Nature of Tear Stains
staining is most obvious on dogs with white and
other light color coats. The stain is usually
reddish-brown. It is often most associated with the
Maltese, Lhasa Apso and Shih Tzu breeds. However,
many other breeds can show signs of tear staining,
especially those where the hair normally falls from
the top of the head and rests in the eye area.
No tear stain problem here,
but it is a common problem with
the Maltese breed as well as others.
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hair rests around the eyes some amount of tear
staining results from the hair wicking moisture
from the eyes. But there are many other sources of
Tear staining can
be traced to health and diet, as well as genetics.
Most veterinarians agree that face staining
results from excessive tearing. In this case, the
damp face hair is a breeding ground for bacterial
and yeast growth. The most common is "Red
Yeast" which is usually associated with
reddish-brown facial stains, and which may emit a
moderate to noticeably strong odor. Tear ducts may
become infected and result in excess tearing and
Some of our
grooming clients have consulted veterinary eye
specialists on the problem. The doctors advised
them that the eye structure was the most probable
source of the problem. If that is so, then
genetics would like play a role and explain why
the problem is more pronounced in some pets of the
same breed. If you are purchasing a puppy and you
care concerned about the potential for tearing and
staining, you should observe the mother and sire,
and others in the direct lineage.
Eye duct surgical
procedures to increase their tear capacity may
help some pets; ask your veterinarian.
also occur in areas other than the eyes. White and
light color coats can acquire water stains from
pet drinking water. Minerals in the water may
stain facial hair in the whisker, beard and mouth
areas, as well as other areas on the chest and
front legs when water regular drips from their
beards. Purified waters with low mineral content
may be the answer.
It is possible for
some some pet foods with color additives to stain
hair in the mouth area too.
Your first step is
to determine the source of tear and face stains.
As we have noted, it may be water and food sources
and that can be corrected. Tear staining often
involves more complex solutions requiring
veterinary introspection to determine the source.
If bacterial and
yeast infections are involved you need to take
steps to mollify and eliminate their presence.
Veterinarians can prescribe medication to treat
bacterial and yeast infections. Your veterinarian
or eye specialist veterinarians can determine if
excessive tearing is the source of stains, and
describe alternatives available.
Tear Stain Removal
removal has become much easier with various products
now on the market just for this purpose. You may
consult with grooming
suppliers for product recommendations.
tear stain home remedies using mixtures of milk of
magnesia, corn starch and peroxide, or bleach (usually
hydrogen peroxide) used for human hair. However, if
you were not to mix these properly, use precisely the
right strength of each ingredient, and apply them
safely, you could potentially harm your dog. No
solution should ever be splashed into the pet's eye,
or allowed to wick through the facial hair into the
eye area. For this reason we are not providing you
with the formulas here, and suggest you look to
over-the-counter products. Read and follow all
instructions very carefully.
mind that you are treating the eye area of your pet
and you can harm their sensitive areas. A full amount
of caution and concern must be exercised whenever you
use any product or mixture near eyes.
tear stains at minimum is more of a concern for dogs
that are shown, and for the dog not being shown,
taking steps to safely minimize the condition should
be satisfying enough rather than complete elimination.
Consult your veterinarian with any questions you may