Tear Staining in Dogs – A Safer Solution

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.


image(1)One popular remedy, for instance, is the use of oral antibiotics, like tetracycline and tylosin – this can change some of the components in tears, helping to reduce staining around the eyes and on the face, but long-term use of these products is far from ideal. Although the use of these medications may indeed help to solve the staining issue and improve a dog’s appearance, tetracycline isn’t safe to use in puppies, and they have the potential to cause liver damage when used on a regular basis. Also, some owners may not consider the fact that there may be an underlying medical problem with a dog’s eyes or tear glands that may be masked by use of these products. Chronic or improper use of oral antibiotics even increases the potential for antibiotic resistance, too, making your dog more vulnerable to bacterial infections.

Take heart, though, because there are safer options to remove those stubborn tear stains instead. Products like Pureyes, a natural tear stain remover by Innovet, are bleach, alcohol and sulphite free, can be used on a daily basis to help remove stains from tears, and even better, don’t affect your best furry friend’s long-term organ health with use.

Having to constantly clean your pup’s eyes may seem annoying, but when given the choice, would you rather use a product that might cause further health problems down the road, or a solution that’s safe and effective for your pawsome pal, no matter how many times you use it?

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