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Stains Around Eyes (Tear Stains) April 06, 2005 12:59 PM

Brown stains in the corner of the eye -- or Poodle eye -- is peculiar to some light colored toy breeds. Its exact cause is unknown in many cases. One theory is that the pooling space at the corner of the eye is too small to collect a lake of tears. Another theory is that a low grade infection of the throat works its way up into the lacrimal duct and causes scarring.
To help reduce tear stain, scissor the hair from the inside corner of the eyes and treat with a tear stain remover or a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide (one part to ten parts of water). CAUTION: Peroxide must not be allowed to enter the eye. Mineral oil should be instilled first to protect against accidental contact.
When no underlying disease is found, symptomatic improvement often results after giving the dog a course of broad spectrum antibiotics (Tetracycline). Tetracycline, which is secreted in the tears after oral administration, also binds that portion of the tears which cause them to stain the face. When the improvement is due just to the binding action of the drug, the face remains wet but not discolored.
Surgery may be considered as an alternative. The operation removes the gland of the third eyelid (nictating membrane). This makes a better lake at the inner corner of the eye. It also reduce the volume of tears by removing the tear gland in the third eyelid.
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Stain Cover Cream For Photo's & Shows April 06, 2005 1:05 PM

Bio-Groom - STAIN FREE™ Under Eye Stain Cover Cream - It's a hypo-allergenic under eye stain cover cream. Sort of like make up foundation for dogs.
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EyeEnvy - Tear Stain Remover April 06, 2005 1:14 PM

I read about Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover in a pet magazine and decided to try it. I've seen huge results in just days.

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Re: Stains Around Eyes (Tear Stains) April 12, 2005 4:14 PM

If anyone else has more information on this topic or has found a product or behavior that helps with this issue please post it here.
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No tear stains for black poodles! April 14, 2005 5:00 PM

Hi Lilith.

One of the bonuses with a black poodle!  But I had white ones growing up.  Still, not as much problem as with the smaller sizes.

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 May 11, 2005 1:13 PM

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 August 03, 2005 12:59 AM

Let the pooch get some Eye Envy!!

You know those super duper cute pooches who have that unfortunate red eye gook??? Well now there's a solution!

Check out this happy story - before:


And after!


Click here for more stories and for access to the cure!

While beauty on the inside is what counts most, Modern Pooch is all for eye envy!
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Tear Stains August 12, 2005 4:31 PM

Connie M.
 June 23, 2005 5:33 PM

Lilith - for tear stains I also hear that adding just a couple drops of raw apple cider vinigar to the drinking water of the pet can help. This helps purge toxins out of the body (for humans also) I read it helped for tear stains.

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Cross Post From: Share Your Dog Tips Here

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The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar August 12, 2005 6:26 PM

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is golden liquid concentrated with the healthy goodness of apples. It contains more than 30 important nutrients, 12 minerals, over 6 vitamins, essential acids and several enzymes. Moreover, it has a large dose of pectin for a healthy heart, and thus, healthy as a whole.

ACV is cheap, easy to use and it really benefits our health in numerous ways. ACV can benefit both people and their pets. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal and gives the immune system a good boost. As a high potassium electrolyte balancer, it remineralizes the body and helps normalize the blood’s alkaline acid balance.

ACV is proving most beneficial to people or animals with arthritis because it breaks down calcium deposits in the joints while remineralizing the bones. It has proven to be equally beneficial to dogs with hip dysplasia.

ACV is a good remedy for food poisoning and helpful in digestive upsets. It is also effective for urinary tract infections and it lowers high blood pressure. In fact, daily use of ACV eliminates tear stains around the eyes and nose of pets with white or light-colored fur. For those on diuretics, it is helpful in replacing potassium depletion.

ACV is the natural king of skin remedies. It is wonderful for itching and scratching pets as well as a superb skin and hair conditioner. Good old apple cider vinegar either straight or diluted 50/50 with water can be applied directly to the affected area and allowed to dry. It will eliminate dandruff, rejuvenate hair, skin and help sweeten and balance the pH levels in the body. When giving your pet a bath, shampoo, rinse, then apply ACV either straight or diluted, followed by rinsing with water. Notice, any residue shampoo will be washed out and you will feel and see an increased softness and sheen to the coat. It can be followed with a conditioner of your choice. Taken internally will help the body against arthritis, itching, obesity, bad odor, dry skin, joint problems, lack luster hair and weak immune system. Average dosage for a dog or person is 1/2 oz morning and 1/2 oz. evening. A cat is half that dose. Can be diluted fifty fifty with water, dripped on food. Finicky pets try tiny doses then work up to suggested amount.

