If you have a Bichon Frize, you are probably familiar with tear stains. These are the reddish-brown markings on the fur around the Bichon’s eyes. It is natural for a dog to have a little watery and discharge from the eyes. The white coat, however, shows the resulting spots more than the dark coat. And if the staining is extreme, the effect can be unattractive. The good news is that there are several ways to remove tear stains from your Bichon’s face.
1) Look for physical causes. Irritation can cause excessive tears and staining. Is there an eyelash or a bit of hair constantly rubbing against the eye? Comb the fur on the face away from the eye area and, if necessary, trim the fur so that it does not come into contact with sensitive eyes.
Observe the condition of the teeth and gums. A broken or decayed tooth can cause tearing and staining of the eyes. Dental problems are painful and can turn into emergency situations, so get your Bichon to the vet quickly if you suspect anything.
If your Bichon has fairly significant tear stains, your vet should check that the tear ducts in the eyes are not blocked.
2) Change your diet. Many Bichon Frize owners have minimized tear stains by feeding their dog a different food. For some Bichons, eating grain helps to stain tears. Try reducing or eliminating grains from your diet. This means feeding a raw diet or switching to one of the new grain-free dog kibbles like Evo.
Before changing foods, you may want to consult with your vet. If your Bichon is on a special diet for medical reasons, you certainly shouldn’t modify it without your vet’s permission. It is also very important that if you decide to feed a raw diet, you make sure it contains all the necessary nutrients. There are many frozen or dry grain-free dog foods available that offer an optimal nutritional balance. Never feed your Bichon only meat, as he will get sick very quickly on such an unbalanced and unhealthy diet.
3) Clean your eyes regularly. Part of your daily routine should be to remove debris that accumulates in the corners of the dog’s eyes. Don’t let this material build up as it is irritating to your bichon and will contribute to tear staining.
Also, clean your dog’s under eye area regularly with a boric acid solution. Boric acid is a powder that is commonly used in eye washes. You can find it at the pharmacy. To prepare the solution, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of boric acid in about half a cup of boiling water. Let it cool. Dampen a cotton ball with the solution and then gently wipe the stained area two to three times a day. Keep leftover boric acid solution covered and in the refrigerator for up to a week. You should notice an improvement in a few days. Boric acid treatment may be enough to keep your Bichon looking pretty.
4) Use an antibiotic product. There are several products on the market that are quite effective in preventing tear stains. One of them is a powder called Angels’ Glow. You put a small amount of powder in your Bichon’s food every day.
The reason this type of product works is because it contains a small amount of a specialized antibiotic. Some people don’t like the idea of giving antibiotics just for cosmetic reasons. However, if the Bichon tear stain is quite severe, you may want to give it a try. It is always a good idea to get your vet’s opinion before giving your dog any type of medication or supplement.
Tear stains are a common problem in the Bichon Frize and can spoil the appearance of your beautiful dog. However, in most cases, tear staining can be greatly reduced using one or more of these suggestions.