Poodle Eye Stains

Eye stains are the pink or brown marks that can appear underneath your poodle's eyes. These stains are nothing to worry about. They occur when the bacteria who normally live on your poodle's skin, and in his fur, feed on his natural eye secretions. Some breeds, like poodles, are more prone than others to this condition, though vets aren't yet sure why this should be so. While these stains aren't harming your dog, you'd probably prefer to remove them; read on to learn how.

Causes of Eye Stains in Poodles

One of the reasons vets think poodles are particularly vulnerable to eye stains is because they have very narrow tear ducts, allowing the eye secretions to accumulate in the fur below the eyes. Eye disorders, including blocked tear ducts, can contribute to the staining of your dog's fur. In fact, any disease or irritation that makes your dog's eyes produce excess tears can contribute to tear stains.

When to See a Vet About Your Poodle's Eye Stains

Often, eye stains in poodles don't require any medical attention. But, if your dog has other symptoms accompanying his tear stains, you should seek veterinary treatment. If your dog's eyes are inflamed or swollen, or if he's producing more tears than normal, he may have an infection or even a structural deformity of the eye. If your dog has allergies, they might be contributing to the problem.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs can include:

  • Itchy red rashes on the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scratching, licking or chewing, especially if your dog seems to compulsively lick, scratch or chew at the same area, such as the feet, sides or groin
  • Hot spots, especially if they keep coming back after treatment
  • Chronic respiratory problems
  • Recurrent skin and ear infections

If an underlying cause is contributing to your poodle's eye stains, then treating it could help improve them. But, it may not make them go away altogether.

Keeping Your Poodle's Eyes Stain-Free

One of the best ways to eliminate poodle eye stains is to keep the hair around your poodle's eyes trimmed short. This hair can trap eye secretions, and make eye stains worse. Exercise caution when trimming the hair in this area, or have a groomer do it for you. 

To help keep your dog's tear stains from getting worse, dab some mineral oil around the area beneath his eyes. Use a cotton swab, but be careful not to poke him in the eye. The mineral oil won't hurt your dog's eyes, but it will help keep eye secretions from collecting in his fur.

You can remove existing eye stains from beneath your dog's eyes with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with ten parts clean water. Use another cotton swab to apply this solution to your dog's eye stains. These should remove them from the fur.

Afterward, wipe away the hydrogen peroxide solution, as well as any excess mineral oil, with a clean, wet cotton cloth.