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What to do about tear stains

May 6, 2014, 2:02 PM
Q: I have a female white Maltese Puppy. She is 7 months old and weighs 6.5 lbs. When I first got her, she didn't have any problems with red tear stains. As she has gotten older I have noticed that the red tear stains have increased and they are almost impossible to remove. My sister also has a little male white Maltese puppy and she doesn't have the problems with tear stains that I have with my little one. In fact, there are no tear stains and his little face is bright white. I have read up on supplements to cleaning products which don't really work. What should or shouldn't I be doing to correct this problem? What causes these stains in white pups?
A: Tear staining is caused by a reaction between the chemical nature of the tear and the proteins in the hair. The chemical makeup of tears varies from dog to dog, that is why some white dogs have no problem and others do. There are cleaning type products available but they rarely work. The most reliable products are added to your puppies food and act by changing the makeup of the tear. These products can stop further staining but the already stained hair has to grow out which means you must use the product for a month or so before you see the full benefit. Two of the more commonly used products are "Angel Eyes and White Eyes" There are also several herbal products now available. These products are safe to use and will work for the majority of affected puppies.