That Stubborn Tear-Stain Mystery: Solved
As a dog mom of fluffy white dogs for decades on decades at this point in time, there’s one struggle I know all too well: tear stains of the eye and paws!
The good news after much trial and learning: I’ve found a solution that has finally stopped the staining around my beloved cutie, 3.5 year old Maltese Jasper (aka Party Shark and Jaspie, as his Aunt Sloan calls him)’s eyes.
Also to note: we have not had to have an eye surgery which I might add; never worked for my last dog, Georgie. No medication used either.
Tear stains are caused by your dog’s eye structure or certain health issues that can cause your dog to produce too much of something called porphyrin. When there is even just a slight raised amount of porphyrin it causes the excess tears and staining of the paws. This can be caused by excess yeast in the body or infection such as conjunctivitis. The majority of the time it is excess yeast in the body. On top of tear-stain as a visual, these stains sometimes also smell like stinky feet.
Food can cause excess yeast in the body. What foods do you ask? Corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, oats and peas are common sugars and carbs found in many commercial dog foods. These ingredients are especially and particularly found in canned food and kibble. A suggestion if you are a kibble feeder: hydrate your kibble with sheep or goat milk which is a probiotic.
Metals also contribute to yeast so filling up your dog’s bowl with filtered water is essential!
A true and healthy long term solution I have found supportive in more ways than just clearing up tear stains: feeding my dog Jasper a raw diet.
Important note: not all raw diets are equal - nor are dehydrated or freeze dried raw. A little education goes a LONG way in the nutrition department! Health is wealth and we are all about a preventative way of being around here for our pets (and ourself).
Porphyrin can also be caused by too much iron. Therefore, it is important that if your dog is on a raw diet that they have a ratio of at least 70 % muscle meat, 10 % organ, 10% bone and 10% fruit and vegetables.
In being a smart label reader: know that some raw food brands may be lower in muscle meat and then add iron to make up for it, creating higher iron levels which creates more tear stains.
Rotating different types of raw is ideal. In the last year, I have rotated Jasper on a raw food diet of proteins such as Boar, Kangaroo, Turkey, Bison, Beef and Chicken. His raw food contains heart as an organ, giving him adequate taurine with fresh fruits and veggies. I also supplement with Omega 3 and an Antioxidant with Blueberries. I always give him filtered water and his treats are freeze-dried whole ingredients. All of this considered, I can confidently say it has paid off!
Persistence, patience - and EDUCATION is key. This transformation didn’t happen overnight. We had a lot of daily face washes with Groomer and George before we got here :)