Friday, October 3, 2014

Canine Ear (Yeast) Infections

We are participating in the Caring for Critters blog hop hosted by Jodi at Heart Like a Dog.

Yesterday, Lisa at Heartprints Pets wrote about the benefits of essential oils and canine massage after trauma.

I have battled ear infections with Bruce in the past.  Knock on wood, he has not had one in two years now.  By process of elimination and deductive reasoning, I figured out that Bruce's ear infections were caused by a yeast allergy.  Culturing of swabs performed by the vet confirmed his infections were due to yeast.

A dog with an ear infection can present himself in a variety of ways.  Frequent shaking of the head, scratching of the ears, ear tenderness, loss of hair in the ears, and red, inflamed ears are common.  Bruce demonstrated all of these. 

Some mild ear infections can be treated and cleared up at home.  I was able to do this a couple of times, prior to figuring out the cause of his infections.

For me, at home treatment of his canine yeast infections included cleansing his ears twice daily with half-strength white or apple cider vinegar.  Other options include OTC ear rinses and wipes, none of which I used.

The last ear infection of his was the worst, and necessitated a trip to the vet, which is not fun at all with Bruce.  (This is also how we learned that acepromazine is not a good drug for him...)

His ears were so bad that he ended up on oral steroids, a medicated wash, and a three way medicated cream.

Fortunately, this cleared it up for him.  Finding the cause is key, and yeast is often the cause.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Bruce before, suffering from an ear infection.
Note the red, inflamed ears and lack of fur in his ears.  Bruce hardly looks like the same dog now.

Bruce after.  Nice well-furred ears, amongst other changes.
Yeast is present in a large number of commercially produced dog treats, supplements, and foods.  One has to be diligent in reading labels.  Brewer's yeast is commonly found in supplements for skin and coat.

Other food items can contribute to yeast allergies in dogs.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes are items that are commonly found in dog foods and treats, and can contribute to yeast allergies.

Watching for early signs of an ear infection and prompt treatment is best.  Discovering the cause, and eliminating allergens is the key to preventing these painful problems.


  1. Being a Spaniel ear infections flare up for time to time so we check them regularly. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. My dogs have had a couple and usually requires a trip to the vet.

    When you used the vinegar ear wash, how did you do that? Did you wipe the ears out or a small amount of vinegar directly in the ear?

    What a difference those two pictures show! You can barely tell it's the same dog.

    Thank you for adding this to the Round Robin!

  3. Hi mom is trying to figure out what she's doing for Caring for Critters. Should you have mentioned what we are doing next? Just want to make sure we are doing it right. Thanks! Love Dolly

  4. I have never had to deal with ear infections yet, thankfully, but I have heard they can be pretty nasty!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  5. Ear infections are no fun. My girls haven't had a horrible ear infection, only minor ones but I've had client dogs with sever infections before and they always looked so miserable. :(

  6. Sheba had an ear infection quite a few years ago but I'm not sure if it was caused by yeast or not. We didn't really notice her shaking her head a lot, but she had been shaking it to the point where she had a hematoma in one ear. It caused her eye to get droopy which was the thing we noticed! I got her immediately to the vet and luckily steroids brought the swelling down, otherwise surgery I think might have been necessary. I am diligent now about keeping her ears clean and we haven't had an issue since.

  7. Shiner had one last week actually. Well, I'm not convinced it's completely gone really so I'll have to maybe take her back to the vet.

  8. I'm needing to make another vet appointment for Bain. He is doing all of the symptoms listed, especially the head shaking. Poor guy deals with so many skin issues.

  9. Dogs are prone to ear infections but it can be prevented just as easily. My vet always reminded me to dry my dog's ears after taking a bath and make sure to examine her ears carefully for ticks and other parasites. Likewise, if my pooch is allergic to yeast, she shouldn't be ingesting any to prevent ear infections and other allergies. There are some OTC remedies that we can use but nothing will replace professional visits to the vet. Lately, I've been giving my dog cold pressed organic coconut oil in her dog food and it has done wonders! For more information on ear infections and how to prevent these, see:

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