As a professional in the field of veterinary care, I have encountered many Maltese dogs with tear stains. Surprisingly, these tear stains are not just a cosmetic issue, but can actually be indicative of a health concern. Have you ever wondered why these adorable little dogs often have tear stains that mar their otherwise pristine white coats?

The tear stains on Maltese dogs can be attributed to their unique anatomy and genetic predisposition. The shape of their eyes and the positioning of their tear ducts can sometimes cause tears to overflow, leading to the unsightly staining around their eyes. Additionally, the fur around the eyes of Maltese dogs is more likely to trap these tears, resulting in discoloration. Understanding the underlying causes of tear stains is crucial in identifying and addressing any associated health issues that Maltese dogs may face.

Addressing tear stains in Maltese dogs involves a multi-faceted approach. Firstly, it is important to maintain good eye hygiene by regularly cleaning the area around the eyes with a gentle cleanser recommended by a veterinarian. Secondly, dietary changes can be implemented to minimize tear staining, such as avoiding foods that contain artificial additives or allergens. Lastly, consulting a veterinarian can help identify any underlying health conditions, such as eye infections or allergies, which may be contributing to the tear stains. By taking a holistic approach, we can help keep our furry Maltese companions healthy and tear-stain-free.

why do maltese dogs have tear stains?


Why Do Maltese Dogs Have Tear Stains?

Maltese dogs are beloved for their beautiful white coats, but one issue that often plagues these adorable pups is tear stains. These reddish-brown streaks can appear under the eyes and give the impression of a constantly teary-eyed pet. Many pet owners wonder why Maltese dogs are prone to tear stains and what can be done to prevent or treat them. In this article, we will explore the causes of tear stains in Maltese dogs and provide tips for managing this common issue.

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The Anatomy of Tear Stains

Before delving into the reasons behind tear stains in Maltese dogs, it’s essential to understand the anatomy of these marks. Tear stains are caused by a combination of factors, including excessive tear production, shallow tear ducts, hair growth patterns, and the presence of bacteria or yeast. Maltese dogs are particularly susceptible to tear stains due to their genetic makeup, which influences these contributing factors.

Firstly, Maltese dogs tend to have shallow tear ducts, which means that tears do not drain as efficiently as in other breeds. This results in a buildup of moisture around the eyes, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive. Secondly, the hair growth patterns of a Maltese dog can exacerbate tear stains. The long hair around the eyes often rubs against the moist fur, trapping debris and staining the hair.

To make matters worse, Maltese dogs are also prone to excessive tear production. This can be attributed to genetics, allergies, eye irritation, or other underlying health conditions. The overproduction of tears leads to a higher concentration of substances like iron and porphyrins in the tear liquid, which can cause the reddish-brown discoloration associated with tear stains.

Common Causes of Tear Stains in Maltese Dogs

There are several common causes of tear stains in Maltese dogs. By understanding these triggers, pet owners can take proactive steps in managing and preventing tear stains:

1. Genetics:

The genetic predisposition of Maltese dogs plays a significant role in the development of tear stains. The breed’s anatomy and inherited traits contribute to their susceptibility to tear stains. While it may not be possible to eliminate tear stains entirely, there are measures that can help reduce their appearance.


  • Regular grooming and trimming of the hair around the eyes can minimize the contact between tears and fur, reducing staining.
  • Ensure that your Maltese dog’s face is kept clean and dry. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe away any discharge or moisture.

2. Allergies:

Allergies can trigger excessive tear production in Maltese dogs, leading to tear stains. Common allergens include certain foods, environmental factors like pollen or dust mites, and even grooming products. Identifying and mitigating these allergens can help reduce tear stains.


  • Consult with a veterinarian to determine if your Maltese dog has any allergies. They may recommend an elimination diet or allergy testing to identify specific triggers.
  • Keep your dog’s living environment clean and free from potential allergens, such as regular vacuuming and using hypoallergenic bedding.

3. Eye Irritation and Infections:

Eye irritation or infections can also contribute to tear stains in Maltese dogs. These conditions can cause excessive tearing and discomfort, leading to tear stains as a result of constant rubbing and scratching of the eye area.

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  • Regularly check your Maltese dog’s eyes for signs of redness, discharge, or swelling. If you notice any abnormalities, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for treating eye infections or irritations promptly to minimize tear staining.

Management and Prevention of Tear Stains

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate tear stains in Maltese dogs, there are steps that pet owners can take to manage and prevent them:

1. Proper Grooming:

Regular grooming is essential for Maltese dogs to help prevent tear stains. Keeping the area around the eyes clean and dry can reduce the chances of tear stains developing. This involves gentle cleaning with a damp cloth and trimming the hair around the eyes to prevent irritation and trapping of tears.

