Dog Tear Stain Removal

Dog tear stain marks on the fur can look ugly and are most obvious on animals with white or light fur. The stains are usually reddish brown in color and are found on the face, mainly around the eye area. They can indicate a health problem that should be corrected. Hence, you should conduct a vet check to rid your dog of tear stains. Dogs with white and light colored coats, short nosed breeds and breeds with wrinkled faces are more prone to tear stains.

Some breeds commonly affected are the:

  • Maltese
  • Lhasa apso
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bulldog
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Poodle
  • Sharpei

Causes of Dog Tear Stains

Excessive tearing causes facial hair to remain wet and this area becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Breeds with lots of facial hair are thus prone to reddish brown stains on the face caused by red yeast. Blocked tear ducts can also cause tear stains. You should seek medical help to determine if blocked tear ducts are the cause of the tear stains as the vet would have to irrigate the tear duct or surgically open it if it’s closed.

Apart from this, your pet’s ears should be dried after a bath and hair in the ear should be carefully trimmed as ear infections can also cause excessive tearing. Although some breeds are genetically predisposed to excessive tearing, other dogs suffer from the condition while teething, because of the pressure on the tear ducts.

Removal of Dog Tear Stains

  • A mixture of milk of magnesia, corn starch and peroxide should be applied to the face for a few hours before washing it off. If this is done regularly for several days, tear stains can be removed. The same amount of milk of magnesia and peroxide should be mixed and twice the amount of corn starch should be added to this mixture to get the correct consistency.
  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline should be given to adult dogs for 10 days to remove tear stains. However, this is contraindicated in puppies that have yet to teeth as it can cause yellow stains on the teeth.
  • A mixture of corn flour, bleach and water can also be applied to the stain area every alternate day for 2 weeks, to remove tear stains. To prepare this mixture, 2 teaspoons of corn flour should be added to a few drops of boiling water and mixed into a paste. 1 drop of bleach should then be added to the paste and mixed well. This paste should be applied for 10 minutes and then carefully washed away. Care should be taken not to get any of the paste into the dog’s eyes.
  • White vinegar added to the drinking water can alter the pH of the water and help eliminate bacteria and yeast. This should be used as a preventive measure after the tear stains are completely removed.
  • TUMS can be given to your pet twice a day to alter the pH of the tears and hence prevent the growth of yeast and bacteria.

Have a vet check and rule out any serious condition before trying any of the remedies mentioned in this article, to remove tear stains from your pet’s face.