I have had some eye challenges myself but thank God mom has me on a raw diet which does appear to help a lot, WOOF! Here is my friend Chiclet’s assessment of the situation:
Mom is finally starting to evaluate her tear stain study. Thank you all for being so patient! I know you all are anxious for answers–so am I–but this is taking longer than expected because our assistant quit without notice one week into the analysis.
One thing we know for sure: this is a health problem, not merely a cosmetic problem. Because of this, no one solution will work. Please don’t cry. We don’t want to have to worry about YOUR tear stains.
Here are a few things we learned:
51.4% of participants said that tear staining began before 1 year of age and continues to present.
More than 90% had tears that were brown, reddish or almost black. A few had yellow or green tearing (generally indicating infection). A few had clear tearing (not usually indicative of infection). 55% said the staining was moderate to very unsightly.
Among treatments, antacids (like Tums) and eye drops were the least affective.
Almost twice as many people said that a change of water did NOT help as said it DID help. Whether it helps tears or not, it is still better in some areas to give purified or spring (not distilled) water. Distilled water is “dead,” with no minerals. It is not recommended for overall health.
71% said commercial products applied externally did NOT clear up the problem; 31.4% said it DID work. Obviously, these products must be continued indefinitely and do not address any underlying causes. No brand names were specified.
42% didn’t know if the products they were using on their floors were safe for dogs. What???? Dogs eat off floors. We lick paws that trot across floors. Please check for products for CHILD SAFETY and get rid of ones that don’t qualify. It may not help tear stains, but it will definitely help your dog.
58% had NOT had their vet check their dog’s eyes. Of the dogs checked, most were given only a cursory look by non-specialists during annual exams. A few were told that very tiny hairs around the eyes caused the tearing. (Mom was told this about me, but most of the time I don’t tear so we’ve done nothing about them.) Obviously, longer stray hairs that can be trimmed away during normal grooming should be removed. Just don’t point scissor points at our eyes or body. Some vets said tear ducts were “small” or “blocked.” Other vets said: “White dogs just do this.” Well, that’s helpful.
——————————————————————————– If you’re using antibiotics for tear stains, but no particular bacteria has not been diagnosed by your veterinarian, it is our opinion, and the opinion of every vet to whom Mom spoke, that you should stop. Indiscriminate antibiotic use leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (putting your dog at danger for future infections). It also kills the good intestinal bacteria which is necessary for good health. Ask yourself: what horrible infection does my dog have that requires long-term antibiotic use? When have YOU ever taken a long, weak course of antibiotics instead of a strong, limited course? Would you take antibiotics non-stop yourself with no proof that you have an infection, and specifically the particular infection that antibiotic treats, and without proof that long-term use is safe? Come on, people. Please don’t do this to us!
How do you know if a product you’re using contains an antibiotic? Humans are tricky: commercial products often don’t advertise that an ingredient is an antibiotic. Our advice: Google the top two or three ingredients–especially the ones you don’t recognize. You’ll have the answer in a flash.
More later…. _______________________________ Permission to reprint granted by Jan Rasmusen, author of Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care. Learn more, and sign up for a free newsletter, click here.
Disclaimer: The content of this newsletter is provided for general information purposes. Any information provided is not veterinary advice and should not be substituted for a regular consultation with a veterinary professional. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, please contact your veterinarian’s office immediately. ________________________________
Have a pawsitively tail waggin’, tear-less, healthy day, WOOF!