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D2010-16

Dear Daisy Dog

How do I remove tear stains from my dog’s face? Princess is a small, fluffy, white mixed-breed dog, and the hair below her eyes is stained red-brown.

Daisy Responds

If the problem began only recently, Princess may be tearing excessively because her eyes hurt. If that’s the case, have your veterinarian examine her.

But if tear staining has always been a problem, it’s more likely that she produces normal quantities of tears, but her tears are spilling from her eyes instead of draining down through the nasolacrimal ducts into her nose as they’re supposed to. This problem usually occurs because the tear drainage system is malformed or blocked.

If corrective surgery doesn’t appeal, try these ideas.

Start by having your groomer trim the hair close to Princess’ eyes, so it won’t catch her tears. Add a bit of petroleum jelly to the hair below her eyes to help the tears slide off.

Never use peroxide or bleach near her eyes.

Probiotics, the “good” intestinal bacteria usually prescribed to treat diarrhea, have helped many dogs with tear staining. Look for a veterinary probiotic such as FortiFlora, Prostora or Proviable.

Don’t give Princess antibiotics like tylosin or tetracycline. Using antibiotics for cosmetic reasons may harm her over the long run and contribute to bacterial resistance.

 

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