According to FoxNest Veterinary Hospital's website, a yeast infection in your dog's ears may cause severe irritation as the yeast organism takes up residence in the ears' dark environment, creating a situation that should be examined by a veterinarian. If your dog has long floppy ears or if it suffers from allergies, it may be at an increased risk of developing a yeast ear infection.
Yeast is a living organism and when yeast spores encounter the optimal conditions of warmth and moistness, they begin to grow. In a dog's ear, the presence of a yeast infection (malassezia) often results in a foul odor.
As the yeast infection spreads, it frequently causes severe itching and your dog may attempt to scratch his ears with his back paws. If the yeast infection started as a result of allergies, your dog may also paw at his muzzle, advises Dog-Health-Guide.org. In addition, the infections may occur seasonally, as pollen and other allergens are present in the dog's environment.
By lifting the earflap and examining the underneath side and the ear canal, you may notice a buildup of gooey pinkish-brown earwax coating the inner ear. The tissue of the inner ear may become inflamed, thickened and spongy, although this may only be visible under magnification.
A yeast infection may begin as a secondary infection, following the infestation of ear mites or a bacterial infection. The symptoms of itching, redness and irritation are similar, however, your veterinarian will test for and treat the underlying cause in order to reduce or prevent recurring yeast infections.
If your dog suffers from chronic ear infections, your vet may suggest that you take steps to clean your dog's ears with a chlorhexidine solution when the symptoms of a yeast infection first appear. If the symptoms do not improve quickly, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your dog may require antibiotics or additional treatment to clear up the problem.
Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.