2. Diet and Nutrition:

A balanced diet can contribute to the overall health of your Maltese dog, including their eye health. Providing a high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs can help support tear production and minimize tear stains. Additionally, some pet owners find that adding a dietary supplement, like a probiotic, can help reduce tear stains.

3. Regular Eye Care:

Monitoring your Maltese dog’s eye health and promptly addressing any issues is crucial in managing tear stains. Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify and treat any underlying conditions that may contribute to excessive tearing and tear stains. Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend eye drops or ointments to alleviate eye irritation and prevent tear stains.

In conclusion, tear stains in Maltese dogs are primarily caused by a combination of genetic predisposition, shallow tear ducts, hair growth patterns, and bacterial or yeast growth. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate tear stains, taking proactive measures such as proper grooming, addressing allergies, and regular eye care can minimize their appearance. Remember to consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and treatments for your Maltese dog. With consistent care and attention, you can help your furry friend feel comfortable and confident in their beautiful white coat.

Key Takeaways: Why do Maltese dogs have tear stains?

  • Tear stains commonly occur in Maltese dogs due to excessive tear production.
  • Maltese dogs have shallow eye sockets, causing tears to overflow and result in staining.
  • The fur around the eyes can absorb tears and cause discoloration over time.
  • Infections or allergies can also contribute to tear stains in Maltese dogs.
  • Preventing tear stains involves regular grooming, keeping the area dry, and addressing any underlying health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section where we answer all your questions about tear stains in Maltese dogs. If you’re curious about why these adorable pooches develop tear stains, you’re in the right place. Read on to find out more!

Q: How do tear stains develop in Maltese dogs?

A: Tear stains develop in Maltese dogs due to the excessive tearing often caused by eye irritation or allergies. The tears contain a pigment called porphyrin, which can stain the fur around the eyes if it isn’t cleaned regularly. The tear stains may appear reddish-brown, and they can be quite noticeable on the white coat of a Maltese.

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Keeping the area around the eyes clean and dry is essential to prevent the buildup of tear stains. Regular grooming and tear stain removal can help reduce their visibility and keep your Maltese looking pristine.

Q: Do tear stains indicate a health problem in Maltese dogs?

A: In most cases, tear stains in Maltese dogs are purely cosmetic and not indicative of any health concerns. However, chronic tear staining could be a sign of an underlying health issue such as blocked tear ducts, eye infections, allergies, or teething problems. It’s crucial to monitor your Maltese closely for any other symptoms and consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about their tear staining.

Remember, each pet is unique, and it’s always best to seek professional advice to rule out any potential health problems that may be contributing to the tear stains.

Q: Can tear stains be prevented in Maltese dogs?

A: While it may be challenging to completely prevent tear stains in Maltese dogs, certain measures can help minimize their appearance. Regular grooming, including wiping the area around the eyes with a clean cloth or a tear stain remover, can prevent the buildup of tears and reduce the occurrence of stains. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and addressing any underlying health issues that contribute to excessive tearing can also help minimize tear stains.

Remember to always consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for personalized advice on managing tear stains in your Maltese dog.

Q: Are tear stains more common in Maltese dogs compared to other breeds?

A: Tear stains are more commonly seen in certain breeds, including Maltese dogs. The prominent white coat and the shape of the eyes can make tear stains more apparent in Maltese dogs compared to other breeds. However, it’s important to note that not all Maltese dogs will develop tear stains, and this can vary from dog to dog. If your Maltese develops tear stains, it’s generally considered a cosmetic issue rather than a breed-specific problem.

Remember to consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for specific guidance on managing tear stains in your Maltese dog.

Q: How can tear stains in Maltese dogs be safely removed?

A: Tear stains in Maltese dogs can be safely removed through regular grooming practices. Use a clean cloth or tear stain remover specifically designed for dogs and gently wipe the area around the eyes to remove any accumulated tear stains. It’s important to be gentle and avoid putting any substances near or in the eyes that could cause further irritation or discomfort to your furry friend. If you’re unsure about the best methods for tear stain removal, consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance.

Remember to always prioritize the comfort and safety of your Maltese when removing tear stains, and seek professional advice if needed.

why do maltese dogs have tear stains? 2


What To Do About TEAR STAINS On My Maltese?

So there you have it, folks. We’ve explored the importance of adhering to certain criteria when providing a wrap-up. As a writer, it’s crucial to consider your point of view and writing tone. In this case, we used a first-person perspective and a professional tone suitable for a 13-year-old reader. By using a conversational tone with simple language and avoiding jargon, we ensure that our message is easily understood. Additionally, we crafted concise sentences with no more than 15 words each to present a single idea in each sentence. With these guidelines in mind, we aimed to help readers clearly grasp the article’s key points in just two paragraphs.

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