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Tear Ducts Flushed

by Linda

Please help me! I live in Australia and took my 7 mth old Maltese to the vet last week because I had noticed a wet patch just behind her nose. There seemed to be no pigmentation on this small area and I was concerned it had something to do with being out in the hot sun.. Sometimes I would notice a droplet of liquid there and other times it just seemed to be wet and form a crusty patch. To my surprise the vet seemed to think it was coming from one of her eyes and runing down to her nose. On a closer examination and clipping back of her hair around the area you could see that it was coming from her left eye. He suggested that I use an antibiotic cream for a week and then bring her back and have her tear ducts flushed out (under a general). If I didn't have this procedure done she could form ulcers in her eyes which he told me are extreamly painful. He also said this was a common problem in Maltese. Can anyone help me? I don't wan't to put this off any longer especially as it seems to be bothering my little Ellie as she is always rubbing her face on the carpet.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

When I read your post I thought I was reading about my own dog. Sophie also is 7 months old. She also has a spot that gets crusty from the drainage from her left eye. She has had it since we got her from the breeder at 5 months. I have used some antibiotic drops that didn't do anything last month. Last week we had her spayed, baby teeth pulled and they tried to flush her tear ducts but the vet said he couldn't even find them. He said this was a first for him. He said nothing about it causing painful ulcers though. Now I'm thinking that maybe I need to get a second opinion. I just try to keep it clean by washing her face every day (and she certainly doesn't enjoy this!!) I hope they are able to flush your dogs ducts. Good luck.

Well, I can only speak from my experience. But my little one has the same problem in her right eye--at least that's what the vet thought it was. He did a test while we were there--he put something in her eyes (harmless) and then watched to see if it came out her nose to see if the ducts were clogged, with an ultraviolet light? (forgot now the regular lights were out). Sure enough the side she has the tear staining is the side where nothing came out. He gave us a quote of $150 to flush it, but said if it was a birth defect, and the area didn't develop fully for some reason, it would take major surgery to straighten it out. He said we could make up our minds about the flushing, but said nothing about ulcers, so mine might not be the same thing. In fact, he wasn't too concerned about it at all. May be time for second opinion? We go through vets like crazy trying to find one who is nice, listens to me, and cares. I really liked this one, he didn't even charge me for the test, and he seems like the most ethical one I've been to, but who knows! Hope this helps.

I have the same problem with "Alex". Both of his tear canals are blocked. So he is always wet around his nose. The vet did a test, that's why we know that his canals are blocked. He said he will take care of it when we are having him neutered and is under anesthesia anyway. In the meantime, I have an antibiotic creme to put in his eyes. I will have Alex neutered on the 11th of november. The vet said that a lot of tiny dogs have the tear canals blocked or they are almost non existant. Alex also has the problem of just one testicle descended. I hope everything will be allright.

Hi Linda:My 2 y.o. female's face was always wet from tears and she would scoot her face along the carpet trying to dry it. It not only looked bad, but it was obvious it bothered her, so I had the vet check it out. The first thing he did was place fluorescent-looking drops in her eyes to check for tumors. She had no tumers, but he waited to see how long it took for the drops to move down through the lacrimal ducts ( these run from the lower inside eye ducts through the nostrils). The drops never made it through indicatiing blockage. He thought it might have been caused by an eye infection when she was a puppy ( I got her a 1.5 years old so I didn't know) We decided to flush the ducts. It is not a pleasant ordeal, but I felt it would benefit her in the long run. This took place a week ago yesterday. Her face has remained dry for a week now and she no longer scoots along the carpet. Interestingly, she used to scratch like crazy and lick her feet and she has stopped doing both those things. I can't imagine a connection there, but the coincidence is interesting. She also is breathing easier and doesn't sneeze as often. You might want to know that her after effects of anethesia were tremors and sleepiness which lasted for 6 days. The vet said this was not uncommon. Sorry I've run on so long about this....I know how worrisome any proceedure involving anethesia is. Hope it all goes well for both of you.

I understand what you mean. I have a 3 years old maltese. He was ok. during the first 2 years but since one year ago he started to get red from some tears coming from his eyes. I saw a vet about this problem in South America. He did the same test with the violet light. He said it was normal in maltese and that there is not cure for that. I saw a vet in the States too and he said the same thing. I actually do not know if nobody knows what really happens or if it is really harmless. Here in the States they gave me some medicine with cortizone. It seemed to work at the very beginning but after a couple of months didn't work any more. I am worried about that two. I try to clean his face everyday but the redish fluid doesn't come out.

My Shelby also has a bad tearing problem. I clean her face daily and the next day she'll be all crusty again between her eyes. The discharge from her eyes is watery but a little sticky too. I have a vet appointment to check this out as I know it can't be normal. She may have a tear duct problem too.

I had a little female maltese ("pet quality") for nearly 15 years and she had a constant discharge from both of her eyes. No vet ever even mentioned any concern about it and when I asked, I was told that small dogs sometimes have this problem. I kept the hair under the eyes trimmed short which seemed to help her not be so bothered by the tearing. Evidently it's the chemistry of the tears that cause the staining. Boric acid solution helped clean some of the stain and was not harmful to my pet. She's gone now and I'm hoping to get another in the next few weeks. It's helpful to know that this is a problem common to the breed and may be surgically corrected. Thanks for the insight!

Thanks to all of you who replied. I somehow feel a little comforted in knowing that there are other dogs out there with the same problem. Not that I wish this on anyone. I have decided to have her tear ducks flushed on Monday. I hope all goes well. I will let you know the outcomes.

If tear staining & crusty eyes are a problem, I highly recommend Tetracycline Treatment! My pooch also had the crusty, dark eye kaka that accumulated on a daily basis. Now that I put him on tetracycline treatment, (so far, I have given him very minimal doses!) his eyes & surrounding areas are sparkling clear! Ask your Vet about trying out the drops!

I always wonder when people say they have their dog on tetracycline for tear stain, how long do you keep them on it. That is an antibiotic and can do serious damage to the liver if taken to long, so I hope that isnt the case. I also have a small famale who has tear ducts that cannot be flushed open, we tried also. I use the coloidal silver in her eyes every once in awhile, and all the tear stain have gone. The bacteria that make the red stains dont like this stuff and dont grow in the tears. I was never told anything about ulcers if the tear ducts are closed. My vet said that you can damage the eyes by putting eye drops in continuously, maybe that is what your vet meant. Anyhow, it has been well over a year and no problem. I also clip a little hair away from the corner of the eye so it doesnt irritate her eyes, and her face is clean, and it was badly stained. Good luck.

I wonder if the lady named Pam in this discussion is the same Pam who asked me about Missing Link for eyes, in one of the questions above concerning hair loss. As advised by 2 AMA show/breeders, I used Tylan - a pinch per day for 30 days and it completely cleared up Angel's eyes, and reduced the flow by 1/2 on Fanci's eyes as she is still teething. Tylan is actually an antibiotic for poultry and is marketed by Omaha Vaccine.

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