Ocu-Glo Rx: A Nutritional Supplement Marketed to Support Eye Health and Vision

A reader recently asked me to comment on a dietary supplement marketed for dogs and cats, Ocu-Glo Rx. While this product shares the problem of many such supplements,  a shaky theoretical rationale and limited relevant research evidence to support its use, I was pleasantly surprised to find that at least the claims made by the company are fairly circumspect and reasonable compared to many similar products. The founders of the company are board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists with legitimate and relevant training and research experience, and they seem to have approached the design and marketing of this product a bit more scientifically than is commonly the case.

What is It?
The company that makes this supplement is pretty clear and specific about the ingredients, which is unusual compared to many veterinary supplements.

Grapeseed Extract
Omega-3-Fatty Acids
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Epigallocatechin Gallate (Green Tea Extract)
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Vitamin B Blend

The site even lists the specific amount of each ingredient in the two sizes of capsule.

The claims made for the product are also refreshingly reasonable compared to many such nutraceuticals. In keeping with the requirements of the minimal regulations governing dietary supplements, the product is marketed as “supporting” the normal function and health of the eye: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” Claims for preventing or curing disease would be inappropriate and illegal. Though some of the testimonials and marketing seem to imply more than a purely supportive nutritional role for the product, the web site is pretty good about sticking to allowable claims.

Ocu-GLO Rx™ is needed when your dog is showing any of the following signs:

– Diminished vision at night or in dim conditions – Diminished vision at all times – Cloudy appearance to eyes – Pupils that do not constrict – Obvious cataracts Or… -Your dog is generally healthy, but you want him or her to be placed on an excellent lifetime antioxidant supplement to help support and enhance ocular health and also general health.

We (Drs. Carmen Colitz and Terri McCalla) are also dispensing Ocu-GLO Rx™ for patients predisposed to primary glaucoma (having lost their first eye to glaucoma) and that already have glaucoma; for Golden Retrievers with pigmentary uveitis (also called “Golden Retriever Uveitis” or GRU); for diabetic dogs in which cataracts are immature or have not yet formed; for dogs with senile retinal degeneration; for dogs post-cataract surgery to help reduce the incidence of PCO and ACO (Posterior Capsular Opacity and Anterior Capsular Opacity) and for any dogs for which owners want to provide the best nutritional support for their pet’s eyes.

Please keep in mind, however, that the goal of giving Ocu-GLO Rx™ to your dog is not to cure anything—it is to help lessen ocular damage caused by disease and hopefully “buy some time” in which your dog still has functional vision.

It is very important to understand that for many canine eye diseases, medication and/or surgery might be needed in addition to giving your dog Ocu-GLO Rx™.

Please also know that for dogs that are already completely blind from any of these ocular diseases (especially PRA, SARDs, cataracts, GRU, or glaucoma), it is very unlikely that Ocu-GLO Rx™ will be of significant benefit. As a general rule, Ocu-GLO Rx™ can help to prevent or slow down progression of some ocular diseases but cannot reverse ocular damage that has already occurred. For example– Ocu-GLO Rx™ cannot reverse cataracts.

[emphasis added]

Does It Work?
The theory behind the product is predominantly a version of the antioxidant hypothesis, the claim that chronic diseases can be partially attributed to free radical damage to tissues or DNA and that these diseases can be prevented or ameliorated by nutritional supplementation with anti-oxidants. This was once a wildly popular idea, but in the last ten years it has taken quite a beating, and generally antioxidant supplements have failed to fulfill their promise in the prevention of most disease for which it was hoped they would be useful. While epidemiologic evidence supports a diet rich in foods containing antioxidants, the use of dietary supplements does not seem nearly as beneficial in most cases.

With specific regard to diseases of the eye, the evidence for benefits from antioxidant supplements in humans is mixed. Systematic reviews do not seem to show a benefit in terms of preventing cataracts (1) or macular degeneration (2, 3, though some positive trials do exists and others are in progress), and the evidence is not strong for other eye diseases. Of course, “Do antioxidants prevent eye disease?” is another of those unanswerably vague questions. The more useful questions would focus on specific compounds for specific diseases in particular populations. Many more specific studies on such focused questions could reasonably be conducted, and it is certainly not unreasonable to hope that some would show beneficial effects.

