Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is a common complaint among bulldog owners, especially those with a light color skin/coat. Many bulldogs and French bulldog owners place blame for those unsightly wet reddish tearstains on the mysterious, infamous, “RED YEAST” citing “Dr. Yahoo” and his associate “Dr. Google” . This is a FALLACY 

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs FACT:

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PORPHYRIN: the true origin of those mysterious tearstains is a red blood cell (RBC) byproduct called “porphyrin”.

  • PORPHYRIN PROCESSION & EXCRETION: Your bulldog average RBC life span is about 4 months. When your bulldog red blood cell dies (expires), its remains including porphyrin are processed via the liver, biliary system, GI tract,  urine, and your bulldog saliva and tears.
  •  PORPHYRIN LIGHT ACTIVATION: Porphyrin contains a light-sensitive iron molecule that when exposed to sunlight turns reddish (oxidize), thus when your bulldog licks its paws or leg such as in the case of bulldog allergiesbulldog pododermatitis, bulldog lick granuloma, etc., that area often turns reddish dark upon exposure to sunlight.

The same happens with your bulldog tears upon contact with the fur and surrounding skin, especially in light-coated bulldogs.

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs EXCESSIVE TEARS:

Excessive tears is the most common reason for tear stains. The two common reasons for excessive tears are tear overproduction or/and tear insufficient drainage.

TEAR OVERPRODUCTION (epiphora): Tear overproduction in bulldogs and French bulldogs most common reasons are:

  1. EYELASH: Bulldog eyelash problems like distichiasis, Trichtiasis, and ectopic cilia all of whom will irritate and injure the cornea
  2. EYELID: Bulldog eyelid problems like entropion, which is an inner rotation of the eyelids
  3. CORNEA: Bulldog corneal ulcers, which are painful irritating injuries to your bulldog cornea
  4. EYEBALL: Bulldog exophthalmos, which is a protrusion of the eyeball common to the brachycephalic breed
  5. ALLERGIES: Bulldog allergies such as bulldog atopic itch dermatitis and bulldog food allergy

Common clinical presentation for those conditions are:

  • Difficult opening eyes
  • Squinting and shying away from direct light
  • Scratching and rubbing face and eyes
  • Discharge and gunk
  • Red, puffed irritated eyes (Conjunctivitis, Scleritis)
  • Cloudiness, scaring, opaqueness of the cornea

TEAR DRAINAGE PROBLEMS: tear insufficient drainage such as occluded tear duct due to the breed compressed facial bones is the second reason for excessive tears.

WARNING: For all of the above conditions please see your veterinarian as soon as possible. For additional information about those common bulldog conditions please read Dr. Kraemer’s “Eyes & Eye Lids” pages.

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs The Notorious “RED YEAST” MYSTERY:

The “Red Yeast” is an urban myth. The red-colored tearstains are due to porphyrin a red blood cell (RBC) by-product that is excreted from your bulldog tears and saliva. The myth propagation is possibly an innocent mixed-up with the common bully skin and ears yeast organism,  Malassezia (a Pityrosporum NOT Porphyrin). Yeasty bully (Malassezia) stains and discharge are usually dark brownish and might have an odor, they are typically found in the wet, moist, areas such as inside your bulldog ear canal, skin and skin folds  (i.e. Bully Yeasty Otitis, Bully Yeasty Moist Skin Fold Dermatitis, Bully Yeast Dermatitis).

Bully Malassezia can be diagnosed by culture or cytology taken from your bully skin, skinfold and ear canal via a swab or skin impression. Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Skin Fold Antiseptic Wipes, Bully Yeasty Antiseptic Shampoo ,Waterless Rinse-Fee Lotions, and Bully Yeasty Antiseptic Ear Rinse are ideal for those bully yeasty conditions.

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs WARNING:

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

V4B Bully Tear StainLess Basic-Care Economic Bundle

Certain antibiotics like Tylosine occasionally shown to help reduce porphyrin in the tears, thus in those cases, a bacterium is implicated. Those bacteria are possibly contracted by contact with uncleaned plastic water bowl and face scratching due to allergies.

  • WARNING OTC: Most of the over the counter tear stain removal products such as “Angel Dust”, “Tear Stain Away, and “Pet Sparkcontains antibiotics like Tylosin which is borderline illegal, unethical and potentially harmful to your bulldog (i.e. drug adverse reaction as well endangering and propagating resistance to those essential antibiotics for nothing more than vanity and cosmetics) .
  • WARNING ANTIBIOTICS:  I don’t recommend using prescription antibiotics for cosmetic issues, never forget our “Do No Harm” Rule. Antibiotics are prescription-only and should be supervised by your veterinarian.  

Listed below a short summary of six sound steps to prevent and remove bulldog and French bulldog tear stains.  

Tear Stains in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MAINTENACE:

  1. GROOMING: Proper Grooming of the area under the eyes keeping the hair short and the skin dry
  2. WIPING: Bulldog tear stains can be reduced by wiping often the wet surface using an appropriate wipe like Dr. Kraemers V4B Bully Tear StainLess XL Wipes. Timely wiping is critical, I recommend at least once or twice a day.
  3. NON-TYLOSIN SUPPLEMENT: in contrast to other OTC products that contain unauthorized potentially harmful antibiotics, Dr. Kraemers V4B Bully Tear StainLess Chews are Tylosin Free (antibiotics free). It contains botanical natural ingredients and is an easy to administer chew.
  4. WATER & FOOD BOWLS: stainless Steel feeding and water bowls are less likely to crack, easier to clean thus less likely to harbor and colonize porphyrin stimulating bacteria.
  5. SKINFOLD MOIST DERMATITIS: maintain and dry your bulldog and French bulldog skin folds to help eliminate bacteria and Malassezia yeast microorganisms (skin fold moist dermatitis), Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Antiseptic Skin Fold XL wipes are ideal for the daily maintenance of those folds.
  6. STRESS & NUTRITION: reducing stress, boosting the immune system and balanced nutrition could help. This can be complemented with various supplements such us Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Immune Support, Bully StressLess, Bully Fish Oil Immune-Skin-Joint, Bully Multivitamin Advanced Formula, and Bully Pre-ProBiotic.

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