Yeast dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs quite frequently in dogs, especially in the skin’s folds, the ears, between the paw pads, or other hot, moist areas on their body. These conditions encourage yeast to reproduce faster until it becomes an overwhelming problem.
Yeasts are spore-producing fungi always present on a dog’s skin, usually in small amounts, as part of the normal flora. Yeast infections occur when there is an excessive amount of fungus in a particular area. It is prevalent in dogs and can occur anywhere on the skin, including the ears.
How to recognize and treat yeast infection in dogs
Yeast infection in dogs is usually accompanied by different signs which can be seen. If you see your dog chewing or licking his feet, dark rusty hair between toes, bad smell, greasy hair, or rusty color around genitals, then your dog may be infected with yeast. You can treat it using antifungal shampoos but you can seek professional help to make sure your dog receives the best possible care.
Which dog breeds that are most prone to fungal dermatitis?
Dog breeds that are most prone to fungal dermatitis include:
- Shih Tzus
- West Highland White Terriers
- American Cocker Spaniels
- Basset Hounds
- English Setters
- Australian Silky Terriers
What causes yeast infections in dogs?
Yeast infections in dogs are often secondary problems. It means that some other issue is weakening the skin’s defense mechanisms to allow the yeast to grow in higher amounts than usual.
It is common to see yeast infections in a dog’s ears or on their skin if they have food allergies or environmental allergies. Other underlying problems that can cause yeast infections in dogs include hormonal issues or other diseases that suppress the immune system.
No studies are confirming that any of the following causes yeast infections on a dog’s skin:
- Brewers yeast
- Oatmeal shampoos
- Carbohydrates or sugar in food
Most common signs of yeast in dogs
Some of the symptoms will help you determine if your dog has a yeast infection, intestinal leak, or allergy. One of the critical signs is the ability to change. Yeast can change with changes in pH or temperature.
Here are other signs of yeast infection to look for:
- Chew or lick feet
- Dark rusty red hair between the toes
- Black skin (often with hair loss)
- Bad smell and greasy hair (seborrhea)
- Ear infections or head shaking
- Stains on the belly
- Hair loss on the tail and also from upper back
- Grayish or rusty color around the genitals.
- Seasonal allergies
What are the symptoms of yeast infections?
These fungus infections can cause redness, irritation, or itching of the skin or ears, and there is often a sweet or moldy odor.
The infections can cause the skin to become thicker and discolored (gray, brown, or black).
Common areas of yeast infections in dogs
These are the most common areas of yeast infections in dogs and a few signs to the lookout.
These yeast infections can occur anywhere on a dog’s skin, including the abdomen. They are often seen in moist areas, such as in skin folds, especially in “wrinkled” dogs’ breeds.
Affected skin may be red, irritated, itchy, oily, or flaky, and hair loss may occur.
If this infection is chronic, the skin may darken and thicken. Yeast infections in a dog’s mouth or face can cause extreme itching or rubbing of the face.
A dog with yeast paw infections may have red, itchy, and irritated paws.
The lower part of the legs, between the pads, is most often affected, but yeast can appear anywhere on the paws. Sometimes you can see a brown discharge on the nail bed.
Dogs with yeast infections of the paws usually lick their paws more than expected. There may also be hair loss.
Yeast infections in dogs’ ears are quite common, and the ears often smell sweet or moldy.
You will usually see redness, which may spread to the ear flap, and the discharge is generally brown. The ear may appear greasy, and the hair may be matted.
These fungus infections in a dog’s ears can be very allergic, causing dogs to scratch their ears or rub their heads excessively.
What is the difference between mites and yeast infections in dogs?
Yeast infections in a dog’s ears usually cause redness, brown discharge, head shaking or rubbing, odor, and itching. Ear mite infections are very itchy. The discharge from the ear is usually black and waxy or aged. The earlobes are barely visible to the naked eye and are highly contagious to other animals.
Your vet can quickly determine if a dog’s ear problem is caused by yeast or mites by taking a swab from his ear and looking at it under a microscope.
How is a yeast infection in dogs diagnosed?
Your vet will be able to diagnose the condition by doing some tests on your dog’s skin. It is straightforward to take waxing, scraping, or smearing the skin as standard techniques to help identify any infectious agents, including yeast, that could contribute to skin disease. These are analyzed under the microscope to determine if the fungus responsible for the yeast infection exists in the sample or other bacteria, fungi, or viruses that may be causing the symptoms.
What’s the best dog yeast infection treatment?
1. Topical treatment for yeast infection in dogs
Antifungal shampoos are usually the first recommendation.
