Do you happen to own a pooch and have recently discovered red/rusty stains on it? Do not worry at all! Here is the whole guide for you to take better care of your dog and get rid of those fur stains. Well, those red/rusty spots are usually termed as ‘Porphyrin Stains’ and for the most part, they are treatable. So, let’s delve a little deeper into how Porphyrin stains are formed and what you can do to treat and prevent them from occurring in the future.
What Is Porphyrin Tear Staining?
Porphyrin tear staining in dogs is common and if you are the owner of a do with white fur then i’m sure you can easily recall many events when you saw the patches of your dog’s beautiful white furs turning red or brown. Even though this change is most evident in light-colored dogs it does not mean that dark-colored dogs are exempted from this condition, its just that its a lot more noticeable. So, what is porphyrin staining?
If you have noticed this on your dog don’t freak out just yet! This color change itself is not harmful at all but it is also a clear indication that your dog is facing any of either two health problems; a yeast infection or porphyrin imbalance.
The yeast infection turns the fur of your dog brown and it is primarily caused by a special type of yeast namely Malassezia. Ultimately, if your dog suffers from this condition he is at risk for skin and ear infections.
On the other hand, red/rusty furs are caused by a compound know as porphyrin. These are iron laced molecules that are produced by the body when breaking red blood cells. Eventually, they leave the body through feces. In addition to this, porphyrin can also be discharged in the form of tears, saliva and urine which turns the affected area into a red or rusty tinge. You must have also noticed that when your pooch is licking or chewing their leg, the furs turn iron-brown. Do not get scared at all because it is due to their saliva.
How To Tell Whether Staining In Dogs Is Due to Yeast Imbalance?
Its pretty common for people to confuse these two health problems (yeast imbalance and porphyrin staining), because they fail to identify if the color change is brown or rusty. So, here is the quick guide for you to easily identify the culprit . Whenever you identify fur staining, the first thing that you should do is to smell the stains. If the stains are smelly, there’s a fair probability that its as a result of a yeast imbalance .
Note: Porphyrin staining in dogs reduces when they reach maturity age.
What Are The Causes Of Porphyrin Stains In Dogs?
So know that we know how to identify the different types of staining in Dogs, lets move on to the different ways in which porphyrin stains can be manifested and the causes of it. Read on and check if our buddy is facing any of these health issues.
1. Eye Staining in dogs
These following problems can cause eye staining in your pooch:
· Eye irritation
· Eye infections (bacteria/fungal/viral)
· Blocked tear ducts
· Scratch/cut on the eye
· Poor grooming (hair near the eyes of the dog creates a suitable environment for the yeast infection)
· Allergy causing irritation
· Conformational abnormalities (including narrow tear ducts, shallow eye sockets, overactive tear ducts, narrow eyes, rolling of the eyelids, extra skin folds and abnormally placed eyelashes.)
2. Mouth staining in dogs
The following medical issues can lead to mouth staining in dogs:
· Excess saliva production (can be a result of dental problems to eradicate bacteria)
· Gum diseases
· Dental Problems (e.g abscesses)
3. Allergies in dogs
Just like humans, dogs are allergic to many things. As a result, they try to find every possible way to get relief from this irritation, itching, and discomfort caused by allergies. For this purpose, they lick and scratch the affected area. Consequently, the fur turns red/rusty when the dog is experiencing a porphyrin imbalance. Further, the scratched area becomes fertile ground for a yeast infection to thrive and grow.
4. Breed of the dog
Porphyrin staining can be experienced by any dog. Yes! Even your dog can experience it but there are some special breeds of dogs that are more prone to it. These include Maltese, Bulldogs, Poodles, Bichons, and Boxers. Mostly, dogs with short noses, poor drainage, and shallow eye sockets are normally more susceptible to porphyrin staining.
What Is Porphyrin Ring?
Porphyrin staining in dogs causes red/rusty stains and these iron-containing molecules are made up of porphyrin rings. Looking deeper into the structure, every porphyrin ring has 4 pyrroles and every pyrrole consists of 4 carbons and 1 nitrogen molecules. Interestingly, pyrrole molecules are connected with each other to form a larger ring.
The porphyrin molecule is the waste product of red blood cells which is created during the process of biosynthesis of hemoglobin. During the cycle of biosynthesis, carbon dioxide and energy molecules are produced along with porphyrin molecules. Later on, these porphyrin molecules excrete to bile, urine, and tears.
