Is It Normal For Shih Tzu To Have Teary Eyes?

If you’ve ever had a Shih Tzu as a furry companion, you may have noticed their adorable little eyes often get teary. You might be wondering, “Is it normal for Shih Tzu to have teary eyes?” Well, fear not! In this article, we will delve into this common concern among Shih Tzu owners and shed some light on the matter.

Having a Shih Tzu with teary eyes may seem like a cause for concern, but it’s actually quite common for this breed. These lovable little pups have what’s known as epiphora, which is the excessive tearing or watery eyes. While it may not be the most glamorous trait, it’s completely normal for Shih Tzus, and let me tell you, it adds to their charm! So, if you find yourself wiping away those tears from your furry friend’s face, don’t fret. In this article, we’ll explore why Shih Tzus have teary eyes and what you can do to keep them comfortable and healthy. So, let’s dive in and find out more about this adorable quirk!

Is It Normal for Shih Tzu to Have Teary Eyes?

Is It Normal for Shih Tzu to Have Teary Eyes?

Shih Tzus are known for their adorable appearance, with their big, expressive eyes being one of their most charming features. However, it is not uncommon for Shih Tzus to have teary eyes, and this can be a cause for concern for many pet owners. In this article, we will explore whether it is normal for Shih Tzus to have teary eyes and what potential causes and remedies are available.

Understanding Shih Tzu Tear Stains

Shih Tzus are prone to tear stains, which are dark streaks or discoloration under their eyes. These tear stains can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, allergies, eye infections, or even the shape of their face. While tear stains are more commonly seen in lighter-colored Shih Tzus, they can also occur in dogs with darker coats.

Tear stains occur when excessive tears are produced and are not properly drained away. The tears can accumulate around the eyes, leading to staining and discomfort for the dog. Additionally, the dampness around the eyes can create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, potentially leading to infections if left untreated.

Potential Causes of Teary Eyes in Shih Tzus

There are several potential causes of teary eyes in Shih Tzus. One common cause is the breed’s brachycephalic (short-nosed) facial structure. This structure can cause the tear ducts to be narrow or blocked, preventing proper drainage of tears and leading to excessive tearing.

Allergies can also play a role in teary eyes. Shih Tzus may be sensitive to certain allergens, such as pollen, dust, or certain food ingredients. When exposed to these allergens, their eyes may become watery and irritated, resulting in tear stains.

Infections, such as conjunctivitis or other eye infections, can also cause teary eyes in Shih Tzus. These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or even foreign objects irritating the eyes. If your Shih Tzu has persistent teary eyes accompanied by redness, swelling, or discharge, it is important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Managing Teary Eyes in Shih Tzus

While teary eyes may be a common occurrence in Shih Tzus, there are steps you can take to manage and minimize the issue. Here are some tips to help you keep your Shih Tzu’s eyes clean and healthy:

1. Keep the Eye Area Clean

Regularly clean your Shih Tzu’s eye area to remove any tear stains or debris. Use a clean, damp cloth or specialized pet wipes to gently wipe away any discharge or dirt around the eyes. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure or irritate the eyes further.

2. Promote Good Eye Health

Ensure that your Shih Tzu’s eyes are healthy by scheduling regular check-ups with a veterinarian. Regular eye examinations can help detect any underlying issues or infections early on, allowing for prompt treatment.

3. Address Allergies

If your Shih Tzu has allergies that contribute to teary eyes, work with your veterinarian to identify and manage the allergens. This may involve dietary changes, environmental modifications, or the use of allergy medications or supplements.

4. Consider Tear Stain Removal Products

There are various tear stain removal products available on the market, such as tear stain wipes or solutions. These products can help lighten tear stains and prevent their recurrence. However, it is important to choose products that are safe for your Shih Tzu and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

5. Consult a Professional

If your Shih Tzu’s teary eyes persist or worsen despite your efforts, it is crucial to seek professional advice from a veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist. They can provide a thorough examination, diagnose any underlying issues, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

In conclusion, it is relatively normal for Shih Tzus to have teary eyes, especially due to their breed characteristics and potential allergies. However, it is important to monitor the condition and take necessary steps to maintain good eye health. By keeping the eye area clean, addressing allergies, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can help your Shih Tzu have healthy and comfortable eyes.

Key Takeaways: Is It Normal for Shih Tzu to Have Teary Eyes?

  1. Shih Tzu dogs commonly have teary eyes due to their facial structure and genetics.
  2. Excessive tearing can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so it’s important to monitor and address it.
  3. Regular grooming, including cleaning the eye area, can help manage tear stains and prevent infections.
  4. Certain environmental factors like allergies or irritants can also contribute to teary eyes in Shih Tzus.
  5. If you notice persistent redness, discharge, or discomfort, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shih Tzus are adorable and lovable companions, but their teary eyes can sometimes be a cause for concern. Here are some frequently asked questions about this common issue.

