Yeast infection in dogs is due to yeast overgrowth particularly in the area of the ears. If the dog’s immune system is weak, the replication of the fungus is high. In case your dog is affected by any other conditions and is taking antibiotics, this can also affect the pH balance in your pet’s body and trigger yeast overgrowth. Other causes of imbalance include poor diet and lack of digestive enzymes, as well as overuse of vaccines, environmental stress, thyroid problems and heartworm medications.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Dogs
The external symptoms of yeast infection include the presence of crusty, itchy and smelly skin. The infection may occur in certain parts of the body or it may affect the entire body. Most of the time, yeast infection affect the warm and moist areas in the body of a dog, such as the interior of the ears and the folds of the skin. Silky terrier, Maltese and Bassett hound are the breeds that are prone to the condition. In case your dog is suffering from lethargy, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue and depression aside from having an itchy and smelly skin, it would be best to take it to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis.
In case you are noticing any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can opt for a yeast infection test to determine if your pet is affected with the condition. You can take a sample from the infection skin and observe it using a microscope. You can do this by following the steps below:
- Take a slide and press it on the dog’s affected body part to obtain a sample.
- If a slide is unavailable, a clean tape can be used to take samples.
- You can also take a sample using cotton swab. Simply get moist cotton and rub it on the affected area.
- Skin biopsy is also helpful in diagnosing yeast infection, as this can provide thorough details regarding the condition. This involves the removal of a part of the skin and submitted to a biopsy machine. However, local anesthetic is necessary before obtaining a sample to prevent the dog from getting hurt.
Once you have collected the needed sample, you can check on it under a microscope. In case you are seeing a string of round cells, then your dog is positive for yeast infection and finding yeast infection cures for it is necessary.
Once you have determined that your dog is afflicted with yeast infection, the next thing that you have to know is how you can treat your pet’s condition. Two different options are available – oral and topical. Topical treatments are helpful when dealing with a small area of infection. However, if the infected area is large, then it would be best to administer oral medications instead. When opting for oral medications for yeast infection, it would be best to make sure that you are administering the right dose and following the schedule of consumption. One of the most commonly used yeast infection medication is ketoconazole. Although expensive, it is considered as the best medication for the condition in the market today.
Using an anti-yeast shampoo is also proven beneficial against yeast infection in dogs. If you choose to use a shampoo to alleviate the skin yeast infection in dogs, make sure to use it at least twice a week. Using natural remedies can also be beneficial against the condition. These natural remedies include proper diet, which include nutritious foods. As much as possible, your pet’s diet should include chicken or beef, as well as vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cabbage, wax beans, squash and green beans. You can also try using tea tree oil on the affected parts of your pet’s body, but make sure not to make your pet consume it as it is for internal use only. Tea tree is helpful in soothing the symptoms of the condition, thus reducing the discomfort.
When using a yeast infection natural treatment, such as tea tree oil, make sure that you dilute it using olive oil to reduce its strength before applying it on the affected area. In case your dog’s yeast infection is systemic, you can try including yogurt into your pet’s daily diet. The beneficial bacteria contained in yogurt can help kill the fungus and relieve the infection. However, if you choose to do so, make sure that you opt for plain yogurt, as sweetened yogurt can only worsen the condition due to its sugar contents. In case the symptoms of the condition in your pet are severe, taking your dog to a veterinarian is highly recommended. This is to determine the severity of the infection and be able to opt for the most appropriate treatment that will help free your pet from the pain and discomfort due to the condition.