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How To Recognize And Treat A Dog Ear Yeast Infection

One of the most painful sights for us as dog owners is seeing our lovable pets suffer. After all, they are a part of the family aren’t they? And what is worse, is seeing them suffer knowing that they depend on us completely for their well being. I know because my wife and I have a spoiled little dog.

Our dog is a rambunctious little wire haired terrier, all of 12 pounds when she is soaking wet. Her name is Cassie and we love her dearly. So when she came down with a yeast infection in her ear we were really upset because she was scratching her ear until it bled. We had no idea that dogs could get yeast infections in their ears, so we took her to the vet to get her checked out. 

The diagnosis was indeed a yeast infection of the ear. The vet wrote a prescription for some drops and after about 2 weeks they worked to clear up the infection, but the vet bill was a bit pricey. Wow, the total bill came to almost $200, just for a diagnosis and some ear drops!

Unfortunately, a year later little Cassie was showing signs of a yeast infection in her ear again. So I started to do some research about yeast infections in dogs. Maybe I could find an effective treatment for Cassie that was a little less expensive than $200 a pop.

What I immediately found out was that yeast infections are quite common in dogs, especially in the ears because they are warm and moist which is an ideal environment for yeast to grow. A lot of different things can lead to a yeast infection in your dog’s ear, but it mainly boils down to an imbalance in your pet internally.

Yeast is naturally occurring in dogs and it will usually not bother the animal. But when there is an imbalance in your pet’s internal system then yeast can overgrow and cause problems, i.e., a yeast infection of the ear.

Many different circumstances can lead to your dog’s internal system being out of equilibrium, antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria that keep yeast in check, a weak immune system due to an illness can allow yeast to flourish, a scratch or wound in the ear could allow yeast to infect the wound.

It is important to examine your dog’s ears periodically to check for anything irregular. Catching a yeast infection early before it gets out of control is key to being able to treat it quickly, effectively and save your doggie some suffering.

When checking your dog’s ears for a yeast infection you will want to specifically look for cuts, abrasions, reddish rash, swelling, crusty scabs, oozing, and a bad smell. Also, your dog will probably be scratching the ear excessively, or possibly rubbing the ear against an object (the floor) or with its paw, shaking its head, and whining.

Very importantly, many bacterial infections have almost the same symptoms as yeast infections but require a completely different treatment. So if you are not absolutely sure, it is always best to have a vet check it out. But if your dog is prone to yeast infections and you know the signs then you could save yourself a reoccurring vet bill by using some home treatments that are very effective for clearing yeast infections. These home remedies are just as effective as some medications the vet would prescribe, but far less expensive. Here is one you can try:

Once you have a confirmed case of yeast infection the first course of action is to clean the ear with a mild ear cleansing solution that can be found at most any drug store. Or you can use a diluted solution of white vinegar and water. Gently squirt the solution into the ear canal massaging it as you do so. Use a cotton ball to wipe away excess fluid and debris. Allow the ear to dry or pat the ear dry as much as possible. Now use the herb pau d’arco which can be found in most natural herbal stores and is known to kill yeast. Mix the pau d’arco with mineral oil and again squirt the mixture into the ear canal and massage the ear as before. Do this twice daily for about a week. Keep your dog’s ears clean and dry to avoid further yeast infections. Do not hesitate to take your pet to the vet if the infection worsens or gets out of control.

For a comprehensive guide to holistic, natural, and home remedies for your dog or cat go to: “Home Remedies for Cats & Dogs – A Guide to Healing Your Pet The Natural Way”

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