As usual, there is virtually no relevant clinical research in dogs or cats, so even the inconsistent and preliminary evidence for such products in humans is not available to us for our pets and patients. The company web site does cite a number of scientific studies to support the inclusion of each ingredient in the product, however, these are generally lab animal studies or human studies, not clinical trials investigating the preventative effects of the product or the ingredients for specific diseases, so extrapolation to clinical use in dogs and cats should be tentative at best.

Is It Safe?
For a long time, one pillar of the antioxidant hypothesis seemed to be that antioxidants were necessarily safe since they occur in foods. That has since been clearly shown to be untrue, and there is ample evidence that supplementation can have risks as well as benefits. The benefits of any compound that affects physiology are going to have parallel risks, and the importance of good scientific studies lies largely in helping us to understand these risks and benefits so we can make decisions about the balance between them in specific situations.

While reasonable amounts of nutrients commonly found in foods are unlikely to have dramatic risks, the true safety of these kinds of supplements cannot be known without appropriate research. The product web site indicates that some sort of safety study has been conducted, but I have not been able to find any indication that it has been published, so it isn’t possible to evaluate the reliability of that evidence.

Bottom Line
The theoretical rationale behind the selection of ingredients in this product is certainly plausible, and there is some evidence in humans and lab animals to suggest some of them might have beneficial properties. However, the theory of oxidative damage has mostly failed to bear real-world fruit in terms of supplements validated as effective in clinical trials. The human clinical trial evidence for the ingredients in this product varies from weakly positive to mostly negative to insufficient to draw conclusions. There is no published clinical trial evidence in dogs and cats to support the safety or efficacy of this product for preventing or treating any eye disease.

It is unlikely that there are significant risks to using this product, though studies in humans have found dangers to antioxidant supplementation when enough people were studied for long enough, so it is not possible to confidently claim there are no meaningful risks.

Unlike the marketing for many supplements pitched to pet owners, the claims made by this company are pretty measured and reasonable in light of the limited available evidence (though the company has unfortunately been unable to avoid the allure of the meaningless feel-good term “natural” in its marketing). It is debatable whether the evidence is sufficient to justify marketing a product like this at all, but at least the manufacturer is avoiding wild and exaggerated claims. Hopefully, the ophthalmologists behind the product will pursue appropriate research efforts to determine if, in fact, the product has the benefits they suspect and what, if any, risks are associated with its use.

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52 Responses to Ocu-Glo Rx: A Nutritional Supplement Marketed to Support Eye Health and Vision

  1. Art says:

    Hopefully, the ophthalmologists behind the product will pursue appropriate research efforts to determine if, in fact, the product has the benefits they suspect and what, if any, risks are associated with its use.>>>>
    When pigs fly.

  2. Sue G says:

    Thank you for the review. This product was recommended for my dog, as I was unable to find evidence of any benefit I decided not to use it. Most of the testimonials praised the use of Ocu-Glo together with prescribed drugs, so I didn’t really see the point of its use. Now, if you have some spare time available :o), would you mind sharing your thoughts on 4CYTE http://www.4cytevet.com/4cyte-canine/product-benefits-canine ? Another product recommended, but aside from some research supporting green-lipped mussels (unless I mis-read the research, which is entirely possible) I didn’t find anything that convinced me it worked. I think it is manufactured/distributed by the same folks responsible for Sasha’s Blend.
    I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  3. skeptvet says:

    Thanks for the feedback! I’ll add this product to the list of things I hope to look into at some point. So far, I’ve seen one clinical trial presented as a conference abstract, but since it hasn’t been published in a journal, the key details of the study aren’t available, so there’s no way to judge its reliability. But I’ll try to take a more thorough look at some point.

  4. Sue G says:

    Thank you, I look forward to it!

