No one finds it amusing when their dog is uncomfortable and would strive to find possible ways to ease the dog's troubles.
Yeast infections in dogs are prevalent and can occur anywhere on the dog's skin, from the genital region, armpits and ears to paw pads.
This infection is quite common for dogs with suppressed immunity conditions or compromised by medication and can occur more often during allergy seasons, mostly in dogs that have been taking steroids or antibiotics.
Here is broad enlightenment on yeast infections in dogs.
Can Dogs Get Yeast Infections?
Yeast affects dogs for many reasons, with food intolerance topping the list.
Yeast is a type of fungus, and overgrowth is considered a fungal infection. Although it is not contagious, it irritates the skin and worsens when not treated.
Yeasts, for one, are budding spores producing fungi present on a dog's skin and intestines but usually in regular numbers as part of the normal flora. They don't cause illness until their numbers grow.
The small numbers of yeast in the dog's digestive tract help in food digestion, but when they overgrow both on the skin and in the intestines, they result in yeast infection.
Excessive yeast irritates the cells lining a dog's gut affecting their tight conjunctions. The cells' tightness helps stop viruses, damaging bacteria, and yeast from entering the bloodstream and passing through the intestines.
Inflammation caused by an abundance of yeast weakens cell linings enabling yeast and toxic byproducts to leave the digestive tract and enter the dog's bloodstream.
Two species, candida albicans and malassezia can be a significant problem to a dog.
Not all dog breeds are prone to yeast infections. Here are some vulnerable species:
● American Cocker Spaniel
● Shih Tzu
● Basset Hound
● Labrador Retrievers
● Golden Retrievers
● Lhasa Apsos
● Shetland Sheep Dogs
● German Shepherd
● West Highland White Terrier
When some dogs eat foods such as wheat, chicken, corn or other individual items, they trigger allergic reactions allowing an unnatural yeast growth.
Below are some other potential causes of yeast infection:
● Allergies can be a sign of an overactive immune system
● Allergens such as mould, dust, pollen, cleaning products and cigarette smoke
● Underlying medical conditions such as hormonal problems and diabetes
● Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria
● Spending too much time in the sun
● Excessive dog exercise
● Moist environment
What are the symptoms of a yeast infection in dogs?
Although many signs help one determine whether their dogs have yeast infections, changeability is a key symptom.
Yeast can change with general shifts in temperature and PH and thrives in moist environments.
Veterinarians mostly can make a definite diagnosis, but as a dog owner, these are the signs to look out for in your dog:
● Head shaking and tilting
● Changes in skin colour and texture
● Odour similar to a musty or cheesy sent
● Swelling, warmth and pain in the infected area
● Scratching and rubbing
● Scaly, crusting skin similar to dandruff
● Greasy or excessively oily skin
● Discharge from ears
● Darkening or thickening skin
● Licking of the infected area
● Rust or greyish colour around the genitals
● Drooling in case infection occurs inside the mouth
● Secondary bacterial infection
● Seasonal allergies
Diagnosis of yeast infection in dogs is by a veterinarian's confirmation through cytology or culture.
Hair and skin samples are taken from around the affected area with a piece of tape or by pressing a microscope slide along the skin and further tested under a microscope.
How do you feed a dog with a yeast infection?
Yeast infections in dogs go away and can be cured, except for some dogs prone to recurrent infections.
A raw diet which has a low amount of carbohydrates is the best meal for a dog with a yeast infection. Carbs are complex chains composed of sugar molecules, and when consumed by the dog, they break down and feed the yeasts.
Avoid highly processed dog food, high fructose corn syrup additives, carb-based foods (such as rice, potatoes and millet), starch as an additive or binding object, and wheat and grains.
Coconut oil is a recommendation even for dogs without yeast problems. The high amounts of lauric acid in the oil make it easy to fight off bacteria and other fungi.
Fresh food (such as dark leafy greens, squash, garlic and broccoli), fresh lean protein (chicken, beef, lamb), probiotics and digestive enzymes are some good if not the best anti-fungal ingredients.
Natural tropical rinses, shampoos and sprays can help get the yeast infection smell off your dog since most yeast problems present themselves on the skin.
Bathing the dog with anti-fungal shampoo with tea tree oil or anti-yeast herbs is rooted at least once a week.
How do I starve my dog's yeast?
Even after managing and keeping your dog's infection in check, sometimes it can come back.
The yeast cells cannot be transmitted if a dog has a yeast infection and comes in direct contact with another yeast-free dog or pet.
However, when the yeast infection leads to secondary fungal or bacterial infection, it may be contagious in some cases.
There are two kinds of yeast infection treatment; antifungal pills and tropical products like ointments and shampoos.
A veterinarian may prescribe anti-itch medication for yeast treatment to provide faster relief. The medication plan is to be followed to the latter to make sure the infection doesn't come back.
Tropical treatment is often perfect when the infection is mild or limited to one or small areas. The dog may need oral medication or combined treatment when the infection is severe.
Ideas on how you can effectively treat and remedy your dog at home include:
Keep dog's paws clean and dry: After long or vigorous exercise, you should wipe their paws where their sweat glands are primarily located.
Medicated baths: Antifungal medicated shampoos can help tone down the infection as long as it is not a secondary infection.
Examine your dog's diet: A healthy diet is important for good health. Avoid sugar and treats loaded with refined carbohydrates.
Apple cider vinegar: Rinse your dog with vinegar as it is the best solution for dogs to stop the itching, restore healthy PH levels and stop yeast overgrowth.
Apply coconut oil: Massage the affected areas with coconut oil at least twice weekly. This helps with the dog's skin texture and colour.
Sooth the yeast-infected ears: Treat the affected ears with green tea to resume health.
Heavy metals: Reduce the number of heavy metals your dog consumes as they generate free radicals that can cause severe health problems.
Increase beneficial bacteria: More raw diet and adding probiotics to a dog's meal help starve the harmful yeast.
How can I prevent my dog from getting yeast infections?
Prevention mainly includes addressing the underlying problem to reduce the probability of the infection occurring.
● Ensure good quality and healthy diet for the dog
● Routine bathing with an antifungal shampoo
● Maintenance treatment for dogs with skin folds
● Keep the dog indoors during excessive heat and humidity
● Keep the dog's ears clean and healthy with regular checks
● Trim or tweeze hair around the opening of your dog's ears
● Use flea and tick preventatives as directed by a veterinarian
● Address signs of allergies when they first appear
A little care and attention to your dog's health can prevent a lot of fuss.
Itching and irritation are common skin concerns for dogs. Often caused by allergies, yeast infections call for immediate attention, just like other conditions in dogs.
It is also important to identify the root causes of recurrent yeast infection and take precautions to protect your dog's immune system.
Regular cleaning, check-ups and healthy dieting can save your dog a great deal of discomfort.
Always check with your veterinarian for professional advice and medical plans for your dog.