrasia – also known as “eyebright”; acrid tears leaving a stain; chronicity

·        Mercurius (vivus or solubilis) – acrid, thin discharge; pus in anterior chamber; green nasal discharge; irritable nature; sensitive to hot and cold

·        Pulsatilla – bland yellow discharge; itchy eyes, mild inflammation; resolving upper respiratory infection

·        Rhus toxicodendron – yellow, profuse discharge; intense inflammation; painful; gluey discharge sticking lids together

·        Sulphur – end of upper respiratory infection; acrid discharge; itchy eyes and lids; rubs eyes and face a lot

1.    Corneal ulcers

These are common, and often a sequel to conjunctivitis, ranging in severity from superficial to deep, or even indolent.

·        Euphrasia – a very good remedy for many ulcers; used topically in saline eye wash, or given orally in potency (or both)

·        Aconitum – if the ulcer is very painful, and developed recently

·        Apis, Argentum nitricum, Arsenicum alb., Hepar sulph., Mercurius, Rhus tox., Silicea, Sulphur, Thuya – other remedies to help heal ulcers

·        Silicea or Thuya – to complete healing of stubborn, indolent ulcers

1.    Eye injuries

Scratches, abrasions, lacerations and bruising are some of the most commonly seen injuries. These cases will usually respond very well to the correct remedy, without needing any other treatment. Consider the following:

·        Arnica montana – patient extremely touchy; traumatic injuries of any kind

·        Calcarea sulph. – excellent for splinters or foreign bodies in soft tissue around eye

·        Calendula – used internally or topically

·        Conium – cataract developing after trauma

·        Euphrasia – corneal edema post injury

·        Ledum – bruising; blood pooling under sclera/cornea, in anterior chamber

·        Staphysagria – corneal scratches/lacerations

·        Symphytum – blunt trauma to eye (“Arnica for the eye”)

1.    Entropion

This is a very painful condition, which often requires surgical correction. The following remedies may be helpful in some cases, and even prevent surgery:

·        Borax – patient displays extreme noise sensitivity; fear of falling (avoids going down stairs or panics when picked up)

·        Calcarea carbonica – other developmental problems present; soft, flabby, big-boned patients; slow dentition in history

1.    Ectropion

Many cases can tighten up enough to not need surgery, and involve many of the same remedies listed above, as well as:

·        Calcarea carbonica – if often needed

·        Apis, Argenticum n., Mercury, Sulphur

1.    Cataract

Some cases respond well to homeopathic treatment, especially when the total symptoms shown by the individual are included. Dr. Compton Burnett, a British homeopath in the late 1800s,2 used various remedies, depending on the patient’s symptom totality, and had good success with many cases. He also describes five cured cases in his wonderful book, Fifty Reasons for Being a Homeopath.

Dr. Richard Pitcairn3 lists the following remedies as useful for cataract treatment:  Conium (especially indicated in cataract following eye trauma, and in older patients), Silicea, Pulsatilla, Sulphur and Euphrasia. 


The healing responses of many eye cases I’ve treated since I began to practice homeopathy encourage me to use this modality first when presented with eye issues. Eye problems often appear to be isolated from the rest of the body, but must be seen holistically to choose a successful prescription.

Case Studies

1.    Indolent Ulcer in Cat

In November 2012, a specialist diagnosed an herpetic keratitis in the right eye of an 11-year-old Siamese mix named Emma Morse, which had progressed into an indolent ulcer. He recommended surgery to repair it, and dispensed topical and oral antibiotics.

Dr. Jennifer Ramelmeier prescribed Hepar sulphuris calcareum 1M to be given QD on November 17, 18 and 19 because of the severe pain and ulceration.  

On recheck on December 3, the ophthalmologist reported the cat had improved significantly so surgery was no longer needed. A second prescription of one dose of Hepar sulph 10M was administered once, and by January 14 the ulcer was healed.  There was a small milky spot remaining.

