Chromodacryorrhea (Tear Stains):  Where They Come From And What We Can Do About Them

Duane Flemming, D.V.M., J.D., D.A.C.V.O.

Dogs and cats have been observed to produce, at times, a reddish-brown colored stain below the medial canthus of the eyes, around the mouth and occasionally on the feet and other less pleasant  (for ophthalmologists) locations. Cats sometimes produce a much darker ocular discharge and, on occasion, a black plaque-like corneal sequestrum.

This unpleasant staining around the eye is always the result of abnormal overflow of tears.

I. CAUSES OF TEAR OVERFLOW

             A. ANATOMY

      1. .Hyperplastic ( hypertrophic)nictitans gland
      2. . Imperforate puncta (punctal atresia)
      3. . Exophthalmos with shallow lacrimal lake
      4. . Medial canthal entropion
      5. . Wicking
      6. . Trichiasis
      7. . Distichiasis

            B. DACRYOADENITIS

            C. TEETHING

            D. DIETARY DEFICIENCY (PANTHOTENIC)

            E. STRESS

            F. DRUGS

      1. Acetylcholine
      2. Mibolerone (Cheque Drops)
      3. Oxytremorine

            G. WEATHER

            H. SMOKING

            I. EAR INFECTION

            J. PLASTIC FOOD BOWLS

            K. IDIOPATHIC

II. PROPOSED SOURCE OF THE STAIN

            A. PORPHYRINS: 

            B. CATACHOLAMINES

            C. LACTOFERRINS

            D. REDUCED IRON

            E. BACTERIA

            F. YEAST

            G. SIALODACRYOADENITIS VIRUS

            H. FOOD ( BEET PULP/RED DYE)

            I. MINERALS

            J. OTHER

III. TREATMENT

            A. SURGERY

      1. Excise nictitans gland
      2. Incise imperforate or enlarge micro punctum
      3. Entropion blepharoplasty
      4. Conjunctivorhinostomy
      5. Trim hair

            B. CORTICOSTEROIDS

            C. ANTIBIOTICS

      1. TETRACYCLINE 5 mg/kg once daily
      2. CHLORTETRACYCLINE
      3. OXYTETRACYCLINE  25-50 mg/day to effect or two weeks on and two weeks off.
      4. DOXYCYCLINE AND NIACINAMIDE
      5. TYLOSIN Give a pinch in food once a day until the staining is gone then QOD for one month. If Stains recur use two times each week
      6. LINCOCIN 100mg per 20-30 # given for 10 days of each month.
      7. AMOXICILLIN 200 mg PO BID for 7 days then Baytril 60 PO BID for 7 days.
      8. METRONIDAZOLE 100-200 mg PO SID for 10 days of each month.
      9. BAYTRIL
      10. NAPHAZOLINE HCL 0.1%

            D. DIET SUPPLEMENTS

      1. STAINLESS STEEL FOOD BOWLS
      2. GREEN BEANS FED DAILY
      3. NUTROMAX
      4. DISTILLED WATER
        1. Reverse Osmosis water purifier
        2. Add vinegar or lemon juice to the water
      5. VITAMIN C 100-200 MG PO SID
      6. VITAMIN B3
      7. OMEGA 3 FATTY ACID TABLETS
      8. ZINC SUPPLEMENTS
      9. BUTTERMILK POWDER
      10. DRIED PARSLEY FLAKES
      11. EUKANUBA LOW RESIDUE ™ Food ( Dog and Cat): The Iams Company.
      12. MISSING LINK DIETARY SUPPLEMENT© Waggin’ Tails Pet Essentials, Inc.:
      13. TUMS

IV. STAIN REMOVAL

  • H2O2:
  • BORIC ACID
  • OXYDEX SHAMPOO
  • EYE AND WOUND POWDER
  • E. MALACETIC WET WIPES/DRY BATH DermaPet.Potomac, MD
  • TEAR STAIN REMOVER by PPP. New England Serum Company
  • DIAMOND EYES Kenlin Pet Supply, Mahwah, NJ also by Vitacoat. New England Serum Company
  • EYE CLEAR Gimborn/Rich Health: New England Serum Company
  • STAIN FREE BioGroom.Telephone sales only. 1-800-762-0232
  • MAGIC WHITE™Bio Groom Telephone sales only. 1-800-762-0232
  • COLLOIDAL SILVER. Marina Zacharias, PO Box 1436 Jacksonville, OR  97530 541-899-2080.
  • JOHNSON’S SHAMPOO diluted with lemon juice or salt water
  • COLLYRIUM: Boric Acid will whiten hair and kill germs
  • BRIGHT EYES Interplanetary Pet Products. On- Line Supplier. 1-800-477-4738
  • EYE SCRUB: Eye Pet, Inc. 372 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, IL 60090
  • TEAR-UM: Mark & Chappell, LTD. UK.
  • PRETTY EYES LOTION: Shaws Pet Products, Ltd.
  • SHOW EYES PADS® Doctors Foster &  Smith
  • EYE WIPES New England Serum Company. 1-800-637- 3786 also World Wide Pet Supply 888-800-7387.
  • OPTREX EYE WASH
  • TOPLINE 2000 KLEENFACE
  • HIBITONE ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANSER
  • OPCON A  EYEDROPS: Bausch & Lomb, Inc.
  • EYE BRIGHT: Euphrasia: Any health food store
  • VISINE: Pfizer, Inc.
  • LISTERINE
  • CLUB SODA
  • CLOWN MAKEUP
  • TEAR AWAY
  • FACIAL HAIR BLEACH
  • DESITIN ( ZINC OXIDE)
  • PETROLEUM JELLY
  • WELLA CHOLESTEROL
  • WELLA WELLITE