- Tear stains are found on the hair from the tear duct along the tear path down to the nose and between the eyes. Tear stains are especially noticeable on a Bichon Frise because of their otherwise pristine, all-white coat. Tear stains are usually caused by excessive tearing and can vary from a light pink to a deep reddish-brown, depending on the cause of the staining. The moist environment created by excessive tearing can breed red yeast and bacteria that cause staining.
Tear Stain Causes
- There are many reasons for tear stains in dogs. Bichon Frise are prone to tear stains because their eyes structure is genetically predisposed to closed tear ducts. Excessive tearing can be caused by an eye infection or inflammation from a foreign object. An allergy to food or another irritant can cause the pH balance of the tears to be unbalanced and allow yeast and bacteria to form more easily.
Tear Stain Removal
- There are many natural recipes for tear stain removal as well as commercially sold products. Home remedies include mixtures with milk of magnesia, boric acid powder, bleach or peroxide as the active ingredient. Cornstarch and baby powder are added to make a paste, usually left on the stained hair for up to four hours. Veterinarians can prescribe antibiotics or antibiotic eye drops that can help eliminated staining. At-home products including herbal supplements, tear stain wipes and topical solutions and creams are available at pet stores.
Tear Stain Prevention
- Because tear stains can be caused by so many factors, it can be difficult to pinpoint one method of prevention. In general, owners can try a combination several methods until they see a reduction in tear staining. Daily care is the easiest way to prevent tear stains. Wipe tears from the dog's eyes several times a day and trim the hair near the eye so it does not irritate the eyes and cause excessive tearing. Try different organic dog foods without preservatives, chemical additives or food coloring. Improve the pH of the tears and add extra calcium to the diet by giving the dog half a tablet of TUMS each day. You can wipe a little Vaseline or diaper rash ointment near the eye to prevent the hair from wicking the tears and getting wet.