Most people believe tear and beard staining are inevitable in some breeds: Maltese, Bichon, Poodle, Shih Tzu, Chihuahua and many others. But they’re not.
While researching various aspects of holistic dog health care for my book, Scared Poopless, I stumbled upon the “cure” for the tear staining of my first two Maltese. I was able to quickly resolve the staining of my next two little guys as well. I fancied myself quite the Tear Stain Guru, that is, until I adopted Mulligan (shown left). Mulligan’s staining actually worsened in my care and resisted all efforts to control it for more than 18 months. Mulligan is now 95% stain free — and much healthier.
Tear staining in rats, hamsters, cats and even pigs has been studied by scientists, but not in dogs. No one knows the exact mechanism causing staining. Most veterinarians see it as a cosmetic problem and don’t give it much thought. Only people selling remedies think they know what’s happening and truly bizarre Internet myths abound.
As long as there’s money to be made selling untested tear stain “remedies,” research will not likely be undertaken. But promoting long-term antibiotic use to stop staining — while underlying causes go untreated — disturbs me so much that I’m trying to gather hard data on causes and cures. This not a problem of too many tears; it’s a health problem. I’m writing a book on the subject. Won’t you help?
Taking this in-depth questionnaire will likely point you towards some reasons why your dog produces stains. If you have a dog prone to staining, won’t you please take the questionnaire? And please pass it along to friends with dogs that have stains via email and/or social media. It’s time to end this problem once and for all.
Take the survey below or link to it on your tablet or cell phone. If you encounter a technical problem, view the survey on a wider screen here. Please comment below or on Facebook. Note that comments are monitored and tear stain remedy sales links will be deleted.
Related post: Dog Tear Stains: Everything You’ve Been Told is Wrong
Do you have a great photo of your dog’s tear or beard staining? Make your dog famous as a canine health advocate. Send it to us at stopstains at gmail.com.