How to Treat Dogs Yeast Infection In Ears? Is your dog rubbing ears too often? Or tilting head in a way it has never done before? Then this may be due to the yeast infection in the dog’s ears. Dog’s ear infections are very common because, according to stats, yeast infection in dogs comes in the third spot in dogs’ top 5 medical conditions. And the average cost of treatment of these infections is around $290.
This infection spreads rapidly and is comparatively easier to spot than a bacterial infection. Hence you will notice the symptoms of rubbing along with waxy and scurfy residue. It is important to establish the kind of infection before treating it. Dog’s ears have an extended ear canal that comprises diverse components, creating a J or shape. As a result, it serves to accumulate ear debris.
Causes of Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ears
Dog’s L shaped ear provides a favorable condition for yeast infection. If any foreign object or moisture traps there, it can easily develop into an infection. Yeast infection happens in dog’s ears because of several underlying reasons, which include;
- Food and environmental allergies
- Ruptured eardrum
- Trapped foreign body in the ear
- Ear Trauma
- Too much ear moisture
- Tumor or polyp in ear
- Ear mites
- Some cancers
- Autoimmune conditions like vasculitis
How to Spot Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ears
A healthy dog’s ears are clean and moisture-free. A few bacteria and yeast are found in the dog’s outer ear canal, but they are normal. However, if the yeast causes the debris to accumulate, it compromises the ear health leading to infection. Here are the common symptoms of this infection:
- Discharge of yellow or bloody fluid
- Loss of balance
- Itching and Scratching
- Hearing problem
- Walking in circles
- Tilting or Shaking of Head
- Strong odor
- Strange eye movements
How is Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ears Diagnosed
Different diagnostic methods test for yeast dermatitis in the dog’s ear. A yeast organism sample is collected for further diagnostic procedures in each method. To diagnose the infection, use any of these methods. Scrap the skin using a blade, rub the ear skin with a wet cotton swab, collect a small piece of skin utilizing biopsy punch, use a microscope slide, or put a clean piece of transparent tape on the skin for the collection of yeast microorganisms. Next, the veterinary pathologist observes the collected sample under the microscope and gives the final result.
Which Dog Breeds Are Susceptible Most to Ear Infection?
Any dog breed can catch yeast infection, but some dog breeds have more chances of developing an infection. These dog breeds are genetically predisposed to yeast dermatitis. The list includes;
- Lhasa Apso
- West Highland White Terrier
- Shih Tzus
- Cocker Spaniel
- Basset Hounds
- Australian Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Silky Terrier
How to Treat Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ear
The veterinarian will first examine the dog’s ear canal using an otoscope to see if the eardrum is fine or not. The doctor will then collect the sample using any of the above methods and examine it under a microscope. Once the details are known, the doctor will treat it accordingly.
If the infection is in the dog’s outer ear, the doctor will use topical treatment. The doctor prescribes cleanser, antifungal ointment, and ear drops in this remedy. Two effective antifungal medicines include: ketoconazole and miconazole.
If the infection is in the middle ear, the doctor will suggest injections and tablets. It will take around six weeks for the infection to heal entirely. Similarly, the doctor recommends oral antifungal medications that treat the ear inside out. A doctor can also suggest the full cleaning of the ear canal.
In case of severe, chronic infection, the doctor recommends special cleansers and the application of ear drying medications. If the dog’s ear is not responding to such medications anymore and the situation worsens, the doctors resort to the last option, surgery. Ear surgery aims to open the ear canal and eliminate all the damaged tissue.
How to Prevent Yeast Infection in Dog’s Ear
You can prevent your furry friend from contracting an ear infection by properly following hygienic practices. Regular pet care will help you avoid the problem. It includes daily grooming, ear cleaning, and maintenance of ear hygiene. Use specific dog ear cleansing products formulated for this purpose. These products have effectual pH ranges that particularly dry the ear debris.
Avoid using products containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as they damage normal ear tissues. And do not stab the cotton swan down the dog’s ear because you might end up rupturing its eardrum, creating an even bigger problem. Instead, use cotton balls or wet wipes for cleaning the ear debris.
Risk Factors of Yeast Infection
Yeast infection can affect any dog, but some factors increase disease risk. Dogs with floppy ears, like Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, cocker spaniels, and poodles, are at increased risk.
Similarly, ear deformation or allergic conditions also increase the risk of yeast infection. Dogs who often swim or like to play in water can also contract yeast infection because of excessive moisture in the ear. Dog breeds having hair growth in the ear canal are more susceptible to yeast infection. Such dog breeds include Schnauzers.
Is Yeast Infection Contagious?
No! The yeast infection in your dog’s ear is not contagious. Therefore it will not spread from one dog to another dog. Neither your dog contracted it from any other pet. This infection is caused because of several underlying reasons, and it will recur unless those root causes are treated. And some dog breeds are more susceptible because of genetic factors unrelated to any root cause mentioned above.
How to Treat Dogs Yeast Infection In Ears? If your dog is scratching the ear or rubbing it against the floor and furniture, then it might be suffering from an ear yeast infection. You will notice redness, yellow or brown discharge, and odor from the dog’s ear. If this is the case, take your dog to the vet to diagnose the conditions and start the treatment.
If you want to prevent yeast infection, always dry the dog’s ear after swimming or bathing. Trim the ear if they are growing excessively in the ear canal. It will help to keep the ear clean.