2.    Recurrent Uveitis in a Mare

By Stephanie A. Chalmers, DVM, Diplomate ACVD, CVH

Haleakala is a Rocky Mountain Mare. Born in December of 1994, she had been a brood mare before being purchased in September 2005. She had multiple (12) vaccines between October 2005 and May 2007 (at which time her owner stopped vaccinating). She had a hoof abscess in March 2008.

Ocular pain, eyelid swelling and mild scleral injection were noted in the left eye on April 17 of 2008. The local vet made a diagnosis of uveitis and administered Banamine and a topical antibiotic eye ointment. Symptoms recurred on May 25, again in the left eye. This time the vet administered an intravenous steroid and prescribed a topical antibiotic/steroid ointment.

When her owner contacted me on June 9, mild conjunctivitis and squinting were still present in Haleakala’s left eye. She also had early cataract development in the right eye. Her owner described her as a mild-mannered horse, sensitive and responsive when ridden. She liked to be brushed and petted. Though she had been a good mother, she seemed unattached to the other horses on the property.

My assessment was that this was a manifestation of vaccinosis. Drugs temporarily covered up the eye symptoms, but had not resolved the underlying vital force imbalance that continued to generate this symptom.

Silica 30c was prescribed to be given once, based on the symptoms of uveitis, the cataract, the suspected role of vaccination, the history of a hoof abscess and the mildness of Haleakala’s nature. We discontinued the eye ointment.

A complete resolution of her ocular symptoms occurred within one week after administering the single dose of homeopathic medicine. Her owner also noted that her coat looked better.

The uveitis returned in 2010 in the same eye and resolved with one dose of Silicea. The same thing happened again the following year (2011), but the disease never progressed to pathology. During that period, I treated her with Sulphur to resolve a hoof abscess. 

I was unable to continue prescribing to completely cure Haleakala, because the owner decided to treat the mare herself when the eye inflammation recurred in 2013.

1Kondrot, Edward MD, CCH, DHt. (healingtheeye.com)

2Burnett, J. Compton. Cataract: Its nature, causes, prevention, and cure. 1889.

3Pitcairn, R and Hubble, S. Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats


The EYES have it!

by Joshua Corn

Is Your Dog or Cat’s Vision Deteriorating? Most Likely YES!

It’s often said that eyes are the window to the soul, and your pet’s eyes are certainly no exception.

Maintaining healthy vision is vital for the well-being of dogs and cats as they age. Our pets use their eyes to communicate with us, and to navigate the world around them.

Did you know that your pet relies on their eyes to communicate with you? That’s right, the results of a new study found that dogs especially rely on establishing eye contact with you in order to communicate.[4]

Vision Loss Is Your Pet’s Worst Enemy, Too

Dogs and cats, like us humans, experience eye changes as they age, such as retinal and lens functional decline, hardening and clouding of the lens, and accumulated oxidative damage due to environmental factors (like UV radiation from the sun).[1,2]

Along with the many external factors that can speed up deterioration, genetics play a large role in your pet’s eye health, too. And unfortunately, many breeds have predispositions to certain eye conditions (more on that later).[3]

So if you want to take one big step toward helping your beloved furry friend stay healthy and active for years to come, then please don’t ignore the problem of vision loss.

So it’s critical you take special care of your pet’s eyes over the years and look out for any signs of trouble. As a loving pet owner, be sure to watch out for these symptoms:[3]

Signs Your Pet’s Eye Health is in Danger

  •  Squinting
  •  Eye drainage
  •  Rubbing of eyes
  •  Swelling around eyes
  •  Visible third eyelid
  •  Reduced playfulness
  •  Change in eye color
  •  Cloudy eyes
  •  Unequal pupil size
  • Eye redness

These all-too-prevalent signs can be indicators of…

Common Eye Problems in Aging Pets

Any changes in your pet’s eyes, or behaviors that signify ocular irritations, need to be examined as soon as possible, because they can indicate a severe underlying problem.

