What Causes Yeast Infections
Yeast infections usually occur secondary to other issues. Yeasts are found in low numbers on normal dogs in places like the ear canals and lip margins, usually causing no issues.
But in a dog that has an underlying skin condition, these yeasts are given optimum conditions in which to multiply. The most common yeast infection in dogs is known as Malassezia dermatitis caused by a yeast called Malassezia pachydermatis.
The types of underlying conditions that can predispose a dog to secondary yeast infections include:
- Bacterial skin infections )
- Skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis
- Hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism
- Excessive skin folds
Yeast Infections In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment
In low numbers, yeast in dogs is considered normal. Yeast is commonly an inhabitant of a dogs skin and ears. Every dog will carry a few yeast around with them, but if there is a problem with the immune system, if a dog has wet ears, ear mites or excessively long ear canals, or if a dog has skin allergies, then the yeast can grow out of control and cause problems.
Yeast Overgrowth Is The Enemy
Yeast naturally resides in the environment or microbiome of the ears and skin. Certain factors in your pets microbiome help regulate yeast growth to create a healthy balance in the ear. But that balance can be disrupted when underlying factors cause inflammation in the ear. Inflammation can then cause swelling and the glands to over-secrete. This process leads to a moist environment in the ear canal. And because yeast thrives in a dark, moist environment, yeast overgrowth ensues. Overgrowth leads to dark brown discharge, an unpleasant odor and scratching at the ears.
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Common Allergy Triggers In Commercial Dog Food
Thanks to science, nutritionists and researchers have uncovered the main offenders in dog food. Lets go over each one.
Protein is, unfortunately, a common allergy trigger for allergy sufferers particularly frequently seen in meat like chicken, beef, and fish.
Often, hydrolyzed or aid in digestion and nourish the body. Novel proteins use a new protein source that has never been introduced to your dogs system before. Hydrolyzed proteins are broken down to microscopic bits so they can essentially bypass the system.
Dairy, more specifically, lactose, is another huge trigger for dogs. A big telltale sign that your dog has a dairy allergy is itchy skin and rashes. Believe it or not, there is a difference between lactose allergy and lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is linked more to gastrointestinal upset versus skin irritation. So, if dairy is causing recurring ear infections, it is usually linked more to the allergy than the intolerance.
Gluten is not nearly as triggering as dog food companies would lead you to believe. In fact, it makes up only a small percentage of dog food allergies total. But rather than ear infections, gluten allergies usually present with diarrhea, loose stool, mucous in stool, gas, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Just because these are the most prevalent allergy triggers, it doesnt mean they are the only ones. Dogs, like us, can be allergic to just about anything.
Yeast Infections In Dogs
Itchy, irritated skin with a distinct odor can be an indication of a yeast infection, a common skin concern for dogs. A dog will typically develop a yeast infection on the skin or in the ears. Regardless of location, a yeast infection can cause extreme discomfort and can be an indication of a more serious issue.
In This Article
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Preventing Fungal Infections In Dogs
Fungal infections in dogs range from localized annoyances to potentially fatal systemic diseases. Prevention is not always possible, but common sense measures can help. If you live in an area where a certain type of fungal infection is endemic, avoid high risk environments. Pets with ringworm should be isolated to limit the spread of the disease to people or other animals. Finally, appropriately manage any underlying health problems that increase your dogs risk for developing a fungal infection.
Dog Ear Infection Home Remedies
Dog ear infection home remedies can be relatively inexpensive and offer a more natural approach to keeping ear infections under control.
Some of the many ingredients used in home remedy applications for dogs include vinegar , coconut oil, calendula flowers and other herbs, olive oil, garlic oil or Vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, lemons, yogurt, Epsom salts, baking soda and green tea. Home remedies may also include ingredients such as boric acid and hydrogen peroxide.
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How Is A Yeast Infection In A Dog Treated
Using an otoscope, your vet will be able to look at your dogâs ear canal to determine if the eardrum is intact or if anything is present in the ear canal that could be causing the infection. The doctor will probably also take a sample of material from in and around the ear, and examine this under the microscope. It is important to determine whether the infection is caused by yeast, bacteria, or both.
If your dog has a yeast infection of the outer ear canal, the vet might prescribe a topical antifungal ointment or cream. Miconazole and ketoconazole are two antifungal medicines that are often effective.
An infection of the middle ear is treated with systemic medications , though further tests and even surgery may be needed. It can take up to six weeks for the infection to go away.
Your vet might recommend a full cleaning of the dogâs ear canal. If the problem is chronic, ask about special cleansers and ear-drying solutions that can be used at home.
