Just like people, including men, dogs can get a yeast infection. The organism Malassezia pachydermatis is responsible for causing a dog yeast infection. This organism is normally found on your dog’s skin, but certain conditions can allow it to grow out of control and cause yeast infections in dogs.
One of the most common causes for a dog yeast infection is vaccination. Some vaccines can weaken the dog’s natural immune system. Also medications such as antibiotics and steroids can allow the yeast to grow out of control. Other possible causes include chemicals, poisons, allergies, and bacterial infections.
Yeast infections in dogs can occur in the ears or on the skin. Your dog will frequently shake his head and scratch his ears if the infection is in the ear. If the infection is on the skin, your dog will develop skin lesions. These lesions can be as few as one or two in a small area, or they can cover your dog’s whole body. The sores are typically found beneath the neck, belly, and feet. The lesions will be very itchy causing your dog to scratch at them.
In order to diagnose a dog yeast infection accurately, it’s best to examine scrapings from one of the skin lesions under a microscope. However, as mentioned earlier, the organism Malassezia pachydermatis is normally present on your dog’s skin. Therefore, this method may sometimes be unreliable. A diagnosis is considered accurate once your dog responds to the treatment for yeast infections in dogs.
If the dog yeast infection only covers a small area, it can be treated with a cream applied daily for a few weeks. Shampoos that contain sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and chlorhexidine will also help relieve symptoms. More severe cases of yeast infections in dogs are usually treated with oral antifungal medications.