What to do if Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection

What to do if Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection

By Christian Velitchkov

What to do if Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection

Yeast infections can happen anywhere in your dog's body. It can result in inflammatory skin conditions in your dog’s skin folds between their paw pads, ears, or genital area. These infections thrive in moist and humid environments on the body. This type of environment encourages the yeast to grow and reproduce at a faster rate until it overwhelms your dog‘s body. If your four-legged friend has been ill lately with a weak immune system, then that can make him or her vulnerable to yeast infections. This is very common during allergy season and in dogs taking antibiotics or steroids. Antibiotics decrease the normal bacterial flora in the body that acts as a protective mechanism, therefore, allowing the fungus to grow at an uncontrollable rate. And if your dog has to take steroids, they suppress the immune system, making your dog more vulnerable to fungal infections. If you are curious about whether your dog has a yeast infection or not, it’s critical to keep an eye out for persistent symptoms. These symptoms will include sores, sticky or yellow genital discharge, itching, swelling, red skin, greasy coats, smelly skin, hair loss, crusty/flaky skin, thickening skin, and recurring ear infections. Here at Dope Dog, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks that you can take to get rid of those nasty fungal infections terrorizing your canine pal.

Calming Your Dog

The first thing is to calm your dog. If they are constantly itching uncontrollably, it will only make the symptoms worse. You can give them some CBD treats from Dope Dog, which has CBD components to help relax your companion. This can reduce the itching, therefore, decrease the inflammation and skin irritation. Related: How to Relieve Your Dog of Car Anxiety

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a fungal fighting ingredient and works wonders for dogs. You can dilute it with water and add it as an after-bath rinse, use it to clean your dog’s ears, or add it to their food or water. The best way is to mix it with an equal amount of water, put it in a spray bottle, and spray their entire body. Allow your dog to dry off on their own without rinsing. Since apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, it serves as an excellent healing property to heal irritated skin and to fight off fungal infections.

Coconut oil contains antioxidants like vitamin E and K as well as fatty acid compounds. The antioxidant helps protect the skin from free radicals that can cause wrinkles and destroy fungal microorganisms. There are also some antioxidants for dogs that prevent free radicals. The fatty acids in coconut oil can promote cell growth from the skin to help it recover from the yeast infection. You can apply coconut oil between your dog’s arms, toes, or skin.

Kefir

Kefir originates from grains that are packed with minerals and vitamins. This ingredient provides over 30 different strains of normal flora yeast and bacteria. It kind of looks and feels like yogurt, and it also acts like a probiotic weapon that is similar to yogurt. It contains powerful bacteria like streptococcal, lactobacillus, leuconostoc, and much more. These bacteria can help fight off fungal invaders so your dog can recover quickly.

Medicated Shampoo

There are over-the-counter medicated shampoos that you can try for dogs with yeast infections on their skin. These medicated shampoos contain selenium sulfide or benzoyl peroxide, which are potent components to alleviate the swelling and inflammation. These shampoos also have Ketoconazole or miconazole, which are antifungal properties that can help get rid of the infection. A good trick would be to apply the shampoo on your dog and wait for at least 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly. This will allow the shampoo to sink in and destroy the infection. You can also check out our Soothing Suds shampoo. Our CBD shampoo helps dogs with sensitive coats fight against redness, dryness, and inflammation. It’s soothing and preventative, keeping your pup alleviated from any irritation. Related: Should Your Pet Take CBD Every Day?

Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone contains anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease swelling and inflammation. It can also reduce the itchy symptoms so your dog will be calm for hours. You can find hydrocortisone cream or ointment at any pet store. Keep in mind that it’s best to limit the usage because one of the major side effects of hydrocortisone is thinning out the skin. That means, if the symptoms persist after one week of usage, then it’s time to stop and see the vet!

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil has potent antifungal and antibiotic properties. You can apply it topically on your dog's skin or put it in their food. It’s best to put a little bit on the food because a high amount can be too much for their stomach to handle. It’s recommended to use 1 to 2 drops on the food because the oil has a strong smell, so your dog may not like it very much.

Pau d'Arco

This is a powerful ingredient that originates from the trees in the rainforests of South America. This supplement serves as an immune booster that can help fight off allergies, infections, and other chronic illnesses. It does wonders and is highly recommended for people or animals suffering from a yeast infection. Get some here.

