Infections are not fun.
Especially when they concern your pet.
Unfortunately, yeast infections are particularly common in dogs. They can cause a lot of discomfort and lead to more serious issues if not taken care of as soon as possible.
In this article, we’re going to go over the causes, dangers, symptoms and treatment options for ear and skin yeast infections in dogs. By the end, you will know how to identify and treat a yeast infection in your dog.
What Causes Yeast Infections in Dogs?
Pet yeast infections tend to go by the names yeast dermatitis or Malassezia, as the infection usually relates to the skin and is caused by the Malassezia pachydermatis fungus.
It’s perfectly normal for Malassezia to live on your dog’s skin and ears. Problems occur when the yeast overpopulates and potentially breaks through the skin and infects the internal organs, or when it leads to more serious secondary conditions.
Dog yeast infections can be caused for a number of reasons:
- Immune system suppression from a drug or illness
- Increased oils produced on the skin
- Hot/humid environments
- Flea, food, and airborne allergies
- Hormonal disorders
The specific causes of this infection are unknown, but certain dog species are at an increased risk due to their genetic makeup, such as the:
- West Highland white terrier
- Basset hound
- Cocker spaniel
- Silky terrier
- Australian terrier
- Maltese terrier
- Shetland sheepdog
- Lhasa apso
Source: VCA Animal Hospital
The Dangers of Yeast Infections
When yeast dermatitis overpopulates, it can sometimes make its way to the internal organs.
There, it can potentially infect the liver, lungs, spleen, brain, bones, and other parts of your dog’s internal makeup. At this point, the common infection has become a serious condition that needs immediate treatment.
Is It Contagious?
Is a dog yeast infection contagious?
The answer is no, dog yeast infections are not contagious. Your dog cannot get it from or give it to other pets, and your dog cannot give it to or contract it from humans.
What if there is direct contact?
Even if there is direct contact with the infected area, the yeast infection cannot be contracted if that individual doesn’t have it.
Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Dogs
Since yeast dermatitis so common in dogs, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms, even if you don’t think your pup has an infection right now.
Look out for these potential symptoms on a regular basis:
- Itchy or irritated skin
- Foul-smelling skin
- Skin sores
- Skin inflammation near the ears, paws, neck, armpits, anal area, and/or nasal area
- Yellow-green smelly discharge from the ears
- Scaly or flaky skin
- Hair loss
- A sticky substance discharge
- Greasy coat
- Any alteration in the appearance of the skin (pink, red, gray, or black)
- Head shaking to relieve discomfort in the ears
- Excessive drooling if the infection occurs in the mouth
How to Treat a Dog’s Ear Yeast Infection
Treatment for yeast dermatitis depends on the severity of the infection itself.
Less severe ear yeast infections in dogs can be treated with a topical ear cleaner or medication. Veterinarians may prescribe oral medication in additional to topical treatment for more severe ear yeast infections.
In severe cases, dogs with yeast infection may also have a bacterial infection. Oral medication is used to treat this as well. However, the treatment time is usually a period of months.
Best Products to Treat Dog Ear Yeast Infections:
Zymox Otic (Hydrocortisone Free) – Zymox Otic is one of the top products for treating yeast infections.
Zymox Enzymatic Ear Solution (with Hydrocortisone) – A highly effective solution for treating bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections.
How to Treat a Dog’s Skin Yeast Infection
Deep and generalized skin yeast infections in dogs are usually treated with oral antifungal medication. Less severe infections can be treated with a topical ointment or antifungal shampoo.
Medicated shampoos are highly recommended for treating yeast infections, as they can cover the area you know is infected along with any infected areas of the skin you may not know about.
(Make sure the shampoo is in contact with the skin for at least ten minutes.)
Best Products to Treat Dog Skin Yeast Infections:
Douxo Shampoo – Medicated shampoo with moisturizing ingredients that fights fungal infections.
Mal-A-Ket Shampoo – Medicated pet shampoo with antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Mal-A-Ket Wipes – Easy-to-use antifungal wipes for cleaning your dog’s skin and in between folds (where yeast infections are more likely to occur).
Zymox Topical Cream (with Hydrocortisone) – Excellent topical cream for spot treatment of skin infections.
Can The Infection Come Back?
Yes, unfortunately, yeast infections can recur.
You can help prevent their occurrence by washing your dog regularly and using medicated shampoo every once in a while. Then make sure to watch out for the signs and symptoms to treat it before it gets serious.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully this article has given you everything you need to identify and treat your dog’s yeast infection.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!