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I've been feeding prey model raw for coming up on two years, now, and I believe it's one of the best things I've done for my dogs. Teeth are clearer, coats are softer, breath is better, meals are more joyous. My guys were in pretty nice shape even before raw, but they're looking even better these days, EXCEPT...

My husky, Wren, never had tear stains before, and I owned her six years before making the switch. Shortly after I transitioned over, she started to get these ugly tear stains dripping down the inner corners of her eyes. I thought at first she was detoxing or her tear glands were working overtime due to the increased and tougher chewing raw meals required, but it's almost two years later, and they're still there. I've tried colloidal silver, probiotics, wiping her eyes after meals, but nothing has really helped. Below are two photos, the first taken a few months before I switched to raw feeding and the second was taken last week.





Has anybody experienced anything like this? Any ideas or suggestions on how I could make these ugly stains vamoose? Nobody else besides Wren has tear stains of any sort. I really have no idea what the heck.
 

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Huh...how WEIRD! Raw has completely eradicated my guy's tear stains...which makes me wonder if there might not be something else causing them. Maybe she has some dental issue, I know that can cause tear staining -- even if everything looks beautiful on the surface, sometimes there can be an impacted tooth rotting inside the head--that pain alone can cause the tearing. I am kinda reaching for straws here...it's so odd and I hope you figure it out and please share with us when you do.
 

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I know, right? Bizzaro! It cold be possible there's something going on dentally, though on the surface her teeth look lovely. Her eyes really only weep in the morning when/after she's eaten. Then they dry for the day and weep again next meal time. Do you think, if it was a dental abscess or something similar, her eyes would be wet around the clock? I've also tried taking her off chicken to see if it might be an allergy, but that didn't really affect it, either. I'm at a loss. o_O
 

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Wow, how strange! I wonder if it could be a sensitivity to a certain meat too. Could you try an elimination trial and try eliminating chicken for example. Although it sounds like you might have already done that. Are you using any other supplements? Salmon oil? I have heard of tear staining being caused by salmon oil that contains soy (any of the tocopherols are a culprit). Could there be anything environmental that is causing her eyes to water?

What a mystery.

Edit: Ok, did a little digging .....

Some people are reporting good results switching from tap water to bottled water for tear staining. I don't know if that would be practical with a houseful of dogs though. Could get pricey in a hurry if you had to fill all the dishes with bottled water instead of tap. Apparently some dogs are sensitive to the minerals in tap water.

Apple cider vinegar is a common suggestion for tear stains. Get Braggs brand or similar that has the sediment in it (the mother is what they call it). Put a tablespoon or so on his food daily and see if that doesn't help. I don't know how it works, but maybe it would help?
 

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I eliminated chicken from her diet for a few weeks to see if there was any change in the staining, but there wasn't that I could see. I haven't eliminated any other meat, mainly because the tearing starting pretty much the same day I switched and she was on straight chicken for the first few weeks. She's also never had problem with any kibbles or treats that were chicken-based.

There could be an environmental factor, as over the summer her eyes were significantly worse (she had scabbing around them and lost the fur right around her eyes) and it improved with the cooler months. Colloidal silver seemed to help then, but the tearing never stopped. It was also weird because we've lived in this house for nearly three years, one year before I switched to raw, and she never had seasonal allergies before.

I do use fish oil capsules. I've been using NSI Norwegian Wild Caught Salmon Oil capsules and their ingredients are: Soft Gel Shell: Beef gelatin, glycerin and water. Contains: Fish (sardine, anchovy and salmon.) Recently I switched over to NSI Fish Oil which contains: Gelatin, purified water, glycerin and natural limon oil. Contains: Fish (sardine, mackerel, anchovy).
 

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Are you sure it's tear staining? That looks very much like ZRD (Zinc Responsive Dermatosis) which is a zinc deficiency that is quite common in Siberian huskies and symptoms typically show up on the face and look very much like that. It can easily be treated with a zinc supplement and symptoms should clear up. That would be my first guess as I've seen plenty of huskies show signs of ZRD that look the same and all it takes to correct is supplemental zinc. I would first see if that isn't the problem as it is so common in the breed and is so easy to fix.
 

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Are you sure it's tear staining? That looks very much like ZRD (Zinc Responsive Dermatosis) which is a zinc deficiency that is quite common in Siberian huskies and symptoms typically show up on the face and look very much like that. It can easily be treated with a zinc supplement and symptoms should clear up. That would be my first guess as I've seen plenty of huskies show signs of ZRD that look the same and all it takes to correct is supplemental zinc. I would first see if that isn't the problem as it is so common in the breed and is so easy to fix.
Thanks! I'll sure give zinc supplements a shot and see how she does!
 

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That looks a lot like Wren's eyes did in the summer, only hers had less fur and scabs in the eyelashes. It was awful. Do dogs with ZDR also have tearing? She definitely tears, but there's also a little hair loss around the corners of her eyes and I agree, the staining is quite similar. Thank you again. I'm going to get some zinc tablets today and I'll let you know if they help!
 

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Wow Val, what a helpful post!! I'd never heard of that!

I hope that the zinc supplementation helps.
 

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That looks a lot like Wren's eyes did in the summer, only hers had less fur and scabs in the eyelashes. It was awful. Do dogs with ZDR also have tearing? She definitely tears, but there's also a little hair loss around the corners of her eyes and I agree, the staining is quite similar. Thank you again. I'm going to get some zinc tablets today and I'll let you know if they help!
I don't know about the tearing, I have not heard of excessive tearing being related to zinc deficiency but I have not experienced it myself. Have you taken her to the vet to see if it could be conjunctivitis or something causing the tearing? I would also have a vet check to confirm if they think she could have ZRD. It's not very common and most vets don't think to check for it which is why husky owners typically will have to mention ZRD as a possibility. I know some other husky owners whose dogs have had zinc deficiency and took their dogs to the vets over and over with no clue. They show up on a husky forum and because we are so familiar with our breeds typical problems that's usually what we send them back to the vet asking about. And sure enough it is almost always zinc responsive dermatitis. While it may not be ZD for Wren that would be my first guess, I've seen it in so many other huskies.

Wow Val, what a helpful post!! I'd never heard of that!

I hope that the zinc supplementation helps.
It's uncommon for most breeds which is why the OP's question might have been better suited for a husky forum since ZRD is fairly common for Siberian huskies. I've never heard of it occurring in Chihuahuas so I wouldn't expect any Chi owners to be familiar with it...unless they also are familiar with sled dogs. It's not even something that most vets think of either since it's so limited in occurrence and mainly only shows up in a few northern breeds like Siberian huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Samoyeds. Most people think it's due to poor diet but it's really not, these guys just sometimes need more zinc than the average dog. Without zinc supplementation the condition will only worsen. I know people who feed premium grain free kibble like Acana whose huskies have ZRD and others who feed the same and never show signs of zinc deficiency. Luckily it's super easy to manage with a simple supplement.
 
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