How to Get Rid of Your Westie's Tear Stains

Get rid of your West Highland white terriers' tear stains with prescription medication.
Get rid of your West Highland white terriers' tear stains with prescription medication. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The West Highland white terrier, or Westie as it's commonly called, are prone to tear stains due to having small tear ducts and/or ducts that get blocked often. Tear stains can be light pink or rusty brown in coloring; and can be caused by ear infections, blocked ducts, allergies, fleas or simply by the dog's genetics. Learning the exact cause of your Westie’s tear stains is key to ridding the unsightly stains from your dog’s face.

Things You'll Need

  • Veterinarian
  • Prescription medication
  • Mild shampoo/diluted lemon juice/salt
  • Nutritional dog food

Take your Westie to a professional veterinarian for a physical examination. The veterinarian will examine your Westie’s eyes for signs of infection, perform a few tests to determine the cause of the tear stains and prescribe the appropriate medicine needed to get rid of the tear stains if an infection is present.

Give the medicine to your Westie as prescribed by the veterinarian. Follow all directions carefully to prevent under or overdosing your dog with the medicine.

Clean the hair under your Westie’s eyes multiple times per day. The Bichon Frise Club of America recommends using a mild shampoo, diluted lemon juice or salt water to clean the hair under the eye.

Switch your dog’s food to a better, more nutritional brand. Low-priced foods often contain low-quality ingredients and not enough valuable nutrition needed to help fight tear stains. You can find nutritional dog food for your Westie at specialty or high-end pet stores.

Take your dog back to the veterinarian for further tests if the tear stains still remain after the prescribed medicine is gone. The veterinarian will re-examine your Westie’s eyes and possibly recommend you to an ophthalmologist if your dog’s condition has worsened.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your Westie is a puppy, the tear stains may be simply a result of teething.
  • Treat your Westie for fleas regularly, as the pests thrive off the moisture found around your dog's eyes and can help cause tear staining.

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