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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message
bleaching out stains
by Valan

bleaching out stains Hi! Recently someone suggested using Hydrogen peroxide or Crystal Clear to bleach out stains on the face and front feet. Do you use the peroxide straight? Isn't it dangerous if ingested? The same question goes for the Crystal Clear.
Hydrogen peroxide stings like h... if you get it in the eyes. It will/may cause your dog to vomit if ingested. I don't know if its poison. I don't know anything about the other stuff. I used hydrogen peroxide to make my rat terrier puppy vomit after she ate some Sudden Death rat poison. (It was about to kill the wrong kind of rat.) The vet said to give it to her because time was of the essence here. (Check with your vet before giving this treatment) I gave her 2 oz., she vomited several times, and that was that. She is laying all streched out on the water bed right now recharging her bateries!!!! She has been outside tormenting the coon hounds. Actually the peroxide was in form of Aosept disinfectant for contact lens. Think about this for a second and you will understand how I know first hand how peroxide burns like h... if you get it into your eyes. I screamed, cried, vibrated, etc. from intense pain. I know these tales are a little off the subject. It has been my experience to learn from stories rather than thou shalt nots. Deb
Valen: I use the topical solution for my Taffy's eyes. Just a DROP on the Q-tip for each eye, try not to gey it in the eye, just close to it where you see the staining. My dog lets me do it without a problem! She sits nice, I sweet-talk to her and she lets me apply the q-tip to both eyes. Ir's about6%of peroxide, does not hurt the dog, do it gently and very carefully, and you should have no problems. I'm not an expert, but it works for me!
Please, I would highly recommend that you check out Jays note on Tear Staining on the main menu! I would not recommend peroxide or any kind of bleach. My baby has some staining and I try to keep it as clean as I can when I bathe him with "Crystal Eye". I also try to just take a wash cloth a few times a week to keep it from becoming so bad. Again check out the main menu on this subject.
Libby & Buster
Valan - I use a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch and milk of magnesia to bleach out eye stain but that is a temporary solution. You need to try to find out why your puppy is staining. How old is your puppy? Frequently puppies will stain when they are teething. Ear mites also cause eye stain - do you see anything dark colored in your puppy's ears? If your puppy is under 1 yr. old, you might talk to your vet about putting her on Lincocin. Sometimes that helps. If she is over 1 yr, ask your vet to put her on 50 mg tetracycline for 30 days. Do not use tetracycline on a puppy under one year as it will damage the enamel on the teeth and leave the teeth yellow. If neither of those solve the problem, you should talk to your vet about flushing the tear ducts. This requires a general anesthesia but usually works. Good Luck
I can confirm the terrible pain from the Aosept contact solution. I popped a contact in my eye with the aosept on them, and it hurt like @#@$#@. If that is what they were referring to for around the eyes maybe its not worth the risk for looks.
Kathy S.
Am I missing something here? Is there a health risk involved with tear staining? My Taffy has tear staining, so I just keep it as clean as I can. Her eyes look clear and there are no infections or anything. So I would rather have some staining, (she is not a show dog), rather than ever risking using peroxide or anything similiar. It seems we have to put enough on them and in them to prevent more serious things, so I draw the line at using anything else.
Robin K.
RobinK - I totally agree with you. Why worry about tearstaining? If there is no health problem with it and you aren't showing the little guy/girl why worry. Enjoy your fluffball.
Libby & Buster
Has anyone investigated their dog's diet. Sometimes food dyes play a big part in staining. Check about their diet!
I have to agree with Robin. I mentioned Mika's tearing a while back in another posting. Her vet says the tearing is due to an enzyme that is excreted in the tears called "porphrins" (spelling?) and they are clear when they are released, but upon exposure to ultraviolet light, they turn dark. Mika's fighting conjuctivitus right now and we're also trying an antihistimine, but as for the staining, it will just have to grow out. I've heard others mention the tear duct flushing, and Mika might still need to have this done, but controlling the excessive tearing is probably the best way to prevent the staining. The food Mika eats does not have dyes in it. My vet also has told me that while dogs have been under sedation (for the tear duct flushing) he has tried everything to bleach out the stains, including hydrogen peroxide, and nothing REALLY works, because, as soon as new tears hit the air, whammo there's new staining. I had one groomer cut the stained fur away when Mika was only about 6 mos. old. I was not happy, because I had gone to her for instruction in how to keep the hair clipped away from her eyes so it wouldn't irritate her eyes. Mika came home looking like a poodle puppy, not a maltese, and I had been doing a good job of trimming the corners of her eyes with baby scissors. I have never heard anyone mention the effects of ultraviolet light on the tears here, so I promised my vet I would post it. I hope I did it adequately. He's a graduate of Cornell Vet School and still does research and lecturing for Cornell, as well as working with their interns, so I believe he is well qualified to speak to this issue. I think he's great. And I am saying this after realizing I am coming on the one year anniversary of our having to put to sleep the very best dog anyone could ever have had the pleasure of being owned by. This vet saw us through all her fifteen years of life and, even though she wasn't a Maltese, in fact was a beautiful collie/retriever mutt from the SPCA, (she was the spitting image of Murray on the TV sitcom Mad About You), she was very special. My vet was wonderful about coming in on Superbowl Sunday, and helping me finally say goodbye. It was not easy, for either of us. I am looking to Mika to get me through this Sunday with hugs and kisses. I truly love this 10 pound tear-stained ball of fur! June and Mika
June: Sounds to me like you found a really wonderful vet. I know how hard it is to lose a pet, but it helps some when you have someone who understands and cares that much with you.. hats off to him. I also remember a vet telling me the tears are clear, then turn brownish when light and air hits them (I don't remember specifically ultraviolet light, but it was a long time ago). In any case, the tear staining itself doesn't seem to be a health problem, but excessive tearing can be a sign of an underlying problem with the tear ducts or the eyes. (I never heard about the food dyes, but that is interesting, have they done any research on it?). Puff's had that since he was a pup, and we just keep his eyes real clean (I just use warm water on a gauze pad usually), and we clip the hair arround the eyes when it gets bad. I don't really mind the stains that much though, he's still cute even with a little staining.
I have tried bleaching my little ones facial hair and it does work. Except that if you don't stop the tearing problem at the roots, it doesn't help to keep bleaching the hair. Bleaching is very dangerous. It can make your maltese blind. Be very careful if you decide to bleach. Also, the hair gets very dry so you must use a lot of conditioner. Lots and lots of it. It's never too much. Before you think about bleaching, I would recommend that you check a few items.

1) Find out if your dog food has any color additives (I feed mine Iams Lamb and rice, works great!)
2) Do not feed you dog's tap water ( Tap water has a lot of bad stuff in it that can make your dogs tear. Use commercial water.
3) Keep eyes dry! Wipe, comb and keep hair out of eyes.Good Luck! Michelle

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