Treating A Yeast Infection
If your dog has a yeast infection in their ears, then your vet will likely prescribe a combination of ear cleaning and topical medication that’s applied to the ears. Cleaning ears is an important part of treatment, as it removes debris that can clog up the ear canal. If you’ve never cleaned your dog’s ears, ask your vet to show you how it’s done. Your vet may also prescribe a medicated lotion or cream to apply in your dog’s ears once or twice daily after cleaning. Give this medicine as recommended by your vet, don’t skip doses and don’t stop early even if your dog is doing better. Yeast infections like to hide deep in ear canals and if you stop too soon, you risk creating drug resistance and your dog getting another infection.
Skin yeast infections can be treated in multiple ways. Your vet might prescribe an oral anti-yeast medicine. However, topical treatments, such as prescription strength anti-yeast cream, lotion, shampoo and wipes, are also effective. If your dog has a yeast infection on their paws, medicated wipes or lotion can be effective.
If your dog has a widespread skin yeast infection, your vet may prescribe shampoo with ketoconazole. The shampoo needs to be in contact with the skin for five to ten minute before being rinsed off. If used properly and if the underlying cause is addressed, medicated shampoos are very effective in eradicating yeast overgrowth . Be sure to follow your vet’s instructions regarding any prescribed treatments.
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Can Particular Foods Cause An Ear Infection
Yes, several regimens may result in ear infections if the incorrect ingredients are used in the food. In hypersensitive dogs, feed choices that are heavily processed or include a high concentration of grain-based nutrients, chemicals preservatives, and filler are more likely to trigger allergic responses may lead to ear infections.
How Do You Treat A Yeast Infection In A Dogs Ear
The most common dog ear yeast infection treatment is a veterinary prescribed ear ointment. These dog-specific ear ointments are safe for dogs and usually contain an antifungal medicine to treat the infection and a steroid to reduce the itching and inflammation in the ear. In addition to dog ear infection medications like ear ointments, your veterinarian may wish for you to clean out your dogs ear. is one of my favorite ear cleaners for dog ear yeast infections. If you have never cleaned out a dogs ear before, check out this article on how to clean a dogs ears. After ear cleaning or administering ear medication, dont forget to give your pup a tasty treat!
If the yeast infections are recurring, your veterinarian will likely wish to determine the underlying cause of the ear infections. Because many yeast infections in dogs are caused by allergies, your vet may want to try a special allergy diet that is made for dogs with food allergies. Your vet may wish to prescribe allergy medications including Apoquel, Cytopoint, steroids, or antihistamines. Another option that may improve itching associated with allergies is to try a fatty acid supplement. While these medications wont cure ear yeast infections, they may help to reduce some of the symptoms associated with allergies. To learn more about allergy medication use in dogs, check out this complete guide to dog allergy medication.
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Stop Feeding Your Dog Yeast
Yeast is a dimorphic organism that exists in two forms in your dogs body. It can exist as a benign single-celled organism that lives peacefully with the bacteria. Or it can sometimes grow out of control and become toxic. So the best way to stop the growth of yeast in your dogs gut is by removing carbs and sugar from your dogs diet.
Carbs are complex chains that are composed of sugar molecules. Therefore, when your pet consumes carbohydrates, it is broken down into sugar that feeds the yeast. So, limit dog foods that contain millet, oat, rice, peas, corn, wheat, and potatoes.
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Best Way To Treat An Ear Yeast Infection
To effectively treat your pets ear infection, find out what is disrupting the environment of the ear. Your veterinarian can perform tests using the discharge from the ears to confirm an infection. An ear swab cytology test can help determine if there are ear mites, yeast or a bacterial infection present. Based on those results, the appropriate treatment can be administered.
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Signs Of A Yeast Infection
Dogs with ear yeast infections will have red, itchy ears that stink. They’ll also likely have copious amounts of dark brown earwax. Dog ear yeast infections are very itchy, and affected dogs may constantly scratch their ears and shake their heads. They may also rub their ears along furniture or along the carpet leaving their signature scent everywhere they rub or groan when you scratch their ears.
If your dog has a skin yeast infection, their skin will be itchy and red. They may also experience hair loss and smell bad. If your dog is constantly chewing on their paws and the underside of the paw is red, swollen and smells bad, it could be a yeast infection. If a yeast infection goes on long enough, it can make the skin thicken and turn rough and black.
What Is Canine Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis is the medical term for inflammation of the tissue surrounding the eye , and has multiple causes. Well focus on bacterial conjunctivitis today. The classic symptoms of bacterial conjunctivitis is red eyes with white, yellow, or green eye discharge1. Many dogs will hold their eyes partially or completely closed, and some may be unable to open their eyes especially right after waking up.
A quick PSA: never use human eye medications on dogs unless instructed by your veterinarian. Some human meds can cause serious damage to your dogs eye.
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Dog Ear Infection Treatments
Externa otitis or acute ear infections should be relatively easy to resolve once your dog starts the treatment recommended by your vet. This is likely to be treated using an over-the-counter cleaner and treating the infected ear/s with prescription ear drops.
