Have you noticed that your Pomeranian’s eyes are teary?
If so, you might be wondering…
Why do Pomeranians’ eyes water?
Read on to discover:
- The relation of food and tear stains.
- How to recognize if your Pom has any eye issues.
- Why you should say YES to ceramic and NO to plastic (and what it has to do with your Pom).
- And more…
Why do Pomeranians’ eyes water?
Pomeranians’ eyes water if a foreign object gets inside, or if your Pom has an allergy or a medical condition such as conjunctivitis. Watery eyes accompanied by tear stains are more common in some breeds than in others. This applies to the brachycephalic dog group which Pomeranians belong to.
The cause for this is best determined by a vet check so an appropriate treatment could be selected. This article will equip you with the knowledge:
What are tear stains?
If you hear the term ‘tear stains’ for the first time, this might sound scary.
I can relate.
I remember the day that I discovered wet stains under Lissa’s eye (my current dog):
Naturally, I got concerned immediately. I went to the vet to find out what was going on with my baby girl.
In Lissa’s case, the vet didn’t find anything worrying. She told me that Lissa might have tear stains, due to an allergy (it happened in spring after all).
This is the moment I learned all about tear stains…
Here’s what you should know about tear stains…
If your Pom has dark brown or reddish moist lines that appear under the eyes, we’re talking tear stains. Sometimes they go hand in hand with eye discharge.
It’s easier to see tear stains when the fur of your Pom has lighter color. That’s why they’re most visible on white Pomeranians.
The reason why there are visible stains under your Pom’s eye is due to a pigment that is contained in tears. It builds up as tears keep coming.
Normally tear stains appear at the bottom of the eyes but on some occasions, they can circle the entire eye.
As soon as you spot such ‘dark circles’ beneath your Pom’s eye, it’s time to visit the vet.
3 causes of tear stains
When the fur beneath the Pom’s eyes remains damp for a long time, you can see the color of the tear stains. This color is due to the pigment contained in tears called porphyrin.
Some of the causes could be allergies, tear duct and eyelash abnormalities. Runny eyes could be seen in puppies while teething. This is not something to worry about as it’s temporary.
In short-nosed breeds, it’s the shape of the face that causes watery eyes.
#1: Blocked tear ducts
When the tear ducts are blocked, the liquid will start coming out of your Pom’s eyes. Hence, the area under the eyes will be damp. It’s very important to address this on time because if you don’t, the tears can cause skin irritation.
Just like with humans, not all dogs are safe from allergies. If your Pom has one, it could be to one thing or a number of allergens such as: smoke, pollen, dust, or even to some food ingredients.
Your vet can run some tests to determine what is it that’s causing your Pom to have teary eyes.
#3: Eye infection
Eye infections in a Pom differentiate by the color of the tears. Understand yellow, bloody, or mucusy. You can also recognize an infection if the eye is swollen or looks irritated.
How to prevent and treat tear stains? 10 tips
#1: Check for any eye issues
Does your Pom rub his head towards blankets, pillows, or any other objects? Or, he could be trying to remove something with his paw. Accompanying signs to look for are excessive blinking and being sensitive to light.
#2: Rule out the diet
It’s very important to make sure your Pom has a meal plan that doesn’t provoke watery eyes. Be on the lookout for any synthetic preservatives. Avoid these as well as artificial colorings and flavor enhancers.
To be completely on the safe side, ask your vet for recommendations for dog food.
Reading tip #1: 21 Fruits Pomeranians Can And Can’t Eat (Ultimate Guide)
Reading tip #2: 17 Vegetables Your Pomeranian Can Or Can’t Eat
#3: Drink and give your Pom filtered water
One of the biggest reasons you should not give unfiltered water to your Pom is because tap water could be contaminated and cause allergic reactions. Teary eyes are some of them.
Although in most cases tap water is considered safe, better not take the risk. Especially with your beloved Pom pet.
Tap water could affect your Pom’s immune system. By drinking it, your Pom could also ingest micro-plastics the effects of which remain unknown.
#4: YES to ceramic, NO to plastic
When you choose your Pom’s bowls, choose carefully. It’s wise to drop any plastic bowls if you have by far used such. Plastic bowls with bright colors can lead to tear stains.
This will help remove yeast from your Pom’s system.
Stainless-steel or ceramic would do the trick and prevent your Pom from getting tear stains.
#5: Allergy alert
Just like humans, dogs tend to get allergic to certain triggers too. These could be dust mites, pollen from trees, mold.
