Ear Mites and Yeast infections are the two most hunting problems for every dog. Because they are sick and painful and needs proper treatment.
But the problem pet owners face is, how to find out whether your dog is infected by ear mites or yeast infection.
Don’t worry you are at the right place. Here you will learn everything about ear mites vs. yeast infection with possible causes, symptoms and treatment methods.
WHAT ARE EAR MITES IN THE DOG?
Ear mites in the dog are parasites that live in the external auditory canal and in the ear of the dog. These are so-called mange mites. The most common mange mite in carnivores is the ear mite Otodectes cynotis. The ear mite Otodectes cynotis is distributed worldwide. In the dog ear, mites occur relatively rarely, while the disease is most common in cats. Often it is young dogs that are infected with ear mites.
CAUSES: WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF EAR MITES IN DOGS?
Ear mites are usually transmitted from dog to dog, especially from infected mothers to their puppies. However, a dog can also be infected by a cat with ear mites. Only in rare cases, it is transmitted by crusts that fall out of the ear of the mite infected with ear mites when scratching. The ear mites in the dog settle in the auricle and in the external auditory canals of the dog and feed thereon skin cells, blood and tissue fluid. Ear mites have mouthparts that damage the skin in the dog’s ear.
SYMPTOMS: HOW DO EAR MITES EXPRESS THEMSELVES IN THE DOG?
Ear mites in the dog express themselves by a strong itching. As a result, the dog often scratches the ears and constantly shakes his head. Scratching causes skin abrasions on the dog’s ear. In addition, the ears of the dog affected by mites may turn red and swollen. Other consequences of the scratching are oozing eczema in the ear and the development of a blood ear (othematoma) in the dog.
In addition, the ear mites trigger ear infections such as ear canal inflammation, which accumulates black-brown earwax or crust in the outer ear canal of the dog.
Ear mites in the dog can affect both ears at the same time not leaving behind just one ear. As a result, only the auricle and the external auditory canal of the dog are affected.
In case of severe mite infestation, however, it is possible to spread to the surroundings of the pinna: in some cases, the eardrum breaks through, which can lead to disturbances in the brain (eg, balance disorders and dizziness) as well as middle ear inflammation in the dog.
HOW ARE EAR MITES DIAGNOSED IN THE DOG?
To diagnose the ear mites in dogs, the vet examines the ears thoroughly. For example, he checks whether black-brown earwax or crusts are in the dog’s ear. If that is the case, this points to ear mites in the dog. Often the veterinarian can visualize the ear mites in the dog using an external ear canal examination device – the otoscope – and a magnifying glass.
The diagnosis of ear mites in dogs can be verified by a microscopic examination. To do this, the vet takes a swab from the dog’s ear and examines it for mites and eggs under the microscope. Based on the appearance of the mites, he can see what kind it is.
If there is severe inflammation with pus formation in the dog, the ear mites may leave the outer ear canal or die. Therefore, the ear mites can sometimes no longer be detected in the dog.
TREATMENT: HOW CAN EAR MITES BE TREATED WITH THE DOG?
The treatment of ear mites in dogs usually begins with a thorough cleaning of the ears. In addition, the dog receives medication against the mites (eg. a miticidal ointment such as permethrin) and itching.
If the ears of the dog are strongly inflamed, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ear drops are used. These agents are administered until the inflammation has completely healed.
In addition, it is recommended that other domestic animals (such as dogs or cats) are also treated against ear mites: Since ear mites are very contagious in dogs, there is a risk that they have been infected with the parasites. Even if infected animals are symptom-free, they can transmit the ear mites to other animals.
The prognosis of ear mites in dogs is usually favorable. A prerequisite for this is that the treatment starts early and that a consistent follow-up treatment takes place.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT EAR MITES FROM THE DOG?
In order to avoid ear mites in the dog and other diseases of the auricle and the external auditory canal, the regular ear care is recommended. Special liquid ear cleaners can be taken on the recommendation of a veterinarian. Due to the risk of injury, you should not use cotton swabs, but soft towels can be used for cleaning the ears of the dog.
When to consult a vet? DOES A DOG WITH EAR MITES needs to get checked by a VET?
If the dog shows the symptoms of ear mite infestation, it is advisable to have the animal examined by a veterinarian in a good time. The veterinarian can then treat the dog accordingly and thereby prevent the ear mites from spreading further in the dog. It must also be borne in mind that the accompanying diseases of ear mite infestation (eg a blood ear or ear canal inflammation) may be very painful for the dog.
What is a Yeast Infection?