Most ear infections will need to be treated with prescription drops which usually contain a steroid, antibiotic and an antifungal. The earlier you address the infection, the faster the symptoms will improve or resolve completely.
You should be very careful about cleaning your dog’s ears to avoid making the problem worse. Keep reading to learn the proper technique for cleaning your dog’s ears. It’s important to remember that an untreated outer ear infection can spread to the inner or middle ear.
More serious infections such as externa media and interna will take longer to resolve and likely treated with an oral antibiotic or antifungal. Your dog may also need to be treated with an oral steroid. If more complicated symptoms such as vomiting, nausea or anorexia have developed as a result of your dog’s ear infection, your vet may recommend a separate treatment to help resolve these specific symptoms.
With very severe inner ear infections, if your dog isn’t eating or drinking properly, your vet might recommend that they are hospitalised and put on an IV fluid drip to prevent dehydration. Some dogs with chronic repeat internal ear infections may require surgery.
Yeast Imbalance In Dogs Ear
If the yeast infection in the ear is caused by a local problem in the ear, topical antifungal ointments or creams such as Miconazole and ketoconazole are usually prescribed. Natural remedies for yeast infection in dogs are very common as well. Well cover them in more details in the next sections below.
Before applying the antifungal medication or remedy, it is very important to clean the dogs ear canal, remove any accumulated dirt, wax or debris to allow good air circulation, and also confirm that there are no foreign objects trapped inside the ear. This cleansing should be done every time before applying the medication. Disinfecting the affected areas and keeping them clean is a very important part of the treatment, especially considering the dog excessive scratching.
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Other Natural Ways To Treat Dogs Ear Infection
And if you prefer a more natural approach for treating your dogs ear infection, these tips might come in handy:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is the magic ingredient that could help kill bacteria and yeast and help your dog recover from an ear infection. The acetic content of the component can also help remove scale and dirt from the ears. However, be cautious before applying ACV on the ear if it appears too red or swollen. It can cause a lot of pain to your dog. Allow the infected area to dry up and gently apply the ACV with a cotton ball. See a vet if the problem persists.
Mullein and Calendula
The antifungal and antibacterial properties of these plants make them an excellent natural treatment for curing a dogs ear infection.
Add a few leaves of these plants in separate jars with garlic and olive oil. Let calendula sit for four days and mullein for 2-3 weeks. Strain the mixtures and apply gently with a cotton ball to the infected ear.
The natural oregano oil can help treat ear infection as it has rich antibacterial properties. Apply the oil directly on the infected ear if its not too red or itchy. You can choose to dilute the oil to avoid pain or irritation when doing it for the first time.
Parasites Role In Ear Yeast Infections
Ear mites are the most common parasite that can contribute to yeast infections. Even though they can occur in dogs, they most commonly occur in cats. These tiny insects like to live and reproduce in the ear canal, causing significant irritation and inflammation. This disrupts the delicate balance of the ear canals microbiome.
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Who Gets Yeast Infections
Any dog, no matter their age, breed, or size, can get yeast infections.
Yeast occurs naturally in several areas of the body in the nose, ears, gastrointestinal and genital tracts. Its even one of many in a complex community of oral flora inside your dogs mouth, actually. All of these areas could become culture plates under the right circumstances.
Certain breeds are more likely than others to develop grease and phlegm buildup in their ears and body, especially if they have folds.
Wrinkly Dog Breeds, i.e., cute smooosh faces
Floppy-Eared Breeds, i.e., droopy boops
But that simply means you should be aware that its a possibility with these breeds.
Can Dog Food Cause Ear Infections
Dogs are most often afflicted with ear infections due to dietary allergies. Food allergies may lead to inflammatory diseases, which allow for the development of yeast and bacteria in the intestines, ultimately building up to the rest of the body, especially the ear.
Based on study findings is that one in five dogs has some ear infections. Ear infections are often linked with Cocker Spaniels and Golden Retrievers since their larger ear lobes and bushy ear canals promote the accumulation of dirt and bacteria.
It is always advisable to get veterinary assistance if you think your dog has an ear infection. For instance, you can help prevent the reappearance of chronic and recurring infections by following preventive measures.
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What Is Yeast Infection In Dogs Ears
Yeast infection in dogs ears is a specific ear infection that develops when yeast species that normally populate the dogs ears overgrow. The overgrowth of yeasts leads to a disrupted balance of microorganisms in the ears, resulting in an ear infection.
The mentioned Malassezia pachydermatis is the most common cause of yeast infection in dogs ears. In normal conditions, the yeast lives on the dogs body skin, skin folds, and ears in small numbers.
However, given the opportunity , it overgrows and causes outer ear infections and skin infections .