For many dog lovers, one of our most favorite ways to commune with our furry friends is to spend time gazing into their loving eyes. Tear staining on our dog’s facial fur, however, can ruin the effect of our pup’s bright-eyed gaze, as well as cause irritation to their skin and eyes over long periods of time.
Excessive tear production, or epiphora, is an abnormal overflow of tears down a dog’s face. It can be caused by a blockage of the tear duct, inefficient drainage of tears, or an actual overproduction of tears that overwhelms our pup’s normal drainage system, either because of irritation, or overactive lacrimal glands. Although the tears themselves are colorless, chronic tear drainage down the face can cause a dark red crust, and can stain the fur on our furry friend’s faces as well. This staining is a result of substances called porphyrins (pigment-like components) in the tears themselves that are left behind when tears dry.