Dog Ear Mites Vs Yeast Infection: Does Your Dog Have Ear Mites Or Yeast Infection?
Mention ‘ear infections in dogs', and skin issues will immediately spring to the minds of most people. Nonetheless, ear problems in puppies and adult dogs are way more common than you can imagine.
A dog’s ear canal is an ideal environment for all kinds of infections and infestations. They are often moist, damp, and dark. Dogs with long, floppy ears are at even greater risk due to poor ventilation and reduced air flow. Such ears are more likely to be moist and warm, thereby creating a good breeding ground for infections.
Ear mites and yeast infections are two of the most common issues that many dog owners face from time to time. These issues should not be taken lightly. Ear infections are not only uncomfortable for your pooch, but they can lead to more serious issues if they are left untreated for long.
Ear mites and yeast ear infection in dogs may sound the same, but they are two very different conditions with different remedies. In this dog ear mites vs yeast infections comparison article, you’ll discover the differences between the two, so you can take proper pet care.
What Is Dog Ear Mites
Ear mites are troublesome little parasites. Almost impossible to see with your unaided naked eye, ear mites are hardly the size of a pinhead. When carefully examined under the microscope, they are found to be very tiny eight-legged creatures.
The most common mite that affects canines is known as Otodectes cynotis . However, it is interesting to note that this mite is regarded as a type of mange.
Although ear mites might come from the ears, they also tend to migrate to other parts of a dog’s body. That’s why they are such a big problem. They can dig inside the skin, and cause damage to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. They are also responsible for inflammation in the outer ear canal (otitis externa).
Ear mites are also very contagious and move from one pet to another very easily. If your dog spends plenty of time outdoors, then they are susceptible to ear mites. Fortunately, ear mites are relatively easy to treat. So, be sure to phone your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is affected.
How Do Dogs Get Ear Mites
At first, your dog might have gotten ear mites while spending time outside. He could also have picked up these pesky microorganisms from another pet or other animals. As we’ve already mentioned, ear mites are contagious, and if one dog or cat has them, other animals around are definitely at risk. If a dog or cat shakes their body, they can move from the loose hair that falls on the ground to other animals nearby.
Even if your dog picks up just one ear mite, a full-blown infestation can easily occur because when they enter the inside of a canine's ear canals, they start breeding almost immediately. Female mites typically lay up to 5 eggs in a day. Those eggs hatch in a few days and the young ones are almost immediately ready to hatch even more eggs.
The most common sign that you may notice in a dog with ear mites is abnormal behavior due to pain or discomfort, itchiness, and irritation. Your dog will frequently shake his head as if he is trying to get something out.
You will hear the jangling noise of their collar as they shake the head vigorously. An ear mites dog may also be scratching their ears with their paws or rub them against walls or trees to reduce the itchiness. In severe cases, inner ear canal issues may develop.
Other symptoms of ear mites include swelling, redness, and the build-up of reddish ear wax, as well as changes in skin texture or color. However, there is one clear difference. Ear mites usually cause a dark discharge, which has a similar texture and color to coffee grounds.
So how do you prevent ear mites? To help keep your dog free from ear mites, schedule a monthly ear checkup, and cleaning with your vet. The recommended ear cleaning solution should be used at all times. Secondly, clean your home products, dog kennel, and bedding regularly to lower the risk of ear mites and to keep your beloved pet as comfortable as possible.
First of all, your veterinarian will review your infected dog ears canal and any ear discharge to confirm the presence of ear mites. Your vet will easily confirm this by using an otoscope before providing tips and advice on how to treat dog ear infection.
The next thing is a thorough cleaning of your dog’s ear canal. Then the veterinarians will apply dog ear infection medicine that is approved for the treatment of ear mites in canines, like imidacloprid/moxidectin and selamectin, often used to treat a variety of parasites in an animal. Fungal or bacterial infections should also not be overlooked when treating a dog's ear infection.
Apart from treating all the dogs and cats in your home, you should also clean the environment. Wash pet items such as pets bedding and clean their kennel properly. Vacuum any places where your pets spend their time.
