Loving pet owners are highly into to any changes in their dog's appearance or health. Tear stains appearing under the eyes and at the sides of the snout are frequently cause for some alarm. These show up most easily on white or light colored dogs, so it is very important to check closely on darker dogs to make sure that tear stains are not being caused by or causing eye discharge.
What Causes Tear Stains?
Any type of eye irritation can cause tear stains in dogs. This can range from simply getting some dust or debris in the eye to more serious problems like a blocked tear duct or infection. Other causes include irritation by shampoo or another grooming product, hair falling in the dog's eyes, allergies to environmental conditions or food, teething, yeast infection, or just genetics. It is never a good idea to take a chance on your pet's health and well-being so you should make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
Do Tear Stains Cause Eye Discharge?
In most cases, it is the other way around. Discharge from the eye runs down the lower lid and onto the dog's fur. This may be simply the dog's tears or some type of mucus or discharge from an infection.
Sometimes, the tear stains can cause additional problems that result in additional eye discharge. If the fluid or mucus built up too much and dries, a crust can form near the eye and tear duct. This can cause additional irritation and even block the tear duct, thus creating more discharge.
What Should You Do About Tear Stains?
Besides taking your beloved pet to the veterinarian to find out the real reason for the eye discharge and tear stains, there are several things you can do at home to help.
Carefully wash away all tear stains in your dog with clean water or a mild shampoo and water. Be very careful not to get the shampoo into your dog's eyes or near its mucous membranes. Rinse completely with water. It may also be beneficial to trim the hair closely under the eyes and around that area. This can help the discharge flow away from the eye and not cause uncomfortable crust that may block the tear duct or cause other problems.
Over-the-counter dog eye wash solutions are available at affordable prices. Consider using one of these if you think some physical irritant or allergen is actually in your dog's eye. These can also help give some comfort to the irritated pet.
Another important thing to do about tear stains and eye discharge is to eliminate all possible allergens. Think carefully. Before the tear stains began to show up, did you change your dog's shampoo, food, or use a new detergent on his or her bedding or toys? Sometimes, going back to old habits may alleviate the problem. If you did not change anything recently, try changing one thing at a time and see if the problem resolves.
While tear stains rarely cause eye discharge, the two are closely related. Get proper care for your pet so you can stop worrying and he or she can be comfortable once again.