If you are of a certain age, you will remember advertising that ran on television proclaiming that people “do not have time for a yeast infection.” Not people certainly, but did you know that dogs commonly get yeast infections? Even more surprising, perhaps not shocking to learn that the microorganisms responsible for things such as fungal ear infection live happily on your dog now!
There is no immediate reason to panic; This fungus also makes a home on your body too. The single-celled creature that we’re talking about is a yeast fungus called Malassezia pachydermatis. Like the Demodex Canis mites, which can cause mange in dogs, yeast is a commensal organism. This means that under normal circumstances, it lives and thrives on the outside of the dog’s body, but the hosts neither use nor harm.
When the conditions are favorable, but something disturbs the typical balance, and the fungus takes the chance to reproduce uncontrollably. This population explosion causes harmless microorganisms to become opportunistic pathogens, which then leads to yeast infections. Let’s take a closer look!
Causes of yeast infection in dogs
The fungus Malassezia pachydermatis is just one among many microorganisms that call your dog home, so what keeps you from running up the insurgency? A healthy dog immune system is pretty good at regulating all of its microflora. Starting with antibodies drawn by the mother during breastfeeding, boosted by vaccinations and sustained by regular interactions with the environment, the body welcomes and begins to adapt to all kinds of microorganisms from the moment a puppy is born.
This unicellular yeast is like any other mushroom, which means that it needs the right conditions to live and reproduce.
What are these conditions?
It’s actually quite simple: mushrooms need heat. The correct temperature for Malassezia Pachydermatis is in the range of 86 to 99 degrees F. Because of this, the yeast tends to be in the warmer nooks and crannies of your dog’s body, around the ear canal, and between the toes.
Because of their need for heat yeast infections tend to emerge from late spring to summer and early fall, periods of high humidity. The temperature outdoors or in makes a difference, but it is not the only cause of uncontrolled yeast growth. Any agent that helps ventilate the skin or ears – even the ears themselves – can cause a canine fungal infection.
We’re only really looking at how to get these infections started in usually healthy dogs. Immunocompromised dogs or puppies are more at risk as dogs suffer from other bacterial diseases. Other yeast-related factors that can thrive are allergies to foods or fleas, as well as long-term use of certain steroid medications such as prednisone.
Yeast infection symptoms in dogs
Fungal infections occur when trite microbes benefit from circumstances that turn into opportunistic pathogens that lead to health problems. Opportunities arise everywhere and at any time the mushrooms are present; That said, possibly small, short-haired dogs living in Alaska live a bit safer of yeast infections than long-haired, floppy-eared dogs in Florida, but not much.
In the foreground is a condition known as otitis externa or what, in humans, we call “swimmer’s ear.” Symptoms of canine otitis are dogs holding their heads under unfavorable or unusual angles or pawing hauntingly on one ear. As the condition progresses and the yeast reproduces, they start to smell a strange smell and see crust forms around the outer ear canal, accompanied by discolored mucus and later, even blood.
Malassezia pachydermatis can also cause skin infections in dogs, a condition known as yeast dermatitis. The first signs you may notice are flaky, dry skin. Looking for a dog in a certain location, under the arms, scratching or rubbing on a specific spot on the nose.
The most noticeable symptom, “elephant skin,” appears in advanced cases. Left untreated, these fungal infections of skin infection can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
How to get rid of a yeast infection
The earlier a veterinarian diagnoses a canine fungal infection – skin or ear – the easier the process of treatment will be. If caught soon enough, topical antifungal ointments, such as miconazole, can be applied after any excess hair is trimmed on the site of infection and the area is cleaned properly.
If the problem is well advanced, or if the infection has penetrated further, the veterinarian may prescribe intensive antifungal fluconazole, administered in tablet form. As the fungus worsens ear infection and otitis externa gives way to otitis media or even otitis internals – the latter’s very down the ear canal – fluids begin to collect in the ear canal, whose starting point can swell shut. Worst-case scenario, or at least worst-case exception deafness, is a surgical procedure called total ear canal ablation or TECA.
Treatment and prevention of yeast infection in dogs
For external issues such as yeast dermatitis, special antifungal shampoo can be used to relieve your dog’s symptoms. How long and how often the dog will need to bathe depends on the yeast infection. Prevention is always the easiest way to take. If your dog is at the higher risk – one with floppy ears or hair sprouting out in the ear – the simplest things to do are to dry them thoroughly after water adventures or baths and keep excess hair trimmed. The dog’s immune system should be strong enough to restore balance with native microbes, but never hurts a little help on your part.