Dog Yeast Infections
Often confused with skin allergies, yeast infections are caused by an abnormal abundance of the yeast Malassezia pachydermatis. While Malassezia pachydermatis is present on most dogs’ skin, it does not always cause an infection. When it does cause an infection, Malassezia pachydermatis usually infects dogs’ ears, rectums, anuses, and vaginas, but might spread to the entire body. While any dog might get a yeast infection, they are more common in German shepherds, cocker spaniels, terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, pugs, bull dogs, and poodles. Dogs with compromised immune systems or conditions that irritate the skin are more likely to contract a yeast infection.
Dog Yeast Infection Symptoms
Dogs are more likely to contract yeast infections in warm, humid environments, but infections that begin in the summer may last for several months. Symptoms of yeast infections might include:
- Intense scratching of skin, or rubbing of muzzle
- Scaly skin
- Shaking head
- Scratching ears
- Thickening skin
- Unusual smell (sometimes described as a greasy smell)
- Excessive paw licking
- Skin redness
- Hair loss
- Hyperpigmentation (skin turning black)
Dog Yeast Infection Treatment
The treatment for your dog’s yeast infection will depend on what caused the infection, and where the infection is located.
To treat a general infection of the skin, your vet may suggest a shampoo with a high concentration of chlorhexidine, or sulfur and benzoyl peroxide. These shampoos make the skin less hospitable to the yeast.
For an infection of a smaller area, you can apply miconazole spray, which, for many dogs, will work over time. If your dog does not respond to the topical cream, you may have to resort to oral antifungal medications, which, again, will take weeks to work. The oral drugs used to treat yeast infections are expensive, and have been known to have dangerous side effects, so should not be used if another treatment will work.
Yeast infections in your dog’s ear may require a regimen of cleaning followed by topical medication. Special ear cleaners will alter your dog’s ear’s pH to discourage yeast reproduction.
Of course, it is necessary to treat any underlying cause of the infection to prevent recurrence.
About National Pet Pharmacy
Whatever the cause of your dog’s yeast infection, the National Pet Pharmacy has what you need to treat it. From ear cleaners (NaturVet Ear Wash with Tea Tree Oil or DVM Pharmaceuticals OtiCalm Ear Solution) to shampoos (Ketochlor or DVM Pharmaceuticals Malaseb Therapeutic Shampoo ), to our array of FDA/EPA approved medications (Panalog Ointment, Ketoconazole Tablets), we will help you manage not only the infection, but also the underlying cause. Our goal is to keep your dog healthy and happy.
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