For centuries, people have recognized ACV's health benefits to fight infection, promote digestion, and even in fighting osteoporosis. So when you eat that salad with the cider vinegar and oil dressing, you’re reaping large health benefits as well as good taste!

Perhaps the most sought after benefit of Apple Cider Vinegar is the quick, easy weight loss it helps promote. Since it naturally helps your body get rid of excess fluids, helps speed up a slow metabolism and helps to "curb" your appetite. An age old product has been "re-discovered" and is now being used by millions to aid them in their weight loss endeavors. This liquid is highly absorbable so it starts working on you very quickly. You will be on your way to looking and feeling younger.


Thanks Connie M for posting about ACV (above post), which caused me to research it further. - Apple-Cider-Vinegar

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 August 12, 2005 6:36 PM

That was some good research. Thanks for posting that. Glad I was able to suggest something helpful.

Makes me now want to run out and buy some for my own health! LOL I dont know if I could stand drinking it though.

I usaly put some int he pets water dishes every sunday. That is my dogs fasting day. She gets no food, only fresh filtered water with the AC in it.

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Group Thread January 06, 2006 4:18 AM

PLEASE SEE: Poodle Clips / Dog Grooming

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Raw Apple Cider Vinegar March 29, 2006 3:44 AM

I tried the Raw Apple Cider Vinegar option (listed above) with Abby but it didn't work. I put a little in her food for a week but it made her throw up twice and I didn't see any improvement on her tear stains so I stopped using it.

Maybe other people have had better luck using it with their dogs?...

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Clean Tear Duct Area With Warm Cloth March 29, 2006 3:56 AM

Cross Post From Our Group Thread: Tell Us About Your Dog
I changed the font color to red for the parts about tear stains.
Georgia C.
3/9/06 9:17 PM

Dusty is beautiful, and look at those pearly whites.......  Everyone has gorgeous babies!!

Here is my late Bu Bair.  She passed last Mothers Day at the age of 15.  I miss her so much, but I really wanted to share her with everyone.  Abby reminds me of her every time I see her pic.


Oh Wow 3/15/06 6:46 PM

She loves her KONG

Georgia, your beloved Poodle Angel, Bu Bair, looks so much like my Abby! Maybe they're cousins! 

How did you keep her face so white (tear stains)?

I'm so sorry she passed away. I'm sure she lived a long and happy life and you'll see her again someday.


Georgia C.

Bu Bair's eyes 3/26/06 4:55 PM
Lilith, Bu Bair's was my first and only poodle I have had in my life.  She originally came to us by fate.  A BYB was being shut down and we happened to be driving by when we saw the trucks there seizing all the dogs and pups.  She was brown, so we thought she was an apricot that needed a bath real bad.  After her first bath she was a cream color, then subsequent baths revealed a pure white baby.  Her first vet visit my vet said to be a real stickler at keeping her tear duct area clean with a warm wash cloth.  He said their tear ducts frequently close up during their growth to adulthood, so keeping them clear will help them to stay clear as an adult.  As an adult, Bu's were never clogged and never caused the red tear stains you see so frequently on the smaller breeds.  Either my vet was right or  I tend to believe he was right.  
Lilith G.
Re: Bu Bair's eyes 3/29/06 2:59 AM

I wish my vet would have told me that when Abby was a puppy. I asked the breeder, a few different vets and groomers when I first got her and they all told me there wasn't' much that could be done and to try the over the counter tear stain cleaners they sell at pet stores but those really don't work very well. I've never really tried cleaning the actual tear duct with a wash cloth though. I'll give that a try.


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ABOUT TEAR STAINS March 29, 2006 4:17 AM

Many people wonder why some dogs and cats eyes water, which causes a stain on the fur just below their eyes. This condition is called epiphora. When the facial hair is wet from excess tearing it is the breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Not only is it unsightly but may be very irritating to your pet. The staining may also emit a moderate to noticeably strong odor.

