This is the first of 3 articles in a series about your small dog’s stained eyes. 

Want to clean stains around dog eyes?

how to give a dog a a bath

Cleaning your dog’s eye stains starts with finding the cause of running eyes

If your small dog has excess tears, that can result in reddish-brown stains on his face sometimes called Poodle Eye.

Why? Tears have pigments called porphyrins that create stains. Plus, that the damp hair is a breeding ground for bacteria, which starts to rot the wet hair, generating a bad smell.

Why excess tears?

Excess tears or watery eyes – the scientific term is Epiphora – can be caused by a number of things. Before you try to deal with the symptoms — the reddish stained fur — it’s a good idea to take a look at the possible causes of excess tears. You might want to contact your Vet, because eye problems in any animal are often a sign of more serious problems.

Watery eyes can be caused by:

  • hair that’s growing too close to eyes – carefully cut your Morkie’s face hair around the eyes with blunt-nosed scissors, or leave the hair long and comb in down, out of the way
  • simple irritation like dust or wind blowing in his face, can cause your Morkie’s eyes to tear up too much (don’t let your dog stick his head out the car window)
  • abnormal eyelashes – small rogue eyelashes could be growing into the eye causing great pain and tearing; check with your Vet
  • allergies – your Morkie’s eyes might be tearing because of allergies to dust, ragweed or any other airborne allergens
  • an allergy to his diet is another reason your Morkie might have excess tearing according to experts. Have you changed foods or snacks lately?
  • blocked tear ducts – which can be caused by a medical condition. If the ducts are blocked, then tears overflow onto the face. Talk to your Vet.
  • conjunctivitis can cause clear watery discharge, as well as greenish or yellow discharge. This is a serious condition and should be treated immediately by your Vet
  • an irritated or scratched cornea, very painful, an also cause excess tearing. See your Vet

If the problem is more serious, your Vet will probably give your eyedrops for your pet; or possibly ointment. As pets.web.MD.com recommends, if you’re applying either, first put your hand firmly on the top of your dog’s head to stabilize it so that if he moves while you’re administering the meds; that way, there’s less chance of gouging his eye with the dropper or ointment tube.

Tomorrow: Part II – Common ways to clean the stains around your dog’s eyes