Dogs' ears can develop a yeast infection, especially in the summer months when it is hot and humid outside. Today, our Ypsilanti vets discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for yeast infections in dogs' ears.
Yeast Ear Infections
Yeast fungi grows naturally in your dog's ears and on their skin. When there is the right balance of yeast on your pup's ears and skin it's healthy. But, if the ear becomes inflamed the levels of yeast can accelerate causing a greasy brown discharge in their ear canal and around the flaps of their ears. This discharge could be smelly and itchy for your pooch.
Our Ypsilanti vets see an increase in yeast infections in dogs during the summer when the weather is warm and humid because the heat and humidity create an ideal environment for the yeast to grow. When there is a combination of warmth and moisture there is less airflow caused by the shape of your dog's ears, which can often result in yeast infections.
What causes yeast infections in a dog's ear?
There are many reasons why the delicate environment of your dog's ear can become unbalanced and cause a yeast infection, a few of the most common are:
- Frequent swimming
- Trapped moisture - particularly in dogs with long floppy ears
- Not cleaning your dog's ears often enough
- Exercise in humid environments
- Too much bathing
- Yeast allergy
- Feeding your dog sugary snacks
What are the signs my dog may have a yeast infection in their ear?
If your pup is suffering from a yeast ear infection you might see them with one or more of the symptoms below:
- Red or irritated ear
- Red or brown waxy discharge in the ear
- Itching, scratching & pawing at the ear
- cheesy or musty smell coming from the ear
How can I treat my dog's yeast ear infection?
Yeast ear infections can be very itchy and uncomfortable for dogs and can get painful if the infection goes untreated and becomes more serious.
If you think that your dog has a yeast infection in one or both of their ears you will need to take them to the vet. Your veterinarian will be able to find out what caused your dog's ear infection and provide you with the best possible treatment plan. During your dog's appointment, your vet will likely give your dog's ears a good cleaning to get treatment started off right.
The best treatment for your dog's yeast ear infection will depend upon the underlying cause which could include:
- Regularly cleaning your pooch's ears at home with a medicated cleanser
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
How can I prevent my dog from getting a yeast ear infection?
The best way to prevent yeast ear infections in dogs is to keep the ear canals dry and healthy.
If your pup has been in water swimming - or after bathtime - remember to dry your dog's ears well.
Underlying conditions such as allergies or hypothyroidism can cause your dog to experience chronic or recurring infections. Treatment for the underlying cause of your pup's ear infections is essential.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.