Have you ever noticed stains forming on your dog’s fur close to their eye and it continues all the way to their muzzle?
These stains are called tear stains and they usually look like brown or almost rusty lines that run from the eyes of your pet to their muzzle. Some dog breeds like poodles, schnauzers, Maltese and other similar breeds often develop these marks because these breeds shed their tears from their eye ducts and down to their muzzle. Other breeds usually shed their tears down to their nose and down their throat.
Since the tears spill out from their eye ducts and to their muzzle, it would go on their fur and depend on your pet’s condition, these tears can induce the development of tear stains. Tear stains are common for some breeds, but for those with white facial fur, these tear stains can be unappealing. It can also signal that there is an infection that you need to check out with your veterinarian right away.
Causes of Tear Stains
There can be many reasons why tear stains can develop and they are as follows:
- Excessive tearing due to long fur and other irritants rubbing against your pet’s eyes.
- Excessive tearing caused by damaged tear ducts, huge eyelids, and allergies.
- For poodles, Maltese and similar breeds, their facial fur can hold moisture and in turn, causes bacteria to grow and lead to tear stains, foul odor, and skin irritation.
How to Remove Your Pet’s Tear Stains?
When you do notice tear stains in your pet’s face, you should first seek the advice of your pet’s vet to see if your pet has an infection that caused the tear stains. After checking your pet up, your vet can tell you how to treat the problem at home or even give you preliminary medication to try out.
You can also try the following methods (or combine them) to get rid of the stain:
- Create a solution made up of 10% hydrogen peroxide with water or purchase a special stain-removal product designed for dogs and gently pat the solution over the affected area. Of course, you need to be careful not to get the solution in the eye of your pet because it can irritate them. After putting the solution on the affected area, rinse the fur with clean water.
- Use guarded clippers to remove the affected fur or pluck the stained fur away. However, do not attempt to do this if you have not trained your pet to be ok with clippers. It is also a temporary solution so when the fur grows back, it may still be stained.
- Hide the stains temporarily with the help of cornstarch or face cream. If you use cornstarch, you can rub it on the stains to cover it. When you use a face cream, simply dampen the area with the cream and then put some powder on it.
- You should also give your pet supplements that can help improve your pet’s fur and keep it shiny and clean. However, before you do, ask your veterinarian if the supplement would match your pet’s needs.
- Change your pet’s water and food since some bits of it may splash on your pet’s fur and these may contain artificial coloring and high iron content that can trigger staining. Experts recommend giving your pets filtered water or bottled water. You can also experiment with other water sources. For food, it is best you pick those with without artificial coloring.
- Regularly check your pet’s eyes to see if there are any unwanted hair or object close to it that can irritate their eyes. Clean it with unscented baby wipes daily.
- Change your pet’s eye and face hygiene because it can also keep tear stains from developing.
- Use white vinegar to get rid of the bacteria that causes tear stains to occur and stop the possibility of future stains. You simply dab the stained area regularly and then clean it with clean water. You can also add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar on your pet’s drinking water so it can stop the development of micro-organisms in the body and prevent staining from happening.
What if the Stains Won’t Come Off?
If the tear stains won’t come off no matter what you do, it is best you head on to your pet’s veterinarian to see if there is a problem with your pet. They can prescribe special medication that can help with the tear stains, diet change or possible alternative stain removers if your pet’s fur won’t react to the remedies you have used. If there is an infection that causes severe tearing, your vet may recommend surgery to repair your pet’s eyelids or tear ducts depending on how severe the problem is for your pet.
If you don’t want to do it yourself considering how close these tear stains are to your pet’s eyes, you can seek out our mobile dog grooming to get one of our groomers to handle the problem for you. They can be the ones to apply the remedies on the tear stains for you and also groom your pet in the process.
When you see tear stains on your pet’s face, don’t immediately think it is a normal part of your pet’s features because it can indicate something is wrong. When you see the stain, immediately seek out help from your pet’s veterinarian and combat it with the help the tips above.
Pets cannot tell us when they are experiencing troubles and we may confuse the symptoms as a normal occurrence. When we realize something is wrong, it may be too late.
Always remember that early prevention and action can stop the onset of further troubles for you and your pet.