  5. Carol Krusey says:

    What is your opinion on this customer review of Ocu Glo ingredients.? I have been giving my 11 year old Chinese Crested this supplement for about 3 months now at a veterinarian ophthalmologists recommendation but am wondering about the ingredients in this review

    “Since we just started using this Ocu-Glo, it’s too soon to tell if this product will help. I am very pleased with the pricing of this product and the service of this company!!!

    However, I have strong concerns about some of the ingredients in this product and have raised them with my vet (who is going to check about the GMO status of the oils):

    The corn and soy oil (known allergens to sensitive animals and not natural to their native diets) are likely GMOs.

    There is titanium dioxide in the coating and not a good thing for anyone to ingest. How is this going to help my pet?!

    I’d prefer to see the methyl form of B12, as it’s more bio available than the cobyl form of this vitamin, especially at this price.

    At $70/bottle my pet deserves the best ingredients, not sub-par ingredients that could have a negative impact on his health.”

  6. skeptvet says:

    The concern about GMOs is so far not supported by good evidence, so while I think there are some important questions to be answered about these products, I don’t believe avoiding them automatically is rational or a good idea.

    Corn and soy can be allergens, as can virtually anything else. The fact that they are not “natural” to the diet of feral dogs and cats is largely irrelevant in deciding whether they are a potential health risk. I am not aware of any scientific rationale for being especially concerned about these ingredients.

    Titanium dioxide has been approved as a food coloring and inert component of medications by the FDA and has been in use for decades. While much larger quantities can, like almost any substance, be hazardous, there is no real evidence to suggest these uses present a risk.

    While I don’t see much evidence yet to support the purported benefits of this product, I think there is sufficient plausibility and limited evidence to make further study worthwhile. And I appreciate the unusual circumspection of the company in the claims made for it. I do not see much merit in the particular objections to the product made in this customer comment. They seem to reflect rather knee-jerk fears and misconceptions about health more than scientifically valid concerns.

  7. Carol says:

    Thank you for your insight!

  8. Terri Abrams says:

    My female lab, Sitka, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2011. She receives two shots of insulin per day. Several months after her diagnosis, her eyes became cloudy and she had problems seeing in the shadows. I asked our vet about any supplements and she hesitantly recommended this product (much like all doctors and vets when it comes to vitamins). Within one month, the cloudyness was gone and she can see very well again. She can see to play catch at night time and she loves to chase a laser dot around the floor. I give her these vitamins religiously. This product DOES live up to its claims. My dog, Sitka, is living proof. The vet even noticed her eyes had cleared up. She was surprised herself.

  9. skeptvet says:

    Here are many stories of similar miraculous cures associated with the water at the holy site of Lourdes. And here are four cases of cataracts cured by homeopathy. The problem with stories like yours is that they exist for EVERYTHING! If this story proves Ocu-Glo works, then there is not a medical therapy in existence that doesn’t work, since there are none that don’t have such anecdotes. So if anecdotes are reliable, and if every treatment works for somebody, why do we still have diseases?

    I’m glad your dog is doing well, but I hope others realize that your experience doesn’t help in deciding whether this product works or not.

  10. Terri Abrams says:

    Yes, there are still diseases but many diseases have been wiped out throughout history. Something as deadly as scurvy was cured by simply taking Vitamin C. Vitamins and supplements and preventive medicines have allowed man to live longer. Instead of dying at the ripe age of 40, our life expectancy is well into the 70’s. The simply use of soap has eliminated many diseases. I am not saying that this is a cure to everything, but if someone else can benefit by using this product then that is great. Others have had the same experience and have delayed, if not eliminated, the need for eye surgery for their dog. Small advances like this allow for an extended life expectancy. And I use the work life expectancy because in a normal world, if my dog had lost her eyesight at the young age of 6, then she would have probably been euthanized. She is now 8 and her eyes have never been better and she is full of life. Your arrogance towards something so simply is astounding. If it works, then share with others so they avoid the pain and agony of losing a loved one. It is only a supplemental vitamin!

