In hot, humid areas, yeast infections can be a real problem for dog owners. You want your dogs to be comfortable, but yeast in dog ears can be quite distressing for our canine companions. This article will go over what a yeast infection is, the causes, the symptoms, prevention of yeast infections and treatments.
What is yeast?
Yeast is a type of fungus that can grow on a dog's skin or inside its ears. There is usually some amount of yeast present in dogs, but when it becomes overgrown, it presents a problem. Yeast overgrowth in your dogs ears can be seen as brown, greasy discharge inside your dog's ear canal and inside the ear flap. This discharge is usually pretty smelly and can be very itchy to your dog.
Yeast infections are usually more prevalent in summer months, as yeast tends to thrive in hot, humid environments. Moisture and warmth combined with floppy ears means trapped moisture that is a perfect breeding ground for yeast. Certain breeds tend to be more prone to ear infections due to their very long or very furry ears. Some of these breeds include cocker spaniels, basset hounds, afghan hounds, poodles, and blood hounds.
Cause of Yeast Infections in Dogs
We've already mentioned a few causes of yeast in dog ears. Here are some more common causes:
- moisture, water, or other debris trapped in the dog's ears
- yeast allergy or other allergies
- not cleaning your dog's ears frequently enough
- too much bathing or frequent swimming
Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Dogs
Often, your dog's behavior can alert you to the signs of a yeast infection long before you notice any of the physical signs. They may be shaking their head or scratching at their ears. If you notice them doing this, definitely check out their ears immediately. Here are some other signs of yeast infections in dogs:
- brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
- bad odor coming from the ear
- redness or irritation
- head shaking or tilting
- scratching at the ear
- loss of balance or hearing
- crustiness around the ear flap
- whining or vocalization when their ears are touched
If you notice any of these signs, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible for treatment. Inner ear infections can lead to deafness if not treated.
Cures For Yeast Infections in Dogs
Your vet should be able to determine upon examination the best treatment for your dog's ear infection. Yeast treatments for dogs ears generally include:
- cleaning your dog's ears regularly with a medicated cleanser
- oral antibiotics
- topical medications
- anti-inflammatory medications
- anti-fungal ear drops for dogs
- and in severe cases, an ear flush under general anesthesia
Prevention of Yeast Infections in Dogs
In many cases, prevention of yeast infections in dogs is similar to the treatment. This includes cleaning your dog's ears regularly with a medicated cleanser and keeping the ear canal dry, especially after swimming or bathing.
Below is a list of highly rated products to help prevent and treat yeast in dog ears. Disclosure: We have used some, but not all, of the following products. If you purchase through our links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us pay for costs associated with maintaining this website and paying for our dog's peanut butter habit. 😉
We hope this article has helped you understand the causes, symptoms, and how to get rid of yeast in dog ears. Prevention is the best cure. Talk to your vet about the best products to use for regular cleaning of your dog's ears, especially if you own a breed that is more susceptible to ear infections.
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