How hard is it to keep those pesky porphyrins at bay? In case you’ve never heard the word before, a porphyrin is the rusty colored pigment that gives white-faced pet owners good reason to look their pet’s mug askance. Because if 1) your pet’s face is pale and 2) her tears spill over, well then––voilà!––you’ve got tear staining.


Sad-eyed pets the world around may not care a whit whether the fur that outlines their snout looks ruddy or not. It certainly doesn’t hurt or signal disease. It just IS. Which is why getting rid of it is a priority for owners whose stress level on the aesthetic thing is higher than others.


To that end, products like Angel Eyes have made their mark on pet store shelves. These powdered food additives remove tear stains with the magic of...daily-dosed antibiotics (tylosin). Not my preferred approach, I can promise you. Nor is it the VMDiva’s.


Dr. Koehler’s most recent blog post reviews the info on this approach. In case you doubt her, here’s another persnickety POV from yours truly. Because if you MUST remove your pet’s tear stains, there are far better approaches than high-priced, repurposed chicken meds. Promise.


Willing to try your hand at some of these? Look no further than your friendly neighborhood probiotics. These non-drug food supplements come equipped with tons of bacteria whose stated goal is the happiness of pets’ intestinal tracts. But that’s not all...they also happen to help break down porphyrins––or decrease their production (honestly, I’m not 100% sure which). Which means clearer tears and less facial fur staining.


(I've used Iams' Prostora to great effect, though it's even pricier than the Angel Eyes.)


Great, right? It’s a twofer. Keeps your bowels clean and your eyes purty. The things we do for our pets. Sigh.


Dr. Patty Khuly