As responsible pet owners, we take utmost care of our beloved dogs. But even with care, your dog can become sick. One common issue pet parents face is their dog rubbing their ears or tilting their heads.
If your dog is doing this, too, it might be a symptom of a fungal infection. But you don’t have to worry as it is quite manageable. We will help you, through this guide, to recognize signs of yeast infection, how to help your dog, and ways to prevent it.
What’s a Yeast Infections in Dogs?
Yeast is a spore-producing fungus that lives on the dog’s skin. The problem arises when this fungus is in an abnormally more quantity. It can affect many parts of the dog’s body, including; ears, skin, and paws. These yeasts multiply excessively in warm and moist environments. And can cause your dog to feel itchy, uncomfortable, and sad.
Breeds that can be affected by these issues include:
- Shih Tzu
- American Cocker Spaniels
- English Setters
- Australian Silky Terriers
- West Highland White Terriers
- Basset Hounds
- Boxers and
Although, this troublesome situation can be reversed by using the right products and taking proper care. Visit your vet and use the prescribed anti-fungal cream for your Shih Tzus or the best shampoo for Goldendoodles.
Nonetheless, the two common types of yeast infection are skin and ear. And today, we will also provide some practical tips to deal with the problem.
Understanding The Signs
The first step in helping your dog is learning the signs of an infection. Other than the red, itchy, and irritated skin and ears of a dog. You may feel a musty or sweaty smell coming from them. Even though your dog loves playing in the mud and exploring every nook and corner around the place.
A smelling dog without any reason could have an underlying issue. The symptoms of both ear and skin infections may vary. But we have written down some expected indications that may help you understand if your pet needs a vet’s attention.
For Skin Infections
Skin infections can be anywhere around the body of your dog. Whether a moist place to skin folds or the wrinkles of your Basset Hound. Other symptoms include;
- Itchy Skin: Does your dog scratch itself on the carpet or furniture? Do they lick or bite their skin a lot? They may be experiencing itching due to an infection.
- Redness and Rashes: Check your pet for redness or flaky skin. Inflamed or unusually bumpy skin can be a cause of infection.
- Greasy Coat: Does your dog look greasy? Or do they smell a lot now? Yeast infections cause their coats to become oily and hence the nasty odor. Dogs may also experience hair loss in the infected areas.
- Infected Paws: If your dog is biting their feet, get your “symptoms of yeast infection” list out! If the underside of the paws is red, swollen, and smelly, it’s time for a vet visit.
And, if the infection stays long-term, it may thicken the skin. The skin may also appear darker and rough.
Ear Yeast Infection
Every dog loves it when you rub their belly or even ears. But if your dog groans during an ear rub, you know there’s some problem.
- Scratching Ears: If your pup is scratching their ears or shaking their head, take this as a sign. You’d know if they rubbed their ears on the carpet as they always leave their signature scent behind.
- Odor: Just like skin infection, if your dog has an ear infection, it will have a musty stink.
- Ear Discharge: Your dog will have a copious amount of brown, yellow, or bloody wax discharge. For ease, try understanding that this discharge will resemble coffee grounds.
- Redness: The affected ear will have redness extending to the flap of the ear. It may also seem swollen or crusted.
- Hair: The hair around the ear may be glossy or matted, or hair loss may appear.
Other rare symptoms include; hearing loss, loss of balance, walking in circular movements, or abnormal eye movement.
Read Also: crusty white dog
Visit the Vet
In case of any of the above symptoms, it’s crucial to take it seriously. Take your furball immediately to the vet. They are trained professionals that can provide the diagnosis.
They might take some samples from ears or infected skin. But it’s normal, so they can run some tests to establish a confirmed diagnosis. They will then provide with a treatment plan and medications for relief. Remember that taking your pet to the vet as soon as suspecting any sign is better than waiting for the condition to worsen. The earlier the detection, the easier the treatment.
Follow the Treatment Plan
Once your vet confirms the issues with your dog, they will provide you with a treatment plan for recovery. Below you can find the standard treatment plans for skin and ear infections.
