A common question among dog owners is, “what causes tear stains around my dog’s eyes, and how can I get rid of it?” Tear staining is sometimes acute, which means it will not last long and will go away, but can also be chronic, which requires veterinarian care. Here is what you need to know about tear stains.
What is tear staining?
Epiphora is the technical term for tear staining; is a condition in which a dog has an overproduction of tears. Acute occurrences of epiphora are normal because our eyes naturally become watery to flush out unwanted particles, a dogs’ eyes are no different. It is the chronic form of epiphora that can be a problem for your dog because persistent moisture can breed bacteria that cause infections.
What should I do if my dog has chronic tear staining?
If it appears that your dog has chronic tear staining, see the vet. Various factors can cause tear staining, and only a vet will be able to know for certain what is causing it in your dog. The vet will check for a plugged tear duct, eyelashes that grow abnormally, an eye infection (pink eye), or a foreign object that may be stuck in your dog’s eye. It could be that your dog has a more serious eye concern, such as glaucoma.
Treatment for Epiphora
Treatment will vary, depending on the cause. Some dogs may simply need their eyes flushed with a sterile cleaner that rinses away debris, relieving any irritation or blocked ducts. Do not attempt to remove the stains yourself. Some cases of epiphora may require a procedure to remove an abnormally positioned eyelash or a particle that is lodged in the eye. The vet will determine the best mode of treatment for your dog.
Ways you can help
Until you can see the vet, keep your dog comfortable by keeping them well hydrated, and use a warm moist cloth to wipe their eyes clean every day. Try to discourage your dog from pawing at his or her eyes. If your dog continually paws at his eyes, consider using an Elizabethan collar to prevent access to the eye area.
Tear stains are more apparent in dogs with light colored fur. While tear stains may not be a sign of anything serious, it is always best to have your pup checked out by the vet to be sure. It is not advised that you use over-the-counter products to lighten the tear stains because this could be hazardous for your dog. Only use products recommended by your dog’s vet. Also, if your dog seems bothered by his or her eyes, be sure to see the vet as there could be something more serious occurring.
Dog Day Care in Morristown
AllDogs Canine Care Center offers services to meet your needs for dog training, grooming, and boarding. Please contact us today at (865) 475-2225 for more information regarding our services. We welcome pooches from Dandridge and Morristown, Tennessee.