" Dog eye stain or dog tear stain is a more common problem in light colored and miniature breeds of dogs. It occurs when the clear tears chemically react with bacterial toxins/products on facial skin causing brownish stains over the skin. Veterinarians consider it a cosmetic problem which occurs due to the continuous overflow of tears on to the face. Bacteria reacts with tears causing changes in the color of the skin and hair. Dog eye stains are caused by various factors and abnormalities in dog eyes such as yeast/bacterial infection, irritation, blockage, ear infections, allergies, food allergies and some rusty metals. Treatment of canine eye stains is done with inhibiting bacterial growth over the face and with the help of specific drugs such as antibiotics and some preparations meant for removing existing dog tear stains. ."
There can be various factors related to a canine eye stain. Some of them may be non relevant to dog tears, but most commonly it occurs due to an overflow of dog tears. This problem is more common in light colored dogs and miniature and toy breeds. There are several reasons for the tear overflow and there are several anatomical deformities which can result in the overflow of dog tears.
Most commonly, dog eye infections, yeast infections, dog eye worms and other microbial conditions causes irritation and inflammation in dog eyes.
These dog eye problems lead to excessive tear production which continuously overflows onto the cheeks. These clear tears chemically reacts with bacteria on the face, causing brownish stains and changes in the color of hair and skin.
Dog tears are continuously produced and flow over the surface of the eye. They are then drained into the nose through a tear duct. If the tear duct is blocked or contains any congestion for any reason such as inflammation, anatomical deformity, accident, injury etc, the tears will overflow on to the cheeks causing dog eye stain.
Allergies, irritation and ear infections can also cause the excessive production of tears, which flows onto the facial skin, causing dog eye stains. Some anatomical deformities like those that affect the eyelids, protruded eye balls, conformational abnormalities, corneal ulcers and insufficiency of the tear drainage system are other known causes of dog tear stains.
Dog tear stains appears as a change in the color of facial skin and hairs, commonly turning the hair brownish. It progressively grows darker over time. Eye stains in dogs are clearly visible as a descending line over cheeks, which originates from the base of the eye, near the nose. It may be unilateral or bilateral, depending upon the cause of the dog tear stain.
The severity of its symptoms, i.e. stains and coloration depends upon the volume of tears which overflow and also the population of bacteria or the hygienic status of the facial surface. The more tears flow over the face and if the face is excessively populated with microbes, the severity of symptoms increase. Also, dense dog tear stains are hard to remove and usually take weeks to months before they are gone.
Objectives of treatment or removal are based upon improving the hygienic status of the facial surface, elimination of the bacterial population and restoration of skin and hair color.
Thus, antibiotics are used to eliminate bacteria, drugs like Tetracycline, Gentamycin, Tylosin, Metronidazole, Lincocin etc are prescribed. These are administered both orally and applied locally in the form of solutions. Also, to remove stains and to help change hair and skin coloration different preparations such as like Milk of Magnesia, hair bleach (do not use chlorine bleach as it can cause chemical conjunctivitis), hydrogen peroxide (use a diluted solution of 1 part peroxide to 10 parts water) and Corn starch are used. For minor problems in white haired dogs you can even use white chalk.
Some commercially available natural remedies such as i-Clenz contain herbal extracts, which can be used for removing dog eye stains. Other type of natural remedies such as Eye Heal, support overall eye health. These types of products are not only effective, but also do not cause any damage/side effects over the skin.
The aforementioned canine eye stain removal techniques helps only to remove stains. The specific cause of dog tear stains such as infections, conformational abnormalities, anatomical deformities and any blockage should be treated accordingly. Eye wash, use of specific drugs and surgery are some ways to treat an underlying cause.
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