Dealing with Skin Yeast Infection
Skin yeast infection may ruin the quality of a pet’s life. They may experience mild to extreme discomfort and sadness. With these helpful infection management tips, you can bring your dog’s happiness back.
- Medicated Baths: Your vet may prescribe you shampoo to prevent yeast growth. This shampoo may or may not be specific to your dog’s breed. Nonetheless, apart from addressing the underlying problem causing infection, a medicated shampoo can help eliminate yeast growth. It also helps your dog smell nice.
- Drying Your Dog: We know moisture can cause or worsen yeast infection. Therefore, it is necessary to dry your doggo properly after every bath. Try to pay attention to the skin folds and creases on their skin.
- Topical Creams: For paws or skin, your vet may prescribe medicated lotion, wipes, or sprays for the infection. This cream will help ease the skin and soothes inflammation. Follow the instruction for proper cream application.
- Grooming: Grooming sessions can not only clean the skin and prevent bacterial build-up or reduce the risks of yeast infection. But it is also essential in detecting any unusual signs in their early stages. Don’t skip your dog’s regular grooming sessions.
- Diet Changes: Like humans, what you eat is what your dog is. If their diet lacks some essentials, your vet will adjust their diet plans to strengthen the immune system.
In some severe cases, a vet may also, what your dog eats can affect their skin health. Your vet might suggest changing their diet.
For Ear Infections
Redness and itching are the primary issues when it comes to ear infections. Leaving the state as is will lead to secondary and more grave problems, such as; loss of hearing.
- Ear Cleaning: You may have cleaned your dog’s ear at least once. But if you haven’t, head to this article to learn how to do it. For yeast infections, your vet will recommend some gentle ear-cleaning methods. It will help remove any debris or excess yeast from the ears. Also, avoid using a cotton swab as it will further push the yeast inside the ear canal.
- Medication: Anti-yeast medication for ear infections is usually in the form of ear drops. If the outer skin of the ear is infected, your vet will suggest a topical ointment for relief. These medications are usually given once or twice daily after cleaning the ears.
- Keep The Ears Dry: Like skin, moist ears promote yeast growth. Ensure your pet’s ears are dry after every bath and swimming routine. Use a clean towel and clean gently.
- Oral Treatment: This is the same as a skin infection. If the yeast infection is severe to treat, your vet will prescribe oral anti-yeast medicines containing Ketoconazole.
Lastly, never stop the medication by yourself. Even if your dog seems fine, complete the treatment and visit the vet for follow-up. Yeast infection may be present deep inside the dog’s ears, and stopping too soon will cause another yeast infection. After the infection clears up, we suggest continuing grooming and regular check-ups to observe any signs of recurrence.
Prevent Future Infections
No one likes a disease or a condition to reoccur. And the same goes for dogs. To prevent this problematic yeast infection from reappearing, include these safety measures in their daily routine.
- Use anti-yeast shampoo for baths. Although, this shampoo needs to sit on the dog’s skin for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.
- Keep an eye on their skin and ear. Don’t let them stay moist for long.
- Take your dog for their scheduled yearly examinations and blood work. Your vet will find out about their hormonal problems and allergies. This allergy or hormone could weaken the immune system and promote yeast infection.
- If your dog has food allergies, talk with your vet to prescribe something with an alternative ingredient or a hypoallergenic diet.
Prevention is much better than dealing with an annoying infection. And even the basic things, such as; grooming, regular bath, and frequent ear cleaning, can ensure your dog live a healthy and happy life.
Remember that owning a dog is much more than cuddles and fetch. It is about taking responsibility for their lives. Hence, you are responsible for providing them with the lives they need. And it also includes looking after them when they are sick.
Not to mention that every dog is unique. Therefore, we recommend consulting your vet for any problems rather than trying something health hazardous at home. They know everything about your dog, their allergies, and past medical history. They can form an effective treatment plan specific to your dog.
Dealing with ear and skin infections is not easy, not for the pet parent and neither for the dog. Pets require patience, commitment, and care to live a comfortable and happy life together. But trust us when we say; that the love and care you give to your pets will be returned with a wagging tail and lots of cuddles!
Read Also: dogs with urinary health issues