Widespread vision ailments in pets include:

Retinal Issues: A leading cause of abrupt vision loss in dogs, retinal problems plague thousands of dogs per year.[5,6] These alarming issues typically go unnoticed by pet owners due to their slow development — it can take months for visual lesions or warnings of vision deterioration to become apparent. And then, blindness can suddenly ensue. Retinal problems have infected many different breeds (including felines), and are more common in middle-aged dogs.[7]

Increased Eye Pressure: This common issue is marked by an increase in pressure in the eye leading to blindness, and it can be highly painful for your dog or cat. Certain dog breeds are innately predisposed to the problem including Cocker Spaniels, Beagles and Jack Russell Terriers, but an increase in eye pressure can also result from inflammation, trauma, tumors, oxidative stress and more. Unfortunately, in most cases, it can go undetected until it’s too late.[7,8]

Lens Issues: Classified as opacities of the lens, these can decrease vision, cause inflammation in the eye, and even result in blindness.[9] Lens issues are common in dogs, and many breeds are genetically predisposed to them including Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Huskies and terriers. Additional causes of these problems include blood sugar imbalances, trauma and inflammation.[7,10]

Dry Eye: This all-too-common health issue is the result of inadequate tear production. It is prevalent in various dog breeds including Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Schnauzers and West Highland White Terriers (“Westies”). When left untreated, prolonged eye dryness can severely disrupt the cornea and ultimately result in impaired eyesight.[7]

With the alarming abundance of hidden vision traumas in pets, it’s important to remember that it’s never too early to start caring for your pet’s eye health.


Cry me a River- Pet’s Unsightly Tear Stains

By Dr. Becker and Diane Weinmanntear-stain

Tear staining refers to reddish brown streaks that appear under your dog or cat’s eyes. It’s most common in dog breeds like the Maltese, Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu, and will be much more noticeable on animals with light-colored fur.

Many owners fret over tear staining because they believe it to be unsightly, but it could be more than a purely aesthetic concern. Epiphora, or excessive tear production, is the most common cause of the discoloration.

This is because your pet’s tears contain porphyrins, which are molecules containing iron as the result of breakdown of red blood cells.

The amount of porphyrins your pet makes and secretes can be influenced by genetics, environmental factors and overall health status. If the porphyrins sit on your pet’s fur, they can leave a rust-colored stain.

I’ll explain some natural options for removing tear stains below, but first it’s important to rule out certain medical issues that could be causing your pet’s excessive tear production.

Medical Reasons for Excess Tearing and Tear Stains

There are many conditions that may result in excess tearing. If your dog has protruding eyes and a flatter snout, check to be sure facial hair is not rubbing on her cornea, leading to irritation and tearing.

Keeping fur trimmed short around her eyes will solve this problem. Other medical conditions that may cause excess tearing include:

  • Entropion: A condition in which the lower eyelid folds inward, resulting in pain, irritation and excessive tearing
  • Trichiasis: A condition in which eyelashes grow in the wrong direction, causing pain and irritation
  • Ectropion: A condition in which the lower eyelid droops or rolls out from the surface of the eye, causing irritation and watery eyes

If structural abnormality of your pet’s eyelid or eyelashes isn’t to blame, chronic eye irritation leading to excessive tearing could be due to viral conjunctivitis (which is especially common in cats), glaucoma or an allergic reaction.

Acute injury, such as if a foreign object gets stuck in your pet’s eye, can also cause eye irritation and tearing.

Some Breeds Struggle With Normal Tear Drainage

Tear stains may also be the result of abnormal tear drainage, which is quite common in brachycephalic breeds (dogs and cats with “pushed in” faces). Examples include boxers, bulldogs, Pekingese, pugs, Shih Tzus, Himalayan (cat) and Persians (cat).

Eyelid problems are common with these breeds and due to their protruding eyes, they may have difficulty closing their eyes all the way. This can lead to drying and irritation, leading to excessive tearing as the body attempts to keep the corneas moist and well lubricated. Some of these breeds also have abnormal tear drainage.