While you can limit the exposure to certain allergens at home and put your Pom at ease, it’s best to consult with your vet on how to handle a possible allergy.
#6: Clean those tear stains
Yup – choosing the right food, preventing an allergic reaction, and giving filtered water are all steps in the right direction. But a must-do is cleaning the tear stains every day.
When the tears build up they can result in discoloration. That’s why it’s advisable to wipe the tear stains from 1 to 3 times a day.
#7: Use facial wipes on a daily basis
This will help clear any debris that’s causing discomfort in your Pomeranian’s eye. Gently clean the lids of your Pom when he closes them. If there are stains, you can choose wipes that are specialized for removing such as well as debris.
#8: Limit exposure to grass
It’s very easy for a Pom to get his eyes irritated once he gets in contact with different kinds of grass. Don’t take your Pom to areas where the grass hasn’t been trimmed.
In an urban environment, make sure the gardens in between the blocks you take your Pom to, have been sprayed against ticks, fleas, and other insects.
#9: Be equipped with eye wipes, eye drops, or cleanser
Wherever you go, you can react to any sort of eye irritation your Pom could fall victim to. Eye wipes, eye drops, or cleanser come in handy in such situations. By keeping one of these you ensure a worry-free walk.
#10: Go to the vet
Last but not least (and again): If the issue persists with you and your dog, then it’s highly recommendable to go to your vet.
If it seems like I’m telling you this over and over again, it’s because I am.
It simply not worth risking your Pom’s health.
If the vet prescribes eye drops (like the vet dit with my Lissa), then follow these steps:
Steps to take when applying eye drops
In case of a corneal ulcer, an allergic reaction resulting in watery eyes, or an infection, your vet can prescribe eye drops for your Pom.
That’s where the ‘fun’ begins. To make sure the procedure goes smoothly, you should first set up the environment and keep into consideration things that could go wrong.
Here are some steps to help you along the way so you can cure your Pom as soon as possible:
#1: Wash your hands
Sounds familiar? That’s to highlight its importance – clean your hands well before beginning. That’s the best way to prevent any additional eye issues with your Pom.
#2: Have the eye drops beside you, open
What you’re about to do to your Pom will be new for him. Hence, he might get scared and try to run away. That’s pretty much the equivalent of a five-year-old child who has never had a treatment like that before.
#3: Get a helping hand
Don’t underestimate the help of a friend or a family member. Even if you have the calmest Pom in the world, you should expect that your Pom will do anything in the world to avoid the procedure.
Some dogs will twist, jump and even threaten to bite.
#4: Prevent your Pom moving backward
When you attempt to hold your Pom and put the eye drops, a very common thing that might happen is your Pom moving away backward.
You can (relatively) easily prevent that by placing your Pom’s behind next to a wall, so when he tries this movement, he can’t go back. A substitute for a wall could be a couch, a wardrobe, or a similar piece of furniture.
#5: Hold your Pom
Now that you’ve ensured your Pom won’t move backward, it’s time to secure the front.
One of you (either you or the helper) can hold the Pom’s front legs in a horizontal position while the other one puts the eye drops in.
Whoever puts the eye drops in should do it as fast as possible. That way it will be over before your Pom knows it.
#6: Get a muzzle or some bandage (just in case)
One thing you should know about dogs, in general, is that they feel most powerful by using their mouth. In case your Pom threatens to bite you, you can either tie the jaw with a bandage or use a muzzle.
By doing this you will restrain your Pom from biting. This can further help by preventing your Pom to move his head. Once a dog’s mouth is restricted, they feel their power has been taken away.
What you should know is that it’s best not to revert to this technique. While some dogs respond okay-ish to it, others get more stressed if you attempt to ‘restrain’ them in such a way.
Look how your Pom reacts and reply with appropriate behavior from your side.
#7: Prepare your Pom’s eyes
Before applying the eye drops, it’s essential to make sure the eyes are clean. It’s best to use wet wipes and wipe away any discharge that might be present at the moment.
You can use one hand to support the jaw. Then it will be safe to tilt your Pom’s head to one side so you have better control of wiping the discharge.
Be gentle – do not press and be careful to not touch the eye itself.
As soon as you’re done cleaning one of the eyes, dispose of the cleaning material. That’s a must for keeping good hygiene and avoiding contamination.
#8: Adjust your Pom’s head
Use one hand to hold the jaw. With the other, you’ll need to hold the eye drops. While holding the eye drops, put your wrist of the same hand on your Pom’s forehead.
