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Here’s the short of it: I came back from a three-week trip to Korea to my Sophie Bean with tear stains. Before I had left, her face had been stain-free for a year.

The only thing that really changed is her food. Under normal circumstances, I home-cook for Sophie on some days, and feed her Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried lamb on other days. Well, before I had left, I bought a bag of Paw Naturaw’s bison diet and elk diet. I instructed the boyfriend to feed her the bison for breakfast and the elk for dinner. He said she seemed to be doing fine on it, but about two weeks into feeding her the Paw Naturaw, she started staining at the corner of her eyes, which gradually worsened. When I returned, I immediately stopped the Paw Naturaw, and started feeding her home-cooked meals again.

While I was away, the BF also insists that he rinsed her eyes out with eye drops twice daily, and tried his hardest to make sure her eyes were clear of hair/debris; he works full-time, so he did the best he could, which I’m utterly thankful for!

The BF suggested that the tearing and staining might be due to it being pollen season in California, but then again, this was never a problem for Sophie in the past.

Before, when her staining was really, really bad, I took her to an animal eye specialist, who reassured me that her eyes were absolutely fine. She wanted me to start Sophie on Tylan, but I never did, and most likely, never will. When I first started to incorporate more home-cooked meals into her diet, I noticed that her staining gradually lessened until she stopped staining completely, so I think I can attribute the cessation of her staining to diet.

Anyway, I’ve made an appointment with her vet on Saturday, just to rule out any type of infection I might be unaware of. In the meantime, what do you think it is? Do you think it’s the Paw Naturaw? I stopped feeding her Paw Naturaw, but she's continuing to stain?? I guess I’m just really frustrated, as I thought this whole tear staining issue was gone for good. The BF failed to mention anything over the phone when I was in Korea (he says he didn’t want to ruin my trip), so you can imagine my horror when I saw Sophie’s face when I returned. :duh oh:
 

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Maybe it's the Paw Naturaw. Maybe it's stress, though? Our fluffs are so sensitive emotionally also. If I leave Casanova on the same floor as the cat overnight (even with a gate), he will get diarrhea the next day. Never fails. Maybe Sophie was stressed you were gone?
 

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Boo got tearstaining after his ACL surgery. He'd been pretty much stainfree for 5 yrs. But about 2 or 3 weeks after his surgery, he began staining badly. Not just his eyes,but all around his mouth too, the orangy rusty like stains.No changes had been made in his food. No amount of eyedrops & face washing helped at all. The vet wasn't much help at all. Boo had finished all of his meds,which were Medicam,Amoxicillin,& Tramadol. I put him on Probiotics I ordered from Mercola & continued to wash his face a lot & put in the eyedrops. He slowly improved. Then he had to have surgery on his other knee. I was expecting the staining to start again but it didn't. The old staining is slowly growing out & he seems ok now. I guess I'll never know what caused it, but trying the probiotics seemed better than going with the Tylan,especially since he'd been taking Amoxicillin for 2 weeks prior to the staining.Maybe it was caused by stress,maybe it was the meds,maybe not. We're just waiting for the stains to grow out now & hoping it doesn't start again. Hope you can find out what the problem is for Sophie.
 

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Maybe it's stress, though? Our fluffs are so sensitive emotionally also. If I leave Casanova on the same floor as the cat overnight (even with a gate), he will get diarrhea the next day. Never fails. Maybe Sophie was stressed you were gone?
:goodpost: ... I'm also thinking stress since you were gone for so long and she is probably very attached to you... I'm betting it will grow back out now that mommy's back where she belongs! :)
 

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Sarah, I'm think it may have to do with the stress too. Maltese seem to be extremely attached to their owners. I'm starting to see just how stress effects them in situations like this. Could be the food too though. (okay I'm no help at all)

The other day when I was speaking to my Vet about Bisou getting stressed out while I was away and getting infections and staining, he recommended that perhaps the week or so before I boarded her, to give her probiotics daily and then some again for another week or so when I returned, just to boost up her immune system, just in case.
 

