Sunday, 8 November 2009

Why does my dog get tear stains?

For many owners of white dogs tear stains are a constant battle. While there exist many products on the market which claim to help prevent staining success remains limited.

So why do dogs suffer from these unsightly stains in the first place? Tear stains are caused by excessive tear production, a symptom known as epiphora. The most common causes of epiphora are genetics, allergies, eyelash irritation and blocked or infected tear ducts.

As a result of this excessive tear production and the presence of constant moisture on the face, bacteria and yeast can flourish. The most common of these bacterium is ‘red yeast’ which leads to the typical red-brown stains associated with light haired breeds.

The first step for ridding your dog of these pesky stains is to check with a vet to ensure that your dog isn't suffering from an infected or blocked tear duct. Beyond this it really is a case of trial and error to find a product which works for your dog. Typically food supplements have the most success but topical applications can also be used to form a two prong attack. 

As supplements work to prevent new hair growth from staining it is often worth trimming away existing hair while the new growth comes through.

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