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Ear Yeast Infections & Food Allergies?

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  • Ear Yeast Infections & Food Allergies?

    Recently, I inquired with my vet about a persistent (1 month) yeast infection in both ears of my 9 year old standard poodle. She did test them and confirmed it was yeast only and not mites or bacterial infection.

    She also mentioned that it may be a food allergy - protein or grain based. She suspects either a corn or chicken sensitivity/allergy. She also said it could be seasonal allergies but the dog is 9 and has always been fine and always on the same dog food.

    Has anyone else had experience with this and what advice can you offer? I'm putting off changing food (Pedigree dry adult which is heavy with corn & chicken-parts additives) or having allergy testing without a little more research and after the ear drops run their course.


  • #2
    Definitely! We see it so often at the office. Corn, wheat, and less often, chicken, can be culprits. My parents wheatens are very sensitive to grains and even though they are on grain-free food we've had more than one bad ear infection when someone didn't check the ingredient label on a treat bag.

    Before sinking a bunch of money into allergy testing I would definitely give the food change a shot. 4health through tractor supply, kirkland through costco, and taste of the wild available through petsmart/petco are readily available, economical, and grain-free. All three should have a fish or lamb option.


    • #3
      Yes, saw this all the time when I worked for a vet. Most seemed to do better once on one of the grain-free dog foods.


      • #4
        Yep, a novel protein or grain free food may help. Another thing that can cause ear infections is hypothyroidism and general ear conformation (especially in poodles...seems regarding plucking your damned if you do and damned if you dont!).


        • #5
          My dog is on a grain free and chicken free food due to allergies. He gets rashes, pimply skin, itchy paws the whole nine yards. Most dogs with food allergies will have outdoor allergies as well. He has ear infections most of the year so this time I decided to try something different. I am treating him with local raw honey. He has been getting about a teaspoon or so in his AM food for about 2 weeks now and his ears do not smell and he is not licking as much.


          • #6
            This sounds exactly like what our Wheaton terr(i)or gets. They've been a lot less frequent since she's switched to a grain free food. She is about 8 now, and started getting infections at around age 4 I'd say. The most important thing when doing the various drops/washes/cleansers and whatever is to make sure that you dry the ear(s) out as much as possible after, otherwise the problem just doesn't go away.
            I like mares. They remind me of myself: stubborn know-it-alls who only acknowledge you if you have food.
            Titania: 50% horse, 50% hippo
            Unforgetable: torn between jumping and nap time, bad speller


            • Original Poster

              Thanks everyone. Some animal blogs seem to think Pedigree may have changed their formula around late July. I did notice a different smell (not bad) about late July (my husband agrees) and the dogs seemed to not chow down as eagerly. Wonder if they increased the grains - especially corn, or changed the chicken by-products & renderings.

              The mean yeast infections started about a month later and got progressively worse - I could get rid of it for a few days but it would just bloom back up till a week ago, when I took the dog to the vet.

              I'll look into some grain free products, maybe a rice based product. There are a lot of veggie products but I think dogs need meat; maybe I'm just old fashioned.

              The hair is no problem, I've been removing hair for all my life as all we have had is standard poodles. This is the first time ever I had to break down and see a vet for a yeast or any ear related health issue.

              Keep the comments coming and thanks again. More suggestions for dry adult dog food, I'll keep doing research on each - don't want to change foods more than once or twice and don't think I need prescription food.


              • #8
                I've had good luck with Taste of The Wild High Prairie formula. I know some people don't like Diamond products, but as far as I know, even though they did recall some of their foods a while back, there weren't any dogs sickened by their Taste of The Wild dog food.


                • Original Poster

                  Looks like I can buy Diamond Lamb & Rice at Tractor Supply. Diamond makes the Kirkland brand and Taste of the Wild. The recall was very specific to batches sent to about a dozen states so the do keep close watching batch numbers. My vet thinks foods that add ingrediants from China are the ones we need to worry about when it comes to recalls (slower or none till its too late).

                  Didn't know we get dog food ingrediants from China, (did you?) but she has a good point.


                  • #10
                    I have a dog who suffers horribly from skin allergies. He's prone to yeast infections in his ears, and cleaning with Malacetic Otic weekly as a preventative keeps the infections away.


                    • #11
                      I went through the same thing with my dog, and it was food allergies. You can have them tested to pinpoint the allergy, but it's expensive. I opted not to, and my vet instructed me to switch to a food with no corn, wheat, chicken, or beef, as these are the most common food allergens. My dog hasn't had a recurrence since.

                      Dogs can develop food allergies to a food they have been on for years, according to my vet.


                      • #12
                        Just went through this with my lab. Yeast ear infections. Taste of the Wild High Prairie made it worse. So, he's on Wellness Simple Ingredient, a limited ingredient dog food. I'd start with a limited ingredient, grain free and see how he does. Petsmart has a store brand grain free too...it's called Authority and it's very reasonably priced. I've had quality issues with Tractor Supply's 4Health ever since the recall. I finally gave up trying it.

                        In my experience Pedigree is one of the worst foods for a dog prone to Allergies.


                        • #13
                          Sames as others posted-my dalmatian suffered from near constant yeast ear infections until we switched to Blue Buffalo's Basics (we really like the salmon and potato version). Ears cleared up very nicely. He's had other skin allergy issues that caused us to visit an animal allergy and derm specialist, but the ear infections seemed to be food allergy related.


                          • Original Poster

                            So glad to know I'm not alone. Anyone use Purina One SmartBlend Chicken & Rice?

                            I'll go check out the Kirkland and Diamond brands hopefully this weekend and my neighbor said the local dog rescue uses Kirkland bc it has very few ingredients that typically are considered dog food allergies.

                            The Purina One is available at WalMart so would be much easier to just pick up on the way home; my vet said that was the best for the Grocery varieties and close to quality to their prescription line. Petco is a little out of the way but Costco & Tractor Supply are doable.

                            Thanks again all!


                            • #15
                              Honestly I would steer clear of Purina, Science Diet, Alpo, Pedigree, etc.

                              Smartblend is essential brewer rice, corn meal, and wheat with some chicken sprinkled on top.



                              • #16
                                Never used SmartBlend, but the vet who tipped us off on the food allergy/ear infection connection warned us against chicken based foods because a decent number of dogs with food allergies are allergic to it.