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About Tear Stains

tearsMany people wonder why some dogs and cats eyes water, which causes a stain on the fur just below their eyes. This condition is called Epiphora. When the facial hair is wet from excess tearing it is the breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Not only is it unsightly but may be very irritating to your pet. The staining may also emit a moderate to noticeably strong odor.  Tear staining can be traced to health and diet, as well as genetics. Here are some helpful tips to improve your pets well being:

  • Keep your Pet Healthy: Have your pet checked at least twice a year by your veterinarian for ear infections and ear mites, gum infections, common yeast or bacterial infections of the eye (especially Red Yeast) and for clogged tear ducts. 
  • Check your Pet’s Diet: Artificial food colorings (dyes), artificial food additives and preservatives, corn, wheat and soy can cause allergies in cats and dogs. These allergies can cause tear stains. Also check for face rubbing, licking of front paws, head shaking, and ear inflammations these are other signs of allergies. Water minerals can also add to tear staining. Use bottled or filtered water in a stainless steel bowl.
  • Keep your Pet’s Eyes Clean: Hair in the eyes can cause infections and irritation. Eyelashes can grow at abnormal angles and rub on the eye. Check your pet’s eyes regularly. Also check for collected dust, stray hairs, and dried tears. Any foreign matter in the eye is likely to lead to tear stains.
  • Hygiene: Keep your pet’s eyes clean. Always wash your hands first before touching the area around their eyes. Wash your pet frequently. Always make sure you comb them first before washing to remove any knots or matts. Keep the shampoo out of their eyes to avoid irritation.