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?
Can Dogs Get Yeast Infections?
Not only can dogs definitely get yeast infections, but it is actually very common. The Veterinary Journal released an article in 2009 highlighting that not only can dogs get yeast infections, but they are susceptible to a couple in particular!
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 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. 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.
The vet will diagnose your dog’s infection by firstly undertaking a physical examination, but then will look at a sample of the area under a microscope for signs of yeast, this process is known as cytology. Skin biopsies and blood tests may also be taken to rule out more serious conditions.
For further details and advice on related conditions, visit Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs.
How Do I Treat My Dog’s Yeast Infection?
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, 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 dog’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. However, if there is a more serious underlying problem, surgery could be required, as could prolonged medication. In complicated cases, recovery could take months.
How Is a Yeast Infection in Dogs Similar to One in Humans?
There are a number of similarities between the way yeast infections take hold in humans and the way they do in dogs. Some of those similarities are as follows:
Both humans and dogs will have visible sore patches at the infected areas.
Sore patches on both can have a yellow/green tint, and both can give off a musty or strong odor.
Yeast infections in both can be itchy and be greatly uncomfortable for the victims.
The infected area can swell significantly in both.
How Is a Yeast Infection in Dogs Different than One in Humans?
Whilst it is clear that in both humans and dogs yeast infections share many similar properties, there are also certain attributes where they differ significantly. They are as follows:
Humans suffer from yeast infections in the mouth and throat more so than dogs.
Dogs often develop yeast infections in between their paws, whereas humans develop yeast infections in between their hands and feet much less.
Yeast infections in women can produce a white vaginal discharge that is not seen in dogs.
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.