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What causes tear stains? I have read that it is caused by diet. I have also read that it is genetic. Does it only happen with white coated dogs?
 

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I think it can be a mix of genetics and diet. All of my dogs with poodle in them had some sort of issue with their eyes. My maltipoo Jasper has really bad tear stains, but he is a poorly bred dog. His eyes always run and he constantly rubs them. Hasn't mattered what I fed him; the only way I can manage them is try to keep his face clean, which he hates. Miracle's eyes also drain, but she does not get stains. I have seen tear stains on darker colored dogs as well, it just is not as noticeable. Some people have had luck reducing the stains by changing their dog's diet or by using products on their dog's face, but my dogs are just pets and I just do what I can to keep them healthy and comfortable :)
 

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It can happen with any dog. Merlin is apricot and better now because I gave him Angel eyes with Tilosin, in micro doses, for a year or so. They don’t sell it anymore.

Beckie used to have them too (black) but I had her tear ducts unblocked when she was spayed, and it made it better too.

I wipe their faces every other day with regular water and they don’t show any tear stains.

A bad diet probably doesn’t help.
 

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I understand tear stains are the combination of excess tearing, and microorganisms that thrive in the moisture and leave the red stains - which is why paw licking can leave similar stains. Excess tearing can be down to blocked or narrow tear ducts or ingrowing eyelashes (which is why you need a vet check), teething, environmental or food allergies, etc, etc. Staining often improves as the pup matures - bit like a toddler's permanent runny nose clearing up! It can be controlled by keeping the area around the eye clean and dry - easier on a clean faced poodle than some other breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a bunch. I am planning to buy a puppy from Logos White Miniatures in Michigan. On her website she states that her white dogs do not get tear stains. I'm sure she feeds her dogs well, so I wondered if it was something you can breed for or strictly diet.
 

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I have, also heard that giving the dog access to only filtered, or bottled water can help avoid staining. I have had two light colored poodles and neither had eye staining. They were not related to each other. When the female was about 13 she had a cyst removed from her eyelid and after that, she did have tearing on the one eye, but it was never the porphyrin colored stains. I did keep their faces shaved down with a 30,or even 40 blade for most of their lives.
 

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My Pia is a silver toy and has distichiasis or inward growing lashes, environmental allergies and food intolerances all causes for tear stains, it's a battle to keep her face clean during the summer.
 

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With smaller dogs, sometimes it’s simply that the tear ducts which drain the normal production of moisture from the eyes are just too narrow or closed. It may not be excess tear production or allergies or ingrown lashes or quality of water but simply physical problem that impedes the normal physiological behavior.

My tpoo had tear duct that were too narrow. When she was spayed the vet did a procedure to widen the tear ducts but it wasn’t effective. Keeping her face shaved and wiping the area kept her from having stains and dried goop. I just had to keep her clean each day....she was apricot and cleared to a very pale cream color. I hate seeing tear stain marks on dogs.

And it’s not just poodles, but all smaller dogs, more common in toy poodles and less common in minipoos and even rarer in spoos.
 
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