Chihuahua Tear Stains

A chihuahua owner may see that there are some tear stains that are on the dog’s fur. They are located under the eyes or they are surrounding them in which the hairs lost their color.

The color of tear stains is not the same but most are brownish or reddish. Also, that color will vary depending on the color of the dog. But, there are other aspects of tear stains such as the discolored hairs having a crisp texture.

Chihuahua owners become frustrated because a lot of products don’t work or it seems to resolve the issue for a little while and then it comes back again.

In this article we will cover the following points :

1. The causes of tear staining
2. Why this issue cause colored stains
3. Conditions to rule out
4. How to treat tear stains

The causes of tear stains

In addition to the fact that chihuahuas are prone to tear staining, the most known cause of this issue is Epiphora (which is the overproduction of tears). Chihuahuas don’t naturally produce tears when they cry or when they are sad. There are other reasons why they produce tears such as lubrication of their eyes, improving visual clarity, protecting against foreign objects, and feeding their eyes with nutrients. Moreover, when a chihuahua is suffering from an implicit condition like allergies, irritation, or infection. Therefore, he may know an overproduction of tears will result in tear stains.

Below are some underlying causes of tear stains in chihuahuas

Tap water

chihuahua drinking water

source: google images

Tap water contains very high levels of contaminants, fluorides, toxins, and even cancer-causing agents. All these chemicals can cause tear staining.


This condition is one of the most popular causes of tear stains in chihuahuas, called also the pink eye. It is distinguished by the inflammation of the membrane of the eyeball and inner eyelid. Moreover, there are some symptoms of Conjunctivitis such as watery eyes, inflammation, eye redness, mucus discharge, and squinting. The causes of this condition are allergies, bacterial infections, hereditary conditions, or irritations. Fortunately, there are some available treatments for this condition such as hydrocortisone drops, anti-inflammatory medication for allergies, antiviral medication for viral infection, and antibiotics for bacterial infection.

Plastic bowls

plastic bowels for dogs

source: google images

Some chihuahuas are allergic to plastic. However, plastic bowls are not only the cause of tear staining, but they can also lead to the loss of pigmentation on the nose. the best bowls for chihuahuas are shallow, raised stainless steel, or floor level, ceramic can also be another option.


There are some elements in nature like tree, plant, and weed pollen that can cause tear stains. Severe allergies are a result of the “overdrive” of the immune system when it detects an allergen. For this reason, our vet may prescribe steroidal medication like Venectyl-P. Steroids. The role of this medication is to control the immune system when the dog is exposed to an allergen. You should put in mind that there are some side effects of this medication like getting sick from the infection. To cure acute allergies the vet may ask you to give your chihuahuas Antihistamines such as Chlorpheniramine, Hydroxyzine, and clemastine.


chihuahua puppy plays war of tug to test her teeth

source: pexels

As we know teething puppies produce excessive tears, and as a consequence, it is leading to stains. But, teething will end when the adult teeth have emerged. However, it is very important to treat the issue since it can lead to yeast infection.


Entropion is a condition where a chihuahua’s eyelid is inverted and rolls inward. Which results in direct contact of the fur on the dog’s eyelid with the eyeball. Leading to irritation and overproduction of tears. This condition is affected by age and commonly affects both eyelids. Also, it can impact either a portion of the chihuahua’s eyelid or the complete eyelid.

Poor Diet

Feeding your chihuahua with low-quality foods which consist mostly of heavily processed” filler” ingredients may result in tear stains. Because these ingredients can cause excess porphyrin production. In fact, when there is an excess of porphyrins in tears, chihuahua will suffer from tears stains in an easy way.


Long-coat chihuahuas can develop tear stains easily due to their long coat. Because when the fur becomes too long, there is the possibility of friction between long fur and eyeball, resulting in excess tear production. However, when your chihuahua receives enough care on a regular basis, this may prevent the overgrown fur and the other issues it can cause.  However, Chihuahuas regardless of their type are susceptible to eye irritation from foreign objects including anything that can irritate the eyes, for example, smoke can cause tearing.

