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Tear stains

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Pomeranian
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Pomeranian Tear Stains

Overview

Some Pomeranians will require some extra care around the eye area to prevent and remove tear stains. Here, we will go over:
  • What tear stains are
  • What causes these to appear
  • How to remove them and keep them away, to have your Pom's eye area looking beautiful
* Do you already know what these are and have ruled out all possible triggers? If so, you may wish to jump right How to Remove Tear Stains on a Pomeranian.

What are Tear Stains

Appearance: There will be discolored hairs under and around a dog's eyes.

The hairs can be pink, red, rust, or a brown color. 

Sometimes, but not always, the hairs will also have a different texture. They may feel crispy or hardened. And if you were to take a tiny face comb to them, it may be difficult to comb them with ease.

Age of onset: Tear stains can develop at just about any age. However, these are much less common with new puppies since they have not been exposed to the triggers for very long. 
And/or there has not been enough time for the stains to build up.

This are also less common with older adult Pomeranians (5, 6, 7 years) as long as there have not been any changes in care. 

This is because if an owner has been taking steps (knowingly or not) to avoid these from developing and/or has been performing regular upkeep on the eyes, stains will be kept at bay. 

What these are and are not:

It is important to note what tear stains are not. They are not a natural color. If you have a Pomeranian puppy and he developed darker rings or streaks of color right around his eyes as he has matured, this is not a natural occurrence. 

When hairs around the eyes are rust, brown, or pinkish, this means that lighters hairs that should be visible are being covered up by stains (technically yeast, more ahead).

If you work to remove them, you'll see that your Pom is not supposed to have that coloring, and his eyes will look beautiful once the discoloration is gone. 
pomeranian-no-tear-stains
No matter the color of your Pom, his eye area should match
his facial hairs like this little cutie;
there should not be any sort of staining under or around his eyes. 
If so, this means that it's time to take steps to clear up the stains
and prevent them from returning.
Bella, photo courtesy of Frances Behrens
And it's important to know what these are.  In just about all cases, this is a matter of red yeast. Red yeast thrives on damp hairs. And it is easy for this to occur with dogs. 

Here is what happens: 

1. All it takes is a very small amount of tearing. A Pomeranian does not need to have excessive runny eyes (though he may). 

2. As a tear drips down, it causes tiny little hairs around the eyes become and stay wet.

3. Moisture that remains around the eyes sets up the perfect breeding ground for red yeast. And this is what most stains are. 

4. And if they are not removed, the red yeast will keep growing. Stains will become darker, thicker, and even more difficult (but not impossible) to remove. 

What Causes Tear Stains on a Pomeranian - Triggers for Tearing

1) For you to find success, it is vital to note that while the technical cause is red yeast, you need to fix the cause of the yeast, which is eye tearing. 

This is true whether your Pomeranian has such light tearing that you never notice any tears coming down from his eyes at all (applicable in most cases)... or if your Pom has excessive tearing. 

2) Also, when you want to get rid of tear stains on your Pomeranian, it is important to take note of all of the possible causes. This is because if you work on just one of the elements, you may see limited results.

For many Poms, there is more than one trigger. So, you will want to carefully assess each possible reason, and take steps to resolve it if applicable. 

If you just jump right to the treatment and do not work on the cause, even if you remove them they will probably come back. 
The causes for tear stains include:

Inferior food. What a Pomeranian eats will have major effects on many elements. Inferior food can cause upset stomach, poor skin and coat health, and issues like tear stains. 

Cheap grains and any sort of artificial additive such as artificial coloring, preservatives, or flavoring can be the trigger. 

What to do: If you are not 100% sure that your Pom is eating the best food possible, it will be time to reassess what you are feeding him. One of our newest recommended kibbles is Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free for Small Breeds, which is really fantastic. 

It has no grain, wheat, soy, corn, or by-products. There is no artificial coloring, flavoring, or preservatives. And it has no fillers. 

Wholesome ingredients include turkey, chicken, potatoes, peas, flaxseed, spinach, broccoli, carrots, apple, blueberries, kale, and sweet potato.

It has glucosamine and chondroitin (important for joint health since the Pomeranian breed is prone to joint issues), and Omega 3's which is wonderful for skin and coat health.

This is perfectly sized for small dogs, and is made in the USA. 
Water with heavy mineral content. There is a vast number of reasons why it is recommended to never give your Pomeranian straight tap water.

