You may already have a Boston Terrier or are planning on getting one, but…
Are you familiar with his eye care needs? Or are you having trouble cleaning his eyes?
What’s worse… does your Boston Terrier have red, rusty tear stains?
I found myself at a loss when I found eye discharge on my dog and was unable to get rid of the stain left around his eyes.
Your Boston Terrier’s eyes need special care because of how prominent are.
Before going through how to clean them, let’s have a look at their eye problems and excessive tears issue.
Due to their prominent eyes, Boston Terrier’s suffer from numerous eye conditions such as:
Also, they can have the following eye problems:
Tear stains or dog eye gunk is medically referred to as “eye discharge”.
Discharge can range from a clear, watery consistency to a pus-like discharge with a tendency to crust.
The discolouration is caused by excessive tearing or insufficient drainage, medically referred to as Epiphora. The constant eye waters cause red or brown stains in your dog’s coat around the eyes. The accumulation of a pigment called Porphyrin is the one that causes such discolouration.
Although all dogs get tear stains, the breeds that suffer the most from tear stains are those with shallow eye sockets, which prevents proper drainage down the throat.
Boston Terriers are prone to tear stains like Pugs, Poodles and Bichon Frises, for example.
Also, BT puppies produce more tears while teething. So during this time frame, you can absolutely expect some tear stains.
Although eye lubrication is a healthy body response, you should still take action, especially when the following happens:
If any of these occur, don’t hesitate to take your pooch to vet for an appropriate diagnosis.
There are many things that can cause excessive tearing:
After reading about Boston Terrier’s eye problems and how prone they are to tear stains…
You can see why keeping your BT’s eyes clean is so important to prevent eye infections and other issues.
At least once a week, you should take the time to look at your dog’s eyes and clean any specks of dirt around them.
But first a disclaimer: Keep in mind that I’m not a vet. I share what works for me and what I’ve learnt through years of experience. Always consult with your vet, especially if you are unsure about the nature of the eye discharge.
Adopt these new habits that to help you keep your Boston Terrier’s eyes clean in the long run:
As a preventive measure, you could simply wipe away the tears as they develop with a gentle, slightly damp cloth.
Alternatively, you could wipe his face in the morning and night. Keeping your dog’s face clean goes a long way!
Refer to the section Boston Terrier Eye Cleaning Essentials below to know what you can use to clean your BT’s eyes and remove the possible stains on his hair.
If your tap water is high in minerals or iron, give your dog filtered or bottled water instead (i.e. drinking water). High mineral and iron content in tap water may cause increased porphyrin, which leads to prominent staining.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential for your dog’s overall health. I always recommend that you feed your pooch the highest quality balanced diet that you can afford.
High-quality ingredients in his food improve your dog’s health, reduces flatulence (common in Bostons) and can also improve tear staining (since some foods produce more porphyrin).
Also, NON-Tylosin supplements can help reduce porphyria.
I am a big promoter of using Kongs (or other food dispensers) to feed any dog. This doesn’t mean hand-feeding is out of the question ;).
However, if you use food bowls, go for stainless steel or porcelain. Plastic bowls often get tiny cracks that harbour bacteria and cause facial irritation. This also applies to his water bowl.
Since there’s no one solution that works for every Boston Terrier so far, here are some things that work:
There are many dog eye cleaning commercial solutions. However, I am used to damping a soft cloth on warn chamomille tea to clean both my dogs’ and cats’ eyes.
Chamomille has a soothing smell, plus the cloth is warm… which somehow makes their eye cleaning routine less painful. However, this won’t work for getting rid of tear stains – only works to remove fresh gunk (not the dry one, which can get hard as a rock!)
As an alternative to a cleaning solution, some dog parents prefer grooming wipes (these ones are free of alcohol, parabens and harsh chemicals).
They are useful to wipe the excess tears from the fur beneath the eye and prevent staining.
Plus, you can use dog wipes to clean:
Thanks to their multiple uses, dog wipes are a more economical solution.
You can try these two mild acids (still sounds harsh) to remove tear stains:
Both substances seem to oxidize the porphyrin iron compounds (what causes the stain colour) and lighten them.
Note: Sunlight makes the stains darker.
A dog eye comb (Amazon link) can be useful to:
According to the vets from Leospetcare, these are some examples of what you should avoid using since they do no good:
P.S. Grooming is an important factor for your Boston Terrier’s overall health! For more BT grooming tips, check out How to Groom a Boston Terrier – Basic Guide blog post.