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Yeast Skin Infection In Dogs

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Itchy Dog Yeast Infection (5 ESSENTIAL Steps to Stop It)

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How Are Yeast Infections On Dogs Skin Diagnosed

If your veterinarian suspects a yeast infection, they will perform a detailed dermatological examination. Cytology is the best test available to diagnose a yeast infection on dogs skin. This involves looking at a skin sample under a microscope to look for yeast organisms. Your veterinarian may also recommend skin scrapings, fungal cultures, or biopsies to help identify the cause of your dog’s yeast infection.

Easy Ways To Manage Yeast Infections In Dogs

If your dog is tilting their head, scratching their ears, licking their paws, or having a musty odor, they might have a yeast infection.

Yeast infections are a common condition among dogs with folds or allergies. Yeast infections in dogs can cause inflammatory skin conditions in the folds between the genital region, ears, and paw pads.

This infection is quite common among dogs whose immunity has been suppressed or compromised by medications. Yeast infections can occur more often during allergy seasons, especially in dogs that have been taking antibiotics or steroids.

Antibiotics dont cause this infection, but being on antibiotics for a very long period can diminish the dogs normal flora, which helps keep yeast under control.

Steroids can also affect a dogs immunity, which can result in yeast overgrowth.

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Yeast Infections In Dogs: What Are They And How Can They Be Treated

Yeast infection can be very itchy and unpleasant for our dogs, and often smell rather bad, too! Many different things can cause them, and its important for your veterinarian to work out why your dog has developed this infection as well as treat it. Thankfully there is a range of effective treatments available, both to treat active infections and to reduce the risk of future issues.


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What Role Does Diet Play In Yeast Infections

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There are a lot of false claims that the right diets or supplements can prevent or cure yeast infections in dogs. However, in most cases, this is not true. Yeast are always present in the environment and on our pets skin so what your dog eats will not change this. There are myths that restricting carbohydrates will prevent yeast infections, however, there is no scientific evidence to support this. We also know that some formulations of grain-free diets may put our pups at risk for a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, so these should be avoided.

The only situation where diet may play a role is for dogs who have a specific food allergy. In those cases, a diet change would be necessary to treat the underlying condition causing the skin to be vulnerable to yeast infections. A food allergy should be diagnosed by a veterinarian and a safe, balanced diet should be recommended by that veterinarian to ensure all of your pups nutritional needs are still being met. Sometimes this includes doing an elimination diet trial where certain common triggers are eliminated in the diet to see if the dogs skin improves over time. This will not cure a yeast infection that is already present, but may prevent an allergic dog from having more yeast infections in the future.

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How To Treat A Yeast Skin Infection In A Dog

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 94% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 71,512 times.

A yeast infection of the skin, also called yeast dermatitis, is a common skin concern for many dogs. It occurs when a specific type of yeast is overproduced. Certain breeds of dog are more susceptible to this problem, but all dogs are at risk.XResearch source It is important to quickly eliminate a skin yeast infection. These infections are often very uncomfortable for your pet. The dogs constant scratching and chewing at their own skin can also lead to secondary infections.

Signs Of Yeast Infection In Dogs

Symptoms can run the gamut when it comes to a canine yeast infection. Some of the symptoms include things like skin inflammation and irritation, as well as severe itching in dogs. This is especially true for tender and susceptible areas. Your dog may chew, bite, lick, and rub at the skin and affected area.

Sometimes a dog may suffer from scaly skin due to yeast infection. Elephant skin is also common, which is where your dog develops patches of skin that look dark and thickened.

The areas that appear to be the most prone to infection include:

  • In between your dogs paws
  • In his nasal folds

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Common Skin Infections In Dogs

Bacterial and fungal infections can cause your pup’s skin to become flaky, crusty or moist, leading to itchiness and discomfort. Inflammation, redness and smell can also be a problem, not to mention recurring yeast dermatitis or staph infection. Although skin problems are fairly common in dogs they can indicate underlying health issues that require veterinary care.

Yeast Dermatitis

Yeast dermatitis is an extremely common cause of skin disease in dogs. While the fungus Malassezia pachydermatis is naturally found on the skin of healthy dogs, if it grows excessively, it can lead to skin inflammation .

Staphylococcal Infection

The most common bacterial skin infection seen in dogs is a staph infection . This skin infection is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus sp which can be transmitted between dogs and humans, making good hygiene and early treatment a high priority for this skin infection.

A staph infection can impact your dogs skin or upper respiratory tract and is typically treated using oral antibiotics such as cephalexin, erythromycin or clindamycin. Antibiotic ointments and shampoos may also be prescribed to help your dog’s skin feel more comfortable.

