With the current state of many of our diets and, in turn, that of our pets, yeast infections in pets (and pet owners) are becoming increasingly common. You are likely to see symptoms of a yeast infection in your pet manifest in a variety of different forms including rashes and other skin issues, fatigue, or a yeasty odor in the ears or mouth. While a yeast infection can be particularly frustrating for you and your pet, home remedies can help eliminate systemic candida and its underlying effects. One of the most important steps you need to take is to evaluate your pet’s food as well as to use supplements like Epsom salt, baking soda, and turmeric.
What Is a Pet Yeast Infection?
Much like we have natural bacteria in our bodies, animals do too. Candida is a common sugar-digesting yeast that is part of the “normal flora” present in many animals’ mouths, noses, ears, and gastrointestinal as well as genital tracts. Normally, yeast helps digest the carbohydrates your pet consumes; however, because candida is an “opportunistic culture,” it periodically invades or colonizes damaged tissues in your pet, especially if the animal has a suppressed immune system.
As the candida spreads, candidiasis or a yeast infection occurs. Depending on the severity of the condition, the infection may be localized to one area of the body or spread throughout your pet’s entire body. The symptoms differ based on the location of the yeast infection, but shaking or scratching of the head, drooling, fever, skin irritation, and open sores are all common. You will likely notice your pet carrying a “yeasty” odor or smell as well.
What Causes Yeast Infections in Pets?
There are a number of different causes for yeast infections in animals; however, one of the primary causes is diet. Many dog foods are made with excess grains and even sugars, which leads to an upset in your pet’s digestive system and can result in yeast overgrowth. Likewise, feeding your pet people food or table scraps is another key contributor to the condition. Other causes include your animal having skin or other tissue that has been damaged, preexisting conditions such as diabetes, and neutropenia, a viral infection.
What Are the Best Natural Cures to Treat Yeast Infections in Animals?
As food is one of the primary causes of the condition, making dietary changes for your animal is one of the best ways you can treat your pet’s infection. In addition to making necessary dietary changes, though, you can also offer your pet nutritional support by way of using Epsom salt, baking soda, and turmeric. It is also important that you disinfect the affected area using a treatment such as tea tree oil.
1. Dietary Changes
According to Doctor Karen Becker, diet is one of the most important considerations when it comes to treating yeast infections in animals. As diet is the foundation of health, it is important to evaluate the way you are feeding your pet to treat a yeast infection. Sugar and carbohydrates, which break down into sugars, need to be eliminated as this sugar feeds yeast. Carefully read your pet’s food label. If it contains sugar of any kind – honey, high fructose corn syrup, or even white or sweet potatoes – pitch it and switch to something high in protein. Likewise, cut out any “people” food that you have been giving your pet to help more successfully eliminate the condition.
Earth Clinic readers are starting to report that changing to a raw food diet, such as Nature’s Variety Frozen Rabbit or Venison, has greatly helped with the itching and scratching associated with yeast overgrowth. Grain-free freeze dried food is another option if you can’t find a pet store or vet in your area that carries this top of the line frozen raw food.
Another important dietary change you can make for your pet is adding “good bacteria” into its system. Acidophilus is a probiotic bacteria that helps balance the natural bacteria in your pets gastrointestinal tract, which will help eliminate the overgrowth of candida in the body. You can find probiotic supplements or simply add some plain yogurt to your pet’s wet food.
3. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt has a natural balancing effect on bacterial growth in the body. If you notice that your pet is developing a yeast infection, try using Epsom salt to eliminate a breakout before it really starts. You can treat your pet with 1/16 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 1 liter of non-chlorinated drinking water for 2 to 3 days.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda also has a neutralizing effect on the body. Adding baking soda into your pet’s water will eradicate the fungal infection and help to establish a more appropriate balance of bacteria in your pet’s system. To use baking soda, add 1 teaspoon soda to 1 liter of water and use the treatment for 5 to 7 days.
While it is not recommended that you bathe your dog more than once every few weeks, more frequent baths are necessary if you have a dog with terribly itchy skin, smelly skin or constant scratching. We’ve tested a number of dog shampoos over the years and have discovered two different brands that have helped immensely: Dechra DermaBenSs Shampoo and Zymox Itch Relief Shampoo. We’ve found that bathing our dogs once a week with one of these shampoos is extremely helpful in soothing itchy skin.
7. Grooming Tips for Dogs Who Lick or Chew Paws Excessively
If your dog is chewing or licking his paws, make sure to keep his or her feet clean. Check out our video on a simple method that may prevent excessive paw chewing or licking.
Yeast infections are a major concern in animals, especially dogs. Even if your pet doesn’t presently have an infection, we suggest evaluating your animal’s food to prevent any issues. Please keep reading below for more ways to treat pet yeast infections with hundreds of tips from our readers!
Itchy, Smelly Dog? Yeast Infection May Be the Problem – http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/ healthypets/archive/2011/05/03/eating-these-foods-can-make-your-dog-itch-like-crazy.aspx
Yeast Infection in Dogs: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention – http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/yeast-infection-in-dogs-causes-treatment-and-prevention
Yeast Infection and Thrush in Dogs – http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_multi_candidiasis