According to medical details, excess porphyrins are the result of specific enzyme deficiency in the heme synthesizing pathway.
How To Get Rid Of Porphyrin Stains?
So far, you have learned a lot about porphyrin staining in dogs and now it’s time to help your pooch to look cute again by getting rid of porphyrin stains, but how? Lets get into it!
1. Cut the hair around the eyes and nose of your dog as short as possible.
2. Keep your pooch clean and dry, you should consider using baby shampoo and a warm washcloth to clean the area around the eyes and stained fur patches.
3. You can use eyelid and eyelash cleaning pads. For your convenience, you can use contact lens solutions too. The boric acid present in the contact lens solution helps to oxidize the iron in porphyrin stains.
4. Sun makes the porphyrin staining in dogs darker. Therefore, use Vitamin C liquid to oxidize the iron contained in porphyrin stains. This will help to lighten the stain significantly.
5. Tylosin based products are usually a pretty effective solution for the treatment of porphyrin staining in dogs.
6. There are varieties of probiotics supplements that claim to lighten porphyrin stains. Some of them are PetPost Tear Stain Remover Soft Chews, NaturVet Tear Stain Plus Lutein Soft Chew, and Tearplex Tear Stain Supplement for Dogs.
7. Consider antibiotics, administered under veterinary’s supervision. Drugs like metronidazole, doxycycline, and enrofloxacin are reported to be quite helpful in reducing these stains.
8. Consider distilled/ bottled water for your pooch because tap water might contain a high level of iron and other minerals causing an imbalance of porphyrin levels.
9. Do you use glass or stainless steel bowl to feed your dog? If no, then buy it for your buddy because plastic bowls harbor bacteria which can lead to porphyrin staining in dogs.
10. Your dog may be allergic to smoke, dust, perfume or spray, etc. Therefore, control the environmental exposures of your dog and keep him/her safe from allergens.
11. Herbal remedies and apple cider vinegar can help too.
Note: It is good to consult your groomer or discuss your dog’s condition with other pet parents having the same breed of the dog as of yours, but it is always best to approach the veterinarian before trying any treatment.
Top Products For Porphyrin Tear Stains
There is a variety of products available on the market to treat porphyrin staining in dogs including tylosin powder, eye drops, tear stain removers, and pre-soaked wipes. Some of the best are shared below:
Tylosin Powder for Porphyrin Tear Stains
Tylosin is an antibiotic which is mostly commonly used by the dog owners in the treatment of tear stains including those caused by porphyrin. Because it’s in powdered form and bitter to swallow, it is advised to pour it into an empty gelatin capsule before administering. Tylosin is also available in liquid form that can be administered in form of an injection.
While you can give it to your dog with or without food it’s recommended that yous serve it with your pooch’s favorite meal. Moreover, the powder just takes 1-2 hours to take effect and with regular usage, it doesn’t take long for your to notice visible results.
5 Best Products:
1. Natural Rapport Eye Tear Stain Remover for Dogs:
This is a is specially prepared formula designed to remove the porphyrin staining in dogs naturally. The formula is made up of plant-based surfactants, palm oil, coconut oil, and water. Importantly, it does not contain alcohol, parabens, sulfates, and phosphates. This natural eye tear stain remover can be used on the beard of your dog and other stained parts.
2. Particular Paws Tear Stain Remover for Dogs:
This product makes it to number two on our list for the treatment of porphyrin staining in dogs primarily because of its ingredients. The product has lemongrass and lavender essential oil with the addition of tea tree oil and garlic extract. This combination cleans the stains and inhibits future porphyrin staining.
3. Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs:
This product can be used daily and in case of an emergency too. The best thing about it is that the formula is specifically designed to reduce eye irritation in dogs and removes other debris.
4. Vet Classics Tear Stain Remover:
Puppies are sensitive to some chemicals but you can use this product for over six weeks. It is because of its herb-based formula which not only removes stains but helps to prevent a recurrence.
5. Arava Pet Eye Wipes Dead Sea Spa for Pets:
Its gentle formula makes ideal for puppies and adult dogs too. It is made up of 26 natural dead Sea minerals which are essential to kill bacteria which causing tear staining in dogs.
If you have discovered porphyrin staining in your dog, it means he/she needs you. Help your pooch by restoring its beautiful fur.