Yeast Infection in Dogs | Symptoms and Treatments | NaturPet

Yeast Infection in Dogs

Chica the rescue dog with long legs
Rescue Dogs: Why We Love Them and How to Care For Them
January 31, 2018
Husky laying head on floor beside valentines day hearts
Single on Valentines Day? Take Your Dog on a Date
February 14, 2018
Dog at vet getting ears checked

A yeast infection in dogs can occur in many places on and in the body. The more common locations for yeast to take hold is in the ears, eyes, and any mucosal linings. Mucosal linings are the mucous membrane that separates the inside of the body from the outside world. Yeast can also take hold in the mouth and throat, but it is rarer. Ears are the most common site of infection in dogs.

Signs of a yeast infection in dogs

  • Rusty colour on coat from licking
  • Black skin, or leathery, thick and scaly skin.
  • Dark brown or black gunk in the ears
  • Excessively oily or greasy skin and coat
  • Head shaking: More likely with yeast infection in ears, but also seen in eye infections
  • Excessive scratching licking, or rubbing the affected area, or scooting on the floor
  • Strong, funky smell often with dandruff or dull coat
  • Loss of fur on tail or back

Causes of a yeast infection in dogs

Yeast is considered a normal part of gut flora. It is even found on the skin, at low concentrations. In a healthy body the good bacteria keep yeast growth under control in the gut. A common cause of yeast infection, or yeast overgrowth, is antibiotic use. Vets prescribe antibiotics to kill bad bacteria or viruses that can harm your pet. But these drugs have no way of telling the difference between bad bacteria and good. They wipe out all bacteria, leaving only yeasts, fungi, and those rare antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut. Without good bacteria keeping them in line, yeasts invade tissues and cause irritation. This also inhibits the growth of good bacteria, effectively keeping yeast in control.

Diet is very important when it comes to keeping yeast under control. Yeasts feed on sugars and refined carbs. Lucky for us dog owners, a dog’s body doesn’t need carbs and sugar like human bodies do. Sure, some dogs eat grass which is about 2-5% starch, but dogs will thrive on fats and proteins. Unfortunately, kibble, and most other dog foods are on average about 40-60% carbohydrates. Starches and carbs are what hold kibble together. They bulk up stool and are used as filler to keep costs down. Starches also make your dog sick by raising blood sugar levels and making them fat. Sugars feed yeasts, bad bacteria, and cancer cells. The main reason raw feeding is becoming so popular is because owners see fewer health issues in their pets. This is due to the lower levels of carbs and higher levels of nutrients in raw foods.

Managing a yeast infection in dogs

Symptoms of yeast overgrowth vary and can seem unrelated, making it hard to diagnose. Additionally, there are many factors that can contribute to yeast overgrowth. Stress, chemicals, seasonal changes, molds and other yeasts can all help yeast to grow out of control. Removing environmental triggers and controlling the diet will help to reduce yeast overgrowth. Here are some other things that dog owners can do for yeast infection:

  • apple cider vinegar and kefirSupport a healthy gut: Limit antibiotic use and other drugs that destroy good bacteria. Give your dog probiotics and prebiotics to balance intestinal flora and crowd out yeasts.
  • Immune support: A healthy dog’s immune system should be able to fight off yeast, so overgrowth is a good indication that the immune system is depressed. Herbs and nutrients can give the body the boost it needs.
  • Topical support: Apple cider vinegar is a great topical yeast killer because it helps to restore healthy pH levels of the skin and coat which discourages yeast. For water-loving dogs massage apple cider vinegar into the coat and belly after swimming.
  • Anti-fungal foods and herbs: Coconut oil and garlic are antibacterial and antifungal and can be given with food. Kefir, a probiotic yogurt-like food helps to boost the immune system and re-balance intestinal bacteria.

The longer the yeast infection goes untreated, the harder it will be to resolve. Prevention is the best way to protect your dog from yeast overgrowth. Regular detoxing to support the immune system protects the body and supplementing with probiotic foods or supplements can strengthen your dog enough that yeast and other pathogens won’t be able to take hold. NaturPet has 3 remedies that support detoxification: NaturPet Life Flow is a nutritive blood cleanser meaning that it helps to detox the blood and is high in body-building nutrients. NaturPet Immuno Boost is a remedy that supports immune function at the same time as supporting good bacteria. NaturPet Vital Energy nourishes glandular systems, helps with digestion, and contains anti-inflammatory herbs to soothe inflamed tissues.

Lindsey Eadie, CNP
Lindsey Eadie, CNP
Lindsey is a Holistic Nutritionist who graduated from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Vancouver, BC on the Dean’s Honors list where she learned the true healing abilities of whole foods, herbs, and supplemental nutrients. After graduation she worked as a Natural Health Advisor for an integrative pharmacy where she used her nutrition and orthomolecular knowledge to promote the wellbeing of all her clients, including the furry four-legged ones. Her passion for natural health has directly benefited her allergy-riddled female Pyrenes/Bernese Mountain dog named Astro and her anxious Golden Retriever/Bernese Mountain Dog Bella. She is currently applying all her knowledge to her position at NaturPet Inc. as an Educator and Account Manager, spreading awareness of natural health alternatives for optimal pet health.

Comments are closed.