The eyes can’t function properly without tears. They nourish the eye, help with vision, and safeguard the eye’s surface. An accumulation of tears on the dog’s face is called tear staining. Epiphora is the medical name for tear marks. It may be the result of insufficient drainage (the most common cause), increased output, or low-quality tears.
What Causes Tear Stains on Dogs?
Having a clogged tear duct is a common cause of tear staining. As a result, tears spill over the edge of the eyelid and onto the face, rather than being drained away from the eye via the nasal passageway. Porphyrins, an iron-containing substance released in tears, are responsible for the discolored fur below the dog’s eyes, as explained by Monk. “The accumulation of these porphyrins is what’s responsible for the gloomy hue.”
Look at some of the causes of tear stains on dogs.
- Eye Infections
- Anatomical Abnormalities
- Diagnosing Tear Stains
- Abrasion to the Eye
- Breed and Color
How to Get Rid of Tear Stains on Dogs
After you’ve established your dog’s health, I hope the following advice from my own experience and that of other breeders will help you bring back and keep that gorgeous white fur on his face.
Inspect The Food For Its Quality
Bichon Frise owners and breeders agree that their dogs do best on a high-quality, grain-free diet, despite the fact that there are many different brands to choose from and even more strong feelings about whether kibble or raw is better. Fillers like maize, wheat, and meals used in low-quality foods don’t promote long-term health and can even trigger allergic reactions, resulting in runny noses, itchy skin, and excessive tearing.
Take A Look at Your Water Quality
I have seen that my dogs soon become stained due to extra minerals after traveling without their typical water and pouring for them from my own bottled water. Get your hydration from bottled, filtered, or reverse-osmosis water.
Routine Maintenance of The Hair Around the Eyes and Mouth
A little bit of “facial grooming” every day can go a long way toward preventing unsightly marks. Helpful hints:
Use a saline eye-wash solution or Terra Septic eye drops, both of which are safe for canine eyes, to flush the eyes.
Using an eye wipe, gently cleanse the area beneath and around your eyes. Options already on the market include Opti-Clear and Bio True, while a homemade version can be prepared by boiling one tablespoon of boric acid powder in one cup of purified water. (Keep in the fridge and prepare a new batch every week.)
Muzzle hair should be washed with dry shampoo or waterless shampoo and a damp rag. In addition, you can use hydrogen peroxide (3% on a paper towel) to try to remove the stain. Brush out and style as usual afterwards.
Trim the hair around your eyes so it doesn’t rub against them and make you tear up.
Don’t Let the Rusty Spots Get Much Wetter
Instead of using a bowl, give your dog a glass water bottle (the kind used for birds) or use paper towels to wipe the water from his lips after he drinks. Cornstarch can also be used to dust the area under the eye, the nose, and the space between the toes.
Food Additives Can Help
Both organic apple-cider vinegar and buttermilk powder (only one teaspoon per meal) have helped me feel full and satisfied. Another product that has shown promising benefits is I-Stain, a probiotic enzyme.
The process of removing stains is detailed in a separate section. If the muzzle is too dark, you can lighten it by drying some moderate hydrogen peroxide into it (being careful to keep it out of the eyes) or by applying Visine to the fur (but not the eyes).
Naturally, after speaking with your vet, you can take mild antibiotics for brief periods of time. Commonly given eye drops include Lincocin, Tylosin, neomycin-polymyxin, and chloramphenicol. There may be no need to visit the vet if you pick up some OTC Vetericyn ophthalmic gel.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all preventative, and every dog reacts slightly differently; therefore, it frequently takes some trial and error to find the right combination; but, it is well worth the effort to see that adorable little white face beaming at you again!
Why Do Only Some Dogs Get Tear Stains?
All dogs, as far as anyone is aware, shed tears. If they want to maintain good eye health, they must have them. But why do some dogs have tear stains while others don’t?
Water and Allergies
The iron concentration of the local water supply is a possible contributor, according to some specialists. Some water, like well water, naturally contains more minerals than others. Using bottled water as a replacement could be an option.
Some dogs experience allergies that result in red, irritated eyes. They might also experience sneezing. A casual observer would assume that this is the result of tears. If you suspect that the water bowl is the problem, you could try replacing it with one made of ceramic or stainless steel.
White and other light-colored dog coats are not more susceptible to discoloration. All that has changed is that the difference is more readily apparent. On light coats like white and cream, it can stand out dramatically.
Cigarette Dust and Smoke
Tear production in a dog’s eyes can be increased by airborne irritants like dust and cigarette smoke. While it may not be the initial cause of the stains, this can certainly make things a lot worse.
Tissues around the eyes of some dogs are more predisposed to tear staining than others. The exact cause of this phenomenon is unknown. The reason could be related to the chemical make-up of their tears, or it could be something else entirely.
The normal function of the tear duct is to direct tears away from the eye and into the nose. However, irregularities and difficulties with the tear ducts prevent this from happening, resulting in tears that run down the face and onto the fur.
Eyelashes are not immune to problems. Their inward growth can be irritating to the eye. A disorder known as entropion causes the eyelid to turn inward. More tears are produced by the eye as a result, which can exacerbate the staining. Any sign of eye trouble in a dog requires immediate veterinary attention.
Tear staining can sometimes be a symptom of an infection in the eye. However, dogs with excessive tear staining are more likely to get eye infections. In addition to leaving stains, the wetness of tears is known to induce infections in the eye area. Yeast infections can leave brown stains. In addition to being itchy and irritating, the area may also have a peculiar odor. Infections of the eye require veterinary care.
When a puppy is teething, he or she usually sheds more tears than usual. This is due to facial swelling brought on by the transition from baby to permanent teeth. Once teething is complete, the problem should go away, although the extra tears could be uncomfortable.
What You Can Do About Dog Tear Stains
Don’t fret; there are many of measures you can take to eliminate or significantly lessen tear staining.
Think About Making Some Dietary Adjustments
In the opinion of some pet parents, the problem is exacerbated by additives found in cheap dog food. They recommend an allergy-friendly high-end dog food that doesn’t include grains. Pro-biotic pills have been shown helpful by other owners. However, because each dog is unique, this won’t benefit all canine companions. Dog allergy treatment should begin with a visit to the veterinarian.
Change To a Bowl of Water
If you want to prevent consuming too many minerals, you should switch to purified or distilled water, or use bottled water. Make the switch from a plastic bowl to a ceramic or metal one for your dog’s water supply. Bottles and fountains might be helpful for some pups.
Keep the skin surrounding your eyes clean and dry to reduce tear stains. The hair around your dog’s eyes should be trimmed by a professional groomer. Paper towels or corn starch can absorb moisture and keep the area dry. Cleaning may be as simple as wiping it down with a damp towel once a day.