Daily Question is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from an expert on JustAnswer:
Q: My dogs are Chihuahuas, mother and two daughters, and I have noticed they lick each other’s eyes a lot. They seem to have some tears or dark circles around their eyes. I wash the area gently with baby washes, but it still persists. Is there something else I should be doing?
A: This brown staining of the fur around your dogs’ eyes is a cosmetic issue and not a sign of a medical problem. As long as their eyes are not red, irritated, sore, crusty, winky, or otherwise abnormal-looking, this type of tear-staining is normal.
Even though it is normal, some people find it undesirable. It is popular in the dog-show culture to medicate dogs to reduce this staining. I do not advocate this practice because the medication is not without risk or side effects.
You will also find over-the-counter products marketed to help with this problem. “Angel Eyes” is the most common. Again, I do not recommend these products. Many are ineffective, and they are not proven to help. I haven’t seen any problems caused by them, at least.
Be careful using baby wipes around their eyes; you don’t want to get the cleanser in their eyes. A gentle washcloth and cool water is fine to use.
To be on the safe side, your vet can check for eyelid and eyelash problems, but this type of staining is usually normal and not treated.
– Answer from Dr. Jo, a veterinarian and expert on JustAnswer.
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