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4 Simple Steps to Manage Yeast Infections in Dogs

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After consulting with your dogs veterinarian to address the underlying cause of yeast overgrowth, its time to prevent a recurrence. While natural home remedies may suppress yeast growth, its best to eliminate the problem altogether. Weve curated a list of the best products to help balance yeast in dogs. By safely and effectively keeping your dogs yeast problem at bay, she wont get caught in a vicious cycle of vet visits, antibiotics, and harsh medical treatments.

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How To Prevent Yeast Infections In Dogs

Prevention of yeast infections in dogs must include addressing the underlying cause to reduce the likelihood that the infection will reoccur.

Routine bathing with an antifungal shampoo may be beneficial. However, for shampoo treatment to be effective, the lather must sit on a dogs skin for a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing.

Dogs with skin folds may need to have maintenance treatment to keep these areas from becoming too moist, as yeast thrive in moist, dark places such as skin folds and ears.

Dogs that have had allergy testing and are determined to be allergic to yeast can be desensitized by including yeast as an ingredient in immunotherapy .

If you suspect that your dog has a yeast infection, consult your regular veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan that is appropriate for your pet.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Yeast Infections In Dogs Ears

Symptoms of a yeast infection in dogs ears include:

  • Ear Odor: Yeasts produce an unusual smell which gives the dogs ears a bad and musty odor. In severe cases, the entire dog may smell musty.
  • Ear Discharge: The buildup of yellow, brown, or black waxy discharge is likely in dogs with yeast infections.
  • Ear Scratching: Yeast infections cause itchy ears and make the dog scratch them or at least paw at the ears.
  • Painful Ears: A dog with a yeast infection can develop painful ears. Touching the ears may make the dog irritated or even aggressive.
  • Head-Shaking: Excessive head-shaking due to discomfort can be a sign of yeast infection in the ears.
  • Hair Loss: Due to excessive scratching and self-trauma, the hair around the base of the ears can fall out, and the skin can be flaky, crusty, or simply irritated.
  • Loss of Balance: If the ear infection spreads and affects the inner ear, the dog may show loss of balance and disorientation.
  • Hearing Loss: In rare and very severe cases, an untreated yeast infection in dogs ears may result in partial or completehearing loss.

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How To Care For A Dog With A Yeast Infection

If your dog is diagnosed with a yeast infection then your vet will usually prescribe you some medication. The exact type will depend on the location of the yeast infection. For ear infections, topical ear drops and ear cleaners could be advised. For skin infections, medicated shampoos or washes are used. Occasionally, oral medications like ketoconazole are used, although this is rare.

Sometimes additional medications are required such as steroids to help with inflammation and itchiness and antibiotics . Other allergy medications may be discussed or perhaps a prescription diet to carry out a food trial if your dog is suspected to have a food allergy.

What Is The Prognosis For Yeast Dermatitis

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The prognosis for yeast dermatitis is generally good. While the condition usually requires long-term treatment, the majority of cases respond favorably and the itching is reduced within a week of beginning therapy.

“In cases with underlying allergies or immune compromise, the prognosis is based on the ability to control those conditions.”

In cases with underlying allergies or immune compromise, the prognosis is based on the ability to control those conditions. It is not uncommon for dogs with severe skin allergies to have recurrent secondary yeast or bacterial skin infections, sometimes two or three times a year. Your veterinarian will discuss a diagnostic and treatment plan for your dog to help you manage this condition.

Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM Ernest Ward, DVM

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How Is Fungal Dermatitis Treated

There are a number of options for treating yeast infections in dogs, including oral or topical solutions. Sometimes your vet will prescribe a combination of both if the case is severe.

Oral Treatment

This type of treatment would be used for persistent, severe or chronic cases of yeast dermatitis. Bacterial skin infections can also accompany the condition and require 4 to 12 weeks of antibiotics. Systemic anti-fungal medications are often in this category and can include itraconazole, fluconazole and ketoconazole.

Use caution with these because although they are highly effective, these drugs can have potential side effects for your dogs liver. Routine blood tests and close monitoring are a must.

Topical Treatment

An essential step to treating yeast dermatitis is to use a medicated shampoo containing benzoyl peroxide or selenium sulfide. After a first degreasing cleansing session has taken place with the shampoo, taking at least a 10-minute bath with an anti-fungal shampoo is recommended. Effective topical treatments are needed every 3 to 5 days for 2 to 12 weeks to eradicate the infection.

If an infection is diagnosed on the ears or on just one or two isolated spots on the skin, your dog may require a topical ointment for daily use.

