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Discussion Starter #1
I need suggestions on what to use to clean tear stains. He is v. light apricot and they look bad on his face :( especially now after his face is completely shaved.

I have tried unscented baby wipes a few times (not sure if that is OK to use) but they are not cleaning the stains enough. Is there a better, more successful way to clean them on a daily basis?

I do not want to use meds nor anything he will need to take internally. At least not yet.

BTW, he is on Natural Balance Potato & Duck formula. He is eating it well and BMs are good too, so I'd rather not switch his food. Who knows though, maybe this food is causing those stains. I wish I knew.

Thank you.
 

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Tear staining is a tough problem to get on top of. The staining is caused by red yeast growing in the wet areas around the eye. To deal with this problem, you have to either stop the tearing or stop the production of red yeast.

Typically, tearing happens because of:

1. Allergies... food or environmental
2. Teething in young dogs.
3. Round shape of eye that does not move liquid adequately to ducts
4 Clogged or small ducts.

Not much you can do about eye shape (this is why I think so many Minis and Toys tear). Ducts can be checked by an Ophthalmologist. Allergies can be addressed by changing food. Environmental allergies are a pain and may be seasonal.

To inhibit the growth of red yeast, people typically give Tylan which is available via a livestock supply company. This is very effective, but it does mean giving your dog a low level does of antibiotic.

I have never seen any topical product that worked well. I would think that any topical product that promised to remove staining would need to carry some sort of bleaching agent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you cbrand for re-addressing the causes of eye tearing in poodles. I am familiar with what it might cause, because our first poodle was with us for 14 yrs (passed away recently) and he had a similar problem. However, he was silver/grey so stains were not showing that much. With the cream/apricot color, it is a different story :(

I did not know, however, that those stains are caused by yeast. Thank you for this info. I guess my tear stains knowledge got a bit rusty.

I am wondering now, since his eye tearing got worse during the last few days, if MAYBE it is caused by the peanut butter our poodle gets as a treat. I have been giving him a little bit for the last few days, and just today I realized that peanuts are one of the most common allergens. So no PB for now and I will see if he improves.

If not, he will have a physical soon and I will talk to my vet about it. But I remember that with our fist poodle, my vet recommended tear stain cleaner and it did not work. :(

I am just afraid to use baby wipes any longer as they might cause some eye irritation, so I will be using just plain water for now.

Thanks again, cbrand. I appreciate your help and suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just took a pic of his tear stains. Looks really bad IMO.
(he looks weird in this pic, because he would not sit so I had to hold his head)
 

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I have used Diamond Eyes with some success on my papillon, and I know people who swear by a smear of vaseline to keep the hair around the eyes from getting moist. Angel Eyes (the antibiotic based treatment) is no longer allowed to be sold in the UK, but a product called Angels Delight has had good reviews. It was originally developed as a nutritional supplement, so should be safe enough. I am now making my own wash - a pinch of Borax substitute, boiled water and Witch Hazel (which seems to be more or less the recipe of the various washes you can buy). It works if I clean her eyes at least once a day, and dry them thoroughly.
 
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cbrand, I was just in the middle of writing a hand-out sheet for all the clients who ask me how I get rid of tear stains. None of my dogs EVER had stains till I got this little toy cream poodle a year ago. He came with stains at 8 weeks. So of course he got on board the same diet as everyone, went thru teething, vaccinations, neutering and was still staining. I shaved it every 3rd day but it was always WET. I client of my with a horribly stained but beautiful maltese pup put her dog on Angel Eyes and from one groom to the next (6 weeks apart) the face was totally white and not wet and not smelly.

I am now convinced that the ingredient in Angel Eyes (Tylosan as Tartate) is a tiny miracle. I can't tell you how much it infurated me to NEVER be able to clear it up until I broke down and bought this product. I said I would NEVER buy it....because it is a small amount of antibiotic every day. I am following the label directions....I am probably in my 2nd month of using it and I am thrilled to kiss his little face and not smell anything or feel a wet mess on my lips. I really think it was hereditary with him, although his father has a nice clean face, must be his mother. He also seems to have a round eye, not almond shaped.
 

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