How to Prevent Tear Staining
Raise your hand if you love small dogs… how many of you love primarily Pomeranians? If you are here, I am sure you have a great love for small dogs, and especially a love for Pomeranians! Small dogs are amazing little creatures, but sometimes their cuteness is overshadowed by seeing tear staining around their eyes and little crusties. What is that gunk? How are they caused? Tear staining is common, and there are many reasons for why your pup may have them!
What is tear staining?
Tear staining is when you see dark brown stains near the corners of a dog's eyes. Tear staining occurs when your dog's eyes excessively tear; and when the tears sit on the fur, a pigment called porphyrin causes the staining.
What causes tear staining?
A variety of reasons can cause tear staining. Some of the most common reasons for tear staining include:
· An underlying medical condition
· an abnormal eye duct
·an eye infection which can sometimes cause an excess in tearing
·Entropion is a condition where eyelashes, instead of growing outward away from the eye, grow inward towards the eye and can irritate.
· Allergens can irritate your pups eyes and cause watering
· Harsh water
· Their drinking water may be a bit harsh and cause tear build up
Genetics also play a huge role in tear staining. Some dog breeds such as Poodles, Shih Tzus, Maltese, and some Brachycephalic (smushy-faced) dogs are more likely to have tear staining. Some dogs are more predisposed to tear staining and that’s totally okay!
How to treat tear staining?
Before trying any over-the-counter products, the first stop should be talking with your pet's veterinarian to see if your pet is affected by any medical conditions. Some of these conditions can be treated by a veterinarian and particular situations need to be treated by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
If there is no belief that excessive tear staining stems from a medical condition…
Try some different products. While it would be ideal to have a cure all solution, there is no perfect fix for every dog. As a pet owner, you have to try what works best for your pet! The critical recommendation would be to keep the hair by the eyes cut short by your pet's groomer or pet stylist and keep the area clean. You can keep the area clean by using a washcloth and warm water to gently clean the site daily. It is essential to keep the hair by the pet's eyes clean and trim, which can help decrease the appearance of tear staining.
Pet owners have used a couple of over-the-counter products with which they have had much success. One of the products is called Angel Eyes. They have wipes which you are to use daily to wipe the fur around the eyes. Another product is called i-Lid 'N Lash, which is a wipe that you can use to keep the areas around your pet's eyes clean. Both products are available online! Some pet owners have seen much success with using either one of these products. Both products are over the counter, so you do not need a veterinary prescription to purchase.
Zesty Paws has a product called Tear Stain Bites for Normal Eye Moisture + Antioxidant & Immune Support for Dogs. Tear stain bites are a chewable daily supplement that are supposed to help decrease tear staining. However, reviews are mixed: some say this helps reduce tear staining, while others do not see as visible of a difference. Nevertheless, tear stain bites are an over-the-counter supplement that is safe to try if you want to reduce your pet's tear staining.
Naturvet has a line of products geared towards decreasing tear stains. They make tablets, powders and soft chews, which are given to a pet daily and are supposed to help decrease tear staining. They also make topical liquid that can be used to help remove any tear staining. This is also another over-the-counter product to try to remove tear staining.
Some pet owners say changing a pet's water from tap water to bottled or filtered water also seems to help. There is no scientific evidence to prove filtering your dog's water will eliminate the tear staining, it it has been a common method passed along from experienced dog owners. Clean water can never hurt!
What not to do?
Avoid antibiotics or other medications, unless they are under the direction of a veterinarian. Using medications not recommended by a veterinarian can worsen eye issues or tear-stain issues. In addition, using antibiotics unnecessarily can cause antibiotic resistance.
To help with tear staining, it is crucial to help keep your dog's face clean daily and keep the hair trimmed close near the eyes. Always make sure to follow up with your veterinarian if you have any questions about tear staining in your pet. They will be your best source for other information about your pet's tear staining.