The Dog Tale is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you buy something through our site; this doesn’t change our recommendations.
“How do I remove tear stains from my Yorkie?” If you have a Yorkshire Terrier and you’ve pondered this question before, you are not alone. Most Yorkshire Terriers experience tear stains at some point in their lives.
This guide explains what causes this Yorkie eye discharge, how to remove the gunk it leaves, and how to prevent it in the future.
In this review:
- What are Yorkie tear stains?
- How to clean Yorkie eye boogers and tear stains
- How to prevent Yorkie eye problems
What are Yorkie tear stains?
Yorkie tear stains are reddish-brown streaks left by a discharge under your dog’s eyes. Depending on how dark your Yorkie’s facial hair is, you may only notice the gunky build-up under their eyes and not the stain itself. Some dog owners know it by other names: eye gunk, crud, goop, discharge, or even eye boogers. Whatever you call it, it’s pretty gross.
The reddish-brown stains on the hair are typically the result of porphyrins. Porphyrins are iron-containing, naturally-occurring chemicals in the body. They are removed from the Yorkie’s body through their waste, urine, saliva, and tears.
Dog tear stains are usually related to epiphora, which is excessive tear production. It tends to be more of an unattractive annoyance, rather than a serious Yorkie health issue.
However, epiphora can happen for a variety of reasons, which is why it’s important to have your veterinarian look for any Yorkshire Terrier eye problems.
Some of the more serious causes of Yorkie eye discharge include:
- Ingrown eyelashes
- Eye infections
- Inverted eyelid
- Ear infections
- Poor diet
- Blocked tear ducts
- Bacterial or yeast infections
- Protect your pet in seconds
- Accident & Illness + Optional Wellness coverage available
- Policies start at just $9.99/mo
How to clean Yorkie eye boogers and tear stains
While you work with your vet to eliminate the root cause of your Yorkie eye problems, there are a few things you can do to get rid of the gunk under your dog’s eyes.
However, professionals have differing opinions on the best and safest way to clean the eye area. So, not being a veterinarian, I suggest you consult with your vet before trying any of these methods.
1. Flush your Yorkie’s eyes with a canine rinse
Flushing the eyes with a saline eye rinse will help rid the eye of irritating substances. This might not remove the current tear stains, but with regular use, it could help prevent more gunk from building up in the future.
Be sure to use a tear stain remover for dogs instead of a human saline solution. Oh…and as far as wrestling your dog down and squirting stuff into their eyes…godspeed and good luck!
Our recommendation: Vetericyn Plus Canine Eye Wash
- Promotes healthy eyes
- Non-irritating & non-toxic (safe if licked or ingested)
- No alcohol, steroids or antibiotics
- Works on all animal skin types
- Veterinarian recommended
2. Use an all-natural eye wipe
After you’ve flushed your dog’s eyes, you’ll want to wipe clean their under-eye area.
This cleaning can easily be done during your regular Yorkie bath time. Rub a small amount of Yorkie-safe shampoo on a warm cloth, then gently rub the area and wipe clean. Repeat until gone.
But depending on how much discharge your Yorkie’s eye produces, you may also need to clean the eyes in-between baths. Probably the safest, most efficient way to do this is to use a natural dog eye wipe. Keep the wipe under the eyes for several seconds to soften your Yorkie’s eye boogers. Next, wipe the eyes clean, then repeat until the gunk is gone. You can do this as much as twice daily to minimize excessive build-up.
If the eye clumping is really bad, soften the build-up first with an eye wipe or warm water, then follow with a fine-tooth comb or even your thumbnail to help pull gunk from the hairs. Just take it slowly.
>> Read more: Can You Use Baby Wipes on Dogs?
3. Use a DIY cleansing solution
If you need to address your dog’s eyes now and you don’t have any solution or eye wipes on hand, you can also make a DIY version using boric acid.
Mix one tablespoon of boric acid powder in one cup of boiling distilled water, then allow it to cool before use. Keep refrigerated for up to one week. Apply the solution to a clean cotton ball, hold it under the eyes for several seconds, and then rub the area clean.
You could also ask your vet about a hydrogen peroxide mixture. If they approve, dilute one part hydrogen peroxide into 10 parts distilled water. Using a clean cotton pad, apply the solution to the stained area being careful to avoid any contact with the Yorkie’s eyes. Wipe clean.
Are tear stains a common issue for your dog? Check out our guide to homemade dog eye wipes!
4. Ask your vet about Colloidal silver
Ask your vet about cleaning your Yorkie’s eyes with colloidal silver. It can be found at any health food store in a spray bottle or liquid dropper. Apply a little of the colloidal silver to a cotton pad and wipe the stained area clean. Colloidal silver has antimicrobial properties and will help reduce yeast infections and other problematic Yorkie skin issues.
- Unlimited consultations by video/text
- $3,000/year emergency fund + Rx discounts
- Cover up to 6 pets for just $24/month
- Try it FREE for 7 days
How to prevent Yorkie eye problems
The underlying cause needs to be fixed to prevent Yorkie tear stains and other eye problems from recurring. Work with your vet and be patient while you figure out what works well for your dog.
In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to potentially mitigate further issues.
1. Groom short around eyes
Ask your groomer to keep the hair around your Yorkie’s eyes clipped very short, if not shaved (or you can trim it yourself, if you do your Yorkie grooming at home). It will not only cut down on the amount of hair matting and daily cleaning required, but it also cuts down on the possibility of any bacterial infections developing.
Check out our guide to the best Yorkie haircuts to learn about other benefits of short cuts.
2. High-quality food and water
High-quality dog food is essential for keeping each cell in your Yorkie’s body operating at its best. A balanced diet, preferably organic, will reduce the amount of work your Yorkie’s body will have to do to discharge nasty chemicals. Check out our guide to the best dog food for Yorkies for some options.
Additionally, provide filtered water for your pet to drink. Regular water from the tap can contain a high mineral content that will need to be discharged, plus other impurities, such as chlorine and fluoride, which could be toxic for your dog.
Lastly, replace plastic food and water bowls with glass, stainless steel or porcelain bowls. Plastic can harbor bacteria near your Yorkie’s face. Also, wash your dog’s bowls often.
>> Read more: Best Dog Food for Tear Stains
3. Supplements & medicines
Use caution and talk to your vet when considering supplements. There are many on the market and they vary greatly in quality and ingredients.
Some supplements, such as Miracle Eyes Tear Stain Remover, contain probiotics that can help remove your dog’s tear stains without the use of potentially harmful antibiotics. This particular product is chicken flavored and can be sprinkled over your dog’s food.
For more natural solutions, talk to your vet about milk thistle, dandelion, olive leaf, chlorophyll, colostrum, and probiotics.
4. Look into possible allergens
Tear stains and eye discharge may be a symptom of an allergy. Common causes of Yorkie allergies are food, shampoo and conditioner, or seasonal allergens. Talk to your vet about what you can do to minimize possible allergens.
Be sure you begin by taking your Yorkie to the vet. You need to get to the root of the problem before you can know how to treat it.
Unfortunately, there is not a foolproof fix for all forms of Yorkie eye discharge. Each Yorkie is different and responds differently to each method of treatment.
Be patient, as it will take some time and experimentation to sort out the cause. But, hopefully, with a little luck, you’ll be able to find a solution that makes you and your Yorkie friend happy.