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Yeast Infection in Dog's Ears

Especially during the hot and humid summer months, yeast ear infections in dogs can develop into a serious problem. In this post, our Vancouver vets explain the basics of this condition, including its causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention options.

Yeast Ear Infections

Yeast is a naturally occurring, spore-producing fungus that can be found all over your dog's body — on their skin and in his or her ears. As long as yeast is properly balanced within the body, your pet's skin and ears will look and feel healthy.

However, inflammation of the ear can caused levels of yeast to increase, leading to a brown, greasy discharge in the ear canal, and around the inside flap of your dog's ear. This discharge may be both itchy and smelly for your dog. 

At our specialty and emergency veterinary hospital in Vancouver, yeast infections are diagnosed in dog ears far more frequently during the summer months, when the weather is hot and humid, than at any other time of year.

This is partly because hot, humid weather conditions are fertile ground for yeast bacteria to grow. The shape of your dog's ears can make it difficult for air to properly flow through them. Combine this with the warmth and moisture summer heat often brings and you've got ideal conditions for a yeast infection. 

Causes of Yeast Infection in Dogs 

When the delicate environment in your pooch's ear is unbalanced, this can lead to a yeast infection. Some of the most specific causes of yeast infection in dog's ears include:

  • Trapped moisture — especially in dogs with long, floppy ears 
  • Too much bathing
  • Yeast allergy
  • Antibiotics 
  • Immunodeficiency 
  • Exercise in humid environments
  • Frequent swimming 
  • Not cleaning your dog's ears often enough
  • Feeding your dog sugary snacks 

Signs That Your Dog May Have a Yeast Ear Infection 

You may notice one or more of these symptoms if your dog has a yeast ear infection: 

  • Red or irritated ear 
  • Pawing, itching, or scratching at the ear 
  • A cheesy or musty smell originating from the ear 
  • Brown or red waxy discharge in the ear

How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection in a Dog's Ear

Ear infections are uncomfortable and itchy for dogs, In addition, they may become painful if the infection is left untreated and becomes increasingly severe. 

If you suspect your dog may have a yeast infection in one or both ears, you might consider using your favorite search engine to look for a veterinary dermatologist in or near Vancouver. You can also book an appointment with a board-certified pet dermatologist at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists.

We can determine the cause of your dog's ear infection and recommend treatment. During your dog's appointment, your vet will likely thoroughly clean your dog's ears, then prescribe medication you'll need to administer to your dog at home. 

The best treatment for your dog's yeast ear infection will depend on the underlying cause, and may include: 

  • Using a medicated cleanser to regularly clean your pooch's ears at home
  • Oral antibiotics 
  • Topical medications 
  • Anti-inflammatory medications 

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs 

Keeping your dog's ear canal healthy and dry will be key to preventing yeast ear infections. If your pup has been swimming or has had a bath, be sure to dry the ears well. 

Chronic or recurring infections in your dog may be caused by underlying conditions such as hypothyroidism or allergies. It's critical to treat the underlying cause of your puppy's ear infections. 

Veterinary Dermatology at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists

Veterinary dermatology is a specialty concerned with diagnosing and treating disorders of the ears, hair, skin, and claws in pets. While numerous chronic and inflammatory skin conditions can impact your dog or cat's health, some, including allergies, bacterial infections, fungal infections, skin parasites, hair loss, and chronic scratching, are more common than others. 

Our team works with board-certified veterinary dermatologist Dr. Ashley Bourgeois of Animal Dermatology Clinic in Portland, OR. She sees patients at our hospital and can determine the cause of your pet's discomfort and recommend treatment to suit their needs. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets.

Do suspect your dog may have a yeast ear infection? Contact our Vancouver vets today to speak with a member of our team about a referral for our veterinary dermatology services.

We Welcome New Patients

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists is accepting new patients by referral and for emergency services. Our experienced emergency vets  and specialists are passionate about the health of Vancouver companion animals. Ask your vet today about a referral.

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