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Pet Ear Care

Symptoms Of Dog Ear Yeast Infections: What Every Owner Should Know

By January 1, 2024February 19th, 2024No Comments

Witnessing your furry buddy constantly digging at their ears can tug at any pet owner’s heartstrings. We understand how concerning it can be to see your four-legged pal in such discomfort.

Ear yeast infections in dogs aren’t always easy to detect, with signs ranging from a faint musty scent to more overt cues like brownish discharge or relentless scratching. Our blog is filled with knowledgeable advice on identifying these symptoms promptly and addressing them with care.

As you continue reading, you’re taking the first step towards soothing your pup’s distress and restoring their happy, tail-wagging self with excellent pet ear care!

2 Types of Ear Infections

Otitis Externa

We know how distressing otitis externa can be for our furry friends. This condition, often known as an outer ear infection, targets the ear canal and can cause significant discomfort.

Dogs suffering from otitis externa may show obvious signs like scratching at their external ear canal, shaking their heads frequently, or rubbing their ears against furniture or the floor. You might also notice redness, swelling around the ear area, or a foul smell coming from their ears due to yeast overgrowth.

Keeping an eye out for these symptoms is crucial since early detection can lead to quicker relief for your pet. Otitis externa in dogs demands immediate attention because it can worsen quickly if not treated properly.

Watch for any brownish discharge that could indicate a serious yeast infection or even bacterial involvement needing professional care. As dog owners committed to ensuring our pets’ health and happiness, recognizing and addressing otitis externa promptly will help maintain our dogs’ ear health and overall well-being.

Otitis Media

Otitis media is a serious type of chronic ear infection that affects the middle ear, which lies just behind the eardrum. In dogs, this condition can cause significant discomfort and may lead to more severe health issues if left untreated.

Dogs with middle ear infection might show clear signs like head shaking or tilting their heads to one side due to pain or loss of balance. They often scratch fervently at their affected ears, and you might notice an unusual discharge or foul smell coming from inside the ear canal.

Keep an eye out for redness, swelling, and any buildup of waxy substance in your dog’s ears, as these could be indications of otitis media. Canine companions suffering from this ailment may also become irritable or depressed and could even lose their appetite due to the pain associated with deeper ear infections.

Regularly examining your dog’s ears becomes crucial for catching such infections early on—prompt attention from a veterinarian ensures effective treatment and helps prevent potential complications that arise from canine inner-ear problems.

Causes of Ear Infections


Allergies in dogs can lead to troublesome recurrent ear infections, including yeast infections. Just like us, our furry companions react to allergens with increased itchiness and discomfort. When their ears are affected, they might scratch vigorously, causing further irritation or even injuries that make way for infections.

Common triggers for these allergies could be anything from certain foods to environmental factors, such as pollen or dust.

Caring for a dog’s ear health is key to preventing complications from allergies. Regular cleanings and check-ups help catch any signs of allergic reactions early on. Vets can pinpoint the allergy source and recommend treatments that will soothe your pet’s ears before an infection has a chance to set in.

Endocrine Disorders

Endocrine disorders in dogs can contribute to yeast infections in their ears. Issues such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease disrupt the normal hormonal balance, making your furry friend more susceptible to ear problems.

Hormonal imbalances can weaken the immune system, which allows yeast to grow unchecked. If you spot symptoms like musty odor and changes in ear texture, consider a vet visit to check for endocrine issues.

We understand how important it is to keep a close eye on our canine companions’ health, including their delicate ears. Keeping track of your dog’s overall well-being helps prevent complications from conditions like endocrine disorders that may lead to persistent infections.

Tumors or Polyps

These growths can block the ear canal, making it hard for air to circulate and creating a damp environment where yeast and bacteria thrive. Owners might notice their dogs showing signs of discomfort, such as scratching or shaking their heads more than usual if polyps or tumors are present.

It’s crucial we look out for any unusual lumps inside our furry friends’ ears during regular check-ups. Early detection means better chances of treatment success. If these abnormal structures grow too large, they may require surgical intervention to restore your dog’s ear health and prevent recurring infections linked with canine ear yeast infection symptoms.

Ear Mites

Ear mites in dogs are tiny parasites that can cause significant discomfort and are a common cause of ear infections. These creatures thrive in the warm, dark environment of a dog’s ear canal where they feed on skin debris.

Infested ears often have a distinctive black or brown crusty discharge resembling coffee grounds. Dogs suffering from ear mites will frequently scratch at their ears vigorously and shake their heads due to itching caused by these pesky intruders.

Treating ear mites promptly is essential, as they can lead to secondary infections if left unchecked. Vet-prescribed medications effectively target these parasites, clearing up infestations and bringing relief to our furry friends.

After addressing the issue of ear mites, it’s crucial for us to maintain regular pet ear care to prevent future occurrences.


