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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:w00t:Most of us know that the Maltese is a high maintenance breed and that their coats need lots of attention. I believe we need to be caring for their eyes as judiciously as we do their coats. I have learned a few things that really work.

1. Inspect eyes daily for hair or other irritants that may have gotten in and get them out. My vet recommends the Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief eyewash which can be found at any drugstore. It is very soothing and will wash out hair and other irritants. ( My girls like it!)

2. Keep hair out of the eyes. Tie it up or cut bangs. Trim the little hairs around the eyes that can sometimes stick in them.

3. Keep the area around the eyes clean and dry. A small tissue dampened with water or the eyewash can be used. Pay special attention to the corners. Use tiny blunt-tip scissors to cut away stained hairs as needed. Don't worry, it grows back fast. I use another tissue to help dry the area. Pure cornstarch may then be applied with a q-tip which helps keep the area dry and as a bonus, also whitens. (do not use powder-it contains silica which can scratch the eye if it gets in.)

I have heard that there are breeders who claim that they produce dogs with no staining. I'm not sure about that as there can be many causes of tear staining. However, some Maltese do not have tear stain.

Let's do all we can to keep our babies' eyes clean and bright.
 

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Very interesting and informative.. Thank you very much for taking the time to educate us on this important matter..

Jayne
 

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Thank you for sharing these tips!

Just wanted to clarify - you think that tear staining in an adult dog at a breeders home is what kind of red flag? Like 'don't buy from that breeder' red flag?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My "red flag" meaning is that if the adults have staining, there is a good chance that the babies will also have difficulty with staining as adults. Please keep in mind that I am speaking generally. (I realize that there are a lot of things that cause staining)
 

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My "red flag" meaning is that if the adults have staining, there is a good chance that the babies will also have difficulty with staining as adults. Please keep in mind that I am speaking generally. (I realize that there are a lot of things that cause staining)
In my opinion, I think that care should be taken not to generalize about this and call tear staining a red flag, because a breeder's sire and dam might have tear stains that could be from a certain food they are eating, or other allergy specific to that dog, and have nothing to do with their genetics at all. Some puppies have tear staining, and none of their litter mates have it, and neither do their sire or dam, and vice versa. There are some good theories out there as to the cause of tear stains, and IMO there are several things that might trigger the immune system to produce them. My Nikki had horrible tear stains for the first 1.5 years of her life. She no longer has them. What caused them? I have no idea. What made them go away? I have no idea. Her dam does not have them at all.

Breeding to eliminate liver shunts is a good idea, but breeding to eliminate tear stains seems superficial to me, but I could be totally off base on this.
 

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I find the claims by many breeders that they produce dogs without tear staining to be laughable. A dog with no staining in one climate will have plenty if moved to another. There are SOOOO many causes of tear staining. Genetics ranks pretty low on the list.
 

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In my opinion, I think that care should be taken not to generalize about this and call tear staining a red flag, because a breeder's sire and dam might have tear stains that could be from a certain food they are eating, or other allergy specific to that dog, and have nothing to do with their genetics at all. Some puppies have tear staining, and none of their litter mates have it, and neither do their sire or dam, and vice versa. There are some good theories out there as to the cause of tear stains, and IMO there are several things that might trigger the immune system to produce them. My Nikki had horrible tear stains for the first 1.5 years of her life. She no longer has them. What caused them? I have no idea. What made them go away? I have no idea. Her dam does not have them at all.

Breeding to eliminate liver shunts is a good idea, but breeding to eliminate tear stains seems superficial to me, but I could be totally off base on this.

I completely agree.

Plus when a breeder has multiple dogs, it's hard to spend the amount of time dealing with tear stains that is sometimes needed.

Last year, I sold a puppy at age 6 mos who had no staining at all (and that is the age when there is usually staining from teething) I didn't do anything to prevent staining and I didn't clean his face daily, he just did not tear. At a year old, he now has pretty significant staining. I'm pretty certain something environmental is going on, and I'd actually like to figure out what the cause is so I know what triggered it (and can hopefully avoid it).

I know everyone has their pet peeves and what they like to see in a maltese, but calling tear staining on adults a 'red flag' is not something I agree with. I have minimal staining at my house so I'm not trying to justify anything here, but i am just thankful for the right environmental factors that keep my dogs faces on the whiter side. It's definitely not something that I am doing 'right' genetics or grooming wise.

Breeding for no tear staining is very low on my list. And even I did have a female that had significant staining, it wouldn't even cross my mind to not use her just because she had bad staining, especially if she had everything else I was looking for (structure, coat, temperament, tailset, pigment, etc) It just doesn't make much sense to me, honestly.
 

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Our Kitzel came stain free from Hungary---but Greece, esp. Athens is almost as bad as Mexico City w/pollution--plus he is teething. So, yes, we have stains. I am doing what I can w/Peace & Kindness alternating w/HP---I will try tetracycline later as a last resort. At the moment he has 2 baby teeth & 2 adult teeth in the same area. The baby teeth are not loose yet. I have cut some hair from the eye area after seeing the eye doctor for him on another matter. Patience will win!
 

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To Suzan- Perhaps "red flag" is too strong a term so I edited this comment. I do not agree that this is simply a cosmetic problem. Severe tearing/staining can cause yeast infections and sores on the skin around the eyes.

To you breeders-I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers. With all due respect, I know breeding is hard, hard work. I appreciate what you do. (yes I used to be a breeder) I have done a lot of research looking for breeders with "clean" Maltese. There ARE breeders out there producing dogs with no staining or minimal staining.(Laugh all you want.) My Rose has never had it. I have also seen Maltese with staining all over their faces, down their chests, etc., albeit most are not from show breeders. I would not use a dog that had a serious tearing/staining problem in my breeding program. It's ugly and can also be a health issue. Because of the size and shape of the eye, most have the tendency to tear but even you guys know that some can have severe problems with staining and nothing is wrong with the eye itself.