Tear staining can be traced to health and diet, as well as genetics. Here are some helpful tips to improve your pets well being:

Keep your Pet Healthy: Have your pet checked at least twice a year by your veterinarian for ear infections and ear mites, gum infections, common yeast or bacterial infections of the eye (especially Red Yeast) and for clogged tear ducts.

Check your Pet’s Diet: Artificial food colorings (dyes), artificial food additives and preservatives, cereals such as wheat can cause allergies in cats and dogs. These allergies can cause tear stains. Also check for face rubbing, licking of front paws, head shaking, and ear inflammations these are other signs of allergies. Water minerals can also add to tear staining. Use bottled or filtered water in a stainless steel bowl.

Keep your Pet’s Eyes Clean: Hair in the eyes can cause infections and irritation. Eyelashes can grow at abnormal angles and rub on the eye. Check your pet’s eyes regularly. Also check for collected dust, stray hairs, and dried tears. Any foreign matter in the eye is likely to lead to tear stains.

Hygiene: Keep your pet’s eyes clean. Always wash your hands first before touching the area around their eyes. Wash your pet frequently. Always make sure you comb them first before washing to remove any knots or matt’s. Keep the shampoo out of their eyes to avoid irritation.

Info From:

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You could also use March 29, 2006 4:33 AM

I have a boxer and when we first got him he had some severe eye problems. And just like poodles boxers tend to have eye irritations. I used a homeopathic remedy and there are several companies that carry them and a few vets that practice homeopathy. I used Eye-C by Dr. Goodpet It worked awesome on Tyson. His eyes healed very well and only around spring time when his allergies act up do I use the drops. I've also used Ark Naturals eye solution to clean the outside of the eyes and it worked well to clean that icky stuff that builds up around the eyes. Both products work great. And even if your dog isn't white you should use something like this to help maintain the health of the eyes. Christina VL Dupuis Volunteer for NERR&R  [ send green star]
Tear Staining - Causes and Cures March 29, 2006 4:54 AM

Background and Causes

Perhaps one of the most frequent questions I am asked about Maltese at dog shows is "what do you do to keep your dog's face so white?" My answer is always multiple in nature.; it includes the multiple causes of tear staining, including excessive tearing, genetics, health and diet, fleas, what the prevention is, and what can be done about it when you have it. But remember the bottom line is . . .  you must understand tear staining and have it under control or removing it will do no good -- it will only come back and may be worse!!!

Excess Tearing -- Red Yeast

Most veterinary eye specialists believe the actual cause of tear staining is excess tearing. When the face hair is wet from excess tearing it is the breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. One of the most common yeast infections is Ptyrosporin or Red Yeast which causes a deep reddish-brown stain. Low grade bacterial infections in the tear ducts are also common and may cause excess tearing and staining.

Blocked Tear Ducts

If you have a Maltese with excessive tear stains and tearing a visit to your veterinarian may be needed. It is not unusual to find that your Maltese may have completely clogged tear ducts which need to be irrigated by your vet. A veterinary opthamology specialist that I discussed tear staining with also indicated that as many as 20% of small dogs, such as Maltese, may be born with lower tear ducts that are physically closed. These may need to be surgically opened.

Ear Infections

Many times a rampant ear infection can be the cause of excessive tearing and staining.  Care needs to be taken that when you Maltese is bathed the ears are dried after the bath. When your Maltese is bathed make sure a good cleansing product that will leave the ears dry is used. Scraggly hairs in the ears should also be removed by plucking or using a forceps to gently pull the hair out.  Frequent cleaning with a product such as Nolvasan Otic can go along way to insuring clean ears and a white face.  There are several good products to use for ear infections -- see the "Cures" section below for these.


