|Posted by Lori Woodruff on March 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM|
With spring often comes allergies. Allergies in dogs are different than in people, as they exhibit as itching, tearing and licking, rather than sneezing like humans.
Be ready to ask your vet and tell your groomer at the first sign of allergies. Special shampoos will sometimes prevent making things worse as we can change shampoos if we know there is something amis. A shampoo that worked well before will often not help at all if your groomer does not know that the dog is itchy.
Your vet can often help you nip allergies in the bud if you get help before hot spots, dry skin and sores open up. Sooner is so much better than later to deal with allergies.
We are often asked about tear stains. Our best advice is first, check with your vet for eye or tooth problems, which can lead to excessive tearing. Once again, allergies can cause staining, mostly from licking, but also from eye drainage.
Excessive tearing often causes the increase in eye drainage that will stain your dogs face, when normal tearing will not be noticed. Dry eyes, with not enough tears, can cause itching of the eye and swelling and redness as there are not enough tears to flush out irritants.
Too many or too few tears can easily be remedied by your vet. Check with your vet to make sure tear production is normal and there is no infection in the eye, of the third eyelid, tissues around or in the eye, or an abscessed tooth that can cause problems.
Then check your food for red color. Avoid foods with artificial colors and if you have excessive iron in your water, that may contribute as well.
White hair is actually hair with an absence of color. All animals will excrete excessive iron in the saliva and tears. It often shows up more on white dogs. Removing extra sources of iron, like in drinking water, may help, but do not expect miracles.
Dogs with white hair often have finer hair, and it just grabs the excreted iron and it effectively DYES the hair. Then all you can do is try different things and the hair should grow out white again once you fix the problem, IF THERE IS ONE.
It is possible that there IS NO PROBLEM and that the stains are normal for your dog. But do not bet on it and do not be afraid to ask your vet. One good way to see if it is normal is to look inside your dogs ears. If they are red inside, have an odor, you most likely have a problem the vet needs to see and whatever the problem turns out to be, it is causing the face to be stained as well.
Eliminating causes of eye irritation is the first step. Hairs that poke into eyes, excessive tears that are not wiped off, dust and bad teeth are the most common problems. Fleas will cause eye tearing as fleas like to get in the eyes. That causes excessive tearing. Take care of those things, go see your vet, get rid of dye in the food, iron in the water, add some vinegar and see what happens.
Finally, Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon in a gallon of water for drinking will do several things. It helps repel fleas, it balances the Ph in your dogs system which may help with only eye stains and yeast based ear infections as well.