To all-I never said that tear staining is all genetic. I said that it CAN be. I also said that I realize that there are many causes. I am simply sharing what I learned and I stand by what I said.
 

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To Suzan- Perhaps "red flag" is too strong a term so I edited this comment. I do not agree that this is simply a cosmetic problem. Severe tearing/staining can cause yeast infections and sores on the skin around the eyes.

To you breeders-I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers. With all due respect, I know breeding is hard, hard work. I appreciate what you do. (yes I used to be a breeder) I have done a lot of research looking for breeders with "clean" Maltese. There ARE breeders out there producing dogs with no staining or minimal staining.(Laugh all you want.) My Rose has never had it. I have also seen Maltese with staining all over their faces, down their chests, etc., albeit most are not from show breeders. I would not use a dog that had a serious tearing/staining problem in my breeding program. It's ugly and can also be a health issue. Because of the size and shape of the eye, most have the tendency to tear but even you guys know that some can have severe problems with staining and nothing is wrong with the eye itself.

To all-I never said that tear staining is all genetic. I said that it CAN be. I also said that I realize that there are many causes. I am simply sharing what I learned and I stand by what I said.
Oh I didn't realize you used to be a breeder. Why did you stop? What was your kennel name? Did you show? Would love to see some of your past puppies!

As far as what dogs to use or not use in a breeding program, we can agree to disagree. Since I am breeding for dog that will hopefully be competitive in the show ring, I will maintain that tear staining is after correct structure, correct coat, out-going temperament, correct head, correct movment, good health, etc. I'm sorry if you think dogs with tear staining are ugly though. :huh: I'm sure their owners don't think they are ugly.
 

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To Suzan- Perhaps "red flag" is too strong a term so I edited this comment. I do not agree that this is simply a cosmetic problem. Severe tearing/staining can cause yeast infections and sores on the skin around the eyes.
Severe staining can cause secondary infection, but if one is diligent in keeping a pup's face clean and dry, the chance of sores and infection are drastically reduced. My Nikki had horrible staining and never had sores or infections around the eyes.

If a breeder is successful in breeding out allergies/sensitivities/food intolerances/teething/stress - all of which can be the CAUSE of tear stains, then they are indeed miracle workers. If all of the above health issues DIDN'T cause staining at all, or any outward symptoms, would breeders still try and breed those things out of their lines? Something to think about.

Not trying to be cranky, I just think that the tear stain issue has a lot of layers to it.
 

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Whether a pup has staining or not doesn't even factor into the short list for me when choosing a fluff. It is something that can be dealt with at an appropriate time, if necessary. I DO know a person or two who say they wouldn't even buy from a breeder whose dogs have staining to any degree......I vehemently disagree, but that's just me. And I actually recall reading on some show breeder's website that he guarantees that his dogs and pups will have no staining.....wonder how he can guarantee such a thing, especially if a pup develops an allergy, teethes, etc....

Regardless, I really don't sweat over the tearstaining issue and both of mine experience it to an extent.
 

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To Suzan- Perhaps "red flag" is too strong a term so I edited this comment. I do not agree that this is simply a cosmetic problem. Severe tearing/staining can cause yeast infections and sores on the skin around the eyes.

To you breeders-I'm sorry if I ruffled your feathers. With all due respect, I know breeding is hard, hard work. I appreciate what you do. (yes I used to be a breeder) I have done a lot of research looking for breeders with "clean" Maltese. There ARE breeders out there producing dogs with no staining or minimal staining.(Laugh all you want.) My Rose has never had it. I have also seen Maltese with staining all over their faces, down their chests, etc., albeit most are not from show breeders. I would not use a dog that had a serious tearing/staining problem in my breeding program. It's ugly and can also be a health issue. Because of the size and shape of the eye, most have the tendency to tear but even you guys know that some can have severe problems with staining and nothing is wrong with the eye itself.

To all-I never said that tear staining is all genetic. I said that it CAN be. I also said that I realize that there are many causes. I am simply sharing what I learned and I stand by what I said.


Yes, it is wonderful that your Rose has never had tear-staining. But she is one dog. She does NOT prove anything for an entire line. Nor can you suppose that in other hands, in a different climate, in a different diet you would have the same situation.

I am not a breeder, but I actually do have my feathers ruffled by the con job that some breeders do when they claim they breed dogs without tear staining. I see that you understand that genetics is just one factor. But you are elevating it to a place of importance that it just doesn't have. My point was that though genetics can play a part, that part is minimal compared the the MANY other causes of tear staining. I have seen breeders claim that they produce dogs without tear staining and while I have seen many dogs without staining, I have never seen a breeder with enough of a track record to quantify such things actually achieve the elusive tearstain-less line, despite their "claims" to the contrary.

My problem with what you have to say here is that you are contributing to the mythology that if you shop around you can find a dog without tear staining. Just last week I saw an ad by a BYB that is a familiar name on SM claiming her dogs do not have any. And when I see those kinds of claims it is laughable, but it is also frustrating. So many people are fooled by this. I wish puppy buyers would not be fooled into thinking that this is what they should look for in a breeder and instead should focus on the MUCH more important issues (health, temperament) rather than something that is usually cosmetic and can be fixed with appropriate nutrition and environment.
 

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Thank you for your tips and your babies are so pretty.

My malt has no tear stains neither does her mom and dad. But she does get crusting at the inner corners and I usually just pick it out cause it is dry. My question is how do I go about using the Bausch and Lomb eyewash to clean her eyes.
Thanks
 
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