Why do Shih Tzus have teary eyes?

Shih Tzus are prone to having teary eyes due to their unique facial structure. Their short snouts and large, round eyes make them more susceptible to tear overflow. Additionally, their long, flowing hair can easily irritate their eyes, leading to excessive tearing.

To keep their eyes clean, Shih Tzus produce tears to flush out any debris or irritants. While some tear production is normal, excessive tearing can indicate an underlying problem that should be addressed by a veterinarian.

What are the common causes of excessive tearing in Shih Tzus?

Excessive tearing in Shih Tzus can be caused by various factors. Some common causes include:

1. Eye irritation: Dust, pollen, or other allergens can irritate a Shih Tzu’s eyes, leading to increased tear production.

2. Eye infections: Bacterial or viral infections can cause redness, discharge, and excessive tearing in a Shih Tzu’s eyes.

3. Blocked tear ducts: Sometimes, a Shih Tzu’s tear ducts can become blocked, preventing proper drainage and leading to watery eyes.

4. Eyelash problems: Abnormal eyelash growth or eyelashes rubbing against the eye can cause irritation and excess tearing.

If you notice persistent or worsening tearing in your Shih Tzu, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause.

How can I prevent tear stains in my Shih Tzu?

Tear stains are a common concern for Shih Tzu owners. While it may be challenging to completely eliminate tear stains, there are steps you can take to minimize their appearance:

1. Regular grooming: Keep your Shih Tzu’s face clean and free from crust or debris that can contribute to tear staining.

2. Tear stain removers: There are various tear stain removers available that can help reduce the appearance of stains. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.

3. Diet: Feeding your Shih Tzu a high-quality, balanced diet can promote overall eye health and reduce tear staining.

Remember, tear staining is a cosmetic issue and does not necessarily indicate a health problem. However, if you notice any changes in your Shih Tzu’s tear production or eye health, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

When should I be concerned about my Shih Tzu’s teary eyes?

While some tearing is normal for Shih Tzus, there are certain signs that indicate a potential problem that requires veterinary attention:

1. Excessive tearing: If your Shih Tzu’s eyes are constantly watery, with tears overflowing and staining the fur, it may indicate an underlying issue.

2. Redness or swelling: Any signs of redness or swelling around the eyes should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

3. Discharge or crust: If your Shih Tzu has thick discharge or crust around their eyes, it could be a sign of an infection or other eye problem.

4. Changes in behavior: If your Shih Tzu is rubbing or pawing at their eyes, squinting, or showing any signs of discomfort, it’s important to seek veterinary care.

If you have any concerns about your Shih Tzu’s teary eyes, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper evaluation and guidance.

How can a veterinarian help with my Shih Tzu’s teary eyes?

A veterinarian can play a crucial role in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of teary eyes in Shih Tzus. They will conduct a thorough examination of your dog’s eyes, looking for any signs of infection, irritation, or structural abnormalities.

Depending on the findings, your veterinarian may recommend treatments such as eye drops or ointments to alleviate irritation, prescribe medications to treat infections, or even perform surgical procedures to address blocked tear ducts or eyelash problems.

Regular check-ups with your veterinarian and open communication about your Shih Tzu’s eye health can help ensure that any issues are promptly addressed, allowing your furry friend to enjoy clear, comfortable eyes.

How To Clear & Clean Shih Tzu Eyes

Final Thoughts: Why Do Shih Tzus Have Teary Eyes?

After exploring the topic of teary eyes in Shih Tzus, it’s clear that this is a common occurrence for this adorable breed. While excessive tearing can be a cause for concern, it’s important to remember that it is often a normal and harmless condition. There are several factors that contribute to teary eyes in Shih Tzus, such as their unique facial structure, allergies, blocked tear ducts, or even emotional distress.

Understanding the underlying causes can help pet owners alleviate their worries. By keeping their Shih Tzus’ eyes clean and free from irritants, ensuring proper grooming, and seeking veterinary care when necessary, owners can help manage the issue effectively. It’s also important to note that while teary eyes may be a common occurrence, it’s always crucial to monitor any changes in the frequency or severity of tearing, as this could indicate an underlying health concern.

In conclusion, teary eyes in Shih Tzus is a normal phenomenon that can be managed with proper care and attention. By staying informed about the potential causes and taking proactive measures to maintain their eye health, Shih Tzu owners can ensure that their beloved furry companions live happy, comfortable lives. So, embrace those teary eyes as just another adorable trait of these lovable pups!


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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