Discover How To Identify This Common Infection In Your Dog!

Yeast infections are very common in pets – both dogs and cats. This type of fungal infection is created by an overgrowth of Malassezia species of yeast, which is always present on your dog’s body in their skin, ears and mucocutaneous areas. Dogs living in hot, humid environments tend to get more infections because the weather is prime condition for yeast to grow. When it starts to reproduce rapidly, it can spread to areas on the dog that it does not usually inhabit.

Not only do some dogs seem to get them quite easily, once they have it, it can be a long process to clear it up. One of the most important parts about treatment is early identification – the earlier you spot an infection the better.

Yeast Infections Can Be Almost Anywhere!

Dogs can get yeast infections practically anywhere! Common places, however, are the outer and inner ear (especially floppy breeds such as the Lab or Golden Retriever) and the paws.

How To Spot An Infection

There are several signs of yeast infections that you should know about. As mentioned, the sooner you detect one, the easier it will be to get rid of. Remember, yeast reproduces rapidly and spreads, so what starts out as a yeast infection in one spot can quickly become multiple infections if you don’t catch it quickly.

Here are the signs to look for:

* Incessant itching. Don’t dismiss this as dry skin or fleas – yeast infections causes frantic, almost non-stop itchiness. Your dog will drive you crazy with it and it’s because the infection is driving him crazy.

* Incessant licking. Like the scratching, your dog won’t want to stop licking the stop that is the source of the infection. (The moisture from the licking often makes it worse.)

* Skin irritation/inflammation. The skin will be pinker than normal. The more your dog licks, the redder it will become as well. Check in and around the ears, between the paw pads and toes, nasal area, armpits, neck and anal area for redness and irritated skin.

* Hair loss

* Greasy coat

* Rancid smell from skin

As it gets worse, you may find sores, sticky discharge, and even yellowish green, smelly discharge.

What Could Be Causing the Yeast Overgrowth?

There can be a combination of things that can cause this awful plague on your dog and you may be surprised to learn that his food can be one of them! If your dog is itching the first thing you want to do is change to a high quality food like Stay Loyal. Itchy yeasty dogs often have food allergies or sensitivities that are caused by low-quality food ingredients like grains, preservatives, plant source fats and proteins. All these can contribute to yeast outbreaks. Other causes can be:

* Fleas and other skin parasites

* Inhalant/contact allergies

* Hypothyrodism, Cushing’s Disease, or other hormonal disorders that affect the immune system

* Cancer

* Chemotherapy, steroids, and antibiotics

Also, dogs with skin folds, such as the English Bulldog, are more prone to them because moisture and foreign objects such as food crumbs get into the folds and then an infection develops.

Yeast infections in the ear are a whole another ball of wax. They can be caused by trapped water, debris, pollens, mold, dust, feathers, cigarette smoke, cleaning products and of course, your dog’s food. It can also be caused by more serious problems including a ruptured eardrum, a tumor in the ear canal, or a trapped object.

My Dog Has An Infection – Now What?

Obviously, if it’s really bad, you are going to have to take your dog to the vet. Definitely take them if you think the ear infection might be due to the above mentioned blockage or tumor, or a serious medical condition such as cancer or Cushing’s. Your vet can prescribe medicines to help ease your dog’s suffering while the infection is battled. The more they lick and itch, the worse it will get, so you need to stop your dog from bothering the infected site.

Here’s my suggested Action Plan.

1. Go to vet and get a diagnosis. (Most vets will rule out fleas and mites for you but that’s about it. If your vet does think its yeast then avoid their medications unless your dog is doing damage to the affected area. Antibiotics and Steroids are not beneficial to long term healing of yeast infection. If you have already been to the vet without good results skip this step.)

2. Change food to Stay Loyal Original and Raw Lamb Meaty Bones Only! (you will receive instructions on how to feed when you purchase.) Feeding anything else could cause the yeast to grow. (Strictly NO Beef, Roo or products with Beef or Roo. Strictly no Store-bought treats dental sticks etc…)

3. Zinc supplementation can be given if the yeast is bad or your dog is doing a lot of foot chewing and licking. Also breeds like a GSD’s are susceptible to zinc deficiencies. In this case, you may need to give zinc for the rest of the dog’s life. Zinc can be dosed at up to 10mg per kg of dog per day. So, a 40kg dog will get up to 400mg of zinc per day. (I get my zinc from the supermarket.)

4. Wash with Malaseb wash. If your dog gets relief from a bath in Malaseb. Then it’s a good indication that it most likely has a yeast infection. And a good idea to wash with Malaseb as much as recommended on the instructions.

Don’t Expect Miracles!

Every dog is different and at different stages of yeast infection. Some dogs may find relief in days or weeks and other dogs it may take months. When following the above tips correctly, you should see slight improvements within a month and control of yeast within 3 months. Yeast overgrowth can be very hard to get rid of and can also come back in summer months so be aware of it and avoid doing anything you know flares it up, like feeding beef or store bought treats. It also takes common sense, if it isn’t working get more advice or reassess what you are doing. The above tips will work for most dogs with yeast overgrowth. However, in special cases it may not work so please be aware of this.

