Cleaning and Clearing Tear Stains in Bulldogs

Like in most short-faced dog breeds, tear stains in Bulldogs are pretty common.

Most of the time, you can wipe the tears and gunk away but sometimes the tears can leave stains that won’t go away – and this can be a problem since those stains can cause irritation. Bulldogs’ wrinkles may become reddish -brown in color and the fur in that area will be wet.

Cleaning and Clearing Tear Stains in Bulldogs 1

Photo: Indiana Bulldog Rescue/Facebook

Tear stains in Bulldogs are caused by the overflow of tears from their eyes. While tears stains may appear harmless, it can become problematic. The moisture trapped in their wrinkles can also create a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. The tear stains in your Bulldog could also be a sign of blockage, infection, or inflammation in his or her tear ducts.


What are the signs of tear stains in Bulldogs?

Tear stains in Bulldog can be pretty easy to spot. Just look for the following signs:

  • Pink or reddish-brown or discoloration around the eyes,
  • Itching, scratching, or sensitivity around the eyes,
  • Excessive moisture or wetness under his or her eyes,
  • Unusual smell in the eye area,
  • Inflammation of skin under the eyes.

Tear stains affect most – if not all – Bulldogs, but they’re more visible light-colored ones – especially the ones with heavy wrinkles.


What causes tear stains in Bulldogs?

Tear stains in Bulldogs have various causes. So to treat it, the first thing to do is determine what’s causing it.

When your Bulldog tears a lot, the consistent and heavy moisture under and around his eyes can result to tear stains and there are different reasons why tear stains may be present around your Bulldog’s eyes. Here are some why Bulldogs experience excessive tearing:

  • Genetics – The skull shape of the Bulldog – especially their eye structure – makes them more prone to tear stains that other dog breeds.
  • Allergies – There are airborne objects that may cause excessive tearing in your Bulldog. Dust , smoke, pollen, and toxic chemicals can make your Bulldog tear as a response.
  • Food – There are some foods or additives used in dog foods that may cause allergic reactions in your Bulldog. This makes his eyes extra-watery, leading to tear stains.
  • Infected eyes or tear ducts – When a dog’s eye or tear duct is infected, it could lead to excessive tearing.

There are also other causes of tear stains in Bulldogs are here more:

  • Water – There are certain minerals or bacteria in the drinking water that can cause and add to the tear stain problem.
  • pH imbalance – The pH imbalance in your Bulldog’s body can make him prone to yeast and infection.


How to prevent tear stains in Bulldogs

The easiest way to prevent tear stains in Bulldogs is to clean the surroundings of his eyes daily. Make sure to remove all the dirt and moisture around and under his eyes – including the dirt and moisture in his wrinkles.

Aside from regular cleaning, it is also highly important to address the main cause of tear stains in your Bulldog to keep it from coming back.

  • Genetics – Since it is highly likely that your Bulldog’s eye structure is the main cause of his tear stains, it is recommended to ask the veterinarian to assess his eye duct and ask if it will need any surgical procedures to alter the tear capacity.
  • Allergies and Food – If you’re able to determine what allergen causes your Bulldog’s excessive- tearing, make sure to stop feeding it your Bulldog. Dog foods with grain products are often the cause of allergies in dogs. If that’s the case for your Bulldog, try switching your Bulldog’s diet to a different brand or type of food. Air purifiers may also help remove airborne allergens.
  • Eye or tear-duct infection – If you Bulldog has eye or tear-duct infection, you must take him to the vet to get proper treatment.
  • Water – Changing your Bulldog’s drinking water may also help. Many Bulldog owners say that giving Bulldog purified or distilled water on a stainless steel water bowl helped clear up the tear stains in their Bulldogs after about 4 weeks.
  • pH imbalance – You can add Apple Cider Vinegar in your Bulldog’s water to make his your Bulldog’s system a little more acidic and help balance its pH levels.

How to clean tear stains in Bulldogs

There are different ways to clean and clear up tear stains in Bulldogs. For tear stains caused by yeast, anti-fungal wet wipes may help. For Bulldogs who have excessive tearing, you may use unscented wet wipes with a bit of hibiclens.

You may also try the Milk of Magnesia-corn starch-peroxides paste. Here’s how to make it:

Milk of Magnesia, Peroxide and Corn Starch Paste

Making a paste out of Milk of Magnesia is one good way to clean tear stains in Bulldogs. To make the paste, mix equal parts of plain white Milk of Magnesia and Peroxide. Then, pour the mixture on cornstarch and mix to make a paste.

Spread the paste on the stained area and let dry for about 4 hours. Make sure to wash, rinse, and dry the area well.  Then, smear a coat of Desitin diaper rash ointment on the area.

Do this for several days until the staining is gone. But, it is recommended to skip a day or two between applications. But if your Bulldog has really heavy tear stains, do the routine for 3 days straight, then skip every other day.


When to bring your Bulldog to the vet

If the tear stains in your Bulldog are accompanied by wounds, open sores, and unpleasant smell, it is important to take him to the veterinarian.

Wounds and raw sores are signs of advanced infection that may require prescription medication.

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