  11. skeptvet says:

    You are correct that life expectancy has increased dramatically and that we have eliminated or dramatically reduced many diseases in the last couple of centuries. But you miss the point entirely because the reason for this unprecedented improvement is that we stop using anecdotes, tradition, personal experiences, and other subjective means of deciding which kinds of therapies worked and which didn’t, and we switched to using scientific research. The relationship between Vit C and scurvy was determined by one of the first experiments that could be called a clinical trial, after thousands of year of trial and error and anecdote had failed to find the simple cure.

    So the idea that your experience proves anything is exactly contrary to the evidence of history which you yourself are citing. And the arrogance is entirely yours because you refuse to believe your own experiences might be mistaken and that controlled research is more reliable. Humility lies not in insisting that your own experience proves something and we should all accept it without question, but in recognizing that none of us can rely entirely on how things seem to be, and that all the progress we have made in the last two centuries in improving health comes from trusting science even when it contradicts our experience. I am not saying the product doesn’t work, only that there is no evidence it does. You, however, are insisting it does because the evidence of your own experience is all you need. This is truly astounding arrogance.

  12. Terri Abrams says:

    Not every cure or remedy has come from science. Many have come from individuals experimenting and sharing…old wives tales. That sharing trickles down to the medical field and then the medical field does testing. And yes, you have said the product doesn’t work. You mentioned that no clinical trial has been been performed that appeared in a journal so there is no way to judge it. The ingredients that are in this capsule are very similar to the ones that are in Ocuvite which is a highly recommended supplement for human consumption by opthomologists. My father has macular degeneration and all 3 of his eye doctors recommend Ocuvite. Each one of your responses is negative and as I read them, I could tell that previous readers took your word as gold. I have offered an alternative that could help. And even if it doesn’t, the additional vitamins will do no harm. My vet is the one who carries the product and first recommended I try them.

  13. skeptvet says:

    Many have come from individuals experimenting and sharing…old wives tales.

    This is very rare, and it is a myth that such “ancient wisdom” has provided many useful therapies. The majority of ancient wisdom was wrong, which is why modern science has been so much more effective at improving our lives.

    And yes, you have said the product doesn’t work. You mentioned that no clinical trial has been been performed that appeared in a journal so there is no way to judge it.

    It amazes me that you can simultaneously admit that I said we cannot judge whether or not it works and also accuse me of saying it doesn’t work. How much clearer can I be than saying there is no evidence to answer the question? There is no point in a discussion such as this if you argue with stuff I don’t actually say.

    The ingredients that are in this capsule are very similar to the ones that are in Ocuvite which is a highly recommended supplement for human consumption by opthomologists.

    I actually cite reviews of the evidence in humans, which actually does not show that these ingredients are clearly useful. I can’t say whether or not the product is “highly recommended,” but I can say that there is not strong evidence to suggest it is useful for specific eye diseases:

    “With specific regard to diseases of the eye, the evidence for benefits from antioxidant supplements in humans is mixed. Systematic reviews do not seem to show a benefit in terms of preventing cataracts (1) or macular degeneration (2, 3, though some positive trials do exists and others are in progress), and the evidence is not strong for other eye diseases.”

    the additional vitamins will do no harm

    I hope not, but other vitamins which everyone assumed would not do any harm turned out to be harmful, so this is not a safe assumption.

    I realize your faith is unshakeable, but once again, you are making claims based only on what you believe, not on any objective evidence that what you believe is true. You are entitled to believe what you wish, but it is not required that other people accept your beliefs without such evidence. I have remained open-minded about this product, not concluding either that it works or does not work but only that there is not yet sufficient evidence to answer the question.

