Tear staining is the visible discoloration under the eyes from tearing. It is the oxidation of the minerals and chemicals from the system excreted from the eye onto the hair. It causes the reddish or rust color under the eyes on the hair. Dark color coats don't show this as much. It is very visible on white or light colored dogs. Excess staining or tearing can be caused by a myriad of things.
Teething, ear infections, eye infections or irritations, too much yeast or bacteria in the system from illness or improper diet.
Make sure your dog has clean, filtered water in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel dish. Plastic can harbor bacteria.
Give your dog probiotics or beneficial bacteria like acidophilus or lactobacillus, etc. like found in yogurt and nutritional supplements. I use and carry for my clients a product called I-Stain, which has probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and colostrum for the immune system. This is a white powder that can be sprinkled on your dog's wet or dry food. that I use daily. I prefer the powder because I am feeding different size dogs and in quantity. There are tablets and capsules out there that can be used also. It is just more economical to use the powdered formulas. I like a product that has enzymes as well to help you dog digest the nutrients from their food and uptake them into a useable source.
Environment can be a factor for tear staining also. I live on the water and in Florida where we have constant humidity year round. Humidity or temperature changes can cause more moisture to excrete from the eyes.
Keep chemicals and pesticides away from your pet. They can also have allergic reactions when walking along roadsides, parks or other yards that have recently been treated. If your dog has a reaction, bathe them immediately to get any chemical residue off their skin, hair and pads. Consult your Veterinarian if needed. Just like in humans, allergic reactions in your pet can cause swelling, whelps, difficulty breathing or swallowing. If this happens, your Veterinarian may prescribe steroids to help reduce swelling and ease any itching.
Medicines of course can cause excess tear staining. If your pet is on medicines, especially any antibiotic, make sure they are getting good bacteria to help balance the natural flora in the system, since antibiotics will destroy all the bacteria in the system ( good and bad).
Some people like Angel Eyes, some have bad reactions to it. The key component in Angel Eyes is tetracycline, which is a low grade antibiotic. This should not be used on puppies under 9 months of age. It is in a low dose formula and can help with low grade bacteria. I personally prefer to use natural methods.
How to eliminate or reduce tear staining:
1. Proper Diet- high in protein and low in carbohydrates unless a special diet is prescribed by your Veterinarian for a disease or illness. Dogs are carnivores, so they need meat, 70 percent minimum of their diet should be a meat source. Go to our recipes pages for more nutritional tips.
2. Clean Teeth- brushing teeth, giving your dog dental chews or having a dental done at your Veterinarian if needed.
3. Clean Ears- ear infections can cause tear staining. As you probably know from the human Doctors....eyes, ears, nose and throat are all connected. If you have an ear problem go to our Ear Cleaning link.
4. Glass or Stainless Steel water dish with clean filtered water.
5. Probiotics, which are the good bacteria as discussed and Enzymes.
6. Wipes can be purchased at any pet store to lighten the discoloration. Collodal Silver is safe for in the eyes if there is any eye irritation and can be placed on a cotton pad to clean around the eyes safely. Hydrogen Peroxide needs to be kept out of the eyes, but can be squirted onto a cotton pad and wiped on the discolored hair to help lighten it. If you are trying to be photo perfect you can always for that purpose use a tip from the show ring. Use regular cooking Corn Starch to absorb the moisture and make the hair look white for a great photo. The Corn Starch is not a permanent fix, just for cosmetic purposes.
Hopefully these tips will help you and your Precious Pampered Companion.
copyright 2012 Tami Foster