Many people ask me how I keep my Maltese dogs faces so white. The bottom line is that all Maltese have tears and thus have some bit of tear staining. Some have more tear staining than others and its best to rule out a few things first.
The ears, mouth and eyes all need to work in a harmonious manner in order to have clear eyes and help avoid excessive tear staining. When a puppy is cutting its adult teeth it will tend to stain much more than when not. Once its adult teeth are completely in, you should have your Veterinarian check to see if there are any retained baby teeth. If so, you should make an appointment for your Vet to pull the retained baby teeth. (A good time to have baby teeth pulled is during your spay or neuter). Overcrowding or excessive teeth can be detrimental to maintaining good Maltese dental health.
Always remember to Brush your Maltese teeth daily and have your Maltese teeth professionally cleaned by a licensed Veterinarian. Dental descaling on your Maltese should be yearly starting around age 3.
Sometimes a Maltese that has changing hormones or going through heat cycles will have excessive tear staining. It is for the health of your Maltese to spay or neuter your dog at the appropriate age. Please consult with your professional breeder and licensed Veterinarian regarding spay & neuter of your pet. Dogs who are unaltered have a tendency to ‘mark their territory’ thus causing problems in house training and making a mess of your home!
Ears must be healthy, clean, pink in color (not red or sensitive/hot to the touch) and free from brown or dark debris. If your dog has dark gunk or debris in its ears, you can bet that your Maltese will also have ear stains. Maltese can easily get ear infections or yeast infections due to excessive moisture.. These 2 common issues can contribute to tear staining. Please read my page on Ears for proper ear care. If ears are not properly cared for, you may have to go to your vet for a prescription ear medication to clear things up.
Some Maltese owners choose to use antibiotics in their dogs food or treats. Antibiotics can work wonders on tear staining, but this is not for long term use. Different products on the market for tear staining are Tylan or AquaRobe drops. These antibiotics should only be used anywhere from 1-4 week periods, depending on which drug you use.
Lastly, I like to give my dogs daily probiotics which can also help combat staining.
Now here is the facts on tear stains on Maltese.
- They all have it. White dogs have staining issues. The white coats will get yellow stains from urine and red stains from the PH of their tears. You cant really get away from it. Maltese puppies will stain when they are teething. Maltese puppies wean around 9 weeks of age, which is when the teeth are really starting to come down. (The teeth start earlier but there is a lot of pressure at this age), so that is when the staining really kicks in. The pups start eating more and more kibble, sticking their faces head first into food bowls & water bowls and wrestling around.
- Use Bausch & Lomb Eye Relief Eye Wash daily by pacing a drop in each eye. This cleanses any debris, dust, or pollen from the eyes. Any run off can be used to soften and remove debris on the coat.
- Keep stray hairs out of their eyes. If you want a topknot on your Maltese, then keep their hair neat! If you prefer a puppy cut on your Maltese, then keep the eye corners free from short hairs that may poke in their eyes!
- Clean and powder the face stains daily. Get a good tear stain remover, use a childrens toothbrush and ‘wash’ the face daily with the toothbrush dipped into tear stain remover! Towel dry the area, then powder the area with a mixture of 80/20 Cornstarch and FINE boric acid using a small make up brush.
- Clean and Dry! I cant say this enough! Keep the area CLEAN & DRY!