Have you noticed dark discoloration, a reddish or brown tinge, around your dog's eyes? This dark stain in your pet's fur is the number one sign of tear stains. Tear stains are more common with pups with white or light color fur but are not particular to any color. Let's explore tear stains, their cause, and solutions.
What Are Tear Stains?
Dog tear stains result from excessive tear production, technically known as "epiphora." Typically, your dog's tears drain through the eyelid and into an area called the nasolacrimal duct, just like human eyes. From there, the tears then empty into the nose. That's why you will notice that when someone cries, their nose runs. However, if this duct becomes blocked for any reason or does not develop properly, the tears get backed up and flow from the eyes instead.
This residue then settles into the fur around the eyes and often appears in a dark brown or reddish color. A rusty color is typically for porphyrin, a waste by-product that comes from the breakdown of red blood cells. Needless to say, breeds with light-colored coats—such as the Bichon Frise or Maltese—have the most visible tear stains.
What Causes Excessive Tear Production?
Dog tear stains can have numerous causes; common reasons include:
Ingrown Hair or Eyelashes
Ingrown or abnormal eyelashes or hair or eyelashes often get caught in a dog's tear ducts, blocking their tear drainage, and causing stains. Alternatively, overgrown eyelashes can rub on and irritate the eye's surface, a condition where your dog's eyelids fold inward. The eye responds by producing more tears than usual.
Allergens may lead to excessive tear production, resulting from the seasons changing to even the tap water your dog drinks.
Shallow Eye Sockets
Certain dog breeds have facial structures with hollow eye sockets and shorter noses, leading to more frequent tears.
Blocked Tear Drainage Holes
Known explicitly as puncta, small openings inside the edges of the eyelids near the nose can become blocked from previous infections or excess scar tissue, causing tears not to drain properly.
In most cases, dog tear stains are typical and manageable. However, it may be linked to other health issues in some instances. For example, tear stains that are more brownish than red-colored and contain a foul odor could indicate a yeast infection. Always consult your veterinarian to understand your dog's circumstances and the cause behind the tearing.
Clean Your Dog's Tear Stains with Chew + Heal's Tear Stain Remover for Dogs and Cats
The Tear Stain Remover from Chew + Heal is a gentle and effective wiping solution for cats and dogs to remove tear and saliva stains, keeping your pet's face and coat looking fresh and clean. This water-based formula is safe and won't irritate your pet's skin.
Our stain remover contains cucumber extract for its moisturizing and skin healing properties, watercress extract for its hydrating qualities, and vitamin K and C.
Use the Tear Stain Remover daily to remove stains and maintain a clean, stain-free coat.
As always, our products are proudly made in America with premium ingredients. The eye stain remover is formulated and recommended by vets for dogs and cats over 12 weeks, and not a face wash to use directly on the eyes.