Is a Dog Yeast Infection Contagious?

Many dog owners are asking the question whether the yeast infection is contagious. If you have a pet that has a yeast infection or is suspected to have such an infection, you need to know if you need to protect yourself, your family or the other pets in your household.

The Yeast Infection Is Not Contagious to Other Pets

The yeast cells cause a yeast infection when they overgrow. A low amount of yeast cells is normally found on the dog’s skin or in the stomach and intestinal tract. When the normal pH of the skin is disturbed (by antibiotic administration or an underlying disease, for instance), the dog is very likely to develop a yeast infection. The yeast cells will overgrow. However, these yeast cells cannot be transmitted to other pets, even if the pets have direct contact with the infected dog’s skin. It should be noted that the yeast infection often opens the door for secondary bacterial and fungal infections, which are contagious.

So, if you have several pets and you suspect that one has a yeast infection, get treatment as soon as possible to prevent the occurrence of a secondary infection that could be contagious. You may also keep the pet with the yeast infection in a separate room, to isolate him from the other pets, just in case he may be affected by a secondary infection that is contagious. You’ll know if he has a secondary infection once you get a clear diagnosis.

The Yeast Infection Is Not Contagious to Humans

Humans have also yeast cells on the skin and intestinal tract, but the canine yeast infection is not contagious to humans. If your dog is affected by a yeast infection, you cannot be infected if you groom him or simply touch him.

However, you should be cautious, as your dog may be affected by a secondary infection such as the ringworm, a fungal infection that will be contagious to humans. For this reasons, you should wear rubber gloves when handling your pet.

It is also important to get a clear diagnosis. The yeast infection can cause symptoms that are similar in many other skin infections that are contagious. The dog will scratch and have flaky skin with a bad odor.

Treating Yeast Infection

Even if the yeast infection is not contagious to humans or other pets, you will need to treat your dog as soon as you get a clear diagnosis. The yeast infection can be a source of a lot of discomfort and the dog can scratch to the point of causing open wounds.

Get oral medication, topical creams or shampoos that contain antifungal agents, which will kill the yeast cells and establish a normal skin pH.

The treatment should be maintained for several weeks, as reestablishing a normal skin pH is difficult and may take up to 2 months. Any secondary infections must be treated as well.