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Bichon Frise: Tear Staining

Like most white dogs, Bichon Frises are prone to get tear stained areas around their eyes The discoloration can vary from dog to dog and be anywhere from a light pink to a rusty brown in color. Foreign matter in the eye, ingrown eyelashes, blocked tear ducts; allergies or infections can bring on tearing. Excess tearing can occur for a variety of reasons and you need to consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause.

Allergies
Allergic reactions can occur from additives commonly found in commercial dog foods, wheat and iron. Avoid lower priced dog foods that contain a lot of additives and poorer quality of meats that add bulk and color but not nutrition. Often a change to a healthier, nutritional and organic diet and drinking distilled or spring water has been successful in clearing up tear staining brought on by food allergies.

Your Bichon Frise may suffer from seasonal allergies in which case the tear staining may clear up on its own. Also as your Bichon ages dogs age they may have a problem with dry eye and begin tearing more frequently. Also Bichon Frise puppies often tear while teething, which they soon outgrow.

Blockage
Since many Bichon Frisesí tear ducts are very small they can become blocked easily. Your vet can test your pet to determine if this is a problem. Ingrown eyelashes or inward turning eyelids can also irritate the eye causing.

Infections
It could be possible that your Bichon Frise is suffering from an eye infection and you need to see your veterinarian right away. Never use drops or ointment without a prescription from your vet!

Bathing
Keeping your Bichon Friseís face clean and wiping the hair under the eyes several times a day is part of the solution to tear staining no matter the cause. You can use a mild shampoo or a saline solution to very gently wipe the area avoiding contact with the eyes. You can also apply a thin layer of Vaseline to keep the flow of tears running smoothly over the under eye area. Be sure to keep the area around the eye neatly trimmed.

Remember all dogs especially white ones have a certain amount of tear staining. Make sure that it is just a cosmetic problem and nothing serious. If you recall the story of the Velveteen Rabbit then Iím sure youíll understand that ďthese things donít matter at all, because once you are Real you canít be ugly, except to people who donít understandĒ. (Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit--

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