  14. Deborah Conte says:

    I would like to comment on the safety of this supplement, because I had a very bad experience, or should I say my 5 dogs, on this. I home cook for all of them ( 10 in total) and they have never ingested oils, only animal fat.
    Their ages range from 3 years to 17 years and are all poms. I began giving my 17 year old the supplement after visiting with his eye Doctor ($87.00) for corneas and protein deposits on the eye. The following day I gave it to four others. Within 3 days, my 17 year old developed severe abdominal pain and and they all became lethargic and had orange streaks in their stools. Orange coloring of the stool is caused from ingesting to much fat. I immediately stopped Ocuglo and within several days the orange stool went away. My 17 year old was sick for some time and I had to feed him a diet of chicken and rice, 3 small meals a day. Older dogs cannot tolerate fat from oils and can cause pancreatitis, which I believe if he had stayed on it he would have developed. I would not reccomend this supplement for any dog. Also, the ophthalmologist that sold me this product would not reimburse me due to the following reasons:
    “Slight orange discoloration of the stool is a common effect of many oral vitamin preparations(OcuGlo and other commercial vitamin) not evidence of any harmful or toxic effect. As regards oral omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, the amount contained in the ocu-glo tablet has not been documented to cause pancreatitis in canine patients. The argument can be made that the omega 3 anti-inflammatory fatty acids actually have a protective effect against pancreatic inflammation. Unfortunately, we cannot refund you for this vitamin supplement”. I would like to hear your opinion on this!

  15. skeptvet says:

    Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where there’s no real way to know what role, if any, the supplement played in what happened to your pets. Just as we can’t know the effectiveness of such a supplement without god controlled studies (and what has been done suggests it doesn’t work), so we can’t really know the risks. I would be surprised if the product caused these since similar essential fatty acid supplements are widely used for a variety of conditions without many cases of such symptoms. The controlled studies done on fatty acid supplements for arthritis and skin disease suggest mild GI symptoms, like diarrhea, can occur, but there doesn’t seem to be much risk for pancreatitis. This doesn’t mean, of course, that the product didn’t cause the symptoms in your dogs, and since there’s not much reason to think the supplement has any benefits, I would avoid it in the future. But unfortunately, a correlation in time such as you observed isn’t very good evidence for a causal relationship, so it doesn’t necessarily mean the supplement was the cause.

  16. Myrna says:

    My dog was diagnosed with PRA in February 2013. The opthamologist suggested OcuGlo as a supplement he could try to possibly “buy some time” before complete blindness. So I gave it a try, but 2 capsules per day instead of the recommended 3 for his size. Two years later, he still maintains a good amount of his vision. There was some deterioration of his peripheral vision and night vision at the time of diagnosis, but the rate of deterioration has remained minimal. I am not suggesting the OcuGlo is responsible – perhaps his PRA is slower progressing than average; maybe I recognized the very subtle symptoms much earlier than many others would (two regular vets insisted his vision was fine) and therefore the “one year from diagnosis to total blindness” standard is based on people noticing symptoms far later in the deterioration process; or perhaps one of the many factors of his diet and lifestyle are having a positive effect – regardless, it really is impossible to determine, but I will continue with the OcuGlo in the absence of any apparent negative side effects.

  17. skeptvet says:

    I think your approach is perfectly reasonable. We often don’t know whether or not what we are doing is responsible for the course of an illness. In this case, the evidence suggests that the product is unlikely to be of benefit, but it is only one unpublished study, so there is enough uncertainty to take the kind of measured approach you have taken.

  18. Donna says:

    I have given this supplement to my rescue golden retriever for three years on the suggestion of a veterinary ophthalmologist. My dog has had cataracts removed but still has low vision due to some encapsulation in one eye. Perhaps he had poor development of the neurological connections between the eye and the brain during early development which continue to affect his vision. At any rate, the ophthalmologist felt that the ingredients were not likely harmful and could possibly provide some good nutritional support for a dog who was neglected during formative years. At each exam, he has suggested continuing the supplements with the vision “holding steady”. There has been no noticeable improvement or decline. We can however, say that his fur coat is noticeably thick and lush, which makes me hopeful that the vitamin support is giving him some overall benefits, so I choose to continue, and see no downside, except that they are expensive.

