Epiphora or excessive tearing in dogs is when water or discharge from the eye overflows the lids and runs down the sides of the face which causes eye stain. You will notice a constant wetness to the area under the eye. The skin may become inflamed and secondarily infected. Eye discharge in dogs can be caused by simple allergies or can be a sign of serious eye problems or dog illnesses.
Dogs do not cry as people do. A tearing eye can be a sign of a dog eye infection.
What causes watery eyes? Runny eyes can be caused by irritative diseases of the lids such as Entropion or Conjunctivitis. Foreign bodies can cause tearing of the eyes too.
Inadequate tear drainage can cause tearing eyes too. The dog tears are secreted in normal amounts, but are not adequately drained away. The overflow is due to an obstruction in the nasolacrimal drainage system. Causes of the obstruction are: congenital narrowing or occlusion of one or both of the tiny ducts in the eyelids which collect the tears at the inner corners of the eye, congenital absence of the ducts; scarring of the ducts or the openings, active infection in the ducts or in the main nasolacrimal ducts which causes plugging by cellular debris; and lodgement of a foreign body in the system.
Flushing techniques are used to show the point of obstruction. Flushing may open the duct and remove the problem. A minor operative procedure or an opening may have to be done to remove the problem. Antibiotics and steroids may be given to reduce inflammation.