There are some of us who are fortunate that
we never have to deal with yeast infections with our pets, however there are
pets that have occasionally suffered from a yeast infection to pets having
reoccurring infections and pets in which it seems that it never goes away.
Yeast is a natural single cell organism
which is found on the surface of your dog’s body. Yeast also lives on the
mucous membranes of the digestive tract.
From what I understand, there are multiple
types or families of yeast infections. Candida albicans would be one that
normally inhabits the body and intestinal tract of your dog. The job of candida
is to recognize and destroy harmful bacteria. In a healthy body, candida is
controlled by a properly-functioning
immune system and "friendly" bacteria. When your dog's immune system is
healthy, his body is able to destroy the yeasts and keep them under control.
However, if the immune system is weakened, the number of friendly bacteria
decreases, and candida albicans will shift from yeast form (a non-invasive,
sugar-fermenting organism) to fungal form (invasive, mucosa damaging) - the
yeast infection starts. An overgrowth of yeast toxins will affect your
pet's immune system, nervous system, and their endocrine system. Since these
systems are all inter-connected, yeast toxins play a major role in causing
allergies, bladder infections, skin disorders and many other health problems.
Another type of yeast, Malasezzia
pachydermatis or malasezzia (mal--s-z-)
for short is usually found in the skin and ears. In the dog’s ears, it is
considered a secondary pathogen, but in the skin it is now recognized as a
primary one, although there is usually a predisposing cause that changes it from
an innocent bystander into an itchy, relentless problem.
Many times, dogs that are suffering from malasezzia will have skin lesions or
sores. These lesions can be only one or two or localized in patches, or in some
cases all over the body. These sores are usually red and are accompanied by
areas of increased pigmentation, hair loss, and scaliness or greasiness. This
scaliness and greasiness with a yellowish tint is usually indicative that
malasezzia is the culprit. The dogs are also usually very itchy and have a musty
type odor. The most common sites for these sores are the underside of the neck,
the belly, and the feet, especially between the toes.
So what causes these imbalances of yeast?
- Antibiotics or
bathing of your dog
- Immune System
So how do you treat a yeast infection?
Depending on the severity and the type of yeast infection will depend on
treatment. There are strong opinions on how to cure depending on if you go with
the traditional vet recommendations or if you take a more holistic approach.
Next week, we’ll go into the different types of treatments you can look into for
If you have any feedback or would like to
share your stories about your pet, please e-mail me at
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