Yeast infections are one of the most common skin complaints in humans and the same is true for dogs. The way that the infections manifests on the skin is also very similar between humans and dogs. The skin may become inflamed and itchy, and you may also notice an unpleasant odor.
Causes Of A Yeast Infection
Good and bad bacteria live in the digestive tract of dogs. The balance of these bacteria should be maintained so that one type does not become dominant over the other. It is the immune system that keeps these different types of bacteria in check and when they are balanced, the dog is considered to be healthy. There are a number of factors that could upset this balance and when this happens it is the bad bacteria that takes control. This can lead to the dog developing a disease or illness, and a yeast infection is one example of this condition. Yeast infections can cause particular problems because the yeast can multiply at a very fast rate which produces toxins that can compromise the entire immune system.
A yeast infection may also occur due to an injury. If a flesh wound is not kept clean then it is quite easy for it to become infected. These wounds may go unnoticed under your dogs coat, especially if it is not causing them any discomfort. This infection could develop into a yeast infection over time and by this stage your dog could be quite uncomfortable.
Stress can have a big impact on a dog’s physical health and this is another reason why a yeast infection may occur. If you have moved houses recently or there has been another change in circumstances which has affected your dog, then it is not unusual for them to develop some anxiety. Their hormones can also sometimes cause them to feel quite low. Any of these reasons could impact on the way their immune system works and their ability to fight off an infection.
If your dog has recently had an illness, then their immune system may be low anyway and this can make a yeast infection more likely to occur. Anything that disrupts the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract increases the likelihood of a yeast infection developing.
It is not unheard of for a yeast infection to be caused by diet. Yeast needs sugar to keep multiplying and there may be more sugar in your dog’s diet than you may realize. You should always check the nutritional content of any food that you give your dog to ensure that they are receiving a balanced diet that does not include too much sugar. You may also want to avoid giving them fruit as a snack, as even natural sugars can make a yeast infection worse.
How Should A Yeast Infection Be Treated?
To treat a yeast infection successfully, you need to deal with both the internal and external issues. There are steps that you can follow at home, with some home remedies, but you may want to consult your vet for your own peace of mind.
The easiest way to deal with a yeast infection internally is to change your dog’s diet. You will need to cut out carbohydrates and sugar from your dog’s diet as much as possible until the infection has cleared up. Even then you may want to consider limiting these food groups so that the problem does not return. The reason for this is the presence of sugar in your dog’s diet will enable the yeast to thrive. Carbohydrates need to be avoided because they will break down into sugar once they are in your dog’s system.
Once the internal problem has been dealt with, then you can start to treat the external symptoms. There is no point doing this stage first as you will probably find that the problem keeps returning. When you are sure that the internal problem has been dealt with, then your vet should be able to prescribe some topical medicine that can help to clear up the rash. It should be noted that this may not be a quick process as it is likely to take some time before the rash disappears completely.