Oh, those ugly tear stains, especially noticeable in white dogs, may sometimes be quite distracting and embarrassing. They tend to be stubbornly stuck to the hair below the eyes of these otherwise beautiful and innocent dogs.
Tear stains develop when a dog’s tears build up on their fur providing the ideal breeding ground for microorganism and yeast to propagate. As a result, the hair beneath their eyes appears stained.
It is agreed that face mark results from excessive tears. The causes of excessive tearing include the following to mention just a few: genetics, health, diet, fleas, bacterial infection, ear infections, cutting teeth (in puppies), irritation, high mineral content in the dog’s drinking water, obstructed tear ducts, etc.
Since there is no single cause of tear stains, so there is also no one solution. What works best for you some may not work for all. So, what exactly causes grooming nightmares?
Tear stains are usually attributable to molecules called porphyrins. Porphyrins are generated when the body breaks down red blood cells. Porphyrins are excreted mainly by means of bile and the intestinal tract, but in dogs, a substantial amount of porphyrin is excreted through tears, saliva and also urine.
For this reason, you might see staining on hair beyond slightly below the eyes. This is also why dogs sometimes have freckled hair if they have a practice of licking themselves excessively.
When these porphyrin molecules remain on a white coat for any time period, stains result. This takes place in dark-coated dogs, but you cannot see the stains. Stains often darken in the presence of sunlight producing an unsightly red mess.
When the area around the eyes and mouth are persistently soaked and clammy, a red-yeast infection can develop.
This is different from the red stains that are produced by the combination of tears and porphyrins. Low-grade bacterial infections in the tear ducts are also a common culprit.
Removing Tear Stains there are two basic alternatives to treatment, internal and external. Internal treatment consists of ingesting a substance or prescriptions that will either cure a bacterial infection or alter the ph of the tears.
External treatments include all those measures that one takes to remove the stains around the eyes.
Some are more beneficial than others and some can be considered extremely hazardous. There are as many homemade treatments as there are products on the market boastful to cure dogs of those unsightly stains.
Serve your dog distilled, filtered, or bottled water only out of a stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Do not use plastic as they are likely to wear down creating a breeding ground where bacteria can thrive.
Change to a high-quality dog food. If you can purchase the food at your local super market, then you are most likely not serving a high-quality food. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with your dog's water each day. This pH of the water, which helps combat the buildup of bacteria that make the tear stain problem worse. One can apply lemon juice for cleaning the stains. Clean around the eyes with contact lens cleaning solution which contain dilute boric acid. The boric acid will oxidize the iron in the porphyrins and lighten the stains. Some breed of dogs may require more constant up keep in the eye area than others. You can pull eye boogers away from the potentially irritating spot in the corner of the eye, long-haired or white haired dogs require special attention to ensure all gunks are out of the coat. A healthy eye should be clear and should not show signs of irritability or unusual discharge.