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Yeast infections in dogs ear are very common, making many dog owners seek natural alternatives to the conventional dog ear infection treatment and drug based medicine. Before trying any dog yeast infection home remedy however, it is always best to consult your vet. Many popular home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, oregano oil, hydrogen peroxide and others can irritate your dog’s ear when not used properly.
When it comes to home remedies in general, and especially home remedies for yeast infections, safety comes first. This is true for both humans and dogs.
yeast infections in dogs ear: Topics covered
Dog yeast infection symptoms
How can you tell if your dog has a yeast infection?
Dog yeast infection symptoms often get mistaken by other skin disease in dogs, although the signs of yeast infection in dogs are usually quite easy to spot. When you know what to look for.
Here is how you can tell if your dog has a yeast infection:
The most common dog yeast infection symptoms include itchy discomfort and pain which typically affect the dog’s behaviour as he or she tries to relieve the intense itching and scratch the ear. This causes unusual excessive scratching around the ear, with the dog shaking or tilting the head or rubbing the ears on the ground.
Common dog yeast infection symptoms may include:
- Wax in ear: excessive wax buildup and wax residue around the opening of the ear.
- Discharge in ear: sticky discharge, red, brown, yellow or green, musty cheesy smelling discharge.
- Skin: hard dry crusty skin on the earflap. Skin irritation, skin redness with or without sores, rancid skin.
- Ear hair: Hair loss around the ear.
- Inflammation: swelling and inflammation around the ears with or without scabs.
- Pain: touching the ear may cause the dog pain.
- Smell: foul musty or cheesy odor.
- Behaviour: irritability, intense itchiness that causes constant scratching. In some cases loss of hearing or loss of balance, walking in circles.
Yeast infections in dogs ear are more common in dogs with long floppy ears or with more hair in the ears such as basset hounds, cocker spaniels, german shepherds, golden retrievers, poodles, schnauzers and white terriers.
Systemic yeast infection in dogs
Systemic yeast infection in dogs means that there is an issue or imbalance in your dog’s body that causes the yeast to overgrow. In this case, there are usually additional symptoms present in addition to the yeast infections in dogs ear.
You may notice symptoms such as lethargy, depression, fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, low activity level, diarrhea, bloody nasal discharge, vomiting and loss of appetite. Other common symptoms of systemic yeast infection in dogs may include:
- Yeast infection in paws and belly.
- Skin irritation, skin redness with or without sores, rancid skin.
- Swelling and inflammation in areas such as between the paw pads, nasal, anal, armpits, and neck. In some cases, you may notice dog yeast infection around eyes.
- Greasy coat, in some cases excessive shedding or hair loss.
Becoming aware of all the yeast infection symptoms in addition to the yeast infection in your dog’s ear can help to identify and address the root cause behind the systemic yeast infection problem. This is very important as the treatment your dog may need can be completely different. We’ll discuss this in more details next.
What causes yeast infections in dogs ears?
Common causes of yeast infections in dogs ears may include:
- Ear isn’t kept dry, moisture or trapped water inside ear.
- Accumulated debris, wax or discharge in ear.
- Trapped foreign object inside the dog’s ear.
- Exposure to hot, humid weather.
- Poor overall hygiene.
- Use of products or ear drops for dogs that alter the natural environment of the ear.
Yeast is an opportunistic microorganism that is well known to take advantage of a compromised environment. Yeast thrives in a wet moist dark environment. This is true for humans as it is true for dogs.
Other causes of yeast infection in dogs that may cause a systemic yeast infection in the body and recurrent yeast infection in the ear include:
- Poor diet, especially diet high in sugars or carbs.
- Recent antibiotic use.
- Certain medication can alter the dog’s natural balance of good bacteria, leading to yeast overgrowth.
- Low immune system.
In this case, there are usually multiple yeast infection symptoms present in the body in addition to the yeast infections in your dog’s ear. Identifying the systemic yeast infection symptoms in addition to the yeast infection in the ears is very important, as the needed treatment may be completely different.