I believe that genetics plays a significant role in excessive tearing and staining. Like most everyone with more than one dog I have had Maltese that tear stain. However, my first champion Maltese bitch has had minimal tear staining. When I breed her both of her puppies had no tear staining as baby puppies. The female puppy continued through her championship and a limited specials career with no tear staining. She recently had a litter of 3 puppies and as of 4 months of age they have absolutely no tear staining or facial stain from nursing. One month after this litter of puppies was whelped I had another unrelated bitch whelp. Both were breed to the same sire. The second litter of puppies had tearing and staining from the beginning. The head structure on the two litters is different. Many veterinary eye specialists believe that the actual structure around the eye area plays a significant role in excessive tearing. I feel there is a genetic predisposition toward tear staining. Being selective in Maltese breeding stock can play a significant role in tear staining.

Cutting Teeth

Maltese will cut their adult teeth any time form 5 months to 8 months of age. During this time the head structure and mouth are under going many changes causing pressure on the tear ducts. Many Maltese puppies who have had no previous tear stain problems will during this time. It is most important to keep the facial hair as dry as possible and frequently wash it to help keep yeast and bacteria under control. The good news is that when the adult teeth are in this will go away if you have kept it under control. Make sure your Maltese has plenty of chew type of toys to help relieve the pressure on the mouth during this time.

Irritation & Allergies 

Eliminating excess tearing is one of the best ways to stop staining. Maltese owners should pay attention to the hair around the face and prevent hair from falling into the eyes causing irritation and infection. 

Maltese can be susceptible to allergies so watch the environment your Maltese is in. I have heard from other Maltese owners whose dogs previously had sparkling white faces and overnight tear stained when in a hotel room with a friend who smoked. It also is important to be extra careful when bathing you Maltese. Shampoo and other chemicals in the eyes can cause irritation and excess tearing. I use a little DuoLube -- basically sterile mineral oil -- to protect my Maltese dogs' eyes when I bathe them. You can find this human product in the eye care section of most drug stores.  

My vet believes that many times a "sub-clinical" allergy so something as simple as a type of food can cause an allergy which is an inflammatory reaction.  The inflammatory reaction can change the pH fluid in your dogs systems causing excessive tearing and potentially allergies.

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Tear Staining - Causes and Cures March 29, 2006 4:57 AM



The water in many areas has a high mineral level. If your Maltese drinks from a water dish and your local water has a high mineral content you may find the entire face and beard stained. I have solved this by training all my dogs to drink from a water bottle. This also keeps the face dry. I start training puppies to drink from a water bottle when they are weaned. Alternatively, a Maltese can be placed on purified or commercial bottled water.

Food & Treats

Diet can play a significant key role in tear staining. I find that feeding a dry kibble that is natural with no additives, preservatives or food color in it seems to aid in maintaining white stain free faces. Many commercial dog foods contain beep pulp which can cause staining of the face and beard. I also keep my show dogs' face hair in wraps so that their food does not come into contact with their hair. If facial hair is not wrapped it needs to be washed on a regular basis to removed any left over partially digested food.


Another potential source of tear staining is fleas. If you read the directions on most flea shampoos they suggest starting the shampoo with the head. Why -- because fleas need moisture to survive and get this from the dogs' tears/eyes. Naturally, this can cause an irritation in addition to red stain from the fleas' left behind feces (which contains digested blood). Another problem that comes with fleas is ear mites. These are carried by the fleas. Ear mites can cause severe ear infections and as a result tear staining. Fleas require a pro-active approach to keep under control. 

Cures For Tear Staining

Before a Maltese owner attempts to remove the tear staining from a dog's face it is most important to have eliminated the source of the staining. Otherwise it will just come back and many times it will be worse than before. Once the source of excessive tearing and staining is found a pro-active program to remove the staining can begin. After insuring that health, irritation, environment, water and diet issues have been eliminated as a source of excessive tearing you can begin to think about removing the tear staining.  

I have found success in eliminating tear staining by putting my Maltese on a ten day course of low dose chlortetracycline or tetracycline. Occasionally this may need to be repeated. However, I do not use this in puppies that have not yet cut their adult teeth. Tetracycline has been shown to cause teeth which have not erupted to permanently stain yellow.

Delta AlbaPlex 
An antibiotic of the tetracycline class, Delta AlbaPlex also contains a low level of steroid (not enough to cause Cushing's Syndrome).  A veterinary specialist in Opthmology recommended this product to me for tear staining as the steroid will help eliminate inflamation that goes along with excessive tearing, thus allowing the  antibiotic a chance to work.