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Like Suzan said, she may be sensitive to the Bison or Elk if it's her first time trying it. Many raw feeders comment on tear stains improving or disappearing when they switch to raw, but I have heard of a few that mention tear stains starting when they begin feeding raw.

I also believe a huge part of it could be stress from you being away, coupled with having a different person groom her other than yourself (men never do it quite as thoroughly as women) so even though I'm sure your bf did his best, it probably isn't the same quality you would have done yourself and that could also have contributed to the staining.
 

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Jax has started staining again, but I know it's because it's wonderful pollen/allergy season here. He stains every June - like clockwork - and it's bad!

Hers may be from stress, the food or the season. Hopefully it clears up soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, everyone, for responding! I have never fed Sophie elk before, but she’s no stranger to bison, so there's definitely a possibility that she's sensitive to the elk.

If her staining were due to stress, when could I expect her to stop staining? Unfortunately, she’s continuing to stain, even though I’ve been back with her for almost two weeks.

I’ll be sure to ask her vet about this tomorrow, as well as the possibility of food and seasonal allergies or some type of underlying infection contributing to her staining. If only it were easier pinpointing the cause. My life would be so much…easier! :smilie_tischkante:

Thanks for the tip about the probiotics, Sue and Andrea. Sophie does get Greek yogurt frequently. I’m glad both Boo and Bisou’s stains have stopped. I’m really hoping Sophie’s stains will come to a halt, too. :smpullhair: Before, when her stains were really bad, I had almost sort of given up and accepted the stains, but since I've seen that Sophie can actually be free of stains, I'm all the more determined to get rid of them!!!
 

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Well, the good news is that Sophie doesn’t have any sort of infection. I guess I already knew that she didn’t have one, but I took her in, just for peace of mind, I guess.

My vet pretty much explained to me what we already know, LOL-- that food sensitivity and stress could both have contributed to Sophie’s tearing and staining, but he was leaning more toward seasonal allergies. He wanted me to start Sophie on a two-week course of an antihistamine, and if her tearing lessened during the course, a chronic course of an antihistamine would be the best option, according to him. I politely declined. He said I could also give her a vitamin C supplement, which I’m going to look into, but I’m thinking she gets enough in her vegetables?? Ugh, I don’t know... I’ve also read some stuff on zinc, which I’m looking into further. I’m not even fully convinced this is due to seasonal allergies. Shouldn’t her eyes be itchy? Shouldn’t she be tearing excessively? She’s not showing any signs of discomfort, and it doesn’t seem like her eyes are itchy. She is tearing a little more now than she was before I had left, but I wouldn't say it's excessive.

For now, I'm just going to continue to feed her home-cooked meals for a month or so, and then go from there. I just hope I see some improvement soon! :smpullhair:
 

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Well, the good news is that Sophie doesn’t have any sort of infection. I guess I already knew that she didn’t have one, but I took her in, just for peace of mind, I guess.

My vet pretty much explained to me what we already know, LOL-- that food sensitivity and stress could both have contributed to Sophie’s tearing and staining, but he was leaning more toward seasonal allergies. He wanted me to start Sophie on a two-week course of an antihistamine, and if her tearing lessened during the course, a chronic course of an antihistamine would be the best option, according to him. I politely declined. He said I could also give her a vitamin C supplement, which I’m going to look into, but I’m thinking she gets enough in her vegetables?? Ugh, I don’t know... I’ve also read some stuff on zinc, which I’m looking into further. I’m not even fully convinced this is due to seasonal allergies. Shouldn’t her eyes be itchy? Shouldn’t she be tearing excessively? She’s not showing any signs of discomfort, and it doesn’t seem like her eyes are itchy. She is tearing a little more now than she was before I had left, but I wouldn't say it's excessive.

For now, I'm just going to continue to feed her home-cooked meals for a month or so, and then go from there. I just hope I see some improvement soon! :smpullhair:
Thanks for the update, Sarah. I hope she stops tear staining soon. I know how hard it is to figure out.
 
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