How do you get rid of a dog’s tear stains?
Original Question: How do I get rid of tear stains? I've tried everything from raw food to a special diet, wipes and special supplementation. Thank you - Kathy
I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with healthcareforpets.com and we got a question from Kathy that says, “How do I get rid of tear stains? I’ve tried everything from raw food to a special diet, to wipes, to special supplements.”
So tear stains are something that are pretty ugly in some dogs and you know a lot of little white dogs, little flat faced dogs, will get this. Basically what it is, is it’s staining that occurs just below the eye near the nose and tears will spill out over the eyelids and in the tears are something called porphyrins that stain the hair and it stains it this reddish brown and it is for some people a bit unsightly, they don’t like to see it.
There are supplements out there that talk about getting rid of tear stains but a lot of them don’t work. What I do know is that there is one particular thing you can use which is an antibiotic called tylosin and what this is, is it will be in some of these supplements and you add it to the food and it will impair the production of these porphyrins that stain the hair. The problem is that tylosin is an antibiotic and you really don’t want to be giving that to your dog if it’s not necessary, particularly for something that’s just cosmetic. So I wouldn’t recommend that but I would suggest that you ask your veterinarian about it and see if it might be right for you, but I would prefer since it’s a cosmetic issue not to use an antibiotic whatsoever. I think some of these breeds are just prone to it, it’s natural, you can clean it more often and that might help. You can also shave the hair and you can seek veterinary attention to see if there’s any problems that are making the tears you know happen more and cause more staining but aside from that a lot of these breeds just get it and it’s quite natural. So thanks for that question Kathy, I really appreciate it, and thanks for contacting healthcareforpets.com where we’re dedicated to your pet’s health and keep those questions coming.
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