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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cry me a river

Last week we asked for advice regarding Tuckers tear stains and we realized a lot of our friends did't know what it is since their dogs don't experience this problem. We thought we would give you some information on what exactly dog tear stains are and what causes it.

The tear stains are a cosmetic problem, caused by an overflow of tears onto the fur under the eye of a dog or cat but is mostly noticeable with white and other light color coats like Tuckers. The damp facial hair is a breeding ground for bacterial and yeast growth. The most common is "Red Yeast (Ptyrosporin)" which is usually associated with reddish-brown facial stains - which is what Tucker has. In order to control or remove the tear staining, the cause or causes need to be understood and under control.

What causes tear stains? Just about anything! The causes can be traced to health and diet, as well as genetics. We do not know a lot about the genetic aspect of Tucker. He was not found under a rock or given to us by aliens, which we like to tease him about all the time.

A few of the causes are:
• Blocked tear ducts
• Ear Infections
• Genetics
• Cutting Teeth
• Irritation & Allergies
• Water
• Fleas
• Plastic dog bowls

Since Tucker has no fleas, ear infections or blocked tear ducts and all his teeth have been cut, we lean more towards genetics, irritation & allergies or water.

We have changed Tuckers diet and changed his water. Being a smooshy-faced dog with a major underbite, he sneezes and snuffles a lot. Smooshies do that - because of their facial structure, they are prone to irritants more often. Tucker likes to get into everything he shouldn't get into. He loves to pick garbage out of the bathroom trash can and will steal any toy left laying around in our girls room. He loves to play under the beds and loves to sniff through moms flower beds. He is a hard nut to crack trying to figure out what is causing the stains and trying to get a grip on handling them.

Breeders, handlers and those that show dogs go to extremes to eliminate the stains. Even using colloidal silver, Milk of Magnesia, hydrogen peroxide and human hair bleach. Obviously, our mom will not do this. A lot of times these home remedies make the staining worse because they irritate the eye more. Changing the dog's pH slightly can do wonders in the tear stain war and help eliminate bacteria, the deep stain color and prevent the yeast buildup.

There are many over-the-counter dog tear stain remover products that can be used but it the root of the problem is not found, then the stains will continue.

We are working hard at finding Tuck's problem (tear staining problem that is! Heaven knows our boy Tuck has many other problems, but those are for future posts).


Frankie Furter said...

I don't have those stains, butt I think most dogs do have tears. Sorry yours are a problem. Loved your post yesterday. I would have liked that party too. Darn these people. They just don't realize that WE need fun times too.
I chased a skunk out of my yard once. Mom was screaming!!! It was very much fun for me. I did NOT get squirted by it. It was afraid of me. Taste like chicken??? hummmm somehow I rather doubt it. he he he

Brind'Amour said...

Hi, I don't have tear stain problems but my little cousin did. My mom used a buffered vitamin C such as Ester-C that we got in the pet store and it worked like a charm. No more stains! I think it changed the body chemistry. Plus, mom heard it's good for joints too! You might want to check with your vet first though.


Anonymous said...

Good luck finding a tear stain solution for your Smooshi who sneezes and snuffles...

Try to say that quickly 3 times!

Martha Basset said...

We were unable to say 'Smooshie who sneezes and snuffles' three times quickly. We enjoyed trying and wish you luck with finding a solutions.
As ever a very informative post.
Love you lots
Martha & Bailey xx

Brownie said...

hope you find a solution for those tear stains...!

Ludo van Doggy said...

Thanks for the learnings, I doesn't get them but grandpawents old Dad Cap did. I know the peoples find them a pain.

Kimberly said...

hope your tear stains go away little doggy. Bell has has some eye issues lately too and it's making me concerned but I give her medicine from that vet place. :)

kimberly & Bell

Kimberly said...

hope your tear stains go away little doggy. Bell has has some eye issues lately too and it's making me concerned but I give her medicine from that vet place. :)

kimberly & Bell

Life With Dogs said...

At least we know you aren't actually crying! That's a good start, but it seems like a hassle to figure out how to beat the tear stains. Maybe a Zorro mask would be easier! ;)

Mango said...

I hope you can solve that problem. The poor little guy.


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I'm sure woo will find something to help woo!

I remember my pal Butters had some they worked at and worked at - his transformation was inkhredible!


Ms. ~K said...

Our sweet Spunky (RIP) had terrinle tear stains. She was half Golden and half Great White Pyrenees. She would sit patiently while I washed her sweet face...
Sure hope you can find a solution.

Pug(s) and Bugg said...

We thinks you look great even with them Tucker!!!!!!

Joe Stains said...

Tanner gets some tears but they are allergies becuase he likes to roll in the stinky weeds. We hope you get Tucker's figured out.

dazla said...

Hey there,

I don't want to rain on your parade but there might not be a permanent solution to Tucker's stains.

Surgery might make the tear ducts more efficient- then again it might not.

The vast majority of staining is the interaction of oxidising iron and the bacteria- leading to the creation of the yeast that you referred to.

As you correctly point out changing the ph of the tears can help to disrupt the interaction.

Personally i prefer to approach the situation from the other angle- ie, to oxidise the iron inside the body so that there is noting for the bacteria to bond with.

There are a number of natural food supplements that will do this.

My fav is Angels Delight from Bichon Hotel. It prevents the stains and is a crucial nutrient booster. It isn't cheap but then you pay for quality. It is simple to use though- you just add it to your dog's food and in time your dog will be stain free. After that point you use it once every couple of weeks.

Here is a link if you want more info

there are other new brands but i cannot say if they work as well

Good luck