Gentian Violet Flush
One of the best products I have found to deal with "gunky ears" (and in my personal opinion one of the biggest causes of tear staining) is Gentian Violet Flush.  Yes, this is purple but it does not stain the coat.  The place to buy this is from Belcher Animal Clinic, Clearwater, FL, phone:  727-536-6548; email  Using this over about 2 weeks will clear up most ear problems and many times solve a tear staining problem.

TYLAN is the brand name for Tylosin, a veterinary antibiotic that is FDA approved for fowl (chickens/turkeys) and swine (pigs). This is used primarily to treat respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Many Maltese people have found that this product can also have some beneficial effect in controlling tear staining in Maltese. You can purchase this from Omaha Vaccine. See Dog Shopping and Services page for their phone number.

Flagyl (Metronidazole) is an anti-diarrhea medicine commonly used in dogs to treat yeast or Giradia infections causing irratible or inflammatory bowel syndrome.  This can also be very effective in the treatment of tear stains, particularly when the staining is the result of red yeast.  This is given for 2 weeks.  You will need to see your vet to have this prescribed.

Maltese not responding to tetracycline may respond well to Lincocin. The typical dose of this for a Maltese is 50 mg twice a day.

Otomax or Gentamicin sulfate 
Yeast infections in the ears may also be a frequent culprit of tear stain; this generally responds well to OTOMAX (gentamicin sulfate) or liquid drops.

Xonodine Solution 
Manufactured by Veterinary Products Laboratories this product available from your veterinarian is a polyhydroxydine solution with Iodine as the main active ingredient.  It does work well with fungus infections such as yeast in the ears.  Also good as a topical for cuts and abrasions to prevent bacterial infections.

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Tear Staining - Causes and Cures March 29, 2006 5:01 AM


Another useful product is AK-TROL which is a human prescription eye drop containing neomycin, polymyxin B and dexamethasone. AK-TROL is also available in an ointment form. Your vet can prescribe this for your Maltese and can be used before the adult teeth are cut if needed.

Tums is primarily a source of Calcium, known as an antacid formulated as 500 mg Calcium Carbonate. Giving your Maltese 1/2 of the Fruit flavored variety twice a day will help change the pH of the tears. This will change the tears' environment and can help make it hostile for the continued growth of yeast and bacteria. Some Maltese exhibitors also use TUMS with success to control excessive tearing before shows.  There are other brands of 500 mg calcium carbonate that may work as well.

Missing Link
This is an all natural powder that you mix into the animal's food.  It comes in a dog formula, dog and cat formula, and a formula for horses as well.  It works especially well with Maltese that may have an allergy problem causing the excessive tearing/staining.   It is a fatty acid supplement (Omega 3) and in addition to helping the tearing staining its good for your dog's health.  Some have reported seeing results in 1 week to 1 month period of time. See Dog Shopping & Services page for vendors of that sell this product.

Colloidal Silver 
This is a product that is again placed in the eyes and works much like an antibiotic. I have not personally used it but know of others who swear by this. See Dog Shopping & Services page for vendors of this product.

White Vinegar
A teaspoon of white cider vinegar can be added to your dogs drinking water to control new tear stains.  It may take a while for your dog to "decide" to drink this water so start with a little less and gradually increase the amount of vinegar.  Vinegar works much like TUMS in that it can changes the pH of the drinking water.

Removing Tear Staining

If you wish to attempt to remove tear staining from the facial hair there are a several things that can done. There are a number of products available from the dog products suppliers at shows or through mail order that can be used on the facial hair on a daily basis. However, it is my opinion that unless you have minimal staining these products just do not work.

I have several methods that I can suggest to remove tear staining. Care must be taken in using these products or any other chemical solutions to not get anything in the dog's eyes. It is also important to remember that when attempting to removing tear staining you my also be damaging the hair. Before I bleach I make sure I condition the hair well first. What works best for me is Wella Kolesterol. I pack the face furnishings with this for several days before I bleach. After you bleach make sure you neutralize the effects of the chemicals you have used and condition the facial hair after any attempts to remove stain.

capbul2d.gif (224 bytes)  Milk of Magnesia, Corn Starch & Peroxide (20 volume to 40 volume)

Use equal volume of MOM and peroxide, and then use the corn starch to make a good paste of this; put on and work well into the stained area and let dry overnight. Wash out, CONDITION WELL. Keep doing this for several days until tear staining is gone, although I would recommend skipping a day or two between applications if possible. I also like to use a few drops of Nexus KerapHix in this mixture to help with conditioning.

