Ear Care /
Predisposing Factors /
Causes of Ear Disease
There are numerous causes of ear infections in the Chinese Shar-Pei.
Most are listed below, but bear in mind, often the cause of an ear
problem in a particular dog is a combination of factors.
- Yeast - The number one cause of ear problems in Shar-Pei are
primary yeast infections. Yeast likes a warm, dark and moist environment
and that is exactly what the typical tight, closed ear canal of the Shar-Pei
provides. It is essentially similar to having athlete's foot in the ear.
Usually, this organism produces a moist, chocolate-brown, musty smelling
- Bacteria - Most bacterial ear infections are secondary to yeast
infections. Bacterial ear disease is characterized by a watery foul smelling
discharge and is often associated with ulceration of the ear flap and canal.
Many bacterial infections are very resistant to common antibiotic therapy
so culture/sensitivity results are critical.
- Allergies - Both food allergies and inhalant allergies can
cause itching of the ears with resultant infections caused by the trauma
of the dog scratching the ears. Contact allergy problems can result from
using irritating substances in or around the ears. Drug eruptions can
also cause ear problems if the dog has a sensitivity to that drug.
- Hypothyroidism - Low thyroid function is often associated with an
increase in wax production in the ear canal which van become secondarily
infected. Hypothyroidism is also associated with decreased immune system
- Parasites - Various parasites can cause ear disease such as ear
mites, demodectic mange, sarcoptic mange, fleas, etc.
- Autoimmune diseases - Certain autoimmune disease can affect the
ear flap and canal. These include systemic lupus erythematosus, pemphigus