Epiphora is a frequent cause of client concern particularly in pets with white coats (Maltese, Poodles, Bichon Frise and Persian cats) where staining around the eyes is most noticeable. Many cases occur in breeds with a facial conformation which results in impaired tear drainage. This includes prominent eyes (with a tendency toward mild medial lower lid entropion), and excessive facial hair with or without face folds.
In evaluating cases of epiphora, it is important to distinguish excessive tearing caused by ocular inflammation from decreased tear drainage. The following diagnostic algorithm addresses causes of epiphora without associated signs of discomfort.