We have two legs, they have four, we speak, they bark, so is it possible for humans and dogs to both suffer from the same illnesses?
One condition that is particularly unpleasant to suffer with as a human, is a yeast infection. Yeast is actually a type of fungus called candida. It usually affects the mouth, throat or genitals. Yeast infections should be handled with care because they can be contagious. But can dogs contract and also suffer from a yeast infection?
Not only can dogs definitely get yeast infections, but it is actually very common. Yeast can overtake and quickly cause problems on the skin, ears, and between the toes. Often the symptom of an underlying health condition, a yeast infection must be treated by the vet so that it does not get worse.
Does My Dog Have a Yeast Infection?
There are a number of different symptoms to look out for to determine whether your dog is suffering with a yeast infection. Is your dog itching a particular place more than usual? Is there visible irritation and inflammation, especially in between the paws, around the anus and in the ears? Redness, stickiness, and visible sore patches are often a sign of yeast infections. Some dogs may even have a yellow patch that gives off a musty odor. The skin may have a thickened appearance. If you see any of these signs, it may be time to take your dog to the vet.
Any number of things can cause a yeast infection to develop. Allergies to certain foods and fleas may be the cause. Prolonged use of steroids and antibiotics can sometimes encourage yeast infections to develop. Pets with cancer and hormonal disorders, as well as pets with lots of skin folds, like Pugs, are all more susceptible to yeast infections. Dogs battling seborrhea, an oily condition of the skin, are prone to yeast proliferation. Breeds that are predisposed to problems with yeast are the Basset Hound, Chihuahua, and West Highland White Terrier, among others.
How Do I Treat My Dog’s Yeast Infection?
The vet will diagnose your dog’s infection by doing a thorough a physical examination, but then will look at a sample of the area under a microscope for signs of yeast. An impression smear or skin scraping may be done. Skin biopsies and blood tests could also be taken to rule out more serious conditions.
For further details and advice on related conditions, visit Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs.
Thankfully, vets can usually treat your dog’s yeast infection with straightforward medication and topical creams. The first action most vets will take is to provide you with a powerful antifungal ointment or cream. Miconazole and ketoconazole are two antifungal medicines that are popular and very effective. This will help to reverse the infection and reduce soreness and pain. Signs of improvement may be visible within a week or so, and full recovery could take up to several weeks. For the vast majority of cases, these topical creams and oral pills will be the solution to your companion's suffering with yeast infections.
Depending on the location of the yeast infection, it may be appropriate to use injections or tablets instead of a cream. They can be just as effective and get to work just as promptly. Your vet may prescribe a medicated shampoo to soothe your dog's skin and help clear the infection. However, if there is a more serious underlying problem, prolonged medication may be needed to get your pup back to normal. In complicated cases, recovery could take months.
A case study that took place between 1992-1998 looked at 266 cases of yeast infections and was published in 2002 in the Veterinary Dermatology Journal. Here the significance of allergies leading to yeast infections was highlighted, in particular, dust mites and mold. This study has helped vets advise owners on how to reduce the chances of their dogs coming into contact with allergens, reducing the overall prevalence of yeast infections in dogs.