  19. skeptvet says:

    One of the ingredients in this supplement is Vitamin E, and some new research has recently been published on the subject of Vitamin E as an ophthalmic supplement. It looks like Vitamin E, alone or with selenium, does not appear to have any benefit in terms of preventing cataracts in humans. (http://www.pharmacytimes.com/condition-resources/vitamins-supplements/Null-Findings-for-Supplements-to-Prevent-Cataracts) Though this is not direct evidence concerning Ocu-Glo, it is one piece of data that undermines the role of this supplement in preventing at least one eye disease for which it is sometimes used.

  20. Dale Lancaster says:

    Expensive. Why? I am guessing it’s greed. Or, is there a fair margin on the product?

  21. Pingback: Evidence Update- Ocu-GLO for Prevention of Cataracts in Diabetic Dogs | The SkeptVet

  22. Jeanne Monast says:

    My 13 lb Cockapoo was recently put on occuglo for fairly advance PCRD. IT was hopeful it would help retard the desert to total blindness. I would do anything if it helped him. I have been giving him the recommended dose of one capsule every day for the last 2 months, but he has started to lose his appetite and now developed diarrhea. I cannot find anything on the occuglo website about this side effect. What I DO find is that the dose HAS to be weight specific. I am wondering if I should just take him OFF it entirely or trying to decrease the dose. Wild creating the dose give him ANY benefit, because according to the Occuglo literature it will not? Do you have any opinion on this?

  23. skeptvet says:

    There is unfortunately not very much reliable research information to help answer your questions. The product appears to have some benefits in slowing cataract formation in diabetic dogs, but there isn’t any formal research concerning PCRD. If there appear to be side effects and we don’t know that there will be benefits, stopping the supplement seems a prudent decision. I would, of course, suggest speaking with your ophthalmologist directly about the risks and benefits based on their experience since there isn’t much controlled data to go on.

    Good Luck!

  24. My 7yr spoodle has got Pra and I Am de restated he and my other dog witch is healthy are my fur boys people think I Have kids when I talk about them. I carnt imagine him not being able to see, they told me he will have to get his eyes removed because of glorcoma or euthanised. It’s heart renching when I have to make a choice like this please help me make a choice I cannot do it alone thanks

  25. skeptvet says:

    I’m sorry you and you friend are going through this. All I can advise is to make sure you ask your ophthalmologist all the questions you have and get all the information from them you can. There may not be a great choice, but be careful of people who claim to offer miracles without evidence, because people will take advantage of your feelings and your situation.

    Good luck!

  26. Sheryl says:

    That was good advise for Shirley. I don’t no the whole story about your baby. But if you have a chose to save your dog and all you have to do is remove his eyes. He will be fine. There senses are so strong that they pick up so fast with there nose and ears. My moms dog went through this. And she is so fine. You are lucky to have other dogs to help him or her learn to. I wouldn’t choose death ever over sight. And if you haven’t tried the pills. They do work. I hope this helps.

  27. Diana says:

    TO the lady above, the advice to have your dog put to sleep just because it goes blind is the most ridiculous I have ever heard. Look at the website blinddogs.com for stories of dogs living perfectly happy lives without sight. Some years ago I had one go blind at 2 years old from glaucoma. She lived a perfectly happy active life for another 12 years.
    I recently had OxyGlo suggested for my 15 year old whose sight is fading but decided against it purely because she’s on other supplements for her arthritis and nerve damage. I know someone whose dog’s very early cataracts have almost completely disappeared. What the long term results will be is impossible to say but it’s well worth a try.

  28. Terrie Massucci says:

    My 12 y/o Cattle Dog has PRA and in the last month has lost almost all his vision. He also has addisons disease and its been difficult for our Vet and I to treat that and keep his levels normal. His diet has always been very healthy. He loves vegetables and eats yogurt, pumpkin, sweet potatos, chicken liver and gets supplements. He eats healthier than I do. I wanted to try eye health supplements and I believe PRA would have occurred regardless. I’m devastated about his blindness, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. He has adapted well and I just do everything I can to keep him comfortable and safe.

