Tear Staining: Your Questions Answered

Categories: Dog Grooming, Featured, Your Pet Questions

Broken Arrow GroomerOne question our veterinarians and our Broken Arrow groomer get asked about often is tear staining in dogs.  It like many conditions should be diagnosed first, so that the cause may be determined, since no one diagnosis is universal for all dogs.  Celebrity groomer and dog trainer Cesar Millan has a good answer to the same question so we thought we would share it.


I have a two year old Mal-shi-poo and he has terrible red staining from the inside corners of his eyes. It seems to bother (itch??) him as he rubs at it quite a bit. Do you have any suggestions for a “home remedy” or prescription solution? Thank You. – Beverly Peterson, Gilbert, MN


The condition that you are describing is called epiphora which occurs whenever there is an overflow of tears onto the face. It can be caused by either excessive tear production, insufficient tear drainage, or a combination of both. Epiphora can be acute or chronic, most likely everyone has experienced at some point the tearing and irritation that results whenever something gets into our eyes. Tears are the eye’s natural response to an irritant and are an attempt to flush away whatever is causing that irritation. When epiphora becomes chronic, the constant moisture around the eyes results in skin irritation and creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and yeast which is causing your Mal-shi-poo to rub his eyes. Over time we see red staining around the eyes that is due to accumulation of a pigment called porphyrin which is found in tears.

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Kreg Atterberry is a writer of veterinary articles and the owner of Veterinary Marketing Done For You, a veterinary marketing company helping veterinary clinics and animal hospitals get found and dominate their local online searches.

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