This will help you put the eye drops quicker and efficiently as your hand will be right above your Pom’s eye even if he tilts his head.
#9: Squeeze the eye drop container
Apply not more eye drops per eye than your vet has advised you to. Always ensure you have a good angle to see if the drop falls in the ye or not, otherwise, you risk overdosing or not treating efficiently.
#10: Give your Pom a treat
Even though you’ve managed to put the eye drops in your Poms’ eyes successfully, the procedure isn’t over. If you fail to involve positive reinforcement after what you’ve put your Pom through, you might not have much luck applying the eye drops next time.
Give your Pom a treat or two to reward him for being a good cooperative dog. That way you’ll reduce the chances of him forming negative associations with the experience.
A day in the life of Lissa
When I first attempted to put the eye drops our vet prescribed in Lissa’s eyes, Lissa made a fuss about it.
I get her – it was something new to her, she didn’t know what to expect and freaked out.
Even though she’s tiny, I and my boyfriend had such a hard holding her in one place, let alone applying the eye drops.
When Lissa saw the eye drop container hanging above her eyes she started twisting her body like a snake, attempted to jump out of my boyfriend’s hands (and succeeded quite a few times), and threatened to bite.
It almost seemed impossible… I was on the verge of disappointment.
What worked well for us, however, was approaching Lissa to put the eye drops at the end of the day.
That’s when she was tired and more than ready to fall asleep.
Since holding her didn’t prove to be successful, I decided to adopt a different approach.
I had the eye drops container ready. It was opened and all I had to do was take it and come to Lissa as if I’d pet her with the hand holding the container. I held it hidden, so she wouldn’t see it.
I put my wrist on her forehead, adjusting the position of the container right above the eye I intended. She lifted her head just when I was squeezing, so the eye drop fell exactly where it should’ve.
I applied the same procedure for the other eye and everything was done in less than a minute.
My hope while sharing this is that you’re not quick to give up if your Pom doesn’t take it well the first time you attempt to treat his eyes with eye drops.
Be patient, see how he responds to one technique and if it doesn’t do the job, try another.
Why is my Pom squinting his eyes?
Be careful – while there could be several causes, the most common one is also very dangerous. It’s called a corneal ulcer.
Besides being very painful for your Pom, it can cause blindness eventually. That’s why you must visit your vet as soon as you spot your Pom squinting his eyes.
So, what exactly is a corneal ulcer?
The cornea is a transparent membrane placed in front of the eyeball. It has three layers. They’re not visible with the naked eye. If a few of the layers suffer deeper erosion, a corneal ulcer is formed.
How is a corneal ulcer formed?
It can happen by the Pomeranian experiencing trauma. An example of this is when the Pom rubs his eyes on the carpet or if the eye is torn by coming in touch with a sharp object. A cat scratch can also lead to a corneal ulcer.
Another unpleasant way a corneal ulcer could be formed is when a chemical enters the eye. Shampoo or drywall dust that gets in contact with the eye can do the damage.
Some other causes which are not that common include viral or bacterial infections. Or other diseases.
Is my Pom crying?
Considering Poms can’t talk and we look mostly at their body language to determine what they want to tell us, it’s a valid question to have. It might come as a relief to you to know that dogs do not ‘cry’ out of emotional reasons like us humans do.
So, it’s safe to exclude that option from the list of reasons why your Pom might be having watery eyes.
Bear in mind that if it looks as if your Pom is crying, he might have issues with his tear ducts. If the tear ducts are functioning properly, they are supposed to drain the liquid towards the throat and nose. That’s a signal to visit the vet asap.
Is my Pom’s eye infection an emergency?
If the cause is glaucoma, then it’s definitely an emergency. Glaucoma is always an emergency as it could have emerged due to eye cancer, tumor, or advanced cataracts.
Glaucoma can be especially harmful as it can lead to permanent eye damage -blindness.
Glaucoma is increased eye pressure.
The noticeable symptoms include: cloudy corneas, runny eyes, and sensitivity to light.
Are Pom tear stains permanent?
Tear stains are not permanent. To be able to remove them permanently, you have to remove the toxins in your Pom’s body that cause the stains. Then, you should make sure the toxins stay out.
Disclaimer: Although this article could equip you with sufficient knowledge about Pomeranian’s eye issues, you should always speak to a vet to make sure you resolve your Pom’s specific issue quickly and efficiently.
The information here is provided for your convenience but shouldn’t, in any case, be used as a professional medical advice substitute.