Dealing with Shih Tzu Tear Stains

Perhaps tear stains are one of the most common health issues pet owners deal with. Some may even think that these dark stains are even part of the normal breed standards of the Shih Tzu when in fact these markings need to be addressed early. Ignoring them can lead to permanent discoloration which can serve as a good medium for bacterial and yeast proliferation.
The most frequent culprit in tear stains is red yeasts. These are one celled organisms which produce red pigments when they metabolize nutrients. They usually love to grow on moist environments where there is an increased salt concentration that is why they grow best on the area around the eye. It is best to bring your pet to the veterinarian so he can be given the right antibiotics to stop yeast growth. If antibiotics are not effective, your vet may discuss other treatment options such as surgery. Moreover, the pigments in plastic water and food bowls can contribute to formation of tear and facial stains of Shih Tzu. Upon contact with water or food, these pigments are released and gets onto the fur on the face. It is better to use stainless steel or ceramic made bowls which are small enough to prevent the dog’s face into splashing onto the water or food. Also wipe your dog’s face after mealtime to stop bacterial and yeast proliferation. Furthermore, avoid colored treats and just give your dog the white or light cream kibbles. You can also try home cooked dog meals which are colorless. Make sure to also not to give tap water with high iron content as this also causes staining. Bottled water is preferred to give to your pets and also, iron laden water is also not healthy for you.
You can actually try to remove the stains yourself by using a solution of boric acid and cornstarch – just make sure it will get into the eyes and get licked by another dog, ¼ powdered buttermilk added to dog food or commercial tear stain remover. For the stain remover, keep in mind that you should follow the label instructions especially about the frequency of application to get observable results.