Instead of their tears being funneled into their tear ducts, they may instead spill out onto their faces, which means their eyes may be chronically runny. In some cases, your pet’s tear ducts may simply be blocked, and your veterinarian may be able to flush them out and solve the problem.

Some dogs have tear ducts that have been sealed shut since birth (this is sometimes seen in Cocker Spaniels and poodles, for instance). Others, as mentioned, may struggle with normal tear draining because of their flat face and shallow eye sockets.1

If your pet has a tear drainage problem that can be resolved with surgery, such as prolapsed third eyelid, I recommend you make sure the procedure is done correctly (the gland is replaced verses being removed).

Consulting with a veterinary ophthalmologist for complicated cases is well worth it. These vet specialists will have the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to perform delicate eye surgery.

Excessive Tearing Can Lead to Infectiontear-stain-cat

Constant watery discharge from your pet’s eyes is likely uncomfortable for your pet and, due to the area staying constantly wet, may lead to infection. If an unpleasant odor is present, your pet may have developed a yeast infection (this is especially true if the stains are more brownish than reddish).

If yeast or another infection is present, see a holistic veterinarian for natural treatment options. You can try colloidal silver, for instance, by applying a small amount (via a cotton ball) to your pet’s face. Colloidal silver has antimicrobial properties that may help reduce yeast infection or dermatitis in the area.

You can also use a diluted organic tear-free baby shampoo to gently cleanse the skin around your dog’s eyes twice a day until the infection resolves.

Tips for Removing and Preventing Tear Stains

Some dogs are more prone to tear stains than other, even within the same breed. One of the simplest methods of prevention, however, applies to all dogs: wipe her face with a warm, damp cloth at least twice a day, which will help to clear away porphyrin-containing moisture. Keeping her face hair trimmed is also important.

If the hair around your pet’s eyes is notably annoying to her, ask a groomer to shave the hair under the eyes and then apply a thin layer of coconut oil to the area. This may help to reduce irritation and inflammation.

There are some herbal eye wash products available that may be useful for pets prone to tear stains. I have also found supplements that assist in detoxification, including milk thistle, SAMe, dandelion, olive leaf, chlorophyll, colostrum and probiotics, to be effective in decreasing the amount of tear staining in my patients.

At a foundational level, you’ll also want to feed your pet a fresh, balanced and species-appropriate diet and fresh, filtered drinking water. This will ensure she’s not taking in excess iron or impurities that will further stress her body (and perhaps contribute to staining).

If you feed a commercial diet, I recommend rotating brands and flavors/recipes to provide a variety of nutrients to your pet but to also to give him a break from the exact same amount of premixed vitamins and minerals you feed on a daily basis. Many pet foods meet AAFCO minimum nutrient requirements but can also contain borderline toxic levels of some nutrients (such as iron) and over time feeding a diet too high or low in nutrients is stressful on the body.

By keeping your pet’s face clean, providing her with a healthy diet and addressing any injuries or structural or infectious factors in her excessive tearing, you can likely keep tear staining to a minimum. Whatever you do, do not attempt to remove tear stains with products like milk of magnesia, medicated powders intended for humans, makeup remover, corn syrup or hydrogen peroxide.

Also, avoid tearstain-removal products that contain antibiotics, which may or may not be listed on the label. Any product you use for tear stains should be clearly labeled “antibiotic-free.” If you’re interested in a natural tearstain remover, your holistic veterinarian should be able to recommend one. Research has found that many tear stain products contain Tylosin, an ingredient that is potentially harmful and may promote negative side effects

Tearplex™ has been vet recommended as superior in all these categories for cats or dogs:


Marketed to Reduce Appearance of Existing Tear Stains Marketed to Target Future Tear Stains  Does NOT   Contain Tylosin†Potentially  Harmful Ingredient Marketed to Contain Natural Ingredients Marketed for Dogs of ALL Breeds