Signs of a Yeast Infection in a Dog’s Ears

Wondering “Does my dog have an ear infection?” There are a number of symptoms that are indicative of an ear infection in your pet. Today, we’ll explore the symptoms of a yeast infection affecting your dog’s ears.

This form of fungal infection is most common in floppy- and long-eared dogs. They are most prone to developing these infections because the floppy, long ears create an environment that’s ideal for fungal growth — the ear canal is warm, dark and there’s little air flow.

Dogs who are on antibiotics are also more apt to develop a yeast infection, as the antibiotics temporarily change the dog’s chemistry. Yeast is present at all times, but when the body’s chemistry changes due to a medication such as antibiotics, the body can have a difficult time keeping the yeast in check. You end up with an overgrowth situation — an infection.

Signs of a Yeast Infection Involving a Dog’s Ear

The following symptoms are suggestive of a ear yeast infection:

  • Redness involving the ear canal and ear flap
  • Rough, slightly scaly and inflamed skin on the ear flap
  • Discharge and oozing
  • Frequent ear itching
  • Frequent head shaking
  • Odor

The odor that’s associated with a yeast infection is a hallmark symptom. It’s rather difficult to describe the smell for someone who has never experienced it, but your veterinarian will be adept at recognizing the odor. It’s a unique smell that’s very different from the strong, unpleasant pungent odor that’s associated with bacterial infections.

It’s important to monitor your dog’s ears for signs of infection. They’re not only painful, itchy and uncomfortable, but they can lead to permanent hearing loss. Floppy-eared dogs are in particular need of regular monitoring, since the ear canal is not readily visible.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from a yeast infection, prompt treatment is required. At home, you can clean your dog’s ears to remove excess discharge, as the discharge contributes to itching and discomfort. But this is an issue that will not heal on its own; it will only get worse with time. Your veterinarian will prescribe anti-fungal ointment ear drops which will be applied to the ear canal and to the affected skin on the ear flap.

Regular ear cleanings can lessen your dog’s chances of developing an infection. Routine cleanings also provide a great opportunity to check your pet’s ears for signs of a problem. To learn more, read How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears.

Photo Source: Mariana Figueroa at

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Mia Carter is a professional journalist and animal lover. Her furry family members include 6 dogs and 12 cats. She is also a feral cat colony caretaker. Carter specializes in pet training and special needs pet care. All of her animals have special needs such as paralysis, blindness, deafness and FIV, just to name a few. She also serves as a pet foster parent and she actively rehabilitates and rescues local strays and feral kittens.

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