This MOM formula is my personal preference when I do need to remove tearstain color from the face of my dogs.  It works quite well overnight.

capbul2d.gif (224 bytes)  2% Peroxide & Crown Royale Magic Touch

Use the Magic Touch (#1 is best for Maltese) grooming spray concentrate full strength 1:1 with 2%/3% hydrogen peroxide - as opposed to human hair peroxide (formula above).   Mix up enough for a week at a time & keep in a closed bottle.  Use as cotton ball to clean the eyes.  This can be drying to the coat so follow with a conditioner such as Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner (a human product).  This is a longer term lifting of color over a week or two and may need to be conditioned to maintain clear conditions.   Crown Royale's phone # is 1-800-992-5400 and is also available from many vendors at the dog shows.

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Tear Staining - Causes and Cures March 29, 2006 5:05 AM


capbul2d.gif (224 bytes)  Crown Royale makes a product called "WHITENER"

Mix this with human hair peroxide (20 volume to 40 volume) into a paste and again leave on overnight. The Crown Royale Whitener works a lot like MOM/peroxide, it works faster but IMHO it is much harsher -- again, CONDITION WELL. Crown Royale's phone # is 1-800-992-5400 and is also available from many vendors at the dog shows.

capbul2d.gif (224 bytes)  Human hair bleach

There are any number of brands of this. When I started in Maltese a number of years ago my mentor told me ONLY to use Wella Wellite (this is the one in the light blue/turquoise package). Many of the human hair bleaches are very harsh and they all work, but care needs to be used in selecting the bleach to use. A gel based bleach such as Wellite is much gentler than some of the other beaches available. Other products that many have used with success is Quick Blue and Redken.  Like Wellite they are very gentle  products.

I've tried others but always go back to Wellite. When you bleach it is important to use a product such as DuoLube, a sterile mineral oil ointment, in the dogs eyes for protection. You can buy this at most pharmacy/drug stores.

NOTE: Please use caution if you are going to try bleaching -- this is a last resort and one I rarely use. If you are not familiar with this procedure please ask another breeder who is for advice or help. Or drop me an email ( and I'll give you some more information.

capbul2d.gif (224 bytes)  #1 All Systems Whitening Gel

This is a gel product that contains a mild bleaching agent.  It is applied to the facial hair and left to dry.  It takes several applications to work, but will also gently help lift some color from the hair.  Please see Dog Shopping page for vendors of #1 All Systems products.

When I use a bleaching product one of the things I ALWAYS do is follow up with JOICO Phine (this is a human hair product).  This is a chelating conditioner that will help remove all traces of the bleach product.  It is most important to get all traces of the beach from the hair.   I you do not and then dry with moderate heat the bleach can "frizzle" the hair causing irreversible damage.

The bottom line of removing tearstain color is CONDITION CONDITION CONDITION. I also use 40 volume peroxide most of the time. My personal hairdresser told me that if your going to bleach 20 volume is just as bad for your hair as 40 volume -- the color comes up faster with 40 volume. The DAMAGE you do to the hair -- and yes bleaching can do damage -- is the same with 20 volume as 40 volume. It depends on how long bleach is on the hair (time) as to the amount of damage and it is shorter with 40 volume -- hence less damage. Cream peroxide and gel peroxide are less harsh than the liquid variety.

And finally, don't be impatient. If you have a face that is badly stained it may take several attempts to bring the color back up to white. Do it several days apart and in between CONDITION CONDITION CONDITION

Where to Find Products

Human Hair Products - Bleach, conditioners, etc. Look for a Sally beauty supply -- this franchise chain store is in many areas (strip malls) of the US and carries reasonably priced products. If you don't have a Sally look for a strip/mall type of beauty supply store.

Dog Supplies & Services - I've had so many people ask over the years where to buy products I suggest. So, I started collecting the names, phone numbers and now web sites. Go have a look -- this page is always growing.

