Dog ear yeast infections are one of the most common ear problems afflicting dogs. This infection is accompanied by waxy buildup in the ears, foul smell, and inflammation of the ears.
Recently my friend’s Spaniel started behaving pretty weird. He would keep whining, moping shaking his ear, and scratching more than usual. A visit to the veterinarian revealed that Frisky was suffering from the problem of yeast infection in his ears. Yeast infection is one of the most common ear problems afflicting dogs.
Caused by the yeast microorganism, malassezia pachydermatis, this ear infection in dogs attacks the warm and moist areas of the dog’s ears. While every dog has a certain amount of yeast and bacterial growth in the ears, an overgrowth of the same can lead to an infection. Swimming and other conditions, that lead to excessive moisture in the ears, are the usual culprits of this yeast infection.
What Are The Causes?
The dog ear yeast infections can be triggered off by a range of health problems. These include:
- Overuse of antibiotics that kill the good bacteria in the ears
- Inadequate or poor nutrition (inadequate protein, too many carbohydrates, no probiotics, digestive enzymes, dietary enzymes, unusable minerals)
- Over vaccinations (i.e. allergies, thyroid problems)
- Thyroid problems
- Stress (environmental, genetic, physical, emotional etc.)
- Change in environment or weather related conditions (heat or cold)
- Compromised immune system due to illness
- Sensitivity to stimulus (light, sounds, movements)
- Flea preparations
- Heartworm medication
What Are The Symptoms?
A dog affected by yeast infection in its ears would show symptoms of skin irritation such as itchy skin and rubbing the affected area often. This is accompanied by a thick, foul-smelling wax buildup in the ears. The insides of the ears appear red and inflamed. Most of the time, the dog will shake its head vigorously, scratching the ears and whining out loud. In severe cases, there is pus formation and the dog walks with its head tilted, often losing its balance.
Treatment for Dog Ear Yeast Infection
In case you suspect a yeast infection, it is best to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. To control the fungus, the doctor may prescribe antifungal and metabolic enzymes such as Nzymes to get rid of the infection. Milder ear infections can be treated effectively with an ear wash and the prescribed drops. For severe cases, prescribed ear wash, oral antibiotics, plus topical ear drops that contain an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic could be prescribed for four to six weeks. Painful yeast infections in the ears need a full ear flush, usually under anesthesia.
In addition to these treatments for infection, home remedy and preventive care can avoid the re-occurrence of the problem. For this, you need to establish a regular ear cleaning routine for the dogs. Use cleansers to flush the debris from the dog’s ears. Homemade cleansers can be made by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water or one part apple cider vinegar with water. Vinegar helps control the yeast growth. In addition to this, use drops made of olive oil and garlic. Crush one pod of garlic and mix with three tablespoons of olive oil. Heat this mix slightly and pour it into the dog’s ears.
When it comes to such infections, prevention is the key. Excess moisture is one of the primary causes of yeast infections. So after a bath or swim, clean the ears with an ear flush containing drying properties. You can also try placing a cotton ball before a bath to prevent the water from entering its ears. Allow air to enter the dog’s ears by holding it up for some time. This helps dry up the excess moisture.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a veterinarian.