A Yeast Infection in Dogs can Cause a Myriad of Issues…
Many people see a dog constantly scratching his ears and go looking for something they can put IN to stop it happening when actually, more importantly initially, is what you take OUT. In this way you need to step back for a second. Is what you’re looking at a yeast infection in your dog? Or something else? If you are at this moment unsure of what’s causing your dog’s recurring skin, ear or gut condition, then please note that the majority of maladies in dogs clear up with the following simple advice:
- Remove all dry food and pet store treats.
- Remove any and all sources of wheat and dairy
- Feed an appropriate raw dog food,
- Remove all unnecessary chemicals (flea and worm treatments, boosters etc).
No matter what the issue (allergies, anal glands, arthritis, colitis, diarrhoea, ear infections, gum disease, hot spots, hyperactivity, itch, kidney disease, obesity, weepy eyes), you must do these things first before you consider anything else in your dog, largely as this advice very often clears up any and all of the above. For more information on any of these conditions please check out our comprehensive health issues in dogs section.
Sometimes, when the immune system is really antagonised, some dogs struggle to get back to the full 100%. We then need to focus on other causes of recurring issues in your dog. Top of the list, if your dog is dry-fed, is a food sensitivity. Thus, step 2 would be that you need to tweak their fresh diet, focusing on giving him hypoallergenic raw dog food.
However, if you’ve tried the above and your dog is still not right then it’s highly likely your dog has an internal candida over-bloom, a result of being sick for a while, often after repeat prescriptions of antibiotics have been given, which upset the delicate internal flora, allowing candida to bloom without check. Here’s what to do.
Symptoms of a Yeast Infection in Dogs
- Intense itchiness
- Skin irritation and inflammation (usually around ears, between the paw pads and digits, vulva).
- Crusty skin
- Red, swollen ears with lots of head shaking or head tilting
- Stinky, dark yellow discharge from the affected area
Treating a Yeast Infection in Your Dog
Step 1 Remove all sources of sugar
This includes any and all cereals (wheat, corn, potato, rice etc), fruit, carrots, dry food containing carbs, pet store treats, pasta, bread. Yeast needs sugar to live. Without it, it starves. No point treating it topically if you keep feeding it from underneath.
Step 2 Treat the Yeast Infection Topically
If the yeast infection is in the ears only there are lots of natural ways to kill it off. One of the best ways is Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs is probably best as it contains the “mother”, the cloudy bits on the bottom, find it here on Amazon). ACV essentially extract the water from the yeast cells, killing it straight away. It’s also a great anti-bacterial, which can often get into little scratches made in the ear from the dog scratching at his poor ears.
Make up a 50/50 mix of ACV with warm olive oil. The warm oil helps to soften the wax (we do not use water as it will feed the yeast, it needs water to thrive). Use a cotton make-up remover pad, soak it in the solution and gently swab out his ear canal. Never go from ear to ear with the same swab.
Colloidal silver is another great ear wash for yeasty ear infections in dogs.
Step 3 Treat the Yeast Infection from within
Most yeast infections in dogs come from within. You’re simply looking at the symptoms, the tip of the iceberg so to speak. You need to tackle the yeast internally too. This idea was passed to me from a natural vet who found it on Raw Fed Yeasty Dogs, an American Facebook page (that I couldn’t find myself, let me know if you do!). It’s all about using and switching around anti-fungal treatments. The switching bit is key, which is not something I was aware of.
This idea was passed to me from a natural vet. The key, apparently, is switching around anti-fungal treatments.
The protocol is simple: give them apple cider vinegar (ACV, recommend Braggs) and a good quality canine probiotic such as Hyperbiotics (Amazon). Dogs will not like eating ACV so you can drop it into their food. Also, you need to add two drops of oregano extract on every meal (oregano oil is a powerful anti-fungal, to make it more appetising you can mix the 2-3 drops into a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil and then mix in). Oregano oil is a powerful anti-fungal, it’s also a “hot” herbal inclusion, meaning it doesn’t taste nice and too much could cause an issue. Read our article on oregano oil in dogs for more.
You do this for two weeks then stop and switch to Grapefruit Seed Extract (4 drops twice daily, ideally in food) for two weeks.