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Dog Tear Stains Not Just Cosmetic
Dog tear stains are a cosmetic problem, caused by an overflow of tears on the cheeks, which is most obvious on dogs with white and other light colored coats. Split hairs on facial hair can cause matting of the hair, skin irritation and possibly infection. Hair can act as a wick by drawing tears from the eyes. This can be corrected by removing the hair, keeping the area clean, and removing the build-up or crust. If a skin lesion or eye infection or problem is suspected, see your veterinarian.
Facial hair is a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and yeast.
You need to take steps to eliminate any bacterial or yeast infection. The most common is “red yeast,” which is associated with reddish-brown spots on the face and possibly a moderate to strong odor, because the bacteria on the hair and skin react with the clear tears.
If you are planning to buy a puppy and the possibility of chromodacryaria (puppy tear spots) is a concern for you, observe the mother, sire and others in the breed.
Many experts believe that the individual structure around the eye plays an important role in canine tear stains. If so, genetics may be the problem. Miniature breeds and Persian cats often have more prominent eyes that stretch the eyelids and can cut into the drainage system. There is little to fix. Sometimes the eyelids turn inward and block drainage; It is surgically correct. However, if you feel that surgery is too drastic and the problem isn’t that bad, try alternative methods that are less drastic.
Who is prone to the dog’s torn scar problem?
Akita, American Bulldog, American Eskimo Dog, Bichon Frise, Brussels Griffon, Cairn Terrier, Chihuahua, Chinese Crested, Cocker Spaniel, Corgi, Dachshund, English Toy Spaniel, French Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Havanese, Japanese Chin, King Charles Caval, King S. Lhasa Apso, Lion Dog, Maltese, Maltipoos, Miniature Schnauzer, Papillion, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Saint Bernard, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu and West Highland White Terrier.
Determine the source of tears and facial blemishes. The dog tearing scar problem is more of an appearance problem. Tear stains can be traced to health and diet as well as genetics. Make sure there are no underlying health issues that cause excessive tearing and scarring.
Keeping your dog healthy is the most important thing.
Dog tear stains can be a sign that your pet is sick. Ear infections, eye infections, eye irritation, allergies, yeast infections, and inflammation of the duct system are all possible causes. These conditions are often painful and should be addressed immediately by your veterinarian.
Changes in diet or minerals in drinking water can cause a dog to develop tear stains. Drinking distilled or reverse osmosis purified water can help prevent mineral problems.
Food sources or even plastic food containers can cause stains that can be repaired. However, if you remove the tear stains and continue to feed the foods that cause them, you will not solve the problem.
A slight change in a dog’s pH can do wonders in the battle against tear stains and helps remove bacteria, deep stain discoloration, and prevent yeast build-up. A preventative strategy is best used once you have removed or nearly removed the tear stain.
500mg of calcium carbonate, your basic antacid, twice daily helps to alter the pH of your dog’s system and help prevent yeast or infection, thus treating the dog’s cracked scars from the inside out. Vinegar will act like a calcium antacid to change the pH of drinking water. Add a tablespoon of white cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water to control new tear stains. It may take some time for your pet to adjust to this water, so start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount of vinegar.
An alternative that can be discussed with your vet is a common eye drop called napthazoline, which dilates the tear ducts so more tears flow instead of over the lids and face.
Another possibility is to give your dog a very low dose of antibiotics to kill the bacterial overgrowth. However, this should be a last resort, not used as an ongoing treatment, and should not be considered for puppies without mature teeth.
Staining a dog’s tears is often more complex than simple answers.
A veterinary consultation is appropriate to determine the source of a dog’s tear stain problem. Your vet should perform a thorough exam of the dog to rule out any serious eye diseases before attempting anything.
Home remedies exist using a mixture of milk of magnesia, corn starch, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, boric acid, and lemon juice. However, harsh ingredients can irritate and worsen wear. The stain remover should be free of alcohol or bleach. If such ingredients are not mixed properly, using precisely the right strength, and applied safely, you can harm your dog.
No solution should be allowed to splash through facial hair or into the pet’s eyes or eye area. For this reason, you should look carefully at over-the-counter products and avoid using this homemade formula.
Use a quality over-the-counter dog tear stain remover to safely, effectively and gently reduce the condition to a “fairly satisfactory” rather than complete elimination result. Unless your pet is a show dog, this isn’t really a serious problem. A protective sterile ophthalmic ointment under the eyes is an excellent idea when applying the stain remover. This will keep the eyes comfortable as the film barrier prevents irritation.
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