First, take note that:
  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 316 chemicals in tap water throughout the US and 202 are not even regulated.
  • It was widely announced in 2016 that chromium-6 (the known carcinogen that the Erin Brockovich movie brought to light) was found in 31 states, affecting over 200 million people.
  • Tap water can legally contain everything from pesticides, to traces of prescription meds, to factory run-off. 
  • Many cities are still adding fluoride which is a known toxin to dogs. 
And if that is not reason enough to make a change, the often high mineral content found in tap water can lead to tear stains. 
white-pomeranian-tear-stains-removed
Maximus, photo courtesy of Rocelle Maliksi 
Which, really is the least of your concerns if your Pom is ingesting all of those horrible toxins. 
What to do: There are 3 options. 1) You may wish to install a filtering system to your kitchen sink. 2) You may wish to use a filtering water pitcher like the Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher, which is proven to remove chromium-6 and fluoride, among other things. You fill with your tap water, but as it is poured out it is cleaned. 

Or 3) only give your Pom spring water (often easiest when obtained by the gallon). 
Plastic bowls. Even BPA-free plastic bowls can cause issues. There can be a slow discoloration to the nose and it can cause tear staining. 

Only use stainless-steel bowls like the Best Bone Double-set Stainless Steel Pet Bowls, which are really cute because the two bowls are held in a set via a sturdy mat, which keeps them in place and is mess-free, plus these come in both extra-small and small, so you can have perfectly sized bowls for a Pom puppy or adult.

Another option is ceramic bowls; the only downside to ceramic is that they are not shatterproof. 
Health issues that are causing the eyes to tear.  It is never normal for a Pomeranian to have noticeable tearing. So, if your Pom is having moderate to severe runny eyes, you will want to first have this diagnosed and treated. If not, removing the tear stains will be an uphill battle. 

Some of the more common issues include:
  • Allergies - There are many types of allergies a Pom can have and all can cause runny eyes.
  • Eye lash issues - An eyelash(es) can be inverted or be growing abnormally, which causes eye irritation and tearing. 
  • Tear duct issues, including partial or fully blocked tear duct
  • Eye infection, this includes conjunctivitis and infection due to injury
  • And less common but possible issues like tumors

How to Remove Tear Stains on a Pomeranian

Once you are sure that you have looked over all possible triggers, have made changes if applicable, and do not believe that your Pom is suffering from a health issue that would need to be resolved first, it will be time to get rid of those tear stains for good. 

There are two parts to this. 

#1 Wipe the eye area 2 to 3 times per day. This is vital and is for both treating the stains and preventing them from reoccurring. 

It is suggested to do this after each meal, as both a way to clean the face after your Pom eats, and as a way to remember to do this. 

Use a quality canine eye wipe like Earthbath Specialty Eye Wipes for Tear Stains and Cleaning. Be sure to choose the eye wipe and not the teeth/gum wipes (they appear side-by-side). 

We like Earthbath because  it is made with natural ingredients, gentle, is hypoallergenic, and is both lanolin and alcohol free. 
#2 Use a tear stain remover. While there are several options, we really like the Eye Envy solution. This has zero bleach or peroxide and works using safe but closely-guarded proprietary ingredients (so no one else can copy their effectiveness). 

Please note: There are two Eye Envy products. Some people have used just one or the other and have seen good results & you may as well; but, these are meant to work together.

1- First, the Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover Solution. This is used to wet down the tear stains. You can opt to obtain this with the little eye applicator pads, which makes it easy to apply. 
2- Then the Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover Powder is applied. Using the liquid solution first helps the powder stay in place and really do its job. You may find that a good method for applying this is to use a small makeup brush.

If you use Eye Envy, we recommend applying this at night, right before your Pomeranian is going to go to sleep. It can be used 2 to 3 times per week. 

You should start to see a difference in 1 to 2 weeks, and with consistent use and by taking the previously mentioned steps of ruling out triggers & using a daily wipe, the stains can be dramatically reduced or even 100% gone within 4 weeks.  

Summary

Since the Pomeranian breed is known for some rather dramatic color changes, it is not uncommon for owners to assume that new color around the eyes is normal. But, it is not. 

Any pink, rust, brown, or reddish coloring just under or around the eyes, with or without a crispy texture, is most likely an issue of tear stains that are preventing your Pom from looking as beautiful as he or she is meant to look.

By taking steps to removes all possible triggers, keeping up with wiping the face 2 to 3 times per day - it only takes a few seconds! and should be a normal part of your Pomeranian's grooming, and by staying committed to applying an effective removal product, your Pom can be looking his/her best in no time. 

If your Pomeranian puppy or dog has excessive runny eyes and the changes that you make are not helping, this is your signal to take your Pom to the veterinarian. 
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