Why do Maltese Get Tear Stains? (Causes, Prevention, and Treatment)

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Maltese dogs are prone to tear stains due to their breed characteristics, such as large, round eyes and shallow eye sockets, which can lead to increased tear production. Excessive tearing can result from various factors, including allergies, irritants, or infections. Blocked tear ducts may also contribute to staining. The white coat of Maltese dogs makes these reddish-brown stains more visible. Diet and water quality can play a role in tear staining as well. Regular grooming and addressing underlying health issues can help manage and prevent tear stains in Maltese dogs.

Causes of Tear Stains in Maltese Dogs

Genetics and Breed Characteristics

Maltese dogs have a predisposition to tear staining due to their breed characteristics. Their large, round eyes and shallow eye sockets can lead to increased tear production and overflow. Additionally, their white coats make the stains more visible compared to dogs with darker fur.

Excessive Tearing

An increase in seepage from the tear duct can lead to staining. This can be due to various reasons, including allergies, irritants, or infections. These problems can happen to almost any dog, but the stains are more noticeable in Maltese dogs due to their white coats.

Blocked Tear Ducts

Blocked tear ducts can cause excessive tearing and staining. This can be a result of inflammation, infection, or physical abnormalities in the tear duct system.

Diet and Water Quality

Diet and water quality can also contribute to tear staining in Maltese dogs. Food and water with high mineral content or artificial additives can cause staining around the eyes.

Prevention and Treatment of Tear Stains

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming is essential for preventing and treating tear stains in Maltese dogs. Gently clean the area around your dog’s eyes with a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball daily to remove any debris and prevent the buildup of stains.

Keep Hair Around Eyes Trimmed

Keep the hair around your Maltese’s eyes trimmed to prevent irritation and reduce the risk of infection. Be cautious when trimming the hair to avoid accidentally injuring your dog’s eyes.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Your vet can help you understand why your Maltese is experiencing tear stains and provide helpful advice on how to prevent and remove the stains safely. Your vet may recommend a tear stain removal product or prescribe medication to address any underlying health issues.

Diet and Water Quality

Ensure your Maltese is on a high-quality diet and has access to clean, filtered water. Avoid feeding your dog food with artificial colors or additives, as these can contribute to tear staining. Some pet owners also find that feeding a grain-free diet can help reduce tear stains.

Eye Care Products

Use eye care products specifically designed to help remove and prevent tear stains in dogs. These products can be used as part of your dog’s regular grooming routine to keep their eyes clean and stain-free. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult your veterinarian before using any new products.

Addressing Underlying Health Issues

If your Maltese dog’s tear staining is due to an underlying health issue, such as allergies or infections, it is crucial to address the root cause. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on the best course of action to treat the underlying issue and prevent further staining.

Maltese Tear Stains Home Remedies

While it’s always best to consult your veterinarian before trying any home remedies, there are some methods that pet owners have found helpful in reducing tear stains in Maltese dogs. Here are a few home remedies you can try:

  1. Clean with a damp cloth: Gently wipe the area around your Maltese’s eyes with a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball daily to remove any debris and prevent the buildup of stains.
  2. Cornstarch: Some pet owners have found that applying a small amount of cornstarch to the stained area can help absorb moisture and reduce staining. Make sure to keep the cornstarch away from your dog’s eyes to avoid irritation.
  3. Hydrogen peroxide solution: Mix equal parts of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide to create a cleaning solution. Dip a cotton ball or soft cloth in the solution and gently wipe the stained area. Be cautious not to get the solution in your dog’s eyes, as it can cause irritation.
  4. Apple cider vinegar: Adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your Maltese’s drinking water can help change the pH of their tears, making it less likely for stains to form. Use approximately one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per one cup of water. Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions, and discontinue use if you notice any issues.
  5. Chamomile tea: Brew a cup of chamomile tea, let it cool, and then use a cotton ball or soft cloth to gently wipe the stained area. Chamomile has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin.
  6. Coconut oil: Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the stained area and gently massage it into the fur. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and can help moisturize the skin.

Final Words

Tear stains in Maltese dogs can be a common issue, but with proper care and attention, they can be managed effectively. By understanding the causes of tear staining and implementing preventative measures and treatments, you can help keep your Maltese dog’s eyes clean and healthy. Always consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and recommendations tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

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