Adog ear yeast infection is the doggy equivalent of athlete's foot in people—both infections are the result of yeast overgrowth on the skin. But what many owners don't know is that yeast ear infections in dogs happen as a result of less than paw-fect ear health. Actually, this is great news when it comes todog ear yeast infection treatments because it gives extra ways for owners to correct the problem.
Skin is not a sterile place and it's normal to have a healthy population of bacteria and yeast living on the surface. This is mirrored by the ear canal, which is lined with skin. With adog ear yeast infection that the yeast (a species calledMalassezia) grows unchecked, which results in a brown waxy discharge and an itch that keeps a dog awake at night.
A good question to ask is "Why do the yeast take over?"
Much like with athlete's foot, adog ear yeast infection happens when something damages the skin (e.g., it gets damp). For our fur friends, the equivalent is going swimming and getting water in the ear. But this isn't the only reason. Heavy earflaps make the ear canal a warm, damp place—or 'Love Island for yeast.’ Also, some dogs naturally produce a lot of earwax. Yeast adore this, which makes overgrowth likely.
But here's a thing: there are also health reasons whydog ear yeast infections happen. The most common is skin or food allergies. Both of these conditions weaken the skin's ability to stay in a healthy shape, which then allows yeast to grow unchecked. Other problems such as underactive thyroid glands or Cushing's disease have a similar effect, and seeking treatment for the dog's general health is the answer to tamping down those pesky yeasts.
A pet parent does right by their best buddy to recognize the signs of an ear problem and then seek veterinary help.
Signs of an ear infection include:
Pet parents: don't get over anxious about working out what type of ear infection a dog has (leave this to the vet). But some clues do point towards yeast as the culprit. Dog ear yeast infections often result in a dark, almost earthy discharge. And since it often affects both ears, this can be the exception to the "does one ear look different to the other?" check for infection.
The first step indog yeast ear infection treatment is to clean the ear. This reduces the amount of wax and robs the yeast of protection and food. Cleaning can be done at home using an ear cleaner designed for dogs. Don't use any old ear cleaner, because the product must be the right pH for dog skin. Likewise, don't go putting water down the ear canal, as this makes matters worse not better. If the pet stores are closed, then try a few drops of warmed olive oil dropped down into the ear canal. Massage gently then use cotton wool to wipe away the dirt. Repeat this daily.
Dog yeast ear infection treatment vinegar is a popular home remedy. This involves diluting apple cider vinegar with water. But be careful! This should only ever be used to wipe the outside of the ear, since putting water into the ear canal over-softens the skin (and vinegar is too harsh to use undiluted).
If regular ear cleaning doesn't do the trick or the dog's ears are painful, then a vet trip is essential. The vet checks the ears, assess the dog's health, and where necessary supply an ear drop effective against yeast.
Dog ear yeast infections are often secondary infections due to bodily imbalance. These top tips should help reduce the risk of a yeast infection getting a grip: