What are Tear Stains?
Tear Stains are the reddish-brown streaks right under a dog's or cat's eye and is caused by several reasons. The appearance is more prominent in certain breeds like Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu and Persian Cats. Although, tear staining is usually normal, it can also be a symptom of a serious eye problem.
What causes Tear Stains?
There can be several reasons why tear stains occur, the most common could be :
- Ingrown Eyelashes
- Eye Infection
- Unusually small tear duct openings
- De-worming overdue
- Poor quality diet
- Teething in puppies
- Glaucoma or other eye diseases
- Exposure to passive smoking
Why do some dogs have more prominent tear stains?
Apart from what we explained on the breeds, there could be other reasons why some dogs get more frequent staining under the eye, than others.
Tear Stains are typically results of porphyrins. Porphyrins are naturally occurring molecules containing iron, which are formed from the break down to red blood cells.
These are usually removed from the body through poop, however in some dogs & cats, porphyrins can also be excreted through saliva, urine and tears.
How to treat Tear Stains
- Keep the under eyes clean and dry.
- Gently wipe the face with a damp, soft cotton cloth at least twice a day.
- Keep the under eye hair trimmed at all times.
- Feed a high quality diet. Basically focus on food that is easy to digest.
- Ensure your pet has clean drinking water at all times. Tap water can sometimes contain chlorine and fluoride that may make the staining worse.
- Replace plastic food bowls with steel, ceramic or glass.
- Add probiotics to the meals.
- Keep a tear stain cleaner handy at home.
- NEVER use human eye drops on your pets.