Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Coughing / Flatulence / Licking / Noisy Breathing / Shaking / Vomiting

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Rated as moderate conditon

5 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Coughing / Flatulence / Licking / Noisy Breathing / Shaking / Vomiting

Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Brewers Yeast Allergies?

When dogs develop food allergies, they can experience uncomfortable, itchy skin as well as chronic conditions such as breathing difficulties, ear infections, and gas. An allergy is the immune system of the body responding to a perceived threat, in this case, brewer’s yeast. In order to definitively diagnose allergy and determine which allergen is causing your pet’s affliction, an elimination diet will be implemented. This can be a time-consuming process, but is necessary in order to deduce which particular ingredient is causing the reaction.

An allergy to brewer's yeast is an over-reaction of your dog's immune system to an unwelcome amino acid found in the brewer's yeast itself.

Symptoms of Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Canine food allergies can develop at any age, but the majority of dogs who acquire food allergies are three years old or older. Skin reactions are often located on or around the face, groin, under the front legs, or between the toes.

  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronically inflamed feet
  • Coughing 
  • Diarrhea
  • Face rubbing
  • Head shaking
  • Hives
  • Obsessive licking
  • Paw biting
  • Poor growth in young dogs 
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Types

Food allergy

- An allergy to food is a response by the white blood cells in the body’s immune system to protect itself against a protein that it views as a threat. An allergic reaction doesn’t happen upon initial exposure to an allergen as it takes multiple exposures to alert the immune system. Some foods, such as beef, chicken, dairy, and eggs are prone to cause allergies in dogs, although any food can become an allergen. 

Food intolerance

-  Food intolerance has no immune involvement. It can have several core triggers, including missing enzymes in the animal’s system, toxins, and a natural occurrence of histamine present in the food itself, usually due to improper storage. Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting and abdominal pain are more common with food intolerance than with allergies alone. Additional symptoms, such as gurgling sounds from the digestive system and a change in the consistency or color of the stools are common with instances of food intolerance.

Causes of Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Allergies are an abnormally intense defensive response by the white blood cells of the immune system to an amino acid that the immune system considers to be an invasive substance. An amino acid is the product of digestion, food, broken down to its smallest parts. Around 60-70% of our immune system cells are estimated to reside in the digestive system where white blood cells called enterocytes absorb the amino acids and transport them to the bloodstream. When proteins are not properly broken down during digestion, the enterocytes see them as intruders and attack. The response of the immune cells become more aggressive over time, and the symptoms intensify. 

Brewer’s yeast has been used as a supplement for dogs for many reasons, including:

  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Calming agent
  • Coat health
  • Insect repellent
  • Skin health

Diagnosis of Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Allergic reactions are usually first apparent on the skin, and the symptoms that your dog will exhibit due to an allergic reaction will generally prompt your veterinarian to collect a skin sample from any affected areas to be used for a process called cutaneous cytology, which is a microscopic examination of the cells of the skin to uncover problems like external yeast infections, mites, or even signs of disease. When these types of disorders have been eliminated, a food allergy may be suspected. If brewer’s yeast was recently added as a supplement to the dog's diet and is believed to be the allergen, diagnosis may be made simply by removing the brewer’s yeast from the diet.  

If the core ingredient is not known, an elimination diet is usually implemented to confirm the presence of an allergy. Symptoms caused by an allergy will be extinguished during a properly executed elimination diet and once this has occurred additional ingredients may be slowly added back to the diet until the allergen is positively identified. During this diagnostic treatment, it is of utmost importance that your dog does not have access to anything ingestible other than the food chosen for the elimination diet. A single dose of the allergen can cause the allergy to resurface.

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Treatment of Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

An elimination diet can take several weeks to uncover which allergen is responsible and during the interim, your pet may experience lingering  symptoms. Some veterinarians may recommend antihistamines to calm the itching as well as corticosteroids to reduce swelling. Use of these treatments may also mask the observable signs of allergy, making it harder to establish which ingredient in your dog’s diet is causing the reaction. Because of this many veterinarians prefer to complete the elimination diet before applying these types of medications. 

Additional supplements, including probiotic and Omega-3 oils, may be proposed as well to support the immune system after the elimination diet is completed. This will assist your pet’s body in handling any accidental exposure to allergens as well as helping to prevent the cultivation of new allergies. Secondary skin infections are commonly seen with food allergies, and antibiotics may be prescribed to combat this problem. Once the allergen has been identified, the initial course of action is avoidance of the ingredient.

Recovery of Brewers Yeast Allergies in Dogs

Allergies to food are not curable, however excluding the allergen from the patient’s diet is usually sufficient to eliminate the symptoms. Brewers yeast is not a common ingredient in dog food and is generally given as a supplement in either pill, tablet, or powder form. Your veterinarian should be consulted before adding supplements into your canine’s diet, and introduction should be limited to a single supplement at a time. This will make it easier to diagnose the origin if allergies do develop. Dogs who develop allergies to brewer’s yeast may be predisposed to the development of new allergies, especially allergies to other types of yeast.

