Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears – Dog Ear Yeast Infection Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies and Pictures

dog ear yeast infection
AA dog pawing at his ear which could be a sign of yeast infection

Is yeast infection in dogs ears contagious and what causes it? How do you tell apart yeast infection and ear mite infestation? This post explores in depth the symptoms, treatment and home remedies for dog ear yeast infection.

Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears

Different dog breeds have different ear shapes and sizes. Despite this difference in the external structure, the internal system and environment are the same.  Having yeast in the dog’s ear is normal. It only becomes a concern when it multiplies without control and leads to infections.

Dogs develop yeast infections in areas that are not covered by hair. These include the paws, ears and on the anal sac. The ears are the most troublesome areas when it comes to yeast infections. Left unchecked, the infection could become severe and lead to hearing problems in your pet. How can you tell when yeast infection in dogs ears sets in? We explore this below.

Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears Symptoms

Yeast infection in the dog’s ears can be identified through various signs. If let to grow too severe infections without intervention, these symptoms are likely to make your dog miserable. They may include:

  • Redness of the skin around the ears
  • Scratching of the ears
  • Head shaking
  • Pawing at the ears
  • Frequently rubbing the ears
  • Swelling
  • Ear discharge
  • Bad Odor
  • Formation of crusts in the ear

Ear Mites Vs Yeast Infection in Dogs

The most common yeast infection in dogs ears symptoms as discussed above can be confused with those of ear mites infestation in dogs. To tell apart ear mites vs yeast infections in dogs, look out for these additional symptoms exhibited where a yeast infection is involved:

  • Excessive scratching of the ear
  • Rubbing the ears of furniture
  • Lethargy

You could also check out pictures of yeast infections in the ears of dogs provided at the end of this post. Where these do not help in telling the two conditions apart, visit your veterinarian so they can offer a correct diagnosis and advise on the best form of treatment.

Is Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears Contagious?

Yeast infection only occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the ear or other parts of a dog. This overgrowth is facilitated by the presence of an ideal environment such as when the pH level is disturbed or when there is increased moisture among other causes.

The yeast leading to the infections is not transferable to other pets. This is even when there is direct contact. However, yeast infection gives room to other secondary bacterial and fungal infections that may be contagious.

What Causes Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears? – Causes of Dog Ear Yeast Infections

Yeast infections develop when there is a conducive environment for their proliferation. When this happens, the yeast growth becomes uncontrollable and leads to infections. Some of its causes are as discussed below.

Excessive Use of Antibiotics

The Malassezia fungus which is what causes yeast infections is usually kept in check by another species of bacteria. When your dog is subjected to antibiotic treatment, it kills off the friendly bacteria allowing for the Malassezia fungus to multiply and grow out of control. As such, a bout of yeast infection could be caused by excessive use antibiotics.

Weakened Immune System

Like with any other infection, dogs with a strong immune system have the ability to fight off yeast infections. However, when their immunity is compromised, yeast grows uncontrollably. To increase their chances of fighting off yeast and other infections, ensure they remain healthy.

Wounds

Ears that have been wounded or suffered scratches are more susceptible to yeast infections than those that are without damage. Where they suffer these, try to keep your dog’s wounds cleaned up and free of moisture. This will help in quick healing as well as prevent yeast infections from occurring.

Ideal Environment

Yeast thrives in areas of the body that is dark, moist and warm. These are conditions prevalent in the ears and the reason why floppy eared dogs are more vulnerable to yeast infections in the ears. To prevent them from getting infected, regularly clean up their ears by wiping them using wet wipes.

Presence of Water in the Ear

This mostly happens after the dog has had a dip. A dog’s ear canal structure is such that once water gets in, it is hard to get it out. When this happens and water remains in the ear canal, it offers an environment that encourages the proliferation of yeast. When this is sustained for a while, infections in the ear occur. To avoid this, dry up your pet’s ears after they have had a swim.

Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears Treatment

When dealing with a yeast infection in dogs ears, there are different treatment options to opt for. Conventional treatment is recommended in cases of severe infections. Where the infection is mild, home remedies for dog ear yeast infections will clear it up.

1.      Cleanse the Ears

Whether you opt for conventional treatment or natural home remedies, the first step in treating yeast infection in dogs ears involves thorough cleaning of the ear canal. The affected ear should be disinfected daily. You can do this by wrapping your finger with cotton pieces then dipping it in witch hazel. Once done, gently rub it around the ear canal while changing the cotton as may be necessary. With clean ears, you can opt for various yeast infection in a dog’s ears treatment that is discussed further in the next sections.

2.      Conventional Medication

This is mostly recommended for severe cases or where simple home remedies do not seem to work. You can speak to your veterinarian for prescription in case of severe yeast infection. For over the counter medication, opt for those containing antifungal for the yeast and in case of associated inflammation, corticosteroids will help.

3.      Check their Diet

Once you have confirmed that your dog is suffering yeast infections in the ears, make dietary changes. Eliminate items that could cause overgrowth of yeast such as honey, sugar, sucrose, lactose and corn syrup. Also to be avoided are foods with a high glycemic index such as wheat, potatoes, corn, and wheat. When buying food, check out their labels and opt for foods rich in proteins if your dog is prone to yeast infections.

Dog Ear Yeast Infection Home Remedy – Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears Home Remedies

Using dog ear yeast infection home remedies gives room for mild treatment options. It is also an inexpensive way of clearing up the infection as most of the remedies are readily available at home. Try these on your dog and see if they help in curing the yeast infection.

4.      Vinegar for Dog Ear Yeast Infection

Vinegar is acidic in nature and helps to restore the pH of the ear canal. This makes the ear inhabitable thus getting rid of the yeast infection with time.

  • Vinegar should never be used undiluted. Mix one portion of vinegar with two parts of water.
  • Once the mixture is ready, use a spray bottle to spritz it on already cleaned up dog ears.
  • Use a cotton ball to wipe the vinegar off and dry up the ears.
  • Repeat procedure twice each day.

5.      Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is normally used as an astringent as it helps in balancing pH levels. This is what makes it an effective dog ear yeast infection home remedy. Once the pH is restored to normal levels, the ideal environment previously provided for the yeast is distorted. This helps to clear up the infection.

  • Combine apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of witch hazel.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the resulting mixture and use it to wipe around already cleaned ears.
  • Repeat procedure every day until the infection gets better.

6.      Boric Acid for Dog Ear Yeast Infection

Boric acid can be used to treat yeast infection in dogs on various parts of the skin, the ears included. Its acidic nature helps to balance the pH levels thus making it impossible for the yeast to thrive.

  • Make a boric acid yeast solution by mixing its powder form with pre-boiled water until a consistent paste is formed.
  • Apply this on the ears twice each day until the infection clears.

7.      Natural Oils

Oils such as olive and coconut oil when used cautiously will help clear yeast infection in dogs ears. Since they break down the natural wax coating found in a dog’s ears, they should not be used too much. Place a few drops of the oil of your choice in the dog’s canal. Once done, rub it a bit before wiping off any debris that is visible.

Lavender oil, when used with caution can help clear up a yeast infection. While using it, it should be used together with a carrier oil. This remedy should not be used on miniature dog breeds or young puppies.

Dog Ear Yeast Infection Pictures – Yeast Infection in Dogs Ears Pictures

To help identify dogs with a yeast infection in ears, here are some images

 

Yeast infection in dogs ears
A dog with severe yeast infection in the ear
dog ear yeast infection
A dog pawing at his ear which could be a sign of yeast infection

References

 

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 1229 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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