Depending on the infection’s progress, you may need to apply the topical medications several times a week to the affected area or even a few times a day. The medicated shampoo chemicals will kill the yeast, so your dog’s skin should start to improve in about a week. For dog ear yeast infection, the same antifungal agents are concentrated in ear drops that can successfully treat the condition.
2. Oral treatment for yeast infection in dogs
If the yeast infection does not respond to topical treatment, you can prescribe oral medications. Visiting the vet is essential, as treatment can vary based on your dog’s age and any underlying conditions.
Anti-inflammatory medications can also help reduce swelling. If this is necessary, your vet will prescribe them; do not use any over-the-counter medications or tablets that you may have at home, as they could cause more problems or even be toxic.
If you think your dog has got a yeast infection or any skin problems, don’t try to treat your dog with home remedies, as you could risk making the situation worse. It would be best if you always take your dog to the vet for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate, personalized treatment for your dog’s particular condition. An allergy can look a lot like a yeast infection in dogs and vice versa, so it’s vital to seek professional help to make sure your dog receives the best possible care.
What are the best home remedies for yeast infections in dogs?
People often talk about home remedies for yeast infections in dogs, but most have not been proven effective.
There is no research to confirm that it is beneficial to feed any of the following foods to treat yeast on dog skin:
- Fermented vegetables
- Coconut oil
- “Yeast-free” dog food
- “Anti-yeast” dog food
- Low carb dog food
No studies are confirming that topical use of any of the following helps treat yeast infections in dogs:
- Coconut oil
- Witch hazel
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Herbal shampoo/tea tree oil
- Essential oils (these can be toxic to dogs)
Vinegar rinses have scientific data to support that they may be beneficial in treating yeast. Proper dilution is essential to avoid irritation.
Vinegar helps change the pH of the skin so that it is less favorable for yeast. It should only be used if recommended by your veterinarian.
How to prevent yeast infections in dogs?
Prevention of yeast infections in dogs should include addressing the underlying cause to reduce the likelihood that the infection will recur.
Routine bathing with an antifungal shampoo can be beneficial. However, for the shampoo treatment to be effective, the foam must sit on the dog’s skin for a minimum of 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Dogs with skin folds may need maintenance treatment to prevent these areas from getting too wet, as yeast thrives in moist, dark places like skin folds and ears.
If you believe that your dog has a yeast infection, consult your regular veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan appropriate for your pet. To prevent any serious health issue, you should visit the vet office regularly.
Best home yeast infection treatments for dogs
1. Give your dog a good bath
Pay no heed to the instructions on removing the shampoo quickly so that the healthy oils are not washed out of your dog’s skin.
You need to remove the wax buildup and thick yeast crust that bothers your dog. So, after wetting your dog, put a good amount of shampoo massage, and leave it for about 10 minutes. It is a long time, so you need to check your watch to make sure it’s on long enough.
Benzoyl peroxide shampoo is the best option to remove all the waxy material accumulated on the skin and deep in the pores. Some people get rashes and itchy skin when bathing dogs with this problem, and I think you must wear quality rubber gloves.
2. Apply apple cider vinegar to your skin
After removing the wax and yeast with the benzoyl peroxide shampoo, you should use vinegar to kill most of what is left. White vinegar will work fine, but I use apple cider vinegar as it is acidic, and it also has some healing properties not found in regular vinegar.
It would be best if you get mixed with the same amount of water, spray it all over your body, and then let it dry without rinsing. (If your dog already has scratches on its body, you will have to avoid those areas since it itches, even when diluted).
3. Treat all affected areas with coconut oil
At this point, turn your dog over and apply coconut oil to all areas that have been affected by yeast. Use enough to rub between the toes, in the armpits, and even on the inside of the earmuffs.
How can I tell if my dog has a yeast infection on his paws?
As the yeast infection progresses, you may also see the following symptoms:
- Red, irritated skin or rash.
- Smelly odor.
- Discharge from ears.
- Sores from scratching.
- Brown discoloration of nails.
- Darkening or thickening skin (may look like elephant skin)
People Also Ask
What should a dog eat when having yeast infection?
Raw Diet: This diet can do wonders for a dog with yeast problems. You can also switch to a partially raw diet by lightly cooking your food. You will want to add mild vegetables to the steam and avoid carbohydrates. Semi-homemade food: Choose a commercial homemade diet.
What is the best shampoo for a dog with a yeast infection?
The most productive treatment for yeast infections in dogs is a medicated shampoo that consists of selenium sulfide or benzoyl peroxide. Our top pick for the best medicinal dog shampoo for yeast infections is Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo.