How to Clean Chihuahua Tear Stains

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Tear stains, the dark spots that form on the corners of a pet's eye, can be a common problem for dogs, especially small breeds and light-colored dogs. The stains are formed when tears accumulate around the eye and cause bacteria and yeast growth in this damp area. Tear stains are mainly a cosmetic problem, but can also be a sign of a medical issue, such as inflammation, a foreign object stuck in the eye, obstructed tear ducts, allergies or other abnormalities of the eye. Regularly grooming your Chihuahua and a good hygiene routine will generally keep tear stains away, but medical treatment may be necessary for any physical problems causing the stains.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swabs or soft cloth
  • Filtered water or eye-cleansing solution
  • Small scissors
  • Over-the-counter grooming products

Cleaning Tear Stains

Inspect your Chihuahua's eye for abnormalities that may be causing tear stains. Look for redness, inflammation, excessive tearing, discharge or a blockage. If something looks wrong, bring your pet to the veterinarian for medical treatment.

Wipe the eyes with a damp cotton swab or cloth to remove any foreign objects or crusted material that has accumulated around the eye. Use a gentle eye-cleaning product recommended by your vet or filtered water to clean the eye; minerals in water can cause coat and hair staining in dogs. Clean the eye area each day.

Trim any long hairs below the dog's eye. Hair around the eye draws tears onto the skin and face, allowing bacteria and yeast to grow in this moist area. Trimming the hair will keep the eye area clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • When trimming the hair around the eye, it may help to have a helper hold the Chihuahua while you carefully cut the hair. Even though Chihuahuas are small, having an extra pair of hands to calm the dog and hold the head steady can be a big help.
  • Some home remedies for tear stains use products like hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients to clean tear stains. Using the wrong amount or strength or these types of ingredients or incorrectly applying homemade mixtures can do more harm than good and should be avoided. Over-the-counter products are available at pet stores and come with detailed instructions, offering a safer alternative for treating tear stains.

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