If we discover that our dog has a spot under the eye that has not just disappeared, it is normal for us to worry. In this Dogsis article we will explain why this spotting occurs and how to fix it.
Index of contents
- 1 What is the epiphora?
- 2 Obstruction in the canine lacrimal drainage system
- 3 Why do tears stain my dog’s eye?
- 4 How to make the spots under the eye disappear
What is the epiphora?
The epiphora, tearing, or watery eye It can be defined as the overflow of the watery or mucous ocular secretion that will come out of the eye and run down the face, in the form of a trickle from the inner part of the eye.
There are different conditions that can cause this phenomenon and all of them will need veterinary treatment.
Some diseases that occur with abundant secretion are conjunctivitis, entropion, corneal ulcers, uveitis, glaucoma, etc. Also the presence of a foreign body inside the eye can cause tearing. Even rubbing the hair on the face can have the same effect.
Distichiasis, congenital pathology in which a double row of eyelashes grows, is another cause of epiphora. These lashes are born heading into the eye and it is this irritation that causes tearing. It is more common in breeds such as the cocker, the poodle or the Pekingese. These tabs must be removed.
Although it may seem like just an aesthetic problem, the truth is that it can be very uncomfortable for the dog and, if the underlying disorders are not treated, the condition can be very complicated.
In addition, in cases where the secretion is very intense, dermatological problems can arise. Constant moisture on the skin damages it, causing it to become inflamed and / or infected, increasing the problem and hindering its healing.
This discharge that falls abundantly from the angle of the eye ends up causing the reddish-brown coloration of the hair of the area. This makes it appear that the dog has the periocular area always stained. This phenomenon is especially visible in white dogs.
Obstruction in the canine lacrimal drainage system
We have seen epiphora causes that are based on eye irritation, but sometimes excess tear is due to obstruction in the tear drainage system. Some dogs are born with this defect, especially those from the cocker breed.
This mechanism for the drainage of tears consists of a nasolacrimal duct in charge of collecting the tears in the eye to transport them to the nasal cavity, where it empties them. The duct is divided into two canaliculi at the angle of the eye, the upper and the lower, which are located respectively in the upper and lower eyelids.
Problems like entropion, a conjunctivitis Purulent, infection in the duct or the presence of foreign bodies can obstruct this drainage mechanism, causing tears to overflow.
To check if the nasolacrimal duct is blocked or not, the vet can instill it into the eye fluorescein. If this stain is not removed through the nose, we can talk about the existence of an obstruction.
Sometimes it is enough to wash the duct to unblock it and keep it open. Treatment, in addition, will depend on the underlying disorder. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories may be needed. In some cases it will be necessary to resort to surgery
Why do tears stain my dog’s eye?
The excess tears overflowing the eye and running from it form a reddish trail on the face of the dog. The tears, although we see them transparent, contain a series of chemical substances that, when reacting with light, they produce this coloration that will look like a stain to us.
Thus, if our dog has an epiphora and is white or light, this spotting will be very evident. In itself it is not cause for alarm, it is not blood, it is only aesthetic, but it requires going to the vet because you have to find out why the tears overflow the eye.
There are breeds in which the epiphora is more frequent, such as the poodle, the lhasa apso, Maltese, Pomeranian or Pekingese. It is not very clear why these dogs are more prone to this problem.
How to make the spots under the eye disappear
The most important thing is to diagnose the cause of the excessive tearing and, thus, follow the treatment that the vet pacts us. In this way, if the dog stops tearing excessively, these spots will not occur either. The problem is that we won’t always get a diagnosis, so the epiphora may become chronic.
There are some drugs that react with the substances of the tears that cause the reddish hue so that, although the secretion is still abundant, the hair will not be colored. Of course, once the treatment is suspended, the reddish staining will return to the hair.
For more complex cases for which there seems to be no solution surgery might be valued. It would be an intervention to remove part of the lacrimal gland of the third eyelid. This reduces the production of tears and increases the space in which they can accumulate. In this way its excess is controlled.
The problem with an intervention of this type is that it could produce the opposite effect, that is, drying the eye, causing a pathology called keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Therefore, before intervening it is important that we consult with a veterinaryn specialized in ophthalmology.
At the aesthetic level, we can improve this staining if we cut the hairs in the area as much as possible. In addition, for sale we can find different products with a cleaning or staining effect. Before using them, it is advisable to consult the vet or the dog groomer.
Whichever product we choose, it is essential that we apply it with caution so that it does not come into contact with the eye at any time, as it could cause serious irritation.