Candida Infection in Dogs

The candida canine infection is also known as the yeast infection and may affect dogs of all ages and breeds. The fungal infection can be present in the pet’s mouth, affect the ears, skin, paws or genital area of the dog. Treatment options are available, but the infection may take longer to heal.

Causes of Candida Infection in Dogs

The candida infection is caused by the yeast cell known as the Candida albicans. This cell is present in the dog’s digestive tract, mouth, skin rectum or vagina of the dog, but may overgrow due to various factors such as:

  • Drug administration (i.e. antibiotics or corticosteroids)
  • Use of anti flea products that irritate the skin
  • Allergies that affect the skin, making it more susceptible to secondary infections
  • Diet that is rich in carbohydrates and poor in proteins (i.e. grain based diets)
  • Other primary infections
  • Medical conditions (i.e. hypothyroidism)
  • An excessive administration of vaccines, which suppress the immune system
  • Anxiety and stress

Symptoms of Yeast Infection

A yeast infection caused by Candida albicans may affect various areas of the dog’s body:

  • Ears
  • Mouth
  • Skin
  • Genital area

Regardless of the location of the infection, the dog will have several symptoms such as:

  • Itchiness, resulting in permanent scratching and biting of the affected area
  • Dermatitis
  • Hair loss
  • Dryness of skin, flakiness
  • Bad odor coming from the affected areas
  • Red eyes
  • Ocular or nasal discharges
  • Excessive wax production
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Discharges from the genital area
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Frequent urination
  • Bad breath

Diagnosing Candida Infection

The numerous symptoms that may be present if the dog is affected by the candida infection may point to several other diseases, so a proper diagnosis is necessary. Often, dogs are misdiagnosed by their owners.

The vet can run some tests to diagnose the problem. If present, the eye or ear discharge will be analyzed. A skin scraping test may also help in the diagnosis of the yeast infection.

Many times, the infection can be a secondary problem to an underlying disease which will also have to be diagnosed.

Treatment for Candida Infection

The candida infection can be cleared with antibiotics and topical treatment. Most of the times, both these treatments will be applied at the same time, as the infection needs an aggressive treatment to be cleared.

Depending on the location of then infection, the vet will recommend certain topical treatments which can include:

  • Rinses with oatmeal or apple cider vinegar
  • Topical ointments that may contain fungicides
  • Hydrocortisone cream, which will relive the itchiness
  • Eye drops
  • Ear drops

The symptoms can disappear even if the infection is not cleared, so it is essential to continue the treatment until indicated by the vet.

The time needed for the treatment may depend according to the location and severity of the infection.