There are several small white dog breeds that have become very popular as pets. Such as Maltese dogs, which not only make wonderful companions for all kinds of families, but their beautiful white coat makes them aesthetically very nice.
Unfortunately, such a brilliant whiteness requires special attention, as it stains easily. Many white dog breeds, apart from the Maltese, have the same problem when it comes to their eyes. The natural leakage of tears from their tear duct creates dark spots around the eye in their white coat. Let’s find out a little more about it!
Why does my Maltese have tear stains around his eyes?
While white dog breeds have the most visible tear stains around the eyes, they are not the only ones prone to this condition. Yorkshire Terriers (or Yorkies) are also known to suffer from this problem. In fact, many dogs of many breeds have some form of spotting around the eyes, but they are simply not as visible as a white-coated dog such as a Maltese.
The dark spots that occur around the eyes of the Maltese are usually not serious and the major result is the effect on their physical appearance. The fluid in the tear ducts will leak out, leaving traces of iron, magnesium and other minerals that make up part of the tears. When the tear fluid comes into contact with air it oxidises, leaving brown stains that can give the dog a rather sad appearance.
Problems occur when the tearing is excessive or the hair around the eyes is always wet. It can cause fungus and bacteria to grow. Both make the patches darker and pose a potential health threat if the eye becomes infected.
Increased tear duct leakage leading to staining can be due to a number of reasons, including:
- Allergies: As with people, dogs can be allergic to almost anything. Allergies affect dogs in a number of ways, but increased tearing is one possible symptom. You can also look for other symptoms such as excessive scratching. If you think your dog has allergies, you should take him to the vet to determine the cause and get him away from whatever is causing his allergy.
- Blockage of the nasolacrimal duct: Something may be blocking his tear duct, a relatively common problem in the Maltese breed. Regular cleaning of the eye area will help prevent this problem, whether you do it at home or ask the groomer to take care of it.
- Loss of baby teeth: In Maltese puppies it is very common for the loss of baby teeth to squeeze the nasolacrimal duct and cause more tears. If this is the reason, it is likely to stop when all the permanent teeth have developed.
- Nutritional deficiencies: What your dog eats and drinks is vitally important to their health. If they are not getting the right amount of vitamins, protein and other nutrients they need to stay healthy, this can affect their eyes.
These problems can happen to almost any dog, but we may not notice the spots around their eyes as easily. To prevent these spots from getting worse and causing an infection in your dog’s eyes, don’t hesitate to see your vet for a check-up and prescribe the best products to heal your dog’s eyes.