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20 Comments

  1. Why will kangaroo make a dogs yeast infection worse? My vet said to feed kangaroo as a novel protein instead of beef or chicken.

    1. Hi Sara, novel proteins work if your dog has a protein allergy so if your dogs yeast infection is due to the protein allergy then it could work. However I found the red meats like roo and beef heat the dog up, could be the high iron content, and this heating gives the yeast and bacteria a nice warm place to grow. That’s just my non scientific take on it. Lamb, I find to be better tolerated by most dogs so that’s why I recommend Lamb. Lamb also is nice and fatty and the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is where I like it, close to 5 to 1.

  2. Would Stay Loyal small bites Turkey be good for itchy dogs , if not why?
    I have noticed my dog is itchy after being fed raw beef.

    1. Hi Caroline, beef along with grains are probably the worst things for itchy dogs. Yes the Salmon and turkey is fine for itchy dogs. Its a new product so we don’t have the feedback like we do with the original formula.

  3. Hi Robert How long does a bag of Loyal last I still have’nt opened the bag I bought I don’t now how long ago. Regards Brendan

    1. Hi Brendan, if its kept in a cool dry place, so under 20degrees and low humidity under 50% then it lasts over 6months. If its opened we recommend getting through the bag within 3-4 months.

  4. I think thats what my daughters dog has she scratches all the time she has a smell and the vets give her tablets but it doesnt help and in summer her tummy is so hot and dry please tell me how we can fix this she feeds her tuna in spring water

    1. Hi Lesley, The basic feeding guide i suggest for itchy dogs is Stay Loyal Original and raw meaty Lamb bones ONLY.
      This combination works well. So no treats or anything else. Strictly no beef or roo as these red meats can heat the body up and help bad microbes to grow causing the itchiness. The Meaty bone and Stay Loyal combination
      is outlined in detail in our feeding guide which you will get, when you purchase, in your emails

      If your dog has a yeasty smell and its strong, i also suggest Malaseb wash and Zinc supplementation.
      You can get the zinc from the chemist or supermarket for humans. The dosage rate is 10mg per kg bodyweight per day. So a 20kg dog can have up to 200mg of zinc per day. Feed the zinc in the evening after the meal.

      1. Hi Robert,
        One of my dogs is a shitzu-maltese. He has been suffering really bad yeast infection on his belly. It is totally red raw and sometimes bleeding. Sometimes it even looks black and he is very smelly. The vet has not given any help except antibiotics for any sores that get infected and washing with Malaseb. We have switched to Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach and cut out all other food, with very little difference in over 10 weeks. I have now ordered your Stay Loyal original and plan to use your feeding guide, but i see you say to give no beef, yet your product contains beef. How does that work?

        1. Hi Doug, Our product has NO beef in it, not sure where you saw that.
          Zinc supplementation can be helpful when fighting yeast infections.

  5. Hi Robert,

    Thank you so much for your article on Yeast Skin Infection. I have a 13 year old Staffie Rosie, who for over a year has been constantly and vigorously chewing on her paws, rubbing her bottom on the ground and crying, and was constantly very smelly. Despite mentioning this to my vet on numerous occasions when I have taken her to have her anal glands drained thinking this was the problem, she has never mentioned a yeast skin infection and put the anxiety down to the breed and her age, even though she would start rubbing her rear as soon as we got back from the vet. I bought some Malaseb and have applied it as per instructions and left on for 10 minutes before washing off. I’ve done this twice over a fortnight and have also been applying twice daily a diluted (1:1) solution of Cider Vinager and water to her rear and paws daily. The chewing has stopped, she has stopped rubbing her bottom and no longer smells. She is jumping out of her skin – and I can only imagine the relief to her is as great as it is to me. Sorry, this has turned into a book, but I am so grateful for your advice. Thank you so much, Helen and Rosie

  6. Hi ,
    My black Labrador Wally is 6 years old and is prone to occasional attacks of pancreatitis after suffering from Viral Meningitis on and off for the first 3 years of his life.
    We ate careful with his fat intake and were wondering if any of your wonderful food would be suitable for him?
    Cheers
    Jenny

    1. Hi Caroline,
      There are different degrees of yeast infection and yeast grows on the skin naturally on healthy dogs too. So it could be quite hard to make the call if the yeast is causing issues or at natural levels.

  7. Hi Robert
    My dog chews her paws does donuts on the cold concrete suffers ear infections. I have read many articles and just changed her to stayloyal dry food. One of the things I have read is tumeric and coldpressed coconut oil that I am trying she has chicken necks only you suggest lamb I would find lamb to be very exspensive

    1. Hi Vicky, You can try find lamb breast, brisket or flaps, they are not too expensive. Also you can try the chicken necks with Stay Loyal and that could be enough to work. If you have any more questions about your itchy dog please email me at robert@stayloyal.com.au

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