Dog Grooming Questions about Removing Those Pesky Tear Stains around the eyes
Q: I have a 16 month old mini apricot poodle that I groom myself. I try to keep the fur short around his eyes so it won’t irritate them. He eats a premium dry dog food (Taste of the Wild – Venison) mixed with a small amount of Blue Buffalo canned food. I have not tried distilled water, but I do know that we have hard water.
I have purchased numerous products to clean Gilly’s face, but I usually end up giving up when after 2 weeks, I still don’t notice an improvement. Right now, I’m just maintaining – I keep the fur short and wipe his face off with a warm wash cloth every couple of days.
I know I’m not going to get any quick fixes, but I’d love to know if you have one. I just get tired of spending money on products that don’t work.
If the fur is being stain by a yeast that grows in the moist fur, is there an anti-fungal that can be used?
A: Many things can cause tear staining. Diet is one, as you mentioned. Of course, stay away from foods with any dyes in them. Offering only distilled water can help as well. Another cause could be clogged or over producing tear ducts. Keep up with the warm wash cloth and as far as products go: Angel Eyes is the typical answer from most groomers and pet parents alike, and it works well. I researched Angel Eyes to understand more about the product and found that it is made of 100% beef liver and tylosin of tartrate. Tylosin is a type of antibiotic that was originally introduced for use on livestock but it was also discovered to have positive effects on eliminating tear staining in dogs. It has not shown any adverse reactions on pets although there is some controversy on weather or not it can create certain immunities to antibiotics. It can also falsely elevate certain liver tests so let your vet know if you are giving it to your dog before any such testing. Also, Angel Eyes doesn’t have a precise dosage so it can be tricky to know how much to give your dog. Dogs can tolerate pretty high doses of tylosin, but it’s kind of nice to know what you’re giving them. If you want a more precise measurement, try a compounding pharmacy. They can make the powder more palatable for your dog too.