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Yeast Dermatitis in Dogs

We see a lot of dogs suffering from irritated, itchy, or flakey skin. In many cases, these uncomfortable symptoms are the result of yeast dermatitis in dogs, a condition caused by the abnormal overgrowth of yeast which is found normally on your pup's skin. Today, Animal Medical Center looks at the signs, causes, and treatments for yeast infections in dogs.

Yeast Infections Seen in Dogs

Dogs can develop yeast infections on their skin when there is an abnormal overproduction of the yeast normally found on your pet's skin.

Yeast infections usually occur in a dog's ears, between their paw pads, or in their skin folds. This condition can make the affected area of your dog's skin itchy, red, and irritated. Yeast infections in a dog's ear can also lead to deafness if the condition goes too long.

What does yeast dermatitis look like on a dog?

There are a handful of symptoms that could mean your dog has yeast dermatitis, including:

  • Skin redness
  • Itching
  • Appearance of darkly pigmented skin
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Sores on the skin
  • Musty odor
  • Change in skin texture (elephant skin)
  • Hair loss
  • Head tilting and shaking (ear yeast infection)
  • Hearing loss (ear yeast infection)

Typically, the first symptom is an odor, redness and swelling of the infected area. But it can progress to other symptoms, including warmth and pain. If you notice your dog displaying symptoms of a yeast infection, call your vet for an appointment.

What causes yeast dermatitis in dogs?

Yeast and other bacteria and fungi occur naturally on your dog's skin. Under normal circumstances, they don't cause any issues. But if something causes your dog's immune system to become less effective, yeast infections can result. Some common causes of yeast dermatitis and ear infections in dogs include:

  • An underactive or overreactive immune system
  • Allergens (smoke, mold, dust, dander, cleaning products, etc.)
  • Foods high in sugar and carbs
  • Heat and humidity
  • Poor hygiene
  • Trapped moisture in skin folds, ears, or paw pads
  • Frequent bathing (ear yeast infections)
  • Swimming (ear yeast infections)
  • Trapped object in the ear, ear wax, or discharge (ear yeast infections)
  • Certain ear drops (ear yeast infection)

What is the best treatment for my dog's yeast infection?

If you believe your dog has yeast dermatitis or a yeast ear infection the first thing you should do is call your vet, the sooner their condition is addressed the faster your pooch will recover. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose your pup's infection by culturing or with cytology, they might also take skin and hair samples from around the infected area for additional testing.

When your dog is diagnosed with a yeast infection your vet will prescribe an antifungal medication which may include an ointment to apply to the infected area or a medicated shampoo to relieve symptoms. If your dog's infection is more serious your vet may prescribe oral tables such as ketoconazole, fluconazole, or terbinafine.

If your dog has a yeast infection in its ear that caused deafness your pup might require total ear canal ablation surgery.

Can I use home remedies to prevent my dog from developing yeast dermatitis or yeast ear infections?

Though yeast infections should be tended to by a vet, there are a few ways you can help to prevent your dog from developing yeast infections, such as:

  • Completely drying your pup after a bath or playing in the water
  • Cleaning your dog's ears of dirt regularly with a clean cloth or cotton ball
  • Feed your pooch a healthy diet full of protein and other nutrients
  • Brush your dog often as part of their regular hygiene routine to clear away dead skin and dirt

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is being tormented by an uncomfortable skin problem, contact our Murfreesboro veterinary team today to book an examination for them.

New Patients Always Welcome

Animal Medical Center is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Murfreesboro companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

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