Dogs are truly our best companions. They greet us with wagging tails and wet noses, always ready to provide unconditional love and affection. But as pet owners, we need to ensure that they are always healthy and happy. One common issue that many dog owners face is yeast dermatitis in dogs. This condition is quite common in our furry friends and can cause a lot of discomfort. Therefore, it's vital to understand this condition well to provide proper care and treatment to our beloved dogs. In this blog post, we'll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of yeast dermatitis in dogs.
What is yeast dermatitis?
Yeast infections in dogs, also known as canine candidiasis, occur when the natural balance of microbes in the dog's body is disrupted. The triggers for this can include a weakened immune system, poor nutrition, or the use of certain medications. Dogs with diabetes or those who have been on antibiotics for extended periods of time are also at an increased risk for developing yeast infections.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
Itching and scratching
Dogs with a yeast infection may scratch themselves excessively, particularly in the areas affected by the infection. This can cause redness, irritation, and even hair loss over time.
Red or inflamed skin
Yeast infections can cause the skin to become reddened, irritated, and sometimes even raw. This is often accompanied by a strong, unpleasant odour.
Scaly or crusty skin
In some cases, the skin affected by the yeast infection may become flaky, scaly, or crusty in appearance.
Yeast infections can also occur in a dog's ears, causing symptoms like head shaking, ear scratching, and discharge. The ears may also be red, inflamed, and have a strong odour.
Lethargy or decreased appetite
When a dog is dealing with an infection of any kind, they may feel unwell and have a decreased appetite or energy level.
Changes in behaviour
Dogs who are uncomfortable or in pain may exhibit changes in behaviour, such as restlessness, aggression, or avoidance of certain areas.
How to diagnose your dog’s yeast infection?
If your dog is exhibiting signs of a yeast infection, it's important to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis. The vet will use various techniques such as hair plucks, skin scrapes, or smears to collect samples from your dog's skin. These procedures are non-invasive and very easy to perform, so there's no need to worry about discomfort for your furry friend.
Once the samples are collected, they are analyzed under a microscope to identify any infectious agents that may be responsible for the skin disease. Yeasts are a common culprit, but there may also be other bacteria, fungi, or viruses present that can cause similar symptoms.
It's important to note that not all yeasts are bad for your dog. In fact, the skin naturally contains yeast and other microorganisms that help maintain a healthy balance. However, an overgrowth of these microorganisms can lead to skin infections and other complications.
If your dog is diagnosed with a yeast infection, the vet will likely recommend a treatment plan that includes medication to control the overgrowth of yeast, as well as measures to prevent recurrence. This may include changes to diet or other lifestyle factors that can contribute to the infection, such as stress or exposure to allergens.
The good news is that with proper treatment and management, most cases of yeast infections in dogs can be resolved quickly and effectively. So if you suspect that your furry friend may be suffering from a skin condition, don't hesitate to seek professional help from a vet. They have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and treat a wide range of skin diseases, so you can help your dog feel their best again in no time.
How to treat yeast infections in dogs naturally?
Topical treatment is usually the first step in managing a yeast infection in dogs. Anti-fungal shampoos are a popular choice as they contain active ingredients that work to kill the yeast on the surface of the skin. These shampoos are specially formulated to be gentle on your pet’s skin, while still being effective at controlling the spread of the infection.
When using anti-fungal shampoos, it is important to follow the instructions carefully. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may need to apply the shampoo multiple times per week or even daily. You should also avoid using regular shampoos or grooming products as they can exacerbate the infection and further irritate your dog’s skin.
For yeast infections in the ear, topical treatment with ear drops is recommended. These drops contain the same antifungal agents as the shampoos, but are specifically designed to be applied to the ear canal. It is important to clean your dog’s ears thoroughly first, in order to remove any debris or discharge that may be present. Then, apply the ear drops as directed by your vet.
Increase the population of good bacteria with pre and probiotics
To keep yeast overgrowth in check, adding probiotics and prebiotics to your pup's diet is a great place to start. These beneficial bacteria can fight off unpleasant infections like Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus coagulans. Probiotic strains help reduce the symptoms of infection but don't last long term, so consider introducing prebiotics too - these will increase the population at an accelerated rate for greater relief from those pesky pests! Our product Super Tummy Daily contains both prebiotics and probiotics to help with skin allergies and yeast dermatitis.
Clean with apple cider vinegar
A natural solution to combat fungal infections in your furry companion is apple cider vinegar! Adding a few drops to bathwater or massaging diluted vinegar into their coat restores optimal pH levels and protects them from yeast overgrowth.
In conclusion, yeast infections are a common problem for our furry friends, but thankfully there are ways to manage and treat the infection. You know how to identify the signs of yeast infection on your dog and how to handle it if your dog is affected. Your vet can prescribe antifungal medication and treatment based on inspections of the affected area. Keeping an eye out for any yeast outbreaks and leaning into preventative measures such as adequate nutrition, proper grooming habits, adding a probiotic and applying natural anti-yeast products can also help mitigate the risk of your pup developing an infection. Additionally, limiting exposure to allergens like mould or pollen will help protect them from further infections in the future. With knowledge comes great power - use it well when it comes to understanding what’s happening with your pooch!