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Tear Staining - Causes and Cures March 29, 2006 5:08 AM


Yellow Stains (urine) & other stains on feet

Okay, I know this article is about tear staining, but I have so many people ask what to do about urine and other types of stains on paws I decided to include this "fool proof" formula.

It is not unusual for Maltese to stain yellow on their feet from urine, mud and other things. A good formula to remove this yellow color is one made of 50% liquid Woolite and 50% human hair peroxide (20 volume), dilute this 50% with water, add a little conditioning shampoo. Shampoo this mixture into the stained portion of the coat and let remain for 3 to 5 minutes. Wash out and shampoo and condition as normal.

By: Bobbie Linden, Bhe-Jei Maltese

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Big Eyes April 15, 2006 10:16 AM

Chihuahuas and other large bug-eyed breeds have the tearing problem due to little to no  room for the tear ducts to  work correctly.  [ send green star]
Tear Stains December 11, 2006 5:29 PM

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Question December 25, 2006 5:46 AM

I have a question. Tear stains seem to afflict light-colored poodles. Does that mean that black or grey poodles don't have the same tear problems, or, that the stains are just not as noticeable?


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 December 25, 2006 5:23 PM

I would think its because their stains are just not as noticeable. When i was researching show breeders before buying Lil, many of them said "drier" eyes, and many of them specialized in darker colored poodles. It must be a common problem. Lil does not have a big problem with that. Tippi, our pom, did and we used tear stain wipes every day, you can get them at pet stores. Lexi, our yorkie has a little bit but to a lesser degree, a couple times a week takes care of it.  [ send green star]
 December 26, 2006 4:13 PM

Thank you Erika.  [ send green star]
not just light colored dogs February 01, 2008 10:58 AM

I've groomed many dark colored dogs that have a lot of brownish "gunk" around the eye area.  It's not real noticeable, but I always clean around the eyes with a wash cloth and a lot of times you can see it on the cloth. even when you couldn't see it on the dog. 

I have used Eye Envy with great results for my own white poodles.  I've also switched their food to Eagle Pack Holistic, so I can' say exactly what got rid of them, but I'm happy to say they are gone!

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 October 26, 2008 8:35 PM

I found a white toy poodle in the streets weeks ago and she has the discoloration around her eyes as well. I wanted to get some information about that and ended up here. I'm blown away to see that people would actually bleach a dogs face just for the looks! On top of it with bleach people use to dye their hair! Just to get them look whiter! What is wrong with you people? This is how far we've come. Be happy your dog is healthy and maybe worry about things that are really important in live...

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I would never use bleach November 04, 2008 9:48 PM

    I would have to agree with you about using bleach. I would never use bleach or any harsh product on any dog, aspecially around their eyes.  I copied that artical into this topic because of all the useful info about the cause of tear stains.

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 November 18, 2008 12:59 PM

I used Eye Envy on Dalí a while ago and it didn't worked

Then I started him on Angel's Eye and he stil has some stains around his eyes! This are stubborn stains!

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 November 18, 2008 1:01 PM

my groomer suggested something called Blueberry facial scrub. I'm thinking about it

Dali 009.jpg

though his stains have cleared some after using the Angel Eyes

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 September 29, 2009 2:41 AM

Hi all

The tylosin based products are very effective but by using them you are technically breaking the law- the original makers of Tylan- Elanco never applied for use on dogs, hence there is no official research into long term use.

As a quick/short term fix I might be tempted to use it were it not banned in Europe.

In some respects it is a shame that people are still using antibiotics to help with dog tear (and beard) stains .There are now a number of natural products that work just as well.

Again these are powders that you add to your dog (or cat's) food.

Some of these natural tear stain removers are actually good for your dog. This is an important consideration given that NO product will prevent the stains when you stop using it.

At best it may be the case that Angels Eyes is not bad for your dog, but in no way can it be said to be good for your dog (staining aside).

Two of the best that I am aware of are

1. Angels Delight from Bichon Hotel

2. NaturVet Tear Stain Remover

I use Angels Delight- it did that a week or two longer than Angels Eyes to work but, hey, I dont care because it is full of good stuff!!!

