Ear mites or yeast infection?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Noodle's the- name, noodling's- the game!
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '07 5:33pm PST 
Harley and his darn ears! A month or so ago, I had him in at the vet because his right ear was smelly and producing a lot of dark "gunk". Well the vet said it was a yeast infection (not mites - woo hoo!) and gave him pills and drops for the ear.

Now his LEFT ear is acting up! It's prodcing alot of dark gunk too, but it seems different from last time. The stuff is almost black (dark brownish-red) and is somewhat grainy looking.

I have read about mites and don't see any "white spots".

So my question is this... do you think it's mites or a yeast infection? I still have the drops from his other ear, can I use them without the pills? Thanks everyone...
Maya- (2003-2016)

Beg. It brings- treats.
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '07 5:58pm PST 
Ear mites "gunk" looks more like ground coffee, it's not as pasty and smelly as yeast infection.

I had both. If the infection didn't reach too deep it's not even hard to get rid of it and you don't even need antibiotics, just a very good cleaning.

Since the last, I was yeast and mite-free in my ears for a good few years. Mom cleans my ears once or twice a week (depending if it was a humid weather or not, more often for humid) and once every two weeks she flushes my ears with 1/3 hydrogen peroxide 2/3 water or 1/3 white vinegar 2/3 water solution. For mites the hydrogen peroxide is better. The over the counter ear mite ear drops you find at pet stores works real good if it's accompanied by the good cleaning.

Whisper gets his ears cleaned too, regularly, he never had a problem. But his ears cock up more than mine, mine are a little floppy most of the time, so more warm-dark-moist breding ground for mites and yeast.

Edit: you don't see any white spots with ear mites. They're too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Edited by author Mon Jun 25, '07 5:59pm PST


Noodle's the- name, noodling's- the game!
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '07 6:38pm PST 
THANKS! Some of the info I had read on mites says you can sometimes see little white dots. How do you go about flushing the ears, any special tools required?

Maya- (2003-2016)

Beg. It brings- treats.
Barked: Mon Jun 25, '07 9:04pm PST 
My Mom got a couple of the "syringes" used for feeding puppies from the pet store and thta's what she uses. It's easy to measure the proportions of the solution and the tip is long enough to get where it needs but not too long to become dangerous (it's slightly longer than 1/4 inch).

All you need is- love :)
Barked: Tue Jun 26, '07 12:57am PST 
Thanks for the homemade solution there...

Kaya was getting gunkyears. Real smelly and red and gunky... I would clean them daily and it wouldcome back quickly. I actually changed her diet (grain free... I went homecooked, but I think grain free is the mainpoint) and it cleared up. Is it possible your pup is developing an allergy issue? I also added yogurt to the diet... that may have helped as well.. she still gets a little dirty, but that is pretty normal for floppy eared dogs... just not so BAAAaaad (I tell you, it was 10 cotton balls and q tips a day to clean allthe little canals and grooves in her ears... and I would have to do it again 2 days later... thank go she is patient!

so again, thanks for the homemade ear cleaner recipe smile

The sweet Lord- Jesus guides my- posts
Barked: Tue Jun 26, '07 2:30am PST 
It does sound more like ear mites. Dry, crumbly, coffe ground like. Sometimes you can see white spots if there are enough mites in it.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend the hydrogen peroxide but a 50hi50 solution of white vinegar and water works well for cleaning ears and preventing ear infections because it drops the pH in the ear and makes it harder for yeast to grow in there.

I don't think it will help with ear mites. I would suggest a trip to the vet for that one. I know in cats, the idea is to "drown" the mites with an oily ear drop (usually Tresaderm) but you have to do it twice a day for 10 days, stop for 10 days, and repeat treatment for 10 days. I guess you could do the same with mineral oil but what a pain in the butt. Generally one shot of ivermectin or using Revolution monthy will do the trick. So I think a trip to the vet will save you a lot of headaches (and your pup the ear ache wink )
Maya- (2003-2016)

Beg. It brings- treats.
Barked: Tue Jun 26, '07 8:23am PST 
Mom uses the white vinegar too but in a weaker solution, 1/3 white vinegar 2/3 water.

Also a good ointment for avoiding ear infections from ear mites is Panalog.

The main thing is to always remember that as long as the dog's ears are regularly cleaned, the chances of developing an yeast infection or ear mites are very slim, as you do not offer the conditions for these to develop.

Fire?!? - Where?!?
Barked: Wed Jun 27, '07 5:39am PST 
I used to get the same thing in my ears...

As for checking to see if it's mites, just get a black piece of cardboard, etc... Remove a little of the "gunk" and put it on the black background. If it's mites you should be able to see small little white specs start moving away from the gunk across the black background.

If it's not mites, it's most likely yeast. That's what I used to get all the time. In fact, it was so bad my vet had a standing perscription for Animax that I could just pick up any time needed. Mommy and Daddy would clean my ears out every week with Oti-Sooth, but it still just didn't seem to prevent them.

Turns out, after mommy and daddy found out how terrible the food they were feeding me was (beneful), they switched me to a much better food (Nature's Recipe Venison and Rice formula) and since then my ears haven't given me any problems at all! snoopy

Where's my- Tiara?

Barked: Wed Jun 27, '07 6:58am PST 
Grettahave yeasty ears. We switched to raw and it's not so bad, but I still have some issues.

The vinegar solution Beau suggested works really well for yeast! I supplement that with some plain, organic yogurt every day and it's definitely been manageable.

Barked: Wed Jun 27, '07 8:38am PST 
I know you can see the white spots if the ear mites are too bad. My cat had ear mites when I brought her home from the shelter and the vet said it was a really bad case of them. I used the same solution Beau stated and it worked really well. The vet showed me exactly how to clean out her ears so I wouldn't hurt her. She loved it. When she sees q-tips she actually tilts her head to the side even after 7 years.laugh out loud She has never gotten them again.

Daisy gets yeast infections in her ears. I rotate her foods between Candidae, Eagle Pack Holistic Select, and Solid Gold but she still gets them about once a year.

The main difference I noticed between the two was the smell. Daisy's gunk always smells horrible while the cat's gunk didn't have that strong odor.

For ear mites I would definitely see a vet. They can be a pain.