Symptoms of Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Yeast allergies in dogs have a variety of symptoms and may require some detective work on the part of you and your veterinarian to determine their cause. Canine yeast allergies develop early in a dog's life, and have the potential to pose problems throughout his life.

Canine yeast allergies can present a variety of symptoms that may affect a dog's ears, his skin, his digestive system or his urinary and reproductive systems. In severe cases, lethargy or seizures may also indicate a yeast allergy. Your veterinarian may diagnose the problem by eliminating other possible causes as symptoms present themselves, or the symptoms may point quickly to a yeast allergy.

Skin Problems

One of the most common problems affecting allergic dogs are skin problems, such as rashes or body odor. Yeast-allergic dogs may also scratch frequently, shed more heavily or chew constantly on their legs and feet. All the scratching and chewing can lead to secondary skin infections. Dogs with yeast allergies may also have chronic ear infections that cause them to shake their heads frequently or scratch at their ears.

Digestive Problems

Another indication of a yeast allergy in your dog may be digestive problems. Some yeast-allergic dogs can develop a condition called irritable bowel syndrome, where symptoms include intestinal spasms, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, flatulence and frequent elimination.

Other dogs with a yeast allergy may develop a different condition called leaky gut syndrome. In these cases, large quantities of yeast grow in the dog's intestines. Some yeast penetrates the dog's intestinal wall, which creates holes that make it possible for the gut contents to leak into the dog's abdomen. Dogs with leaky gut syndrome may also be prone to developing joint problems or autoimmune conditions.

Urinary or Reproductive Problems

Still another indication of a yeast allergy can show up in either your dog's urinary tract or his reproductive system. Some dogs develop chronic urinary tract infections, while others have genital discharge. While these symptoms can indicate a yeast allergy, they also can indicate other problems, all of which require veterinary attention to cure completely.

Yeast Allergy Diagnosis

To determine the cause of your dog's allergic reaction, your veterinarian will probably recommend the use of an exclusion diet for about 12 weeks. This special diet will contain sources of protein and carbohydrate that are completely new to your dog. In addition to diagnosing a yeast allergy, the exclusion diet helps eliminate other potential causes for your dog's allergy symptoms.

Treatment for Yeast Allergies

The best course of treatment for your dog's yeast allergy is avoiding yeast. This may be easier said than done because many brands of dog food are made with ingredients that could trigger a yeast allergy attack in your pet.

One step that you can take is to feed your dog what's considered an anti-yeast diet. This diet is made up of:

  • Mmeats such as beef, fish, poultry or rabbit
  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or kale
  • Cucurbits such as cucumbers or squash
  • Eggplant
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Plain yogurt

The anti-yeast diet lacks dairy products other than plain yogurt, grains, meat byproducts, potatoes, processed meats or sugars.