Introduction: Understanding Tear Stains in Dogs
Tear stains are a common issue among many dog breeds, and they are often a cause of concern for pet parents. These stains appear as reddish-brown streaks or marks under the eyes of dogs and can be unsightly. However, it’s essential to understand that tear stains are not harmful to dogs, and they do not affect their health. Tear stains are usually caused by an overproduction of tears or the inability of the dog’s tear ducts to properly drain the tears away from the eyes.
Anatomy of a Dog’s Eye: What Causes Tear Stains?
The anatomy of a dog’s eye is similar to that of humans. Dogs have tear glands located in the upper and lower eyelids that produce tears to keep their eyes moist and healthy. The tears then drain into the tear ducts, which lead to the nasal cavity, where the tears are eventually expelled. Tear stains occur when the drainage of the tears is disrupted, and the tears accumulate under the eyes, leaving a reddish-brown stain.
Tear Production: How Much is Normal for Dogs?
Tear production varies among dogs and depends on several factors, such as age, breed, and overall health. However, on average, dogs produce about 10-20 ml of tears per day. Puppies and senior dogs may produce less, while some breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, may produce more. It’s important to note that excessive tear production does not always result in tear stains. Factors such as tear duct blockage and poor tear drainage can also cause tear stains.