Excessive tearing is known as “epiphora” and often results in unsightly, reddish-brown stains under the eyes in dogs and cats. The stains are caused by a compound in your pet’s tears called porphyrins which react with light to cause the characteristic staining of the fur around the eyes. The moist fur around the eyes also encourages the growth of Ptyrosporin, also known as “red yeast.” Many dogs also have similar red-staining in the fur around the mouth caused by oxidation of porphyrins which is also found in your pet’s saliva. While weepy eyes can affect any breed of dog, it is especially obvious in breeds with light-colored fur and commonly affects certain breeds such as Poodles, Maltese and Shih Tzus. Short-nosed breeds of dogs and cats and those with prominent eyes are also more prone to an overflow of tears.
Because this staining is a chronic problem and is difficult to clean from the fur, the best solution is to stop the problem before it develops. One of the most popular products to eliminate tear staining is Angels’ Eyes, which works by tying up the circulating porphyrins. Because the chemistry of the tears is altered, the tears do not cause a stain on the fur. However, the active ingredient in Angels’ Eyes is Tylosin, which is actually an antibiotic, leading to concern with some pet guardians. While the dose of Tylosin is low, many prefer not to use a product containing an antibiotic for what is essentially a cosmetic problem.
If you are looking for a natural, antibiotic-free product to treat your pet’s eye and mouth stains, there are alternatives. One option is Angels’ Eyes Natural which, as the name implies, is made from all-natural ingredients. The active ingredients in Angels’ Eyes Natural are a proprietary blend of Cranberry Powder, Oregon Grape Root, and Marshmallow Root; the inactive ingredient is 100% Freeze Dried Chicken Liver.
Another antibiotic-free product is Bright Eyes Tear Stain Remover. This product also naturally removes tear stains around your pet’s eyes and mouth. The ingredients in Bright Eyes are Beef Liver, Cranberry Juice Powder, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and Hyaluronic Acid.
Like the original Angels’ Eyes, both Angels’ Eyes Natural and Bright Eyes Tear Stain Remover are sprinkled directly onto your dog or cat’s food, with the frequency of use reduced over a period of time.