Ear Infection/Chicken

Good morning, Barkley has another ear infection this year.  The other was in March.  I am being told that chicken could be the culprit?  He is on a limited ingredient diet with no chicken ingredients however he eats Mother Hubbard treats every day and they do have chicken in the base.   Does anyone have any recommendations for a treat that would not be a culprit for an ear infection?  I also occasionally give him plain yogurt as a treat but would the yeast in yogurt be potentially bad for ears as well?  Thank you for any advice!

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  • I don't know who is telling you that chicken could be the culprit in chronic ear infections, but I'm hoping it wasn't a vet because it's absolute nonsense. The ear infections are not caused by food of any kind, they are a common health issue in Poodles and Poodle mixes. They are caused by a combination of wooly hair in the ear canal (traps dirt, debris, wax, and moisture), floppy ears that don't allow air circulation or light in (thereby helping to create a dark moist environment that is conducive to the growth of yeasts and/or bacteria), genetic factors (shape and width of ear canal), and outside factors like improper cleaning, improper hair removal, moist environments, swimming, etc. Proper ear maintenance is required, and in some extreme cases, dogs end up having to have ablation surgery where the ear canal is actually removed. 
    Yes, ear infections can occur in dogs with allergies, but they are never the first, most prominent, or only symptom. Barkley would be itching like mad, licking and biting his feet to the point of infections, etc. And even if he had allergies, the chances of his being allergic to chicken are 100 to 1. 
    Yogurt is also not the culprit. The yeast involved in ear infections doesn't get there from anything the dog is ingesting. Just like you can't get a yeast infection from eating baked goods, lol.
    We've had countless discussions here over the years about treating ear infections in our doodles. Way too much for me to reproduce here. The basics are to learn proper ear cleaning/maintenance techniques, (talk to your vet about this, NOT your groomer or people on Facebook, lol), keeping the ears clean and dry, and having any infections properly diagnosed and treated. Some people also keep their dogs' ears pulled up with a scrunchy on a regular basis to allow some light and air to circulate. And as sad as it might be, dogs who regularly develop ear infections just really shouldn't be swimming. 
    I went through a bout of frequent ear infections with Jasper a while back, and what I learned from my vet is that less is more when it comes to ear care. Sometimes, the very things we may be doing to prevent ear infections can actually cause them, because the ears are being irritated. 
    I hope this helps.



    • Thank you, Karen, for all this good advice.  I'm glad to know that I don't need to waste a lot of time researching new food products when what he currently is on is fine.  The only behavior I have noticed is that he has been sneezing a lot....but then so do I in the summer.  No other extreme itching, licking biting.  I did know that these floppy eared dogs are more likely to develope infections but I didn't know if I was missing something when it came to "chicken".

      Also, this really is only the second infection of the year so I am not sure if that is even considered "frequent".  For now I will just clear up this infection with the antibiotics and follow your advice of keeping them clean and dry.  Luckily we don't take him swimming usually so that is nothing we have to curtail.  I love the idea of pulling up his ears with a scrunchie and letting them air our!  :)

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