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Yeast infection in dogs: Symptoms & Treatment

A yeast infection in dogs is a very common ear and skin complaint.

A yeast infection in dogs is a very common diagnosis. Many dogs suffer from skin and ear issues, and yeasts are a frequent contributing factor to these. 

Symptoms of yeast infections in dogs

Yeast infections commonly occur in the ear canals of dogs, contributing to ear infections. Yeast problems can also be seen anywhere on the skin, but most commonly in warm moist skin folds, in-between toes, and around the nail beds.

If you are wondering how to identify a yeast infection in dogs, there are some characteristic symptoms to look out for. These include: 

  • Increased itchiness 
  • Inflamed, red or pink skin 
  • An increased odor to the skin or ear canals 
  • Discoloration of the nail beds or paws 
  • Greasy, scaly skin
  • Increased discharge and wax in the ears  

What causes yeast infections? 

Yeast infections usually occur secondary to other issues. Yeasts are found in low numbers on normal dogs in places like the ear canals and lip margins, usually causing no issues. 

But in a dog that has an underlying skin condition, these yeasts are given optimum conditions in which to multiply.

The types of underlying conditions that can predispose a dog to secondary yeast infections include: 

  • Skin allergies 
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Skin conditions like dermatitis
  • Hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism
  • Excessive skin folds (as seen in breeds like Shar Peis and English Bulldogs) 
  • Parasitism (infections with mites or fleas) 

How to care for a dog with a yeast infection 

If your dog is diagnosed with a yeast infection then your vet will advise you on treatment measures being either a holistic approach like Bella Maree Natural Animal Products or prescribed steroids or antibiotics. The exact type will depend on the location of the yeast infection. For ear infections, topical ear drops and ear cleaners could be advised. For skin infections, shampoos or washes are used. Perhaps even discussing the option to carry out a food trial if your dog is suspected to have a food allergy.

What food causes yeast infection in dogs? 

There is no specific food type that will definitely cause yeast infections in dogs. Some animals have underlying allergies to certain ingredients found in dog food though, leaving them more prone to a secondary skin infection. 

Everyday ingredients like chicken or beef could cause flare ups in some dogs, so a dietary trial may need to be performed to work out what your pet’s individual triggers are. Unless your dog has a proven allergy, his diet will not be causing his yeast infection. 


What to feed when a dog has a yeast infection

No one diet is right for all dogs with yeast infections. Avoiding ingredients that have been identified as allergic triggers (through a proper dietary trial) is important. Diets are also available for improving general skin and coat condition, which contain things like extra essential fatty acids -  this can be helpful in some cases of inflammatory skin disease. 

Preventing yeast infections in dogs 

Preventing yeast infections usually involves managing the underlying cause of your dog’s skin complaint effectively.

Skin allergies may require regular allergy medications. Allergy testing can also be performed to try and help work out the cause of your dog’s flare ups, with dietary trials being used to identify potential food triggers.

Dogs that have excess skin folds may need maintenance therapy to try to keep on top of moist areas. Medicated wipes can be useful for these animals.

Otherwise just keeping a close eye on your dog’s skin and ears is a good idea, so that you can get them checked out if you notice any problems.