Yeast Infection in My Dogs Ear
Ear infections occur in approximately 20 percent of the canine population, with a fungus/yeast type called candida albicans being one of the most common. Dog ears contain mast cells, just like the mast cells contained in the respiratory systems of humans. These mast cells produce histamines, prostaglandins, and other inflammatory chemicals in response to allergens. These chemicals stimulate the ears to over-produce wax and other secretions. The excess was makes the perfect environment for skin bacteria to thrive. Yeast spores floating around in the air are also attracted to the ears and begin to germinate.
Yeast infections (Malassezia otitis) can also be caused by a reaction to ingredients in the food your pet consumes or as a reaction to ear mites. If your pet is middle aged and having frequent ear infection, allergies or a problem with the endocrine gland should be considered as well as reactions to food.
Symptoms of yeast infection in dog ear include increased production of ear wax and other secretions. Ear wax may appear to be pinkish-brown and often the ear will have a bad smell. Your dog’s ears will itch. He will probably scratch or paw at them. He may also rub his nose with his paws, another a sign of allergies. If the yeast infection occur during certain times of the year and not others that could be a sign your pet has allergies. See our post for symptoms of ear mites. Treatment plans for ear mites are similar to those for a yeast infection.
In addition to allergies yeast infections can be caused by improper bacterial balance (sometimes caused by the use of antibiotics), poor nutrition, stress, scratched or wounded ears, medications, flea preparations and heartworm medications.
Your veterinarian will look for evidence of a yeast infection by examining the amount and color of the ear wax and other secretions. They will examine your pet’s ear tissue and an ear wax sample will be taken with a swab for examination under a microscope.
Knowing what caused a dog’s infection is the first step toward healing, as it can be eliminated to prevent future infection. Routine and thorough cleaning of the ear canal is one of the best preventative measures. A good natural herbal product we recommend is called PetAlive Ear Dr. for Ear Infections and Ear Mites.Also, if your pet has food allergies, you will need to change their diet. If the cause is other kinds of allergies, you may need to treat their environment or look for natural allergy cures. See our post Natural Cures for Pet Allergies
Dog ear yeast infections are easily treated if caught and treated early. The process is an at-home treatment to clean out the infection and create an uninviting environment for the yeast. If allowed to grow, yeast infections can be complicated by secondary bacterial infections. If the combined infections are allowed to go further, the dog’s hearing can become impacted as the various parts of the ear become involved. Early intervention and preventative measures can help your dog stay healthy.