We are committed to provide service 24 X 7

Deals, Shopping, Training, Tools


Pet owners are always responsible for their four-legged friends, and this implies not neglecting any aspect and  need of the dog (be it physical, social or psychological). It is imperative to know what your dog needs, and knowing it thoroughly means watching out for and observing how disorders and health problems occur. Epiphora in Dogs is such a condition which is a cause of concern for affected dog owners.

Epiphora (excessive tearing) refers an abnormal overflow of tears down the face that results from either obstruction of tear drainage through the nasolacrimal (tear duct) system or overproduction of tears that overwhelms the normal drainage system. Normal dogs may occasionally have minor tear overflow or minor eye discharge. However, excessive, chronic or recurrent bouts of epiphora suggest a problem may be present.

The overproduction of tears is most often a reflex, activated to expel irritating material from the surface of the eye or when significant irritation develops inside the eye. Although uncommon in dogs, epiphora may also result from overactive lacrimal (tear) glands and be unassociated with any source of irritation. Breeds who have smaller faces or smooshed noses, structural defects, or inflamed or blocked tear ducts can have tears that do not drain properly. You may notice, with your lighter colored dogs, a tear stain on their fur near their eyes and snout. Behavioral changes and some obvious symptoms represent the alarm bell, thanks to which it is possible to understand that something is wrong and therefore something must be done as soon as possible. Today, the overflow of tears on the face is a common finding in dogs. It can produce a brown coloration of the facial hair in dogs.

Major causes of epiphora in dogs

Here is break down of the main reasons why this occurs in our canine buddies:

  • An allergic reaction or automatic response to foreign objects lodged in the eyes. Irritants such as dust, sand, or insects that come in contact with your pooch’s eyeballs are always an unwelcome guest that needs to be immediately deported from the area—and this is where the tears come in. The objective, in a nutshell, is to flush away the offending intruder and wash the eyes clean. Respiratory or food allergies can also trigger the waterworks, just as we humans tear up when we accidentally eat something, or get exposed to something that we are allergic to
  • Blockage in the tear drainage system. Your dog’s nasolacrimal or tear duct system usually flushes down tears through the puncta, those teeny, tiny holes in the corner of the eye. It then leads to a series of pathways that end up in your dogs nose
  • Overproduction of tears due to overactive tear glands. A very rare case, in which the lacrimal glands are working overtime to produce tears, even without the presence of irritants in the eyes, infection, underlying disease, or blockages in the drainage system. This is when epiphora in dogs is a condition, and not a symptom of any other health issues.

Signs of epiphora in dogs

Fortunately, epiphora in dogs has plenty of noteworthy symptoms that allow you to identify and treat the dog quickly. Here is a collection of the commonly experienced symptoms of Epiphora:

  • Staining under eyes and along with the nose
  • Wetness and dampness around the eyes
  • Rubbing of eyes and face
  • Crust around eyes
  • Swollen face and eyelids
  • Excessive blinking/squinting
  • Redness in eyes
  • Pupil size changes

If your furry buddy is experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should seek medical assistance right away. Sometimes, dogs with epiphora exhibit neither of these signs or do so suddenly. In any case, take immediate action as severe epiphora can lead to sight loss too

See Your Vet

Your first step should be to see your regular veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist. Your vet will likely examine the eye to make sure there is no foreign body is present. They will look distichiasis or ectopic cilium that is when an eyelash grows abnormally in such a way it ends up facing the cornea instead of facing away. This is common in most breeds.

Your vet  will also check for other causes of excess tear production such as conjunctivitis, uveitis and glaucoma. Sometimes epiphora is not a result of excessive tear production but is a problem with tear drainage.

Normally tears exit the eye through small holes called puncta, which leads to a duct called the nasolacrimal duct which empties out into the nose. This is why we have to blow our noses whenever we have a good cry. Sometimes this duct can be blocked with debris such as grass awns, rhinitis or sinusitis, which results in soft tissue swelling around the duct leading to occlusion.

Some breeds such as poodles are predisposed to imperforate puncta which is when the nasolacrimal duct does not develop right resulting in chronic epiphora due to lack of drainage. Your veterinarian may use a fluoresecein stain to check for corneal ulcerations and to check the patency of the nasolacrimal duct. In a normal dog, fluorescein stain will appear around the nose a few minutes after applying the stain to the eye.

Treatment Options

Treatment for epiphora in dogs varies depending on the cause. It can be something as easy: changing the diet, prescribing an antihistamine (for allergies), applying medicated drops, or antibiotics (infections). It can also be more intensive treatments like surgery or electrolysis (genetic defects). Your vet will be able to help you choose the right option for your furry best friend.

Even if the epiphora is benign, one of the most important things you can do at this stage is to keep your pup comfortable and, most importantly, keep the area clean. Wipe away the excess fluid carefully (we recommend using one of our Squish face Wrinkle Wipes to get the job done). Make sure the under eyes stay flushed and free of bacteria before it can cause infection in the skin

In most cases, epiphora is an easily treatable condition that should not affect the long-term health of your dog. With the help of some deep cleaning on the affected area – your pooch will be back to normal in no time!


Your Cart is Empty

Back To Shop