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What is Yeast Infection and Thrush?

Yeast infection and thrush both refer to an overabundance of yeast in a dog's body, whether in the digestive system, in the mucous membranes, or on the skin. They're typically caused by one of two yeast organisms – Candida or Malassezia – and are often misdiagnosed as other types of issues because of their similarities to other conditions, such as allergies. A yeast infection is not fatal in itself but may lead to complications if left untreated.

A yeast infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of yeast, which may result in clinical signs similar to those of allergies or other conditions. If your dog's symptoms do not abate after treatment for allergies, or if you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your dog, schedule a visit to the veterinarian, specifically to check for a yeast infection.

Yeast Infection and Thrush Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $750 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs

The symptoms of a yeast infection vary depending on where the infection is located though typically a dog may show signs similar to those of an allergic reaction. These clinical signs include:

  • Itching or scratching
  • Rash
  • Foot chewing
  • Ear discharge
  • Drooling
  • Odd odor

Your dog may also show nonspecific symptoms, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or diarrhea.

Types

Yeast can normally be found in a dog's digestive tract and on the skin. Candida occurs in the mucous membranes, such as inside the mouth or the digestive system, while Malassezia congregates on the skin. These organisms are not harmful if kept in balance by the body's supportive systems, but given the opportunity, they can grow rapidly, which leads to infection and disease.

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Causes of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs

Most yeast infections in dogs are caused by Candida, which is a type of yeast that thrives on sugar. Candida is normally present in a dog's digestive system, but an imbalance in the dog's body may prompt it to spread. Malassezia is likewise an opportunistic yeast and will grow rapidly given the right conditions, such as when the immune system is failing, showing signs of failure, or when it is weak, or when skin is already irritated.

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Diagnosis of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs

If your dog is scratching persistently or is showing other clinical signs, bring him into the veterinarian. The veterinarian will conduct a standard, yet increasingly important, physical examination in order to rule out other possible causes, such as allergies or another type of infection. Provide the veterinarian with a complete history, as well as the progression of symptoms you've observed.

A yeast infection can be diagnosed by identifying the organism under a microscope. This is typically done by examining your dog's skin, stool, or a urine sample, where the yeast can be observed if it is present. A biopsy of any existing lesions may reveal yeast organisms that have infected the area.

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Treatment of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs

Treatment for a yeast infection varies according to the source and extent of the infection. The veterinarian may prescribe a multitude of medication, including a combination of antibiotics and antifungal medication, either as a topical or oral treatment. Topical treatment includes anti-yeast shampoo, medicated wipes, and medicated creams, which may be prescribed to address infections of the skin or around the ears. Oral medications, such as fluconazole or ketoconazole, are used to fight infection in the digestive tract. They are also often administered in cases where topical treatments are not sufficient by themselves.

In order to prevent the yeast infection from recurring, any underlying conditions must also be treated either before or during the infection itself is addressed. Since the presence of yeast in a dog is normal, an infection typically occurs when some other part of the body is weakened – for example if the population of "friendly" bacteria in your dog's digestive tract is low. Depending on the condition, treatment will vary.

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Recovery of Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs

A yeast infection can be managed or prevented by providing balanced, nutritional food and by drying your dog well after he gets wet. Because yeast thrives on sugar, cutting sugar and carbohydrates out of your dog's diet may help control the yeast's growth. Talk to the veterinarian about dietary changes that may help speed your dog's recovery, and eliminate treats with any form of sugar, including honey and high fructose corn syrup.

Administer all medication according to instructions, and prevent your dog from biting or scratching, since a yeast infection can spread into cuts or scratches. Prognosis varies depending on the underlying condition for the yeast infection, but most dogs recover fully from the infection following treatment.

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Yeast Infection and Thrush Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $750 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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Yeast Infection and Thrush Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Yorkshire Terrier

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7 Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Itching Licking Paws Lot Of Eating Disorders

I never paid attention befor but my dog licks my lips all time and he never had problems in past always healthy but can i give my dog diseases i mite.i have thrush and candida because of my copd and emphysema medication gives me it all time not including sinus infections all time i take medication for thrush but not for candida

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It isn't likely that you are giving your dog anything infectious, but your dog may have a bacterial infection or allergies, and it would be best to have them examined by a veterinarian to see what medications might help. I hope that all goes well for your dog

Aug. 4, 2020

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Lady

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Mix

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7 Years

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Mild severity

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Itching
Tired
Infection

Hi, Lady has been in my life for 14 months, my a family member found her abandoned at a nature reserve. They think she’s Shetland, chihuahua mix, she’s 14.2 lbs. She spent a week on hold at the animal shelter because she had a chip. Anyways when I first got her, she had this black/brown infection growing around where her hair started on her lower lip. She went on antibiotics, and was professionally cleaned. A few months later it came back, but now around her mouth, all around, and her eye. This time it was treated with steroids pills, antibiotics, and a cream. Then a month later an ear infection, with the eye and mouth crustiest. This time it was steroids pills, ear cleaner, and ear serum. Just two months later the eye and mouth crustiest are back in full force. Tonight was bath night, and I was trimming up her pants area. Noticed the crusties around her anus. Poor thing had been really itching it the last day. I haven’t had her long, and she’s finally warming up to the family, so it’s hard to tell if she’s lethargic. The crusties seem to prefer moist areas, eyes, lips, where her nose meets her fur, and not anus. :( I know I should go to the vet, but treatment 4, I think maybe I should see a new vet? Or stick with the one that knows her history. I think it might be yeast, not bacteria.