Ear or nasal infections

Some infections in the ears or sinuses can trigger excessive tear flow, rudding the head against the wall, and trying to paw the ears are signs of ear infection.

Tear duct problems

Ducts that are located in the corner of a chihuahua’s eyes are the ducts through which old tears are drained. So, when these ducts are too small or blocked by some foreign elements such as grass particles, dust, or other debris, tears will gather in the chihuahua’s eye socket before flowing out. If you think that both ducts or one of them of your dog are blocked, you should seek your vet’s care. 

Eye diseases and issues

like glaucoma. This condition is the result of excess pressure inside the eyeball, leading to pain, watery eyes, and ultimately vision loss. The experts classify this condition as primary or secondary. Primary, when it is inherited, and secondary when it is the result of other diseases or conditions. Unlike chihuahuas who have a low risk of facing glaucoma, American Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Shar Pei, and Jack Russel Terrier are the breeds that are predisposed to this condition. However, there is a big probability that chihuahuas suffering from glaucoma may develop tear stains.

Congenital Defects

Congenital Defects: Some chihuahua puppies are born without tear duct opening, this congenital defect is called Imperforate lacrimal puncta. The only available option for this condition is surgery. In addition, some chihuahuas’ tear ducts are narrow, consequently, foreign elements like debris can block them.

What about yeast infection?

Yeast infection is not the cause of tear stains. However, this later can develop them. Yeast can start to grow whenever you have a wet area. Staining issues and yeast infection can be remedied from home, but sometimes we will need veterinary treatment.

Why does this issue cause red-brown stains?

Chihuahua owners may ask why clear eye discharge can lead to red or brown hair. They exist two parts to this, the first is that tears contain water mucin, lipids, lysozyme and porphyrins, and other things. And as we know porphyrins that are the culprit contain iron, this later stains fur, and the stains will be brown. But, when those stains are under sunlight, this can cause them to turn to a more reddish color, as you can notice in the summertime.

How to fix and treat tear stains on your chihuahua.

1. Possible health conditions that we must control:

If the root cause has not been resolved. Then, you will find yourself in a vicious circle, because stains come back as fast as you can remove them. For this reason, you have to so schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a professional diagnosis.

2. some tips you can try at home to change what you can:

  • Replace all plastic water and food bowls you have at home with stainless steel bowls. It is OK to use ceramic, but, remember that they are not unbreakable as stainless steel is.
  • Clean and dry your Chihuahua’s stained fur, as it keeps his coat looking clean, and reduces the risk of a yeast infection.
  • Try to avoid giving your chihuahua tap water.
  • Avoid smoking in the house.

3. clean your dog’s eyes daily and treat the stains:

In my opinion, it is a daily duty for your dog. Because stains can cause eye irritation or eye injury to your dog. The habit of cleaning your chihuahua’s eye area is something important, cleaning should be done three times a day.

The eye wipes

eye wipe for chihuahua

you must use a high-quality canine eye wipe that is all-natural. And the wipe mustn’t contain lanolin or alcohol, sulfates, phosphates, or other harsh chemicals.

Also, the ear stain wipes must contain gentle ingredients such as water, aloe vera, fruit oil, coconut oil, etc.

You should put in mind that you should not use the ‘Eyes and Angels’ glow tear removal products. Because this product contains the antibiotic tylosin tartrate. This latter has not been approved for use in pets like dogs and cats. 

Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide, or Other Home Remedies

It is popular for some owners to clean their chihuahuas’ tear stains with products like cider vinegar, milk of magnesia, Visine, and hydrogen peroxide. Although these remedies remove stains, experts don’t advise using them for the following reasons:

  • Hydrogen peroxide or Apple cider vinegar can burn your dog’s eyes.
  • Corn starch can block your Chihuahua’s tear ducts.
  • Organic apple cider vinegar regulates your dog’ Ph by adding a teaspoon to his water dish. However, it is not recommended to apply it directly to his eye and skin.


Finally, try to find by yourself the best tear stain remedies but be careful. And when the tear stains have vanished, you have to continue wiping your dog’s eyes daily.


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