Tear stains are reddish brown stains on a dog's face, just under his eyes or trailing down to his muzzle. These discolorations are caused by pigments in the tears called porphyrins, which can leave dark stains on your Yorkie's fur. Tear stains are very unsightly on light colored dogs, and can leave a trail of stains all the way down to your dog's mouth. There are ways to remedy this problem at home, which can remove the tear stains and prevent any infection that may cause problems in your dog's eyes.
A safe way to clean the tear stains from your dog's face is to use hydrogen peroxide. Gently clean the stained area with a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide. Be very careful not to get the hydrogen peroxide in your Yorkie's eyes. For smaller stains, try using a cotton swab instead of a cotton ball. Once the stain is removed, wipe away any excess hydrogen peroxide with a wet cotton ball or wash cloth.
Dab a small amount of petroleum jelly under the eye where the stains usually occur. The petroleum jelly will create a waterproof barrier and allow the tears to roll off of the hair. This will prevent the tears from soaking into the Yorkie's hair and staining it.
Rub a small pinch of cornstarch on the stained hair on your Yorkie's face. Cornstarch will help lighten the stained areas, and it only takes a small amount to brighten the hair. Be very careful when applying around the eyes. You can add a few drops of water to the cornstarch to make a thick paste if necessary. Wipe off any excess cornstarch with a warm, wet cotton ball or washcloth.
Trim the Hair
If nothing works to remove the tear stains, you can always trim the hair around your Yorkie's face. Use hair clippers or trimming scissors to gently remove the tear-stained hair from your dog's face and mouth. Make sure there is nothing in the eyes to irritate them, such as hair or eyelashes that may be causing the excess tears. Be very careful when trimming hair around your dog's face. If necessary, allow a professional dog groomer to trim the hair for you.
Face Cream and Powder
Wet the stained fur on your Yorkie's face and apply a small bit of face cream to the area. You can also make a paste with face cream and a small amount of talcum powder. Apply the mixture gently to the stained hair, and rinse completely with a wet washcloth or a wet cotton ball. The face cream and powder paste will lift the stain from the hair.
Apply a small amount of an antibiotic ointment under the eyes of your Yorkie. The ointment will help get rid of any infection that may have caused the initial irritation, which in turn caused excess tears. An antibiotic ointment will also protect the hair under the eyes much the same way petroleum jelly will.
Change in Diet
Try changing your Yorkie's diet for a few days to see if this alleviates the problem of excess tears. There is a chance that your dog is having a mild allergic reaction to something he is eating, and changing your dog's diet can help to eliminate that possibility. If your Yorkie produces fewer tears after a few days on the new diet, then you have found the source of the problem.
Tear Stain Removers
If nothing else works to remove your Yorkie's tear stains, there are commercial products specifically made to remove the stains from the hair. These stain removers can be applied directly to the stained hair with a cotton ball. Tear stain removal products can be found at various pet stores.