A yeast infection is when a there is an excessive amount of yeast growing on a dogs skin or ears. Yeast infections are common in both dogs and humans; the scientific name of the actual organism is Candida Albicans. Candida has several different strains and many can infect dogs.
While such yeast is always present in dogs, not all dogs are necessarily infected with it. There are a lot of factors that contribute to going from simply having yeast, to getting a yeast infection. We will discuss the more common factors in this article.
Antibiotics are often the immediate cause of infections. As mentioned earlier, dogs already do have yeast, usually in their digestive tract. The yeast doesn’t spread as it is held in check by bacteria. When antibiotics are used, generally all types of bacteria, bad as well as good, are killed. This often leaves the yeast to spread unchecked to the dog’s skin and ears, resulting in an infection known as Malessezia Dermatitis.
To diagnose the disease, there are several techniques: scotch tape sampling, impression smears, or skin biopsies. In order for your dog to be treated for such an infection, it needs to be correctly diagnosed first, as there are many other maladies dogs are prone to that can cause the same symptoms. Treatment for this and similar maladies is administered only after a definitive diagnosis.
The scent of a yeast infection is quite both odiferous and distinct, if you have smelled it once, you can easily detect it again. Dogs who are infected will scratch a lot as the infection does feel quite itchy. In advanced cases, dogs get skin lesions. If you dog has any of these symptoms, you should have it looked into.
While such clues are useful in spotting the disease, you still need to consult with a veterinarian for a real diagnosis. A vet can tell you for sure what the infection is and how to deal with it.
In milder cases it is just a question of diet modification, hygiene is also very important. If your dog needs to take antibiotics, you will also be taught how to use anti-fungal meds to control the yeast. All in all, managing yeast infections isn’t all that difficult; for your pet’s well being, it’s best to learn how.