What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Fungal Dermatitis

When harmless malassezia changes to a pathogenic form, it can become problematic and result in symptoms such as:

  • Skin irritation
  • Flaky, crusty or scaly skin
  • Thickened/elephant skin

Your dogs coat is often a good indicator of their overall health, and thats also true in cases of yeast infection if her coat is greasy or there are signs of hair loss, or foul-smelling skin, she should see a vet.

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Best Dog Ear Cleaner For Multiple Symptoms

Cleaning your dogs ears doesnt require any special supplies, but not all ear cleaners are created the same. Liquid ear cleaners are better at dislodging waxy junk deep in a dogs ear so she can then shake it out. Instead of reaching for multiple ear cleaners to target ear wax, odor, and itchiness, use a safe, effective, all-in-one canine ear cleaner. Great Ears Multisymptom Dog Ear Cleaner wont deplete the skins natural lipid barrier while conditioning and moisturizing the ears. Best of all, its safe for use on adult dogs and puppies over 12 weeks.


  • Dogs with excessive waxy build-up may require a second application
  • Suggest maintenance cleaning is one to two times per week
  • Ensure your dogs ears do not require medical treatment before using an ear cleaner

What Is The Prognosis

Treating yeast infections naturally in your dog

The prognosis for yeast dermatitis generally is good, however often requires long-term management of the underlying cause. If the underlying condition has been controlled, then the secondary or recurrent yeast infections are reduced, so it is important to work with your vet to come up with an appropriate treatment that is best for your dog. As always in medicine, there is never a one size fits all approach, and therapy will be tailored based on the severity of disease and responsiveness to treatment.

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Increase The Population Of Other Beneficial Bacteria

The next step is increasing the population of the competing bacteria to keep the yeast in check.

You can increase the beneficial bacteria by adding probiotics in your dogs meal. There are numerous probiotics that cannot fight yeast that lives in the dogs gut. So, you can start by increasing their population before you introduce probiotics like Bacillus subtilus and Bacillus coagulans.

These probiotics are spore-forming and can fight yeast infections. And since probiotics cannot live in your dogs guts for a very long time, you can also introduce prebiotics. Prebiotics can help grow the population of beneficial bacteria at a faster rate than probiotics.

Finally, you can remove the heavy metals left in your dogs guts by the dead yeast by giving them food containing chlorella and sulfur. Sulfur can bind to the heavy metals and lower the oxidative damages done by these metals in organs.

Yeast Dermatitis In Dogs: The Good The Bad And The Ugly

Far too often, when dogs are diagnosed with allergies, they are actually suffering from an overgrowth of yeast.

When your pets body is in balance, yeast is an excellent source of beta-glucan, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps ward off skin damage, repair skin damage and protect your skin.

But, when your pet’s body is out of balance, the problems begin…

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How To Treat Dog Yeast Infections At Home

Yeast infections are a common and unpleasant fungi condition, but they can often be treated and alleviated with home remedies.

Be sure to let your vet know that your pup has had a yeast infection, but as long as you have caught it early, you should be able to save a trip to the vet’s office with these home remedies.

What Are The Causes Of A Dog Yeast Infection

Yeast Infection In Dogs

Many factors can contribute to your pet getting yeast dermatitis. Weve listed the common causes of this skin problem below:

  • Allergens: Exposure to foreign substances like pollen, mold, dust, smoke, and house cleaning products can cause yeast infections.
  • Environment: Yeast growth can be seasonal depending on the environment. In particular, yeast thrives in moist and humid areas.
  • Floppy skin: Yeast tends to grow between excess skin folds, so theyre usually common in dogs with floppy ears. So make sure to always keep your dogs ears and paw pads clean.
  • Oil & wax: Oil is naturally found on the skin as well as the ears. However, improper grooming can trap the oil and promote the excessive build-up of fungus.
  • Moist areas: Moist areas like ears, armpits, genitals, and paws are all breeding grounds for yeast. Your canine could also be at risk if its adventurous and likes playing around in the water often.
  • Other medical conditions: A weak immune system is prone to yeast overgrowth. In a similar vein, an overactive immune system could also trigger adverse fungus growth from allergic reactions.

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Dry Dog Food That Doesnt Have Corn Wheat Or Grains

If your dogs current kibble contains starchy ingredients, switching to an anti-yeast diet could help give them a speedy recovery and prevent re-infection.

Its worth mentioning that there are several anti-yeast dry dog foods on the market. Be sure to consult your vet before buying a particular brand.

They will advise you on the best brand and how to introduce this new food.

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