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Brewers Yeast Allergies Average Cost

From 481 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Brewers Yeast Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Gus

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Pug

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11 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

My pug has been found to have a yeast allergy (non specific), along with 13 other foods (e.g., rice, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc). What is selenium yeast and should I avoid giving him any foods with this in it? The food is in a sample of go! Venison recipe kibble.

July 8, 2018

Gus' Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Selenium yeast is just brewer’s yeast cultured in a selenium rich environment so they absorb the selenium; if Gus has tested positive for general yeast allergies I would avoid it. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 9, 2018

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Bentley

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German Shepherd

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Itching And Ear Infections .

My dog is highly allergic to brewers yeast . Should he be eating sweet potatoes? He has been on many antibiotics to help. We have had an allergy test done to find out what he is allergic to.

March 3, 2018

Bentley's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. Without knowing more about what Bentley is allergic to, I can't comment on what he might be able to eat. Environmental allergies are a lot more common than food allergies, and it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian to discuss what foods might be best to him to eat. I hope that all goes well for him!

March 4, 2018

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Finnegan

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Golden Retriever

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Ten Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Inflamed, Itchy Skin; Yeasty Smell

My dog has trouble with frequent fungal infections of the skin and ears. A friend suggested that brewer's yeast would be helpful in combatting this. That seems counterintuitive to me as yeast is type of fungus. What's your opinion, please?

Jan. 22, 2018

Finnegan's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. I have never personally used brewers yeast as a treatment for skin problems, and am not sure that I see the value in it. Fungal infections can be caused by underlying allergies or other skin conditions, and it is always best to try and control the underlying problem rather than put a bandaid on the resulting problem. I'm not sure if you've had your veterinarian assess Finnegan's skin recently, but it might be a good idea if he is having frequent problems. If he has underlying environmental allergies, there are good medications to try and control those so that his skin isn't so affected, and there are omega supplements that can help strengthen the skin's barrier to disease that he might benefit from. A prescription shampoo may also be of benefit. Your veterinarian would be able to look at Finnegan, see what they think might be going on, and direct you to any treatment options that might be available. I hope that he does well.

Jan. 22, 2018

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Milo

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Cockapoo

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Licking

My Cockapoo Milo has a Brewers yeast allergy. Would he also have an issue with Brewers rice? should we stay away from that ingredient when looking for a new food? or do the two have nothing to do with each other?

Aug. 30, 2017

Milo's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Brewers yeast is a yeast (obviously) which is a microorganism which is used for its nutritional properties of B vitamins, whereas brewers rice is a byproduct of rice milling and is a source of fibre; the two are related by name only. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 30, 2017

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Catley

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pomeranian cross

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5 Months

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Wobbly Rear Gait
Weakness
Head Shaking

I have a small pomeranian that is hypoglycemic. She is only 5 months old. She have about one episode a month with weak, wobbly legs and mild head shake. I will give her Karo syrup and she comes back around. My question is; can I put small amount of powdered brewers yeast in her morning feed to help control her blood sugar levels?

July 26, 2017

Catley's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Brewers yeast is used by people and in use in pets as a method to help lower blood sugar in diabetic patients and it is thought that the chromium in the brewer’s yeast helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve glucose tolerance etc… Any dietary changes should be discussed with your Veterinarian as Catley is under their duty of care for the hypoglycemia. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 26, 2017

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Suki

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Pit bull

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Lesion
Chronic Ear Infections

My 4.5y/o pit-bull was having chronic ear infections to multiples foods. First tried protein restrictions and there was no change next was ingredient lists. Common ingredient was brewers yeast. Found a food with no yeast and no more ear infections.

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Raven

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Pit Shepherd mix

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy Paws
Rash On Belly

I think my 1 year old pit/shepherd mix is allergic to brewers yeast. Right now she and her sister are on homemade food, very limited ingredients. (Half chicken and half whole grain rice, green beans, carrots, spinach and Brussels sprouts) They are both doing well but I've been trying to slowly reintroduce a kibble that Raven won't react to and isn't cost-prohibitive. I want to make sure they are getting everything they need nutritionally and keep their teeth healthy. After 7months and lots of different kibbles, it seems the only common ingredient has been brewers yeast. You mention in this article that it's not a common ingredient in dog food but I've found that to not be the case. It seems pretty prevalent in the higher end dog foods. What foods are you talking about because I've only found a small handful without it and they are completely out of my budget. So any that you could recommend would be helpful.

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Murray

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Labrador Retriever mix

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Bald Patches; Skin Plaques; Ear Inf

My dog has food allergies, and we've had him on Natural Balance Duck and Potato formula for a year now. He has occasional flair ups (plaques, bald patches) that seem to be more environmental than food (after he's been laying in the grass, playing outside for extended periods of time, and when outdoor allergens are very high). He takes a prescription antihistamine, and he did initially have a cytopoint shot which allowed his skin to heal, though he never had any really bad itchiness. He rarely scratches, even now. My question is: he is allergic to dairy (ear infections) but he used to love cheese. Barring a reaction, would occasionally sprinkling brewers yeast on his food be a way to get him the taste without triggering an allergic response?

Brewers Yeast Allergies Average Cost

From 481 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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