Symptoms of Candida Yeast Infection in Dogs

Candida yeast infection in dogs, also known as candidiasis, is a treatable medical condition. However, candida yeast infections can be dangerous if they are allowed to progress and spread throughout the body. To prevent this from happening, dog owners must be aware of how to identify the symptoms of candida yeast infections when they present.

Overview of Candida Yeast Infections

Candida is the genus of the fungi that causes candida yeast infections in dogs. Although there are more than 20 species of the candida genus in existence, it is typically the Candida albicans organism that causes this type of yeast infections in dogs. Candida is actually a bacterium which normally lives in the digestive tract of dogs. Under normal conditions, the healthy bacteria living in the dog’s body is able to offset the effects of the candida bacterium. However, if not enough healthy bacteria is present, the candida fungi can take over. It then multiplies quickly and produces toxic chemicals that kill off healthy bacteria. Without the existence of healthy bacteria, the entirety of the dog’s body is susceptible to the effects of the candida organism.

Effects, Signs and Symptoms of Candida in Dogs

While Candida yeast infections in dogs are highly treatable, the condition must be detected early on before it seriously affects the dog’s normal functions. If the Candida organism grows and progresses, it will eventually take over every facet of the dog’s body. Here are some of the effects of severe candida yeast infections:

  • Impaired brain function
  • Inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain
  • Compromised immune system
  • Toxicity in the blood
  • Inflammation of the membrane that protects the heart

Candida yeast can also affect the ability of the intestinal wall to properly absorb life-sustaining nutrients. When this happens, the byproducts of these nutrients will leak through the intestinal wall and pass into the bloodstream, which becomes toxic to the dog.

However, candida yeast infections in dogs can be detected early enough to prevent the infection from reaching such a severe level. Because most of the symptoms are similar in nature to allergies or an allergic reaction, dog owners should be suspicious when they notice these symptoms. The early symptoms of candida yeast infections in dogs include:

  • Excessive itching, biting and licking
  • Rashes of the skin, red in appearance
  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath

As the candida fungi reproduce, the symptoms may present as, what would appear to be, an isolated condition:

  • Infections of the ear, bladder and urinary tract
  • Sudden allergic reactions to food
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Excessive fatigue, sleeping more than usual
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Pain while walking (joints)

Misdiagnosis of candida yeast infections in dogs is overly common. Because of how the symptoms present, it is so easy to diagnose an ear infection or a urinary tract infection, without even considering the possibility of candida yeast. When these types of infections are recurrent, it is important that the possibility of a candida yeast infection be considered.