The hairs around the eyes may become wet due to a watery eye discharge and/or when the Poodle dips his head down to take a drink.
Tear Ducts Issues-
Red streaking coming down from the eyes may be caused by a problem with the tear ducts. This includes blockage (sometimes caused by lids that roll inward a bit too much and sometimes due to hairs that overgrow) and scaring over the ducts due to former eye infections.
Ear Infection -
While this is not the most typical reason, an ear infection can trigger excessive tearing, which in turn discolors the hairs. If treatments fail, a dog should be checked for this. Other signs are an odd shaking of the head, rubbing ears against surfaces (walls, bedding, flooring) and pawing at the ears.
If a Poodle puppy develops tear stains, this can be due to teething. The process of teeth falling out and larger teeth erupting out from the gums can trigger an effect on the tear ducts and over time this can cause discoloration to the hair.
Tap water can contain a high level of minerals that can in turn cause a problem with staining. Since unfiltered tap water also contains a whole slew of terrible toxins and chemicals, it is always recommended to offer filtered water to both puppies and dogs.
Artificial coloring in food -
Food and treats that are brightly colored can cause a discoloration of facial hairs. This is not 'typical' tear stains but can cause color issues. While this will occur more around the mouth, if a Poodle is dipping his head into bright kibble, it can slowly cause staining on any hairs that routinely come into contact with it.
There are many methods to remove tear stains on dogs that either do not work or have limited success. And owners need to be careful since some home remedies can actually be harmful and cause injury.
Here is what we recommend:
1) If you suspect any of the above mentioned heath issues, have your Poodle examined by the veterinarian.
2) If there are no medical reasons
for the tear stains, the most typical reason will be a red yeast infection that can be treated from home.
3) We suggest AVOIDING the following:
-Corn starch alone or mixed with boric acid. This is very dangerous and can cause quite a bit of irritation to the eyes.
- Vinegar. There is no proof that this works and the flavor can cause a dog to resist drinking an adequate amount of water.
- Tums. This antacid meant for human consumption is sometimes touted as a home remedy for canine tear stains. However, this is packed with calcium and offering too much of this is not healthy.
- Milk of Magnesia (20%), corn starch (20%) and hydrogen peroxide (60%). What this will do, is dye the hair to be lighter but will not resolve the underlying issue.
4) Use a quality, proven and safe canine tear stain remover product. The best product will be one that has all of these factors:
1- It will be an easy topical solution that is easy to apply.
2- It will have a gentle yet effective cleanser.
3- It will have a gentle yet effective astringent.
4- It will have an herbal antibacterial agent
5- It will be formulated to be safe for dogs of all ages - from young puppies to the senior dog and every age in between.
6- It will not contain bleach, peroxide, or harsh chemicals.
If you would like to see our list of recommendations, along with reviews, look to 'Grooming' in the Poodle Specialty Shoppe
5) If the tear stains do not clear up, it is best to have the veterinarian take a look. In some cases, a dog will need a prescribed antibiotic to resolve the issues.
This may include Tetracycline (usually a 10 day course and should not be given to puppies that are teething since it can cause permanent staining to teeth that have yet to erupt), Flagyl (this anti-diarrhea medication is sometimes used off label to combat tear staining in a 2 week course), Lincocin (a strong antibiotic for dogs that do not show improvement with other medications) or Ak-Trol (an eye drop solution that contains neomycin, polymyxin B and dexamethasone which can be used on dogs of all ages).