When to See a Vet

If you have tried all these tips and tricks and your dog still has symptoms, then it’s time to see a vet. If the yeast infection is in the genital area, then a trip to the veterinarian might be the best strategy. Female dogs are more prone to yeast infections in this area. A lot of times, you will need an oral prescription of antifungal medication like Ketoconazole to help get rid of the infection. Sometimes, bacterial infections can occur along with a yeast infection and will require both antibiotic and antifungal medication. The vet will do a physical examination and collect some samples from your dog to ensure that there aren’t any secondary infections. The sample the vet will take can provide information about what type of yeast infection is haunting your dog and what medication he or she is sensitive to. All of this can help your vet to diagnose accurately and to provide the proper treatment for your four-legged friend.

Prognosis of Yeast Infection

The prognosis of a yeast infection on your dog is generally pretty good. If you provide the right treatment strategy, the infection should go away within a week. If there are any issues with your pup’s immune system or allergies, then it may take longer for your dog to recover. It’s uncommon for dogs to die from a yeast infection, but it could be troublesome for older dogs to recover from one if they have a weaker immune system.

What Are the Symptoms of a Dog Yeast Infection?

As we previously mentioned, yeast infections in dogs may develop in various parts, like their ears, paw pads, genitals, or even between skin folds. 

Here are other unmistakable signs your dog has a yeast infection:

  • A foul-smelling or musty odor
  • Scaly skin 
  • Flaky and crusty skin
  • Darkened patches skin
  • Thickened patches of skin

Be vigilant and pay attention to your dog's behavior. They will tell you everything they need to know about potential medical issues with their behavior.

How Do Dog Yeast Infections Occur?

All animals, even human beings, have helpful microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi on their skin and as part of their gut flora, or microbiome.

Yeast is a kind of spore proliferating fungi that you can find on a dog's skin in relatively low numbers. Its scientific name is Malassezia pachydermatis. And it is a very common fungal infection that occurs in dogs.

A dog yeast infection may only be a topical concern. Dog yeast infections are very opportunistic fungal pathogens that take advantage of opportunities to flourish wherever they are presented.

When fungal spores multiply and potentially infect a break in the dog's skin, it may promote irritation, inflammation, abnormal growth, or unpleasant skin aesthetics.

A visit to the vet and an antibiotic or antifungal treatment may fix the problem.

Still, a dog yeast infection may actually be a secondary symptom to a larger and more significant underlying medical issue.

So, what underlying issues may be hiding behind a dog yeast infection? If you don't solve the underlying issue, then dog yeast infections may become a chronic medical issue you need to deal with.

What may actually be causing the yeast infection to develop on your dog?

An abnormal microbiome may be the root cause of why your dog regularly develops yeast infections.

A microbiome, also known as gut flora, is trillions of microscopic microorganisms that digest your dog's food. But the microbiome also regulates your dog's immune system.

If your dog has an underactive or extremely overactive immune system, it may be because of a problem with its microbiome.

And finally, and most importantly, the microbiome is responsible for regulating the colonies of yeast spores that reside on your dog's skin and inside its body.

The point is that your dog may be suffering from an imbalanced immune system. Your dog's microbiome may feature too many harmful bacteria. And having too many bad bacteria or a massive bacterial infection in your dog's gut may hinder the normal functioning of the microbiome.

(Like regulating the number of yeast spores that should be on its skin and inside it.)

Allergies will cause the dog's immune system to respond in a hyperreactive manner. And this hyperreactive response will cause the dog's body to increase internal body heat and generate inflammation.

Your dog's skin is very thin around the ears, armpits, belly, and butt. If you have a dog breed with extra skin folds, the heat and inflammation will make yeast react.

The yeast located in these areas will react and proliferate in the now overheated environment. And if your dog has scratches or open sores in these areas, then the yeast will multiply so much that the reaction is called a "yeast bloom."

And the same problem can happen if your dog has an anemic and underactive immune system. 

Get your dog's gut flora checked out by a veterinarian. And consider giving your dog a daily powdered dose of canine probiotics to keep its gut flora and immune system healthy.

Conclusion

Your dog is your best friend and when you see them suffering, you want to do something about it quickly. Luckily, we here at Dope Dog have all the information you need to keep your dog free from fungal infections. After all, the first step of fighting this infection is to know information about them. The more you know, the more confident you will be in searching for the right treatment plan. If you’ve tried these strategies and your dog is still scratching like crazy, then it’s important to see the vet right away for prescribed antifungal medication. Keeping your dog healthy, happy, and building up their immune system is the best preventative medicine to fight off a yeast infection. While you’re here, be sure to check out our shop for the best CBD dog products around! Related: Asian Carp - 5 Facts You Should Know About This Sustainable Fish