Yeast infections are a common occurrence in both humans and dogs. Because of the frequency of yeast problems worldwide, there are a vast number of home remedies available to help owners get their dogs back into top shape. They are a sign that your dog’s immune system is not functioning at 100%, or that your dog isn’t on a regular cleaning and grooming schedule.
Yeast naturally lives on your dog’s skin. And, as such, the body should be able to regulate yeast itself. It’s when fungi beings to overpopulate, and there is yeast overgrowth, that issues arise. In some cases, a yeast infection can be a sign of more serious health issues in your dog. Please see a veterinarian if your dog’s yeast infection appears to be severe!
Before we dive into home remedies for yeast infections in dogs, let’s touch on what a yeast condition is and how it is caused.
What is a Dog Yeast condition?
If your dog has itchy, irritated skin with a foul odor, it could be suffering from a yeast condition. Yeast condition can be related to other medical issues such as allergies. A yeast condition is caused by a fungus. While yeast itself is typical, yeast overgrowth can cause issues.
Although yeast is normally found on the skin, ears, and mucocutaneous areas, yeast overgrowth can lead to dermatitis, which is the swelling of the skin. Yeast issues is very common in dogs. Yeast conditions generally thrive in hot, humid environments. In that situation, the yeast proliferates causing overpopulation.
Types of Yeast Conditions in Dogs
All yeast are fungi, and they live on the bodies of both dogs and humans. For the most part, these fungi are usually harmless. It’s the overpopulation of fungi, or yeast overgrowth, that causes health issues.
There are additional yeast conditions or fungi that can trespass into the bloodstream and create difficulties in the liver, eyes, lungs, brain, and bones.
Yeast conditions can occur on your dog’s paws, ears, skin, and nails. Dog paw and ear yeast conditions are diagnosed the most, and are not life-threatening.
Causes of Yeast Conditions in Dogs
Yeast overgrowth often occurs in the ears of dogs. The ear canal of a dog is shaped like an “L.” It goes downward before changing direction and heading straight back. Water and debris can easily get trapped in the ear canal of your dog due to its angle. Allergens like mold, dust, feathers, pollen, smoke, and certain foods can also lead to ear issues in a dog.
Normally, the fungi living on the skin of your dog do not cause an issue when they are regulated by the immune system. A weakened immune system or a change in the condition of the skin on a dog can be the catalyst for yeast problem.
If given the chance, yeast can be very opportunistic and will thrive on your dog once the environment allows them to proliferate. Though opportunistic, a yeast condition itself is not contagious, which means your dog cannot spread it.
Allergies are the most common cause of yeast problems in dogs. Dogs that tend to have allergic reactions related to fleas, inhalants, food, and contact allergies are the most common forms of hypersensitivities that affect dogs. These hypersensitivities can cause the skin to produce increased amounts of oils, which create an environment for yeast to build-up. Because allergies are an easy ailment to resolve, a yeast issue caused by the allergy is easy to treat.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, certain breeds are believed to be genetically predisposed in developing yeast complications. Australian Terrier, Basset Hound, Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Lhasa Apso, Maltese Terrier, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Silky Terrier, and West Highland White Terrier breeds are listed as dogs that may develop yeast complications more commonly.
Symptoms of Yeast Issues in Dogs
According to WebMD, the outer ear of a dog stretches from the outside of the earlobe to the eardrum. Ear problems in the middle ear usually occurs in conjunction with an outer ear issue.
Once the middle ear is experiencing issues, it may spread to the inner ear. Inner ear problem will affect a dog’s judgment of balance and position. An inner ear issue can also lead to ear damage in your dog.
The most common symptoms of yeast conditions are:
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
- Itching and redness
- Crusted skin on the ear flap
- Scales and flaky skin
- Loss of balance
- Walking in circles
- Excessive licking
- Loss of hearing
- Unusual eye movements
- Loss of hair around the ear
- Thickened skin
The above symptoms can occur between the paw pads and digits, on the nasal folds, anal area, neck, ears, and armpits of your dog. A dog with a yeast complications may rub their ears on furniture or attempt to use household items as tools to dig into their ear.