Aug. 18, 2018

Lady's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Some dogs may be more prone to infections than others, however there may be an underlying conditions which may be making Lady susceptible to infection; without examining Lady I cannot say whether your Veterinarian is taking the right action or not but with the recurring infections it may be a time where a sample is taken for culture and identification so that a more appropriate treatment may be found. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 18, 2018

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Bella

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pit mix

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12 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Bad Breath

I have dog that dental cleaning and removal teeth because her breath smelled like garbage three times. The vet gave me antibiotics n the smell stopped. Once the treatment ended the smell returned. Does she have a yeast in her mouth??

March 15, 2018

Bella's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. The smell should not return after her dental cleaning, although I don not know how long ago the cleaning was. If the smell has returned, she should be re-examined by your veterinarian to determine what the cause might be. They'll be able to do a thorough oral exam and see what might be happening.

March 15, 2018

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Cisco

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Medium mixed

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Diarrhea And Sight Loss

Hello, My male dog Cisco has had chronic diarrhea since first of February. Was given meds for Colitis but didn't help. A stool culture said Campylobacter and he was given Chloramphenicol which has helped but still soft loose stools, got a call from vet today said the second culture said high intestional yeast and to pick up meds which I am. Please your opinion please. He has a pretty good appetite. He has always been healthy and active before this.

March 14, 2018

Cisco'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 Cisco and his situation, it is difficult for me to comment, but I think many times when dogs have chronic diarrhea, a low fat prescription diet and probiotics help quite a bit, along with any medications that might be necessary. Probiotics can help re-establish healthy bacteria in the gut, and can be quite helpful.

March 14, 2018

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Lola

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Maltese

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Hi I think my Maltese dog has a yeast infection, she has never has red tear stained eyes or feet and she has badubreath too. She is biting her nails and licking too

Dec. 4, 2017

Lola's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Tear staining may be attributable to a yeast infection but may also be attributable to other infections, allergies, poor quality food, eye conditions among other causes; however the paw staining brown is indicative of a yeast infection, you can get medicated shampoos from your local pet shop to help but you may require systemic antifungal medication from your Veterinarian as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Dec. 5, 2017

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Bailey

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Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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Moderate severity

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching
Itching Redness
Itching Redness Discharge

Hello I have a golden retriever and she has a yeast infection, she has loss of appetite, itchy ears, smelly ears, and red ears, and brown w goop coming from ears, it spread down her face to her lip.. is it normal for her limpnoids to be swollen? I am a very concerned doggie mama.. we take her to the vet tomorrow but still very concerned! anyone have any advice

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Lavender

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Yorkipoo

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6 Years

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

Moderate severity

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Itching
Lack Of Appetite
Spotty
Skin Discoloring

My dog lavender in the last 2 days has been displaying a lack of energy and her personality is just not there at all right now. Just before this started happening I did find evidence of fleas. About three weeks ago I applied K9 Advantix plus. Obviously it’s not working. I noticed that she does have discoloration on her skin like black and red spots and her skin is a little sticky. She does have a history of seasonal allergies.

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Ferra

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Chihuahua

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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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

Pain
Lethargy
Scabbing
Oozing

Our 1.5 year old chihuahua started getting small scabs on the outside of her ear about 4 months ago. Since then she has been on 3 months of oral antifungals (two different kinds), a topical antifungal, antibiotics, and we have been washing her twice a week with an antifungal/antibacterial shampoo. It will get better and then mysteriously get worse again. She now has it on her eyes and her mouth. We are on our second vet for treatment of this who is certain that it is a yeast because it glows under a black light. Is there anything else we can be doing? I feel horrible for her!

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Layla

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Yorkshire Terrier

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Dark Skin

It has been raining alot in LA so im not sure it that can cause this but my dog Layla now has dark skin all around her private area. She has been dragging herself on the carpet. She also had really dark diarrhea today and almost gel like. We have anti fungal and anti bacterial shampoo and spray we have gotten from the vet before for other reasons. Should i try that or should i just go to the vet?

Yeast Infection and Thrush Average Cost

From 52 quotes ranging from $750 - $6,000

Average Cost

$1,200

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