Dog Ear Cleaning Tips
Ear cleaning is an important part of the grooming process, but that doesn’t mean that your dog will like it. like other invasive grooming methods, ear cleaning takes some practice to help you both get used to the process. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Choose the Right Position
The angle that you approach dog ear cleaning for will depend on the shape and size of your dog, as well as both of your levels of comfort. Having your dog lay on his side gives you a really easy angle and keeps their ear turned up. It’s great for small dogs and dogs that have a limited range of motion in their neck, like a pug.
Bigger dogs may be more comfortable sitting, but you’ll need to keep their head tilted to the side so that their ear is facing upwards. For floppy-eared dogs, fold the ear back so that it’s out of your way.
Have a Distraction Handy
If your dog is less than cooperative, have a chew or toy handy that can give them something to focus on while you groom them. We love Sodapup Licking Mats because they give you more time to fuss with our dog’s ear while they clean up every last inch of the mat.
A second set of hands can be great for keeping your dog in the right position and calm while you work. Choose someone your dog is comfortable with and ask them to hold or pet your dog while you clean their ear out.
Take Breaks in Between Ears
Be Prepared for a Mess
Swaddle Little Dogs
What Causes Yeast Infections In Dogs
Yeast infections in dogs are usually secondary problems. This means that there is some other issue that is weakening the skins defense mechanisms to allow the yeast to grow in higher numbers than normal.
It is very common to see yeast infections in a dogs ears or on their skin if they have food allergies or environmental allergies. Other underlying issues that may cause yeast infections in dogs include hormonal problems or other diseases that suppress the immune system.
There are no studies to confirm that any of the following cause yeast infections on a dogs skin:
Carbohydrates or sugar in food
How To Tell The Difference Between Ear Mites And Yeast Infection
Yeast infections in dogs ears typically result in head shaking and rubbing, itching, odor, redness, and brown discharge. Ear mites in dogs have many of the same symptoms, however, there are a few slight differences. Ear mites cause a dark discharge from the ear that can be waxy or crusty. Ear mites are also barely visible to the naked eye, extremely itchy, and very contagious to other animals. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your vet so they can determine whether its a yeast infection or ear mites and the best option for treatment.
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So What Is A Yeast Infection In Dogs
Finding small amounts of yeast on dogs is normal, it only becomes a problem when yeast grows out of control. When this happens its known as Malassezia Dermatitis or a yeast infection.
Yeast may also be a problem for dogs if they become hypersensitive to Malassezia. In other words, they become allergic to the fungus on their body.
Dogs that are allergic to yeast will react to the smallest amount of yeast. So, for them, it doesn’t need to be out of control at all.
My dog, Ava, is allergic to yeast. I discovered this through skin allergy testing after many years of Ava’s itchy ears. This means that even a small amount of yeast will cause her to itch and scratch like crazy.
So, to reiterate. All dogs have yeast on their skin, but it doesn’t usually bother them unless it grows out of control. OR, if the dog is allergic to the fungus. In that case, it’s known as “hypersensitivity reaction to Malassezia.”
You can find more studies on this here. But I wanted to share this with you as it took me four years to figure out it was this that Ava suffered from.
Here’s What To Do If Your Dog Has A Yeast Infection In His Ear
A dog ear yeast infection is exactly what it sounds like an ear infection thats caused by an overgrowth of yeast .
It certainly sounds pretty uncomfortable, so youre going to want to help your pup out if hes dealing with one.
We spoke with Dr. Chylre Bonk, a veterinarian working with Hepper, to find out everything you need to know about dog ear yeast infections, like causes, symptoms, treatment and more.
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Best Dog Ear Cleaner For Multiple Symptoms
Cleaning your dogs ears doesnt require any special supplies, but not all ear cleaners are created the same. Liquid ear cleaners are better at dislodging waxy junk deep in a dogs ear so she can then shake it out. Instead of reaching for multiple ear cleaners to target ear wax, odor, and itchiness, use a safe, effective, all-in-one canine ear cleaner. Great Ears Multisymptom Dog Ear Cleaner wont deplete the skins natural lipid barrier while conditioning and moisturizing the ears. Best of all, its safe for use on adult dogs and puppies over 12 weeks.
- Dogs with excessive waxy build-up may require a second application
- Suggest maintenance cleaning is one to two times per week
- Ensure your dogs ears do not require medical treatment before using an ear cleaner
Treatment For Ear Yeast Infections
Diagnosis for ear infections in dogs also involves Cytology, where skin cells are examined under a microscope slide.
