Canine Yeast Infection Diagnosis

A canine yeast infection is caused by candida albicans, a fungus that is present in healthy dogs in a balanced combination with beneficial bacteria; when there is a PH imbalance, the candida albicans causes a yeast infection.

Diagnosing the infection is not easy, due to the symptoms that are similar to food allergies. However, a vet can determine the real cause of your pet's discomfort.

Canine Yeast Infection Signs

A dog with a weak immune system will be more susceptible to infections with candida albicans. A dog that has been taking antibiotics or a corticosteroids cure is also prone to yeast infections.

Some breeds of dogs such as the white terrier, the poodle and the Basset hound develop this infection more easily.

The common signs of a yeast infection are itchiness in the affected area, licking the area, redness, irritation, fatigue and irritability.

In more severe cases, you may notice a white, bad scented secretion, coming from the ears, eyes or nose. Lesions may also appear on the body due to excessive scratching. The skin will look greasy and will have a bad scent also.

If the infection is located in the mouth, the dog's tongue will be white. If the ears are infected, your dog will shake his head and scratch them. He might cause wounds and bleeding.

In rare cases, coughing and sensitivity to light and noise are also symptoms.

Diagnosing the Yeast Infection

Noticing some of the symptoms of yeast infection should be enough reason for you to visit the vet. If you suspect your dog might have a yeast infection, your vet can confirm it by running some conclusive tests. The tests may vary according to the location of the infection. The candida albicans fungi thrive in damp and dark places. The ear canal, the mouth, the rectum, the genital area, the paws or behind the limbs are all locations that are preferred by fungi.

Impression Smear

An impression smear can easily point out the existence of excess candida albicans fungi in your dog. The vet will use a cotton swab for the impression smear. He will take a smear from the infected area and put it under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Scotch Tape Sampling

Scotch tape sampling is an easy, less painful procedure that may provide you with a sample of your dog's secretion. You may do this sampling at home. Use surgical gloves to ensure that you won't get impurities on the sample. Press a bit of clean, transparent tape to the skin in the infected area and collect a sample. Lift the tape, take an additional tape and press it against the collected sample tape. Make sure that the edges of the two pieces of tape match. Alternatively, you may take a longer piece of tape and after collecting the yeast organisms, press the two tape ends together. Place the sample in a recipient or cover with gauze until presenting it to the vet. The vet will determine if there is a yeast infection.

Other methods to diagnose a yeast infection are skin scraping or skin biopsy.

A yeast infection is difficult to fight, but is a treatable condition. Baths with special shampoos and drops of apple vinegar are needed to drive away the surplus of the fungi. Anti-fungal medication will be administered. The affected areas should be kept clean and dry, because fungi don't live long in dry places that have been treated with acid solutions.