This is a common problem. When there is a systemic yeast infection problem and only the yeast infection in dog ears is treated, the root cause of the yeast problem in the body is left untreated. As a result, the yeast infection spreads and evolves with the symptoms keep coming back or become worse.
Yeast infection is the most common cause of dogs ear infections, although sometimes dog ear infections can be caused by other reasons such as bacteria, allergies to foods, fleas or environmental pollutants (such as cigarette smoke), and hormonal imbalances abnormalities such as hypothyroidism.
Dog ear yeast infection treatments
The most important part of the dog ear yeast infection treatment is to identify what causes yeast infection in your dog’s ear, as the needed treatment may be different:
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 (commonly known as Monistat) and ketoconazole are usually prescribed. Natural remedies for yeast infection in dogs are very common as well. We’ll cover them in more details in the next sections below.
Before applying the antifungal medication or remedy, it is very important to clean the dog’s 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.
Systemic yeast infection in dogs
Treatment for systemic yeast infections in dogs is usually related to its cause. This is especially important in cases of recent antibiotic use, low immune system or other medical conditions.
The most immediate change that is normally required is your dog’s diet. Yeast prefered fuel is sugar and carbs. Dogs on the other hand, are carnivores. The best dog food for yeast infections is a low carb one that is high in high quality organic natural meat, without the use of preservatives, antibiotics and other toxins. Many dog foods contain starches and grains such as rice, corn, wheat, potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes. Organic or not, these should be avoided during the treatment. Many dog owners include anti yeast dog food such as garlic, oregano and others, although we highly suggest to consult your vet before adding these, as they are not always needed and may cause more harm than good.
Home remedies for dog ear infection
Many dog owners who wish to avoid giving their dog antifungal drugs, dog ear infection medication or other synthetic antifungal creams, prefer to try the natural remedies option first.
Certain home remedies for dog ear infection can be very effective. When using home remedies for dog ear infection however, it is always best to consult your vet to make sure you use these remedies properly.
This is very important. The fact that home remedies work for a some dogs, doesn’t guarantee they may work for your dog. Some popular home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, oregano oil, hydrogen peroxide and others can actually irritate your dog’s (already irritated) ear when not used properly.
This is true for both humans and dogs. When it comes to home remedies in general and especially home remedies for yeast infections, safety comes first.
Natural remedy for dog ear infection: Ozonated olive oil
Perhaps one of the best natural remedy for dog ear infection to consider as well as for external yeast infections in both dogs and humans is Ozonated olive oil.
Ozonated olive oil is olive oil that had ozone added into it. This unique combination of the health benefits of both ozone and olive oil has shown to be very effective against yeast, candida and fungal infections in many published studies (source), especially in cases of skin issues (source), mouth irritation (source), oral thrush (source) and vaginal yeast infections (source).
Unlike many antifungal creams that can cause irritation, Ozonated olive oil has a unique ability to reduce candida and yeast growth (source) on one hand, while helping to soothe skin irritation and accelerate wound healing at the same time (source).
To use Ozonated olive oil for yeast infections in your dog’s ear:
- Clean the dog’s ear canal, remove any accumulated dirt or debris to allow good air circulation.
- Dry the ear canal thoroughly using a clean towel.
- Wash your hands with water and soap before applying the cream.
- Warm 1 teaspoon of ozonated olive oil until it turns into a cream consistency.
- Do not heat the oil. Placing it in room temperature for a few minutes or holding it in your hands should be enough.
- Apply a thin layer on the affected areas inside the ear, ideally after the night walk before your dog sleeps. This helps to better keep the cream inside the ear as your dog moves less.
- Wait for 24 hours.
- Observe your dog behavior, if no signs of irritation occurs, continue with this protocol for up to 14 days.
How to prevent yeast infections in dogs ears
The best way to prevent yeast infections in dogs ear is to keep good ear hygiene:
- Keep the ear canal dry and clean.
- Ongoing check for discharge, accumulated debris and wax buildup in the ear.
- Maintain good diet low in sugars, carbs, starches and processed foods. Dogs are carnivores, their bodies are not well designed to handle sugars or processed unhealthy treats!