Bacteria play a big part in dog ear infections, often causing trouble deep within the ear canal. Dogs can pick up bacterial infections from water, injury, or by simple bad luck. These pesky microbes thrive in warm, moist environments like your pet’s inner ear.

If moisture gets trapped there from swimming or a bath, it sets the perfect stage for bacteria to multiply and create an infection.

Our furry friends may not be able to tell us when something is amiss, but they do show signs of bacterial ear infections in dogs. You might notice redness or swelling around their ears, along with a nasty odor hinting at trouble beneath those floppy ears.

They’ll probably scratch at their face more than usual or shake their head persistently trying to get some relief. Let’s keep an eye out for these symptoms so we can help our companions feel better fast.

Foreign Objects

Dogs love to explore, and sometimes that means they get themselves into trouble by picking up unexpected hitchhikers in their ears. Grass seeds, small twigs, or even bits of toys can find their way inside your dog’s ear canal.

These foreign objects can cause severe irritation and lead to symptoms similar to those of ear yeast infections, including scratching at the ears, head shaking, and redness.

If your pet seems uncomfortable or is excessively pawing at their ear, it’s possible a foreign object might be causing distress. Quick action is important; we should check for any visible objects and consult with a vet if we suspect something is stuck that we can’t safely remove ourselves.

Ear Hematomas

Ear hematomas can develop when a dog incessantly shakes their head or scratches at an infected ear. This constant motion can cause blood vessels within the ear to break, resulting in swelling as blood pools under the skin of the ear flap.

It’s a condition that demands attention since it causes great discomfort and even pain for our furry friends.

We often see this in dogs suffering from ear yeast infections, where persistent itching leads to aggressive scratching. The swollen area might feel soft and fluid-filled; it may also appear larger than usual, causing the ear to look lopsided or deformed.

It’s essential we take action by seeking veterinary care promptly, as untreated hematomas could lead to more serious complications and further discomfort for our pets.

Signs Your Dog Has an Ear Infection

We often notice our dogs shaking their heads or scratching at their ears when they’re uneasy. These are classic signs your furry friend might have an ear infection. Frequent head tilting and rubbing the ears on furniture could also suggest discomfort.

If you detect a foul, cheesy odor or see redness and swelling inside the ear canal, it’s time to pay close attention.

Look for any brown, black, or yellowish discharge that could indicate a yeast overgrowth or bacterial presence in your dog’s ears. Persistent itching is another clue; if your dog seems obsessed with pawing at his face or ears, don’t ignore it.

Reddish-brown wax points to problems too—this isn’t normal ear gunk! Discomfort from infections can make them whimper during ear inspections, so handle them gently if you’re checking for symptoms of canine ear infections yourself.

The Proper Way of Cleaning a Dog’s Ears

To clean your dog’s ears safely, gently lift their ear flap and carefully wipe away any visible dirt or discharge with a damp cloth or a cotton ball soaked in a vet-approved ear cleaning solution.

Be sure not to insert anything deep into the ear canal; this could cause damage and discomfort.

For regular maintenance, fill the ear canal with the cleaner, massage gently at the base of the ear for about twenty seconds, then allow your dog to shake its head. This helps break up any debris inside.

After they’ve shaken out some of that liquid mess, use a fresh cotton ball to clear out any remaining cleaner and loosened gunk from inside their ears’ flaps. Consistency with this routine will help prevent future build-up and potential infections – an important step in safeguarding your canine friend’s overall well-being.

Emergency First Aid for Dog Ear Infections

If you notice any symptoms of ear yeast infections in your dog, such as persistent itching or a foul odor, it’s crucial to act immediately. Gently clean the affected ear with a soft cloth and warm water to remove any visible discharge or debris.

This can help alleviate discomfort and prevent the infection from worsening. Over-the-counter treatments specifically designed for canine ear yeast infections can offer temporary relief, but they should never replace professional veterinary care.

We always recommend seeking prompt medical attention if your dog shows signs of an ear infection, including redness, swelling, or abnormal discharge. Until you can get to the vet, keep your pet calm and comfortable by avoiding loud noises and excessive head shaking.

Maintain their regular diet and ensure they have a peaceful place to rest away from drafts and cold areas that might aggravate their condition further. Remember that timely intervention is key to managing canine ear health concerns effectively.

Say Goodbye to Itchy Ears Today!

We all love our furry companions and strive to keep them healthy and happy. Spotting the symptoms of ear yeast infections in dogs is crucial; it saves our pets from distress and prevents more serious issues.

Keeping an eye out for the signs, like scratching or head shaking, ensures we catch any problems early on. Clean ears are a key defense against infection; regular checks and gentle cleaning can greatly promote your pet’s ear health.

Let’s commit to being proactive with our canine friends’ well-being. Schedule a check up with Alicia Pacific Veterinary Center today!