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Dangers of Using Tylosin for Tear Stains March 03, 2010 4:48 PM

Dangers of Using Low-Dose Tylosin or Tetracycline to Control Tear Stains  

World-renowned veterinarian, Dr. Stanley Marks, has very generously answered my questions on the dangers of using low-dose tylosin (tylan) and tetracycline to control tear stains. If you're using an antibiotic, or an antibiotic product like Angel Eyes or Angel's Glow, I urge you to read on.

My Question:
  Dr. Marks, I am researching the long term use of low-dose tylosin by people trying to rid their dog of tear stains. I’m told you use tylosin a great deal for chronic canine diarrhea and know more about it than anyone. To clear up tear stains, people give this antibiotic (and also tetracycline) in unknown strengths for years and sometimes even for the life of the dog. I am concerned that not only aren't underlying causes of epiphora [excess tearing] being addressed, but also that antibiotic resistance and dysbiosis may result. I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on long-term use of tylosin for cosmetic purposes.

The veterinarian: Dr. Stanley L. Marks, BVSc, PhD, Board certified in Internal Medicine (subspecialties of Internal Medicine and Oncology) and Veterinary Nutrition; Professor, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Director of the Companion Animal Gastrointestinal Laboratory; Speaker of the Year: 2003 North American Veterinary Conference

Note that I added the highlighting in his response for emphasis of important points.

Response from Dr. Marks:  The notion of using tylosin to eradicate tear stains is a bizarre and concerning application of this antibiotic. Your concerns regarding the long-term repercussions are spot-on -- emerging antibiotic resistance (especially when using suboptimal doses of the drug) and potentially dysbiosis.

We use tylosin for antibiotic-responsive diarrhea (ARD) in dogs, for the management of colitis, and for the management of Clostridium perfringens-associated diarrhea. In each of these maladies, we use the recommended dose of drug for the shortest possible time. This can be a challenge with ARD, as many dogs need prolonged administration of the drug for this specific condition.

We have looked at antibiotic resistance against tylosin in dogs with C. perfringens-associated diarrhea, and the good news is that the incidence is extremely low at the moment. This however is likely to change with suboptimal dosing of drug given for months to years.

The use of tetracycline for the clearing of tear stains is even more concerning, as this specific antibiotic has been associated with a very high incidence of antibiotic resistance in people, and we were able to show that 21% of canine C. perfringens isolates were resistant to this antibiotic. Of greater concern, tetracyclines have been associated with the conjugative transfer of resistant plasmids from one bacterium to another unrelated bacterium! *


* Important: If bacteria A learns how to resist, say, tetracycline, it can pass this information to other bacteria who may also learn to resist it. This can render the tetracycline ineffective in multiple situations. Wikipedia says: "If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug."   

Back to Tear Stain Homepage for more on antibiotics and tear staining

Back to Dogs4Dogs Homepage

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Tear stain products June 19, 2012 10:27 AM

I am also not sure of the effects of long term use of Tylosin, however I used a tear stain removal product on my poodle Lolly and her tear stains are completely gone. I used the product for only 3 months. It has been 1 year and her tear stains have still not returned. The product is called Pets Spark. Here is the link if anyone would like to check it out.

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 June 20, 2012 1:18 PM

you do realise that Pets Spark is tylosin antibiotic based and made by Angels Glow? 

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Pets Spark is not made by Angels Glow July 12, 2012 8:28 AM

Actually Angels glow was made by the owner of Pets Spark. There were two owners and they ended up going their separate ways. Check out the our story on Pets Spark website. It explains everything. Also you only have to use Pets Spark for 3 months. So you don't have to worry about effects from long term use of the anti-biotic

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BUT Pets Spark and Angels eyes are owned by the same woman July 14, 2012 5:32 AM


Sorry I don't understand your post. Eliana Ellern is the exclusive owner of both Angels Eyes and Pets Spark. Hence my post that PS and AE are made by the same people.

With regard to antibiotics, other than the risk of bacterial resistance due to prolonged use, there is equally risk from underdosing. Too little can be as dangerous as too much.

Tylosin tartrate is not FDA approved, it is a prescription only item, that is to say it is illegal to administer without a veterinary prescription. If you contact the FDA they will verify this

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