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Yeast Dermatitis in Dogs: How to Identify and Manage your Dog's Skin Yeast Infection

Written by: Kathryn Palmer

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Time to read 4 min

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 dog owners, we need to ensure that they are always healthy and happy. 


Yeast dermatitis in dogs is a common issue that many dog owners face and can cause a lot of discomfort for your canine. Therefore, it's vital to understand this condition so you can provide proper care and treatment to your beloved dog. 


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.

Symptoms of yeast dermatitis to watch out for:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Scaly or crusty skin

In some cases, the skin affected by the yeast infection may become flaky, scaly, or crusty in appearance.


4. Ear infections

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.

5. 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.

6. Changes in behaviour

Dogs who are uncomfortable or in pain may have changes in behaviour, such as restlessness, aggression, or avoidance of certain areas.

How to diagnose your dog’s yeast infection

If your dog is showing 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 dog.


Once the samples are collected, they are analysed under a microscope to identify what 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 the issue coming back once treated. 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 who help your dog feel their best again in no time.

How to treat yeast infections in dogs naturally

1. Topical treatment

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 make the infection worse and irritate your dog’s skin more.


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.

2. 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 dog 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.

Summary

Although yeast infections are a common problem for dogs, thankfully there are ways to manage and treat the infection. You now know how to identify the signs of yeast infection on your dog and how to handle it if your dog is affected. If in doubt though it's best to speak to your vet who can provide more help after examining your dog.


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.