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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 often appear quite similar to other conditions, such as skin infections or 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 often 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

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Yorkshire Terrier

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7 Years

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Unknown severity

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1 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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1 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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2 found helpful

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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2 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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Yeast Infection and Thrush Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,200

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