Dog ear infection can result when the natural flora (yeast and bacteria) in the ear canal gets out of balance.
Below we will discuss the kinds of irritants that can cause an overproduction of yeast or bacteria in your poodles’ ears.
Diagram of Dogs Ear
In this sketch of a dogs’ ear canal, please notice that dogs have a short vertical canal and a longer horizontal canal.
The eardrum separates the external ear from the middle ear.
Unlike people, a dog ear infection starts in the external ear, not the middle ear or inner ear.
There are a number of different things that can cause an inflammation of the lining of the ear.
Common Causes of Dog Ear Infection
One of the most common causes of dog ear infection is allergy (especially food allergy).
The lining of the ear canal becomes inflamed, which causes an increase of temperature and moisture in the ear. This creates an ideal atmosphere for overproduction of yeast or bacteria.
Signs that may indicate your dog has an allergy are
- Rubbing his nose with his paw
- Only getting an infection at certain times of year (and otherwise not having dog ear problems)
Poor Air-FlowThe drop down ears of a Standard Poodle can block airflow to the ear canal and create a perfect breeding ground for a dog ear infection – it’s dark, warm and moist.
Excess hair in the ear canal can make it even worse because there is even less air flow.
Preventative At-home Ear Care
A weekly examination of your poodles’ ears will help alert you to problems before they become serious.
Cleaning your poodles’ ears with an ear cleaning solution to remove wax build up and dry out the ear canal will be a good defense against dog ear infection because yeast and bacteria grow best in a warm, moist environment.
Treatment for Dog Ear Infection
This will NOT go away on its own. It could be serious if not treated promptly and properly. You should consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Left untreated, it could lead to a middle ear infection (which affects balance) and even deafness.
What to expect at a Vet exam
Your vet will be able to determine the underlying cause. He may choose to examine the ear canal through an Otoscope, looking for things like:
- Foreign bodies (burrs, thistles, etc.)
- Ear Mites
- Other parasites such as fleas or ticks
He may want to run blood tests to determine if there is a glandular problem. Or he may want to do testing for food or other allergies that could be the underlying cause of the infection.
He will determine if it’s a yeast infection or a bacterial infection.
Dr Tim Klein of “All Pets Medicine, Surgery and Rehabilitation Clinic PA” in Mapleton, MN offers this great advice:
As you can see, there is a myriad of things to consider. There could even be multiple factors involved.
Something specific is irritating the sensitive tissue in your poodles’ ears and causing an imbalance of the natural flora. Your vet is trained to discover what the problem is and then prescribe appropriate treatment.
This is not something you should “self-diagnose”. Nor is it recommended that you buy an over-the-counter medication. They don’t work. Just remember –