  29. Dcs Burr says:

    Four years and no progression in 8 year old wire fox terriers cataracts. No side effects and it is given once per day. She was diagnosed by an eye vet (not a regular vet) with early cataracts at age 5. Her vision is stable, she has yearly eye vet check-ups to document. Considering some dogs are predisposed to early cataracts and others are not, it would seem research would be both challenging and long to find dogs pre-disposed to early cataract disease. I am not providing any verification of results for elderly older dogs, only a young dog predisposed to early cataracts by Dr. Christi Warren.

  30. skeptvet says:

    It is true that it would be time consuming and expensive to find dogs with early cataracts and conduct a controlled study to show whether or not this product delays progression compared with doing nothing. However, just because it is difficult to get doesn’t mean we don’t need this kind of evidence to know with confidence whether or not this product works. The company has done real research, and it is promising, but I have to emphasize again that this sort of uncontrolled experience with individual patients doesn’t really support any general conclusions about whether or not the product is beneficial in this kind of case.

  31. Matt B says:

    I know I am really late to comment on this article, but my vet just recommended this product for my dogs progressive retinal atrophy. She was pretty reserved in the recommendation, admitting it was not a cure, and at best it would slow things down, and that there was no clinical evidence it would work. When I heard anti-oxidants, I had questions and this article really helped me get a grip on what I was looking at.

  32. Jone Couzins says:

    My 8 year old Schnoodle was diagnosed with diabetes 4 months ago. He is on 9 units of insulin twice a day. I tried OcuGlo on my own (my vet was skeptical, but has respect for the vets who “discovered” it, since she knows one of them). I was told my dog would develop cataracts within a year.
    So far, his eyes are bright and clear, and he has had no side effects from the supplement. I know it is just another anecdotal story, and there is no use debating about it….just wondered if the small study that was done would be expanded to qualify for a verified clinical study.

  33. skeptvet says:

    I am hoping more research will be done, but I am not aware of anything recently.

  34. Pat Goodrich says:

    Very glad SkepVet exists! Reason and intelligence and fair assessments of heralded medicinal agents is a rare find. You should get Consumer Reports to pay you to write a column each month.

  35. Sandy Foster says:

    My golden retriever is enrolled in a study at Purdue University treating dogs with Pigmentary Uveitis with Occu Glo as well as eye drops to see if the occu glo will slow the progression of the disease. It will be interesting to see what the study shows but at least the company is doing studies with respected research partners.

  36. Pam Koz says:

    We took our 9 year old mini doxie to an ophthalmologist . She recommended this product. Unfortunately, we have seen no improvement over the last 3 months of her taking it.

  37. JustMe says:

    To the commenter above, the product is not necessarily supposed to improve vision. If your puppy has PRA, it is supposed to slow the progression of that disease. It’s not a cure for anything, it’s supplemental support.

  38. Kirk Steinam says:

    I would encourage any of the people who have been recommended to use the product, but have declined to use it for whatever reason, be in contact with the manufacturers. Although not uniform in their breeds, ages, or even the diseases, these patients could make for a retrospective study control group to offer comparison, if they can get adequate numbers, to a similar group that does use the medication. If the manufacturers have thought through what they would need to have done to conduct such a study (documentation from an ophthalmologist about the degree of the disease, and subsequent documentation after 1 year, as an example), then a broad general study might get the ball rolling towards at least some suggestion of benefits, if not some patterns that would suggest what studies could offer better and more narrow research. Because even if there is just some rough numbers as to % of patients that progressed or didn’t progress in their disease symptoms, this could offer a small degree of guidance for pet owners, as well as for the manufacturers in whether they are doing more benefit than cost/harm.
    And to @Skeptvet, I just came across your site today in trying to do research on this product as it was prescribed for one of my patients. I am impressed with what I have read, and if this is any indication of the rest of your site, bravo to you for such a thoughtful, helpful and fact-based approach to the problems many owners confront. Keep up the good work.

  39. skeptvet says:

    Thanks! I’m glad the site has been useful for you.

