Recurring Yeast Infections in Dogs

Recurring yeast infections in dogs are common, due to the fact that the yeast cells can overgrow easily. The yeast cells are present in the dog’s body, but they are in a harmonious percentage with the other good bacteria. When the yeast cells are in a higher number than usual, the good bacteria are destroyed, allowing the yeast cells to take over. Repopulating the dog’s body with good bacteria can be particularly difficult. In some cases, the recurring yeast infections are caused by an underlying condition in the pet.

Yeast Infections in Dogs

The yeast infections in dogs may be present in the dog’s stomach or intestinal tract, in the mouth, on the skin, between the toes or in the ears.

The yeast cells that are present in the dog’s body may overgrow and this can happen especially in areas that are dark and moist.

Causes of Recurring Yeast Infections in Dogs

The recurring yeast infections in dogs may be due to the fact that the yeast cells are very difficult to get rid of.

However, the recurring yeast infections may also be due to:

  • A long cure of antibiotics after a yeast infection; the antibiotics kill the good bacteria and the yeast cells can easily overgrow
  • An underlying disease that weakens the immune system
  • A diet that contains an excessive amount of carbohydrates, which facilitates the growth of the yeast cells
  • Hormonal problems
  • Drugs (i.e. heartworm drugs)

Also, if the dog is under a lot of stress, which may be due to the initial yeast infection or the lengthy treatment of the infection, the stress may facilitate the overgrowth of yeast cells in the body.

Symptoms of Yeast Infections

A dog with recurring yeast infections will present symptoms such as:

  • Permanent scratching and licking of the areas that are affected, with bleeding and deep wounds
  • Hair loss in patches
  • Red, scaly skin
  • The skin can also thicken
  • Lethargy
  • Stress

Treatment for Recurrent Yeast Infections

A skin scraping test can diagnose whether the dog has a yeast skin infection. If this is a recurrent infection, the treatment will be different, as the vet will focus on remedies that are less likely to cause side effects (i.e. natural remedies) and which will reduce the number of the yeast cells to a normal value.

It is highly important to keep the treated areas dry.

The treatment of recurring yeast infections may be made up of:

  • Fungicide powders that kill the yeast cells
  • Sulfur based bathing products
  • Apple cider vinegar, which is a natural remedy, but may not be used if there are open wounds on the dog’s skin, as it will cause severe pain

The vet may also prescribe a series of topical solutions that will reduce the itchiness.

Oral antibiotics should be avoided.

If the dog has an underlying condition, this should be treated in conjunction with the yeast infection.