Ask Seth: Tear Stains on Dogs

Why do some dogs develop tear stains?

Anytime you see tear staining it is best to have the veterinarian examine the eyes for eyelashes that rub the cornea which causes irritation and the eye to become watery.  Most veterinarians can surgically repair this issue with surgery or cryotherapy (freezing the follicles).  Like with humans, anything that causes irritation to eyes will result in the body to try to flush it through the system.  Another common eye issue that causes this is a blocked tear duct that usually channels tears into the nasal sinus.  With an obstruction, the excess tears will spill over to the lower eyelids.  There are a few options but common use of antibiotic eye drops can help greatly with these issues once the area is trimmed and cleaned.  Be careful to closely follow your veterinarians suggests on the eye care.  If there is a cornea scratch, it will have to be treated fairly quickly to be successful in stopping the excess tear production.  The red discoloration is caused by porphyrin staining and is naturally occurring in dogs.

Does your dog have tear staining? What did you do to stop it? Share with us in the comments!

Seth Mayersohn

About Seth Mayersohn

Have a question about your pet’s health or behavior? Readers can submit questions to Seth Mayersohn has a B.S. in Animal and Veterinary Sciences and a M.S. in Agriculture from West Virginia University. He has 12 years of experience as a veterinary technician and draws upon that experience to help our readers!

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