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Poodles/hair is rust colored around eyes


Hi Kim,  I have a 7 year old 4 lb female cream colored baby. Her face and feet have a rust colored stain for several years.  I have her on a grain free food and the vet said no chicken, beef, rice, wheat so she is eating "spring naturals" grain free turkey and salmon dry food.  There is no meal of any kind and all natural, no preservatives.  I also have her drinking only distilled water.  The vet has her taking 1/4 of 25mg tablet of hydroxyzine hcl 2 times a day to try to keep the eyes from tearing excessively.  She has had surgery on both eyes to turn the lashes away from her eyes.  She has also had her tear ducts flushed once.  This sweet baby is absolutely the best baby I have ever had. I just wish she could be as pretty on the outside as she is on the inside.  I just don't know what else to do to try to resolve this discoloration problem.

I am sorry that I didn't get back to you.  I usually get my mail messages, but somehow this one missed me.
It sounds like you have done everything to help with the stains.  
You might try giving her a allergy tablet (such as Benedryl or Zyrtec) to see if she is allergic to something you may have missed.  Allergies affect the eyes of a dog and will cause them to run.  If your dog has seasonal allergies or is allergic to food or something in your house, this could cause the eyes to run, which will cause the staining.  I would start off with 1/2 tablet of the above mentioned tablet (whichever one you choose) and keep her on it for about 2 weeks.  This allows the meds to get into her system and gives them time to work.

Other than that, what is happening is that chemicals in your dogs hair are mixing with chemicals in her tears that is causing the stains.  The same thing happens on her feet because she licks them.  Her urine will cause the stains around her vulva also.  This is why it is almost impossible to get rid of them.  Its not just something you can wash off.  It is actual staining.  There are some liquids that claim to remove the tear stains off of white dogs, but they don't do much to remove the stains.  You can use Peroxide on a cotton swab to help, but its effects are minimal.  

Keeping the hair shaved close to the skin helps in these areas because the stains can be kept at bay on shorter hair.  This means shaving the face, feet and tail about every 2 weeks or so though.

Well, I hope this helps and again, Sorry for taking so long to respond.
If you have other questions about this, or other questions in general, please feel free to ask me.

Thanks for using,


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Kim Wingate


I can answer general questions about Poodles. My specific area of expertise is Standard Poodles, but I will answer all questions about Poodles and dog related questions if I can. If I can't answer your question, I will be able to find information or someone who can.


I am a Dog Groomer and Dog Trainer, who has raised Standard Poodles for over 25 years. I can answer Housebreaking questions, Obedience/Training questions, Grooming questions, Breeding questions, and General Dog questions. I can also give SUGGESTIONS about general Health questions, but as I am not a Certified Vet, I cannot and will not diagnose illnesses. If you think that your dog is seriously ill, please contact your own Vet.

I am a member of the American Kennel Club.

I have worked at several Pet stores in my area, worked for a year as a Vet Tech, was an apprentice for a Dog Trainer, and have also worked at a Grooming/Showing kennel for several months. I have also raised, shown, currently train, and groom my own Standard Poodles, and have for over 25 years.

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