Prescription medications for ears may include antifungal drops or ointment for the ear canal. Your vet can also suggest an effective ear cleaner for dogs with a drying agent. Oral antifungal medication will be prescribed for severe cases.
Again, your vet will need to run some tests to identify the potential underlying issues causing the yeast overgrowth.
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Prognosis For Dogs With Ear Yeast Infections
Yeast infections are usually easy to treat with persistent treatment. In dogs with predisposing characteristics, such as floppy ears, allergies, or ear deformities, the condition is likely to reoccur since they are at a higher risk of recurrent ear yeast infections.
Many breeds, includingcocker spaniels and basset hounds, have floppy ears that cut off air to the ear and should be maintained to keep infections at bay. Other breeds need observation as well, such as poodles and schnauzers may have thick hair growth inside their ears that can block the flow of air in the ears and keep them overly moist. In addition, dogs that like to play in water are also potentially more likely to experience a recurring yeast overgrowth and infection.
How Is Yeast Dermatitis Treated
Treatment for yeast dermatitis may be topical, oral, or a combination of both, and is based on the severity of your dog’s condition.
Topical treatment. Treatment with medicated shampoos is a vital part of treating yeast dermatitis. Many dogs with greasy or oily skin will require an initial degreasing cleansing with a shampoo containing selenium sulfide or benzoyl peroxide. After the initial bathing is complete, bathing with an anti-fungal shampoo containing chlorhexidine, miconazole, or ketoconazole is performed. It is important the anti-fungal shampoo remain in contact with the skin for at least ten minutes. To be effective, this topical treatment is required every 3-5 days for two to twelve weeks. If the infection is in the ears or in only one or two spots on the skin, a topical ointment may be prescribed for daily use.
Oral treatment. In more severe, chronic, or persistent cases of yeast dermatitis, the use of oral or systemic anti-fungal medications is often required. Many dogs with yeast dermatitis will also have a bacterial skin infection and will require antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection for typically four to twelve weeks. Oral anti-fungal medications include ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole.
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Is There A Cure For Yeast Infection In Dogs
While yeast infections can be cured, some dogs are prone to recurrent infections. The best way to prevent a possible occurrence is to take care of your dogs immune system properly. When you treat the root of the problem, you are not only taking care of the possible yeast infection but other potential skin issues that are a result of problems that originate in the digestive tract.
Oral Treatment For Dog Yeast Infections
Kelso points out that sometimes topical medications just aren’t effective, especially for dogs that hate bath time or have long, dense coats that make it hard to get topical treatments on the skin. In these situations, oral treatment may be the only option.
Taking an antifungal pill can also be better for more advanced yeast infection cases because it kills yeast fast. But prescriptions like ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine aren’t without a downsidethey can also cause stomach upset and affect the liver. According to Kelso, monitoring your pet with regular blood work is necessary during oral treatment.
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How To Cure A Yeast Infection In Dog’s Ear
Ear infections are uncomfortable and itchy for dogs, not only that, they can become painful if the infection is left untreated and becomes more severe.
It’s time to take your dog to the vet if you suspect he or she has a yeast infection in one or both ears. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of your puppy’s ear infection and suggest the best treatment options. Your vet will most likely clean your dog’s ears during your appointment to get treatment started on the right foot.
The best treatment for your dog’s yeast ear infection will depend upon the underlying cause and may include:
- Regularly clean your pup’s ears at home with a medicated cleanser
- Topical medications
What Is The Prognosis For Yeast Dermatitis
The prognosis for yeast dermatitis is generally good. While the condition usually requires long-term treatment, the majority of cases respond favorably and the itching is reduced within a week of beginning therapy.
“In cases with underlying allergies or immune compromise, the prognosis is based on the ability to control those conditions.”
In cases with underlying allergies or immune compromise, the prognosis is based on the ability to control those conditions. It is not uncommon for dogs with severe skin allergies to have recurrent secondary yeast or bacterial skin infections, sometimes two or three times a year. Your veterinarian will discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan for your dog to help you manage this condition.
|Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM|
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Causes For Yeast Infection In Dogs
Yeast infections are caused by many reasons, but its always because the yeast is somewhere its not meant to be. Dog ears are the perfect environment for yeast infections because theyre moist and warm.
These characteristics make it easy for the yeast to multiply and snowball. The yeast infection can lead to allergies, bacterial infections, and other opportunistic infections.
Most times, yeast infections are caused by excess moisture in your dogs ear. If your dog just got bathed, went swimming, or running, it could develop a yeast infection.
How Serious Is A Yeast Infection In A Dogs Ears
For the most part, dog ear yeast infections arent super serious.
