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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question

Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9505
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
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What is the best dog food to avoid yeast infections in a dogs

Customer Question

What is the best dog food to avoid yeast infections in a dogs ears?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Dr Kara :

Hello, I'm sorry to hear that your pup is having trouble with repeated yeast infections.

Customer:

Thank you

Dr Kara :

Are these ear infections or ear and skin infections?
Do the infections clear up completely with treatment and then return soon after treatment is stopped?

Customer:

They are in the ear. It has cleared up a lot but still hasn't cleared up completely

Dr Kara :

Your veterinarian is correct in that food allergies often lead to skin and ear inflammation and itchiness and often as a response increased ear wax production which leads to a perfect environment for yeast to grow.

Dr Kara :

I do recommend a very strict hypoallergenic diet such as Hills z/d or Purina Veterinary Diets HA.
He must be fed nothing but one of those for at least 12 + weeks. No treats, flavored meds or rawhides/chews.

Customer:

Ok. Well I'm feeding him Diamond Naturals Large Breed puppy Lamb&Rice

Dr Kara :

That's an OK food (not my favorite) but all commercial diets are made on machinery that is used to make multiple diets. That means although it says Lamb and rice there may be traces of beef, chicken and wheat and corn, whatever the previous food made had in it. Not a big deal unless you have an allergic dog.
That's why hypoallergenic foods are so expensive. Machinery is cleaned between each batch so what the bag says is in there is and nothing else.
He should also be sedated and have his ears thoroughly flushed and cleaned out.

Dr Kara :

The his ears should be cleaned at home daily to every other day until all traces of infection are gone for a week with a cleaner made to make the ear inhospitable to yeast. Like malacetic otic.
And meds applied as directed after cleaning the ear.

Customer:

Ok well after how many visits to the vet would he suggest this procedure?

Customer:

He gets his meds in the ears applied nightly for the past 4 weeks. So shouldn't it be healed up by now?

Dr Kara :

If his ears are very swollen anti-histamines and anti-inflammatories (topical like synotic or oral) may be needed.
If I can't get a dog's ears almost back to normal after a couple weeks of good treatment compliance by the owner after a good flush then I discuss hypoallergenic diets with the owner.
They should be cleared if there aren't any secondary invaders or if the dog had his ears cleaned/flushed outr well to start.

Dr Kara :

Has an ear swab cytology been done to make sure this is all yeast?

Dr Kara :

The first time we will try a good all around medication. But if the ears aren't coming around in a couple weeks then a cytology and ear flush to get all the wax out are needed.

Customer:

I am not sure about that. I'm offshore now so my wife has been taking him to the vet. I do know they have taken swabs with a cotton swap but not sure about what tests they have ran on the samples.

Dr Kara :

Ok, I understand it's hard because you haven't taken him.
Your wife needs to have a consultation with your vet. Ask what tests have been done and what the plan is because you are frustrated that things aren't going as well as you'd like.
If he hasn't been sedated and had his ears flushed that may be part of the problem.

Dr Kara :

Getting medication to penetrate all that wax is tough.
And ask about whether a hypoallergenic diet is recommended.
In the meantime write down every protein and carb he's ever been exposed to.
Those are things that you want to avoid in a diet once we get his ears cleared up after being on a hypoallergenic diet.

Customer:

Ok well I know for sure he hasn't had that procedure done. I just don't want to keep going for check ups and have them say come back in two weeks. This was his third visit for his ear infections. Just want to get it taken care of a soon as possible.

Customer:

I also have been giving him a supplement that contains probiotics. Because the food I've been feeding him doesn't contain any. Is giving him this supplement a good or bad idea?

Dr Kara :

I understand. Allergies are so frustrating for all involved.
They can be controlled but not cured.
So some (actually lots of) patience is needed.
But if he were my guy I'd flush his ears under sedation, get good swabs to make sure we are treating correctly, and if we are then really encourage a hypoallergenic diet trial.
Probiotics can be fine IF the flavoring in them isn't something he's allergic to.

Dr Kara :

So you might want to hold off on them for now.

Customer:

ok will stop giving them to him then.

Dr Kara :

As it's just another complicating factor.
I will tell you I wouldn't recommend Diamond brand foods. They are high in filler.
And I don't think they contain enough omega 3's, a problem with dogs that have skin/ear problems.
But any food can lead to an allergy. It just depends on what a dog's body reacts to.

Dr Kara :

I will warn you the strict hypoallergenic foods are expensive. Be prepared for sticker shock.
But if they work you can transition to a cheaper food that is restrictive, not true hypoallergenic, after the initial trial.

Customer:

Well I researched different dog foods on a website called dogfoodadvisor.com and they rated it at 4 stars. The only reason they didn't give it 5 stars was because it didn't contain any probiotics. How trustworthy is a website like this?

Dr Kara :

I don't know who runs the site.
If it isn't written by a veterinary nutritionist I'd take all of what is said very lightly.

Customer:

Ok that is good to know then. Is there a website that you would recommend to use for research on dog foods?

Dr Kara :

There is a push now toward "whole" & natural ingredients but that isn't necessarily the best in all cases.
I don't know of a website that I trust.
After many years of feeding my dogs and looking at patients I will tell you I hold Purina and Hills/Science Diet in very high esteem. They do their own research. They test all of their foods to make sure what the bag says it has it does.
They formulate their own recipes.

Dr Kara :

They don't follow fads and they pay to have veterinary nutritionists on staff.
I also like Nature's recipe for their over the counter limited ingredient diets.

Customer:

Ok that is good to know.

Dr Kara :

My big dogs (shepherd and greyhounds) live to be old (15 & 13), and they have all come with health problems, from dysplasia to inflammatory bowel disease. They all have eaten Purina formulations, either prescription or over the counter.

Customer:

Ok thanks for all the info.

Dr Kara :

Sorry got on my nutrition speech. It is really important to look at the company making the food. They can say lots of things on the wesite and bag but proof is based on real research and how healthy the dogs are that eat it.

Dr Kara :

Can I answer anything else?

Customer:

Its ok I appreciate the info you were giving me. I will check into what you have recommended.

Customer:

I think that is it for now thanks for the useful info.

Dr Kara :

Very welcome.

Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9505
Experience: Over 20 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
Dr. Kara and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you

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