Yeast infection and thrush on a dog’s body are conditions attributed to a profusion of yeast on the skin, the digestive system, or the mucous membranes. The yeast organisms know to be the cause are Malassezia or Candida. The two conditions are often misdiagnosed, especially during their early stages, and this is because of how they appear like other issues, such as allergies.
While yeast infection might not be fatal, it could lead to other complications when not treated. When you notice your dog showing symptoms similar to allergies that do not go away after treatment, or if you see an unpleasant smell, you should take your pet to the veterinarian to confirm whether it is a yeast infection or not.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs
The symptoms tend to vary depending on the location of the yeast infection or thrush. However, conditions tend to manifest in dogs as an allergic reaction. Nevertheless, below are the clinical signs to watch out for:
- Itchiness and scratching
- Discharge from the ears
- Foot chewing
- Strange odor
Other notable symptoms that might crop up and are worth noting include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Types of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs
Typically, yeast will be found in the canine’s digestive tract, not the skin. For instance, Candida is found in the mucous membranes inside the animal’s digestive system. Conversely, Malassezia is what’s often found on the skin.
The two types of bacteria pose no significant health concerns if the dog’s body’s supportive systems stay balanced. Given a chance, the bacteria can proliferate and trigger diseases and infections.
What are the Causes of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs?
Candida is the common cause of yeast infections in dogs. It is a kind of yeast that flourishes if there is sugar and is present in the animal’s digestive system. Body system imbalance in the dog can trigger the spread of Candida.
Malassezia also has the same opportunistic character as Candida. It can grow and spread rapidly, given the ideal conditions. For instance, if the dog’s skin is irritated and the animal has a failing immune system, this creates a chance for Malassezia to thrive.
Diagnosis of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs
Take your pet to the vet if you notice it irritated and scratching persistently, or showing other signs. The vet will assess the dog, conducting a physical exam to help identify the cause of the animal’s afflictions and determine the best treatment.
The checkup will help determine if you are dealing with allergies and identify the type of infection the dog has. You should give the veterinarian your pet’s medical and health history as well as the different things you observed about the symptoms.
The diagnosis will involve an examination of the organism under a microscope, with the sample used taken from the dog’s urine, stool, and skin.
Treatment of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs
The veterinarian will recommend treatment based on the type and extent of the infection. The vet might prescribe different medications, including antifungal meds and antibiotics that can be taken topically or orally.
The topical option could include medicated creams and ointments as well as anti-yeast shampoo that will treat the yeast infection on the dog’s skin. The oral medication can be ketoconazole or fluconazole, which will help limit the yeast infection in the canine’s digestive tract.
Often, the most effective treatment is one that is a combination of both topical and oral medications.
To prevent a recurrence of yeast infection or thrush, you should have any of the underlying conditions treated before and during treatment of the condition. Keep in mind that it is normal for the dog to have yeast in its body system. However, the infections happen when the body has weak immune systems, allowing a rapid population of the bacteria in its digestive tract. Also, note that treatment will vary depending on the nature of the infection.
Recovery from Yeast Infection and Thrush
You can prevent or manage the yeast infection or thrush by ensuring your dog stays fit and healthy. Give it nutritionally balanced food, allow it to exercise so that it maintains its stamina, and ensure it stays dry after getting wet.
Yeast thrives on sugar, therefore, cutting back on the sugar-rich dog treats and carbs in your pet’s diet will be useful in mitigating yeast’s growth. Choosing a better dog food for your dog may be an option – check out the best dog food for yeast infections. Ask the vet about suitable dietary changes that could help speed up the recovery process.
Follow the veterinarian’s instructions when administering the meds. Make sure the dog does not scratch, bite, or chew on itself to prevent the infection from spreading into the scratches and cuts.
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