Dog Yeast Ear Infection

Dog yeast ear infection is one of the most common canine ear infections. Dogs who suffer from allergies, dogs with big, floppy ears and dogs with hairy ears are more vulnerable to dog yeast ear infection. Your dog's ears should be kept clean, dry and free of hair. Otherwise they could easily provide an ideal habitat for yeast.

Causes of Yeast Infections in Dog Ears

Dogs with allergies are often prone to yeast ear infections, because the mast cells in their ears produce histamines and other chemicals that irritate the ear. This irritation leads to excess ear wax production and creates the warm, damp environment that yeast fungus needs to thrive.

Dogs with floppy ears, and dogs with very hair ears, are also vulnerable to yeast ear infection for the same reason. Floppy and hairy ears create an environment ideal for the germination of yeast spores. Keep your dog's ears clean, dry and trimmed of hair. When your dog swims or bathes, make sure to dry his hair thoroughly.

Dog Ear Yeast Infection Symptoms

If your dog develops a yeast ear infection, you may notice large amounts of ear wax in his ears. The wax may be pinkish brown in color and may have a foul odor.

Your dog's ears will become extremely itchy. If his nose appears itchy as well, then he probably has allergies, which could be at the root of his yeast ear infection. If the ear infections occur seasonally, they could be related to seasonal allergies.

Diagnosing and Treating Dog Yeast Ear Infection

Your vet can diagnose yeast ear infection by swabbing your dog's ear and examining the discharge under a microscope. He will perform a yeast culture to confirm that the infection is not bacterial, but since the results of such a culture can take up to two weeks to come back, your vet will probably begin treating your dog for a yeast ear infection right away.

The first step in treating your dog's ear infection will be cleaning the ears with a gentle cleanser. You'll then administer an anti-fungal ear drop, probably containing chlorhexidine, to kill the yeast fungus. Your vet will also prescribe an antibiotic, to be administered orally, since it's common for dogs with yeast ear infections to develop bacterial infections as well. Your vet may also prescribe an antihistamine or steroid drug to relieve itching.

If your dog's yeast ear infections are allergy related, then he needs treatment for his allergies. Once the allergies are controlled, your dog should become less vulnerable to yeast ear infection.

Home Treatment for Mild Yeast Ear Infections

Mild dog yeast ear infections can be controlled by cleaning the ear once a day with a solution containing acetic or boric acid. Fill your dog's ears with this solution and allow it to remain in the ear for five minutes, once a day for seven to ten days. If your dog suffers from frequent mild yeast ear infections that aren't caused by allergies, a dietary change could help prevent them.