Have you seen your dog scratching a lot lately? How about ear-flicking? Salivating? Seemingly more deaf than usual? These could all be symptoms of a stubborn, sassy dog… but they could also be a sign of doggy yeast infections. Untreated, the humble fungi can cause a whole world of problems, but that’s what we’re going to prevent.
Let’s take a deep dive and unpack the problem.
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- Dog Ear Yeast Infections
- Other Types of Dog Yeast Infections
- The Best Dog Food for Yeast Infections
- Dog Yeast Infection Medicine
Dog Ear Yeast Infections
Yeast infections just sound unpleasant, don’t they? Whether it’s a human one or a canine one, it’s a problem that most of us could do without. Unfortunately, yeast infections are common in our four-legged friends, and you might even have noticed them struggling with it as you replay footage on your pet camera.
In low numbers, yeast (fungi) doesn’t cause problems. The fungi are naturally found on many dogs in small amounts, causing no issues. When those numbers rise, problems can occur. This commonly happens in moist, dark areas, such as the creases and folds on the face, ears, armpits, paws, groin, etc.
Certain dogs are more prone to yeast infections in the ears, particularly those with lots of flaps and folds of skin and those with hair growing in the ear canal. These include breeds like German Shepherds, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Shih Tzus, and similar.
Other Types of Dog Yeast Infections
Ear infections in dogs often come with the same symptoms as ear mites, so it’s worth a trip to the vet to get the specific cause diagnosed. Mites are contagious, so it’s not a problem you’ll want to leave unchecked, especially if you have other dogs or pets in the home.
1: Skin Yeast Infection
Also known as cutaneous infection, this is the most common type of yeast infection in dogs. Symptoms include redness, itching, swelling, and a greasy or waxy discharge, and often affect the groin, paws, skin folds, ears, etc.
Adding apple cider vinegar to your dog's bathwater may help create an environment less conducive to yeast growth if you have one of these doggo breeds. Use one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water, but only AFTER you’ve asked one of Petcube’s 24/7 licensed vets for advice. The last thing you want to do is make things worse, right?
2: Ear Infection
Known medically as otitis externa, our floppy-eared friends are at greater risk of developing this painful and irritating ear infection. This includes Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels and comes with symptoms such as a weird smell, redness, obvious irritation, excessive itching, and swelling.
3: Paw Yeast Infection
Paw or interdigital yeast infections can affect your pooch’s ability to move around and can seriously decrease their quality of life. It affects the webbing of your dog’s paws, between the digits or toes. Dogs that lick or chew at their paws excessively may be more susceptible to this type of infection.
4: Mouth-Yeast Infection
Oral or mouth yeast infections can happen anywhere in the mouth, particularly in the corners of the lips, the gums, and the back of the throat. Symptoms include bad breath, drooling, and difficulty eating. The latter symptom you may notice quicker than others. (And why it’s a good idea to get comfortable with your dog’s eating routine and patterns.)
5: Systemic Yeast Infection
When you have a yeast infection that affects the body’s system and vital organs, you have what is known as a systemic yeast infection. These types are, thankfully, quite rare in dogs (and people), according to NCBI research. On the bad side, because of their rarity, the infections are rather tough to beat and treat.
The Best Dog Food for Yeast Infections
A healthy diet that is free from the “bad stuff” is best for a dog that has or constantly suffers from yeast infections. The idea is that you starve it out, lowering the products it can feed on and substituting them with healthier, cleaner versions.
Grain-free diets are a great place to start, and you should avoid treats and other foods that are high in carbohydrates and starches. Probiotics found in plain, unsweetened yogurt may help restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system, which can be beneficial for dogs with recurring or persistent issues.
Dog Yeast Infection Medicine
Treatment for yeast infections in dogs typically involves antifungal medications, either topical or oral, prescribed by a vet. You cannot administer human antifungal medications to your pet. Without the right knowledge of said medications and their interactions with others, and knowledge of the right and dangerously incorrect doses, there’s a high chance that you’ll harm your pet in the hunt for a home remedy that doesn’t involve a trip to the vet.
If insurance isn’t an option for you, there are always alternatives, such as Petcube’s Emergency Fund. It is designed to pick up the slack when you have an emergency pet medical situation, and it costs less than $1 per day! As a side note, for being a loyal blog reader, Petcube would like to give you an additional 27% off the already low price. Just use this link to learn more and sign up.
What are the best supplements for dogs with yeast infections?
Some supplements, such as fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids, may support skin health and immune function, but, as always, don’t make changes to your dog’s diet or lifestyle without first doing proper research, including consulting with a vet.
What’s the best dog ear cleaner for yeast?
First and foremost, regular ear cleaning is a good idea for persistent ear yeast issues. Use a cleaner that has been vet-approved. A diluted solution of tea tree oil (1-2 drops in carrier oil) can be applied topically to affected areas. However, proceed with caution, as tea tree oil can be toxic if ingested, and some dogs may be sensitive to it.
These home remedies and snippets of advice should be considered complementary to veterinary care, not a substitute. You must speak with a veterinarian before using any home remedies, changing your dog’s diet, or even diagnosing your dog’s problem.
Unless you’re a licensed and qualified vet, you’re not an expert on this particular issue. (Sorry!)
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