Normally, a dog’s eye has small holes that allow extra tears to drain away from the eye and down into the throat. Sometimes, a dog may have what appear to be tear stains running down their faces.
This is not something to ignore. The American Kennel Club (AKC) wrote that tear stains under the eyes of a dog may be related to a health issue, blocked tear ducts, ear infections, allergies, puppy teething, and the shape of the eye. Some dogs may have a shallow eye socket, and the tears will spill out onto the fur. If your dog has eyelids that are turned inward, the drainage holes of the tears could become blocked.
Excess hair growth around the eye may cause the tears to be moved away from the eye and onto the fur. A blocked tear drainage hole from an infection or eye damage can prevent proper drainage of tears. Only your veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist can diagnose these issues. Some dogs have a reddish tear stain which is caused by porphyrins, an iron-containing compound that is a waste product from the breakdown of red blood cells.
Dogs can get rid of the porphyrins in their waste, but some will get rid of them in saliva, tears, and urine. Brown tear stains come from a yeast infection caused by the constant wetness on the dog’s face. So, if you suddenly see your dog has developed tear stains, you should talk to your veterinarian so underlying health conditions can be ruled out.
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