Canine Ear Infections

The Causes of Dog Ear Infection


What are some causative factors involved in ear infections? Often, ear infections are caused by fungus, bacteria or parasites. Generally speaking, a simple lab test at your vet can help to determine what the underlying cause of the infection is. There are several factors that may lead to ear infections such as:

  • Water or hair in the ears
  • Allergies
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Foreign material in the ears
  • Auto immune disease
  • Generalized skin disease.

Although ear infections are more common in long-eared dogs, ear infections can occur in dogs of any age, breed or gender. Dogs that spend lots of time outside, swimming, or have been exposed to bacteria in some way are more prone to an ear infections, and should have their ears cleaned regularly.

Dog Ear Infection Symptoms

There are several symptoms to watch out for when it comes to ear infections. First of all, if your dog is constantly scratching or rubbing at the ears, she most likely has an infection. Her head might shake, and you may notice an abnormal odor or discharge coming from the ear. Your dog may experience pain when you try to touch or clean her ears, and there will most likely be redness and swelling of the external ear canal. Though there MAY BE instances where the ears of a Dog or Cat may become infected by bacteria or fungus of varied types, and thereby create a simple local infection, this sort of infection would normally be confined to the area of the ear, and not involve other areas of the body; and, such ‘local only’ issues should be solvable, and not chronic.


Many cases of ear infection issues in Dogs or Cats are not ‘simple’ surface level issues, they are caused by an internal digestive imbalance that also causes other symptoms within or on the surface of the body. If you should see symptoms such as itching & scratching, skin inflammation or rashes, sores or hives, skin blackening or discoloration, ear or body odor concerns, or even recurring staph infections, you should assess whether or not the condition is Yeast Candida.

Ears and feet are prime exit points for Yeast toxins working their way out to the surface via bodily tissues, and will likely be the first areas to show a problem. Though there is, perhaps, a different root cause for you dog’s ear problems, if there are symptom areas elsewhere with the body, you are likely dealing with the Yeast issue we’ve been discussing. As mentioned above, a Digestive Imbalance occurs when there is a break-down of the good, friendly bacterial flora of the GI tract, allowing for the expansion and overgrowth of fungal yeast colonies. In this state, the toxic by-products of the yeast can no longer be contained to the gut, but rather, leach out into the bloodstream, and are filtered out at the extremities. It is at this point that the long-term wellness of the pet is often sacrificed on the alter of the immediate. In their desire to provide immediate relief, many vets will prescribe antibiotics to address the infection without recommending a pro-biotic to help support the GI Tract environment.

This scenario can lead to an insidious, never-ending cycle of repeated ear infections. Here is a common pattern: Ear infection > Antibiotics > Kills Bacteria – Bad AND Good > Ears clear up > Medication wears off > Infection returns > More antibiotics > Kills bacteria; Pattern repeats. These yeast-related ear infections come with a variety of symptoms in or around the ear, such as: waxy or greasy build-up, possibly brown, black, yellow, or other color, redness from inflammation (immune system interaction), itchiness, demonstrated by dog scratching or rubbing at ears or shaking head. These symptoms are also tied to immune system interaction; strong odor or smell; usually a pungent ‘yeasty’ odor, swelling or thickening of the outer ear flap.

This article is posted and shared through the Courtesy of The Smiling Dog Bakery Blog