Dog tear stains are a symptom that can show up in a wide range of dogs for a wide range of reasons. Under normal circumstances, a dog’s tears are supposed to keep their eyes well-lubricated while the excess moisture is drained into the tear ducts on both sides of the nose. However, when those tear ducts are impaired, the result can be the excess moisture dripping down the face. In the long run, dog tears can leave rusty-brown dog tear stains because they contain iron-containing molecules called porphyrins that are created by the breakdown of red blood cells, which is one of the more noticeable differences between human tears and dog tears.
What Are Some Ways to Get Rid of Dog Tear Stains?
There are a number of methods that can be used to remove dog tear stains. For example, the American Kennel Club has recommended using a cotton gauze pad that has been moistened with a saline solution so that it can be used to rub around the eye. Likewise, there are other sources that recommend the use of mild cleansers, which is critical because anything harsher can actually make the problem worse by irritating the sensitive mucus membranes. On top of this, it should be mentioned that some dog owners are known to put up barriers to dog tear stains by applying a very thin layer of cornstarch but not talc-based baby powder beneath the eyes. Naturally, it is important to make sure that the baby powder doesn’t get into the eyes because that can be very counter-productive as well.
With that said, removing dog tear stains isn’t the best approach to this particular problem. This is because interested individuals will have to do it again and again so long as whatever is causing the dog tears remains unfixed. Instead, dog owners should find out the cause of the problem for correction sooner rather than later, not least because the causes of dog tears can sometimes be pretty serious in nature.
Unsurprisingly, excessive dog tears are often caused by some kind of problem with the dog’s eye. For example, an eye infection can cause dog tears in much the same manner as how an eye infection can cause human tears. Other potential causes range from eye diseases such as glaucoma to various issues such as inverted eyelids, larger than normal tear glands, and smaller than normal tear ducts. On top of this, it should be mentioned that problems with the surrounding region can led to dog tears as well, with an excellent example being the potential for ear infections to have such an effect.
Besides these, there can be other explanations for excessive dog tears, which can be much more difficult to discover. For instance, it isn’t unknown for dogs to experience so much stress that they start tearing up more than they should be. Similarly, there can be issues with a dog’s diet, medication, and even environmental conditions. As a result, it can be worthwhile for dog owners to check to see if they can help eliminate dog tears by switching over to healthier food, purer water, and perhaps a less stressful living environment.
Ultimately, dog owners might want to check with their veterinarian to make sure that their dog is alright instead of just making assumptions about that. Certainly, it is possible that their dog is just experiencing increased tear production that is resulting in the excess moisture spilling out. However, it is possible for the excess moisture to be a sign of something much more serious, meaning that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Something that is particularly true because finding a particular problem tends to make it easier to treat while also increasing the chances of successful treatment to boot.
On a related note, there are some cases of dog tear stains in which dog owners will opt for a bit of a trim to remove particularly old and particularly crusted stains instead of attempting to clean them off. However, dog owners should never try to do this on their own but instead entrust it to a professional dog groomer with proven experience in this regard. This is because the eye and the region surrounding the eye are very sensitive, meaning that there is absolutely no reason to take any chances in this matter.