A greasy coat and rancid skin may also hint at a yeast problem. Often times, when the yeast problem occurs in the ears, a yellowish-green moldy smelling discharge may also be produced. Although extremely rare, yeast issues in a dog’s mouth can cause irregular drooling, oral distress, and trouble eating.
Prevention of Dog Yeast Conditions
Owners should always check their dog’s paws, ears, nails, and skin regularly check for discharge, odor, irritation, and swelling. If you have a dog that enjoys swimming or playing in the water, gently dry the outer area of the ears thoroughly.
If your dog is hairy around its ear openings, get them trimmed regularly. Keeping the area around the ear clean and dry is key. Moist or dirty skin will allow yeast to grow uncontrollably. Bathing your dog on a regular basis will also help prevent yeast conditions.
We cannot preach the importance of Probiotics enough. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help improve the overall health of your dog. The stronger the immune system, the less likely it is that your dog gets a yeast infection.
Home Remedies for Dog Yeast Infections
Since yeast issues are fairly common in dogs, there are a number of home remedies to help fix the ailment. Owners should always use organic items on their dogs. Please speak with your veterinarian before adding anything to your dog’s diet.
Give Your Dog a Really Good Bath
One obvious yet important home remedy for yeast infections in dogs is simply giving your pet a good bath. Using a high-quality shampoo while bathing your pup is one of the best places a dog owner should start when treating yeast issues. After you’ve soaked your dog with water in the bath, make sure to put a good amount of shampoo on them while gently massaging it in. Generally, you want the shampoo to penetrate the yeast complicated skin, so follow the instructed time frame suggested when leaving the shampoo on your dog. You’ll also want to ensure you’re wearing rubber gloves so the yeast does not get on your skin!
Coconut oil is seen as a miracle product, and it’s easy to understand why. It can help with a number of issues, including yeast conditions. It is also completely safe for dogs. Coconut oil contains antibacterial properties that are proven to fight against yeast infections. Owners can mix coconut oil into their dog’s diet to promote good health, but it can also be applied directly to the area of the yeast issue if it is exterior. Do not pour coconut oil into your dog’s ear. A coconut oil rub can be repeated daily until you see results.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another product that holds high regard in the health community. It is incredible at fighting conditions of all kinds in humans and dogs. Owners can dilute apple cider vinegar in water (a 20/80 split works well) and apply it topically to the infected area of your dogs. Apple cider vinegar can also be added to food or water (although your dog won’t enjoy the taste) to combat any internal germs linked to the original yeast problem.
Dogs may despise the taste and smell of oregano oil, but it will help fight yeast issues. Owners should dilute oregano oil with olive oil and place the mixture in a capsule. The dilution depends on the size of your dog. For a big dog (50-70 lbs), dilute a half teaspoon oregano oil with half a teaspoon of olive oil. For a medium-sized dog (25-35 lbs), use 1 teaspoon of olive oil instead, and for a small dog use 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. One capsule a day for your dog should do the trick!
Kefir is also a popular home remedy for yeast issues in dogs. It is a combination of bacteria and yeast fermentation, much like yogurt. It is a Probiotic that is used heavily in Europe and Asia to help sustain regular bowel movements, treat various digestive issues, and boost the immune system. Kefir can be introduced into your dog’s diet and many pet stores sell it.
A yeast condition in dogs can be nasty, but a little work on your end should be able to clear things up. There are several helpful home remedies for yeast infections in dogs. Since yeast complications are a sign that the immune system is not doing its job properly, owners should always encourage good health for their dog. Adding Probiotics to your dog’s diet, regular cleaning and grooming, and constant exercise will boost your dog’s overall health.
As mentioned, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and oregano oil are the most popular home remedies for yeast issues in dogs. Still, there are other remedies for owners dealing with yeast issues in dogs. We understand that the health of your dog is of the utmost concern. Dogs are an important part of our families. If the above methods are not working to quell your dog’s yeast condition, please head to the veterinarian immediately. Your dog may have an condition of a different kind that is more severe. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding anything to your dog’s diet.