What Is Tear Staining and What Can You Do About It.

Recently I've received quite a few questions about tear staining. Owners want to know what causes it and what they can do to combat it. In this piece I'll discuss the reasons tear staining occurs and some of the steps you can take to remedy this condition in your dog.

Causes of Tear Staining:

Tear staining is most obvious in light colored dogs and occurs most often in toy breeds. The staining is often brown in color, but sometimes takes on a pinkish hue as well. This condition is caused by an overflow of a dog’s natural tears onto the fur. The reason that tears end up on the fur can vary.

How To Improve This Condition:

Many top breeders of toy dogs who suffer from this issue say that watching what your dog takes in is key to controlling tear stains. Here are a few tips that may improve this condition in your dog:

What About Topical Tear Stain Removal Products?

While there are a number of tear stain removal products on the market right now, the consensus is that these are mostly a waste of money. They generally do not work and putting anything harsh near your dog’s eyes is obviously *not* a good idea!

Ask Your Vet:

In extreme cases your vet may recommend putting your dog on a course of Tetracycline, an antibiotic. While this can be effective in treating the tear stains, it also can have side effects including gastrointestinal upset and staining of the teeth. If you notice your dog shaking his head or scratching his ears, he may have a yeast infection that is furthering the tear staining. In this case, Otomax or Gentamician is often prescribed in the form of drops.

In Conclusion:

Fighting tear stains can be a frustrating battle. Taking the steps above can often help improve this unsightly condition, but it may take a bit of time before you see a noticeable change in your dog’s appearance.

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