  40. Randall Lowe says:

    For what it is worth i have been giving it to my ten year old Pom for about 3 months now.Her eyes were starting to look slightly cloudy.The results are quite good.Make of it what you will.

  41. Sharon says:

    My pug mix was diagnosed with retinal degeneration a few months ago. I heard about this product and was told it wouldn’t hurt her but there is not compelling evidence it will help her either – but there may be a chance it may slightly slow the progression of her loss of sight.

    Amazingly enough, her sight has improved in the last few months. While I have no evidence as to why, this is the only change I have made in her diet. Make of it what you will, but I will continue to buy them as long as she has sight.

  42. Sharon says:

    P.S. – I should have mentioned diagnosed at U of I Veterinary Teaching Hospital by two veterinary opthamologists, so not much chance the diagnosis was wrong.

    I appreciate your website and insightful comments, and I agree that a few individual cases do not amount to proof. On the other hand, I keep hearing hopeful stories about this product and the risk of trying it seems so minimal in my case. Thank you!

  43. Lucille Gappen says:

    I adopted a 2 year old American Cocker Spaniel who’s parents were dna tested as carriers of PRA. My dogs chances of getting PRA is 25%. As a result, the breeder had been giving her Ocu Glo at the recommendation of her Vet. I have decided to continue using Ocu Glo simply because I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. If I continue with the Ocu Glo and she doesn’t get PRA it doesn’t mean the supplement works. Cockers tend to get PRA at around 5-6 yrs. old. If she gets it around that age, I would surmise that the supplement didn’t work. However, if she gets it at a much later time then, I would think it might have helped. The bottom line, I believe at this point it can’t hurt. I appreciate your thorough discussions.

  44. skeptvet says:

    If I continue with the Ocu Glo and she doesn’t get PRA it doesn’t mean the supplement works.

    Surely, you see this isn’t correct. If she only has a 25% chance of getting PRA, then not getting can’t be proof the supplement works. The odds were 75% she wasn’t going to get it anyway!

    While I agree there’s no known harm in using it, the danger of such anecdotes is they mislead us into thinking we know something about what works and what doesn’t when we don’t. That’s what science is for! 🙂

  45. Dale Lancaster says:

    I posted back in 2015. Update: My dog, Higgins, was given Ocu Glo for about four years. Four years ago, after an exam and several tests, the Ophthalmologist thought that Higgins would be blind within a year or two. She suggested this product. His eyesight did slowly degrade over the years with about three noticeable bookmarks of time. Fortunately, it has been just in the last six months when he couldn’t see well enough to run… he had to stop running. And now he has to go slow and travels a bit like a bumper-car. If the doc was right with her assessment and guesstimate, then it would seem that the product was very effective, prolonging the blindness. It’s promising, but not conclusive, of course.

    The good news is that Higgins hasn’t wasted any time living with his new disability. Except for the not being able to run, he handles it so well. He finds ways to make it work and moves on.

  46. Charlsie thimpson says:

    My friends golden retriever has had diarrhea for 5 weeks. It started when she started taking Ocu-GLO. I am very concerned. Will the diarhea stop if I take her off Ocu-GLO? Help!!!

  47. skeptvet says:

    Unfortunately, no one can help you figure out the cause of your dog’s diarrhea or manage it on the internet. Please call you vet right away!

  48. winnie glassman says:

    started my dog on Ocu-Glo 3 months ago. In the last month, he has become very aggressive. Has anyone experienced this? That is the only thing that has changed in his life. He had cataract surgery in December.

  49. Len West says:

    My pointer was on OccuGlo for 3 years for PRA and never showed once ounce of aggression. She slowly was losing her sight, I Credit the supplement for the slow progression. It accelerated when she developed lymphoma and was on chemo. Not a fault of the supplement. She was almost blind when she died, but should have been years before that.

    It sold me totally.

  50. winnie glassman says:

    Len…thank you so much for advising your experience. My maltipoo is also on OcuGlo for PRA. Don’t see any improvement yet, but still hoping.

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