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
• Cutting Teeth
• Irritation & Allergies
• 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).