The best way to prevent ear mites is to ensure your pup's ears are always clean using an ear cleanser, while treatment requires a custom treatment plan. You should thoroughly clean your dog’s ear drum at least once a month to keep your dogs ears infection-free.
What Is Yeast Infection In Dogs
Fungal infections in dogs refer to fungal infections that usually affect a dog’s urinary tract, mouth, and skin, particularly around the ears, armpits, paws, and folds/wrinkles. However, the ears are the most affected.
Bacteria contamination is caused by a particular fungus known as Malassezia pachydermatis. Pups with demodectic mange are usually more vulnerable to yeast growth on the ears since it is typically caused by the specific fungus that causes infections.
Why Do Dogs Get Yeast Infections
There are numerous reasons why puppies get yeast infections. Fungal yeasts that usually occur on and in various parts over time and cause bacteria contamination. This problem can affect the health of pups of all ages and breeds. However, some breeds are more vulnerable, and they include the German Shepherd, Dachshund, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and the Chinese Shar-Pei.
The following are some of the factors that are responsible for dog ear infections (yeast infections):
- Weak immune systems
- Improper diet
- Improper ear care or ear cleaning
- Contact with medications like antibiotics
- Parasite bites and allergies to mites, ticks, or fleas
- Food sensitivities or allergies
- Skin irritation
- Endocrine disorders like Addison’s disease or Cushing’s disease
- Exposure to moist environments
Dogs tend to get fungal infections in moist environments. The condition affects their paws, ears, armpits, and the folds on their face in some breeds. A vet can perform a proper diagnosis, but you should watch out for the following:
- Scaly/greasy skin
- Changes in skin appearance
- Head tilting and shaking
- Discomfort, characterized by rubbing and scratching
- Incessant licking of the affected area
- Swelling and redness
- Hair loss
If you notice the above signs of yeast infection on dogs ear, then you should consult your vet.
While bacteria contamination in dogs is often unpredictable, there are certain triggers that you need to be aware of. Here are some important tips for preventing it in your pup:
- Feed your pup high-quality dog food and watch out for any food allergies
- Keep your dog indoors if it’s hot and humid outside
- Clean the inside of your dog’s eardrum regularly by wiping away any dirt, debris, residue or fluid using a cotton ball
- Make sure your pup is completely dry after swimming or bathing them
- Use tick and flea preventatives properly as instructed by your vet
Treatment for yeast infection in a dog's ears will depend on factors such as the types of yeast, severity, the affected part of their bodies, and the underlying cause of the overgrowth.
In some cases, eliminating the cause, e.g. discontinuing any medicines or eliminating the allergens may sufficiently help to treat the infection. In other cases, canines with more serious diseases may require a further diagnosis to help prevent hearing loss or deafness.
Anti-yeast and anti-fungal medication may also be prescribed to fight off the fungus infection. Topical medications such as ear drops or home remedies can also help treat infections.
If your pooch has a fungal infection, you should follow your veterinarian's instructions carefully. Don’t stop treatment unless you’ve been directed to do so, even if your dog’s condition seems to improve. Discontinuing treatment prematurely can lead to a relapse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does coconut oil kill ear mites in dogs?
Yes, coconut oil can kill ear mites in your dog. Simply apply one or two drops of coconut oil to the ears every day to relieve itchiness, kill mites, and treat the infection while keeping his ears clean and healthier.
Can I treat ear infections without visiting the doctor?
No, you cannot treat all dog ear infections alone without visiting the doctor. The best home treatment for it is to wipe off any discharge and let your vet handle the treatment. This is an essential vet visit for your dog.
Can I clean my dog’s ears with just water?
Yes, you can clean your dog’s ears with just water provided you completely dry them. Moisture is a common cause of canine ear infections because it encourages the growth of bacteria and fungus.
Ear mites and yeast infections are common conditions that many pet parents face. You should tackle the issue as soon as possible. Your dog may dread the treatment process for ear mites or yeast infection dogs, but it is absolutely necessary.
Once you have solved the problem, take the necessary steps to prevent the issue in the future. Check and clean your dog’s ears regularly. By taking the necessary precautions, you can avoid having to deal with infections in the future.