Sunday

Those Unsightly Red Coat Stains

 
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If you watched the Garden this week you saw Uno the newly proclaimed Best in Show winner. You may have also noticed the red stained fur around his mouth.Yes that's right it happens to the best of dogs- even Best in Show dogs.Now those unsightly red stains are on my pet peeve list and every time Uno opened his mouth (which was a lot as he is very vocal )all I could look at was the red line along his mouth.
Some dogs have the red stain as tear stain, some dogs have red stain on their feet, others on their behind or belly.Some have red stained coat in all those places!Tear stains, because of the close proximity to the eyes are difficult to remove but the other areas are reasonably simple.
The easiest method I have used is plain kaopectate worked into the stain and allowed to dry.After it is very,very dry, gently comb out.This will take several applications to remove the stain over a period of several weeks.When you bathe your dog soak the stained area you have been treating in distilled water for a few minutes before begining the shampoo process and afterward use a moisturizing (dog, not human)conditioner.The distilled water helps lift the stain.The kaopectate is drying to the coat so using the conditioner will help counteract the dryness and close the cuticle making it harder for the hair follicles to re-stain.
Tear stains are more difficult because you don't want kaopectate to get in your dogs eyes so I don't recommend the kaopectate under the eyes. A lot of dog show exhibitors who have white faced dogs give tetracycline to prevent the tear stains. Angel Eyes is highly effective but it is not FDA approved and contains an over the counter antibiotic. Giving antibiotics long term will compromise your dogs health.
I know some of you reading this are aghast that people would give an antibiotic for purely cosmetic reasons(they also do hair extensions and dye coat and tattoo poor pigment, just to name a few things).
Twice daily washing of the face using distilled water does wonders but you must be consistent. There are coverups on the market, but they are greasy and I don't care for them.
French chalk, available in white or a color matching your dogs'coat,(found at pet supply stores)is an inexpensive way to tone down the stain. And it is safe around the face. You can also dab a bit of corn starch and rub it into the hair to help cover the stain and lessen future stain. Always remember to keep all substances out of your dogs' eyes.
With chalk, dampen the hair with distilled water and work in the chalk with your fingers, remove the excess with a soft toothbrush.
No one knows for sure what causes this red oxidation in dogs' coats. Diet is probably the culprit though. Dog food companies are not required to list chemicals added to ingredients before they get to the manufacturing plant. Chemicals and preservatives can make the body ph off kilter which leads to oxidation. I know for certain that some brands of dog food cause more of this oxidation than others. You can also consider increasing your dogs antioxidants by adding more vegetables and dog safe fruits to the diet. With a little attention, your dog will be stain free.
Until next post,
Happy Tails