Bilberries for Horse and Pet Health

I love hedgerows – they are full of life, and can also be a great natural food source!

In this advice page. Get an introduction to a fruit that’s often found in moorland hills and hedgerows that’s worth a look….the Bilberry.

What are Bilberries?

Also sometimes known as “Whortleberries”, Bilberries are a fruit that’s related to Blueberries. And they’ve been used for centuries. Not just as a foodstuff, but also for their health properties.

Overview of Bilberries Benefits

Full of anti-oxidants, Bilberries are thought to help protect cells in the eye. Following anecdotal evidence. Including from none other than British Royal Air Force pilots, who said eating Bilberries before night-time flying improved their night vision in the 1940’s, there have been several trials to assess whether this is the case. Some of these trials have suggested that yes there can indeed be a reduction in deterioration of eye health.

Why use Bilberries for Your Horse or Pet?

  • Bilberries are used to help with preventing macular degeneration and cataract formation. These eye conditions can affect many animals.
  • Bilberries can also affect blood sugar levels and so is thought to have a role in helping diabetic pets. But it's essential that if your pet has diabetes that you get your Veterinary Surgeon to approve the use of Bilberries (or any other herb) before using, to prevent any complications arising.
  • The flavinoids in the fruit are also believed to help with improving circulation. And so it can also be found in some herbal supplements to help with Cushings Disease and Laminitis.

How to Use Bilberries With Your Horse or Pet?

The ripe fruit and leaves are used, often crushed into a supplement or as a tincture.

If you can't find any bilberries to make your own remedy. Then there are several organic and natural producers. E.g. Hilton Herbs. You can find these online or in reputable equine or pet stores.

Please remember
No complementary therapy treatment can replace medical advice from a qualified veterinary surgeon/physician. So get advice first, before trying any herbal remedy. And professional advice should always be sought if you (or your animal) are at all unwell before using any product/supplements. Delaying professional diagnosis can lead to serious complications!

You can get more information on many complementary therapies for animals here at Taranet. Take a look at the sitemap here for a list.

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