Have you ever had a tickle in your throat that wouldn’t go away, despite all the coughing, water and drops, seemingly in the world? What about an itchy eye from an allergy of microscopic piece of dust? Maybe you’ve even suffered from swimmer’s ear and spent countless minutes or hours tilting your head like a loon, looking to remove the pressure. If any of these sounds like a familiar predicament, you already know the discomfort experienced by your dog when they suffer from an ear yeast infection.
While not life threatening in themselves, a yeast infection in your dog’s ear can create a serious quality of life issues. Affected dogs will often scratch at their ears with their paws and nails, creating mild abrasions. Dog’s with ear yeast infections will also shake their heads repeatedly, attempting to relieve the irritation. An annoying circumstance for your pooch and for owners who have to hunt down the corresponding drool and slobber that manages to make its way around the house. Add in unflattering odors and the potential for even more painful ear infections, and yeast infections can quickly become a large nuisance. Thankfully, dog ear yeast infections are also preventable.
Causes and Prevention of Dog Ear Yeast Infection
Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a naturally occurring fungal organism that usually exists in small numbers, harmlessly on your dog’s skin. When these organisms multiply at an excessive rate, yeast infections can occur in the ears. Common causes include:
Just like in people, certain foods may not agree with your pet’s particular digestive system. When some dogs eat ingredients such as chicken, wheat, corn or other individual items, ingestion will trigger an allergic reaction that can alter the natural flora and allow an unnatural growth of yeast.
If your pet suffers from yeasty ears, attempt altering their diet to eliminate common triggers. If you’re uncertain as to what your dog’s particular allergies may be, begin by feeding your dog a single protein or dog foods with minimal ingredients and slowly adding items back in. This will allow you to identify key food triggers for your pooch and help avoid ear yeast infections.
Similar to allergies to food, dogs can also get ear yeast infections from environmental allergies. These can be caused from a variety of substances present in households, yards, and pet parks. Mold, pollen, dust, fleas and mites can all be environmental factors for yeasty ears.
When it comes to pollen and dust, it can be difficult to keep your pet from coming in contact these substances. In this case your vet may be able to prescribe allergy medication that can alleviate symptoms. Flea and tick control will help keep parasites to a minimum and is an easy way to help prevent ear yeast infection in dogs with allergies. Regular cleaning of ears with a mild, over the counter solution can also help eliminate or prevent mites.
One of the other major causes of ear yeast infections in your dog is foreign bodies. This can include dirt, dust or even water. Even the smallest of particles can cause irritation. This irritation on its own can trigger an allergic reaction. Additionally these irritants can cause your dog to scratch their ear area triggering abrasions which can also cause overgrowth of yeast.
In order to prevent foreign bodies you should follow a regular cleaning and upkeep schedule for your dog’s hygiene. Ear cleaning is easy and painless and should be done weekly along with clipping nails and brushing your dog’s coat. In order to prevent water in the ear of your dog, place cotton balls in the ear canal during baths. Drying drops, similar to those used by human swimmers, can also be used immediately after a bath to help dry out the ear canal and avoid an overgrowth of yeast.
Importance and Effects of Prevention
Preventing ear yeast infections in your dog is a critical step to their overall health and comfort. Ear yeast infections are one of the primary causes of ear infections which causes pressure, pain, discomfort and potential hearing loss if not properly treated. Ear yeast infections can also be odorous, keeping you from living with your dog in a happy and harmonious household.
Ear yeast infections may have a variety of causes, but with a little bit of care and attention they can be easily prevented with regular cleaning and diet control. If your dog has environmental allergies, consider a quick trip to the vet for seasonal or annual allergy medications. By following a proper protocol of cleaning, avoiding triggers and proper medical treatment, ear yeast infections are easily prevented saving both you and your pooch a great deal of discomfort.