Most yeast ear infections affect just the outer ear and, with proper treatment, clear up quickly and easily, Dr. Bonk told The Dodo.
Your dogs infection can be a bit more of an issue if it goes untreated, or if its the result of a serious underlying condition.
Sometimes a yeast ear infection can be tied to something more serious, such as a foreign object or tumor in the ear, allergies, or a bacterial infection, Dr. Bonk said. If left untreated, they can cause quite a bit of pain and discomfort, lead to a ruptured eardrum, inner or middle ear infection, or even deafness.
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Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good For Dog Hot Spots
You’ll know your dog has one when he’s licking, scratching or biting the area incessantly to gain relief from the pain, itch and inflammation. You can try apple cider vinegar on a hot spot only if it’s in the very early stages but as soon as there is any broken skin, it is definitely NOT recommended.
Topical Treatment For Skin Yeast Infections
Topical treatments for canine yeast infection on the skin include shampoos, ointments, and wipes. Kelso says that using them will typically involve a few steps:
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Diagnosing Yeast Ear Infections
If your vet suspects an ear infection, hell use an otoscope to check your dogs ears. This is to see if theres anything inside the ear canal that may be causing the yeast infection.
Sometimes, otitis externa can truly be painful for dogs. An otoscopic examination may not be possible in such cases. Vets typically sedate the dog first so that he wont feel the pain as his ears are examined. The vet will then palpate and assess the ear canal to check for swelling, itchiness, fibrosis, discharges, and any other physical symptoms present.
Note that Malassezia and Candida albicans can both produce ear discharges and infections in a dog. Hence, your dogs vet may collect ear discharge samples to confirm what kind of yeast has overgrown and invaded your dogs ears. The vet may also determine the presence of bacteria and other organisms that may be causing additional discomfort for your dog.
Ear Infections Caused By Yeast In Dogs
Yeast overgrowth can have many underlying causes but allergy is particularly common as is the dogs ear getting wet. Add to that, the fact that yeast loves dark and most places and youll see that the dog ear almost screams for yeast to set up shop.
For dogs that have recurrent issues with yeast, regular ear washes with a veterinary product that acidifies and dries the canal is called for.
Yeast infections are the most common type of ear infection in dogs. The yeast organisms are fungi called Malassezia and they are normal on the skin and in the ears. When the ear becomes inflamed and the environment changes, the yeast take advantage, overgrow and results in the glands of the ears producing a brown greasy ear discharge.
It is especially itchy and somewhat smelly. It isnt long before the pet is seen scratching at his ears, shaking his head, or holding one ear slightly dropped. Discharge and odor may be noticeable to the owner.
Complications of Ear Infections
Aural HematomaWhen a dog with uncomfortable ears shakes and scratches vigorously, a blood vessel in the earflap may rupture. This leads to bleeding into the tissues of the ear flap. The usual recommendation is to have the blood clots removed and the ear flapped sutured together under anesthesia.
It may require surgical intervention to remove the vertical portion of the ear canal or even remove and seal the ear canal . It is important to control ear infections before they reach this stage if at all possible.
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What To Feed A Dog With A Yeast Infection
The best diet for a dog with yeast is a whole food, raw diet, avoiding any starchy carbohydrates. Then, once youve stopped feeding the yeast and youve broken up the biofilm, youll want to add antifungal foods and supplements to your dogs diet. Use as many as your dog can tolerate but if hes showing signs of yeast die-off, go more slowly. Here are some of the top performing antifungal foods:
This is a medium chain triglyceride found in coconut oil and palm oil. Of course, you want to be kind to the planet and make sure your caprylic acid never comes from palm oil. Research shows caprylic acid can directly treat some yeast infections. Its believed it can destroy Candida by destroying its cell membrane. Ideally, your dogs caprylic acid would come from MCT oil. Research done on the benefits of coconut oil werent done on the same coconut oil you would buy at the grocery store they were done using only the MCTs.
Coconut oil is also a poor choice for managing yeast infection in dogs because of its lauric acid content. Lauric acid promotes inflammation in the digestive tract. This is a key cause of leaky gut. So a good quality MCT oil might be a better source of caprylic acid than coconut oil. And as a bonus, its been shown to be a potential way to manage seizures in dogs.
MCT oil can cause diarrhea in your dog if you give too much. So start slowly and work your way up. Try starting at a quarter tsp for large and medium sized dogs.
How Did My Dog Get A Yeast Infection
Allergens such as pollens, mold, dust, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, and even certain foods, especially if they’re high in sugar and carbs, can also lead to yeast infections. For some dogs, yeast problems are seasonal, and when the temperature and humidity are high, problems with yeast can occur.
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