Some people attibute this coloring to the color in dog food and snacks. Well we here at Stevens Maltese Puppies think it is attributed to bacteria.
Before you know it, the red stuff is out of control and what can you do?
There are many options but there is something you can do to be preventative first:
Use "filtered water" or change water regularly, especially when water is outside or sits for a long time.
Some people recommend a teaspoon of white vinegar in the dog water bowl to kill the bacteria. But yuck, that may taste just awful for your canine friend.
I just used filtered water and no longer have the problem.
What To Use:
Filtered Water Changed Regularly in a clean bowl.
Tylosin or Tylan powder. Call your veterinarian they can usually get you a small amount very cheaply. You sprinkle it on their food and after a week or so the infection is dead however, you still have to wash and trim out the red.
Many use Angel Eyes in place of the Tylan powder and supplement with Eye Wipes. Angel Eyes works great but the powder is more pricey than even the Tylan/Tylosin from the vet.
Limit the use to a small sprinkle like you would sprinkle salt or pepper on food for only about a week. LIke maybe a quarter of a teaspoon.
Other cleaning methods using lemon juice, baking soda, etc. around the eyes are not that effective and do not work that well. They can also irritate the dogs eyes and they are also very harsh on the dog. Just go to the vet, usually they do not require a visit to get you a small baggie of the powder or you can stop at the store for some Angel Eyes!