HEALTH & CARE

Yeast Infection in Dogs Paws: Diagnosis And Management

Yeast Infection in Dogs Paws
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

Like their pet parents, dogs have an immune system spectrum that is usually within the normal range, or at least at the middle part of the range. This enables the dog to fend off foreign bodies and microorganisms that can lead to infection. When the immune system is not at its optimum state, the dog becomes more prone to develop several health illnesses and infections. One of the possible conditions is yeast infection.

[the_ad_placement id=»in-text-1″]

Whenever a dog’s immune system is compromised due to several factors, such as the existence of another condition or as part of the adverse effects of the medications that the dog is currently taking, it cannot function properly in controlling the balance of the good normal flora in the dog’s body. This is when the yeast gains the opportunity to bloom and become an infection.

Conventional veterinarians examine dogs with existing allergies and skin infections, after which they prescribe an antibiotic to address the problem. Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria, but the bad news is that they also kill the good ones.

This means that these medications clear out the normal and healthy yeast levels during the treatment process. The conditioned deteriorates and worsens, such that the disease may branch out into further complications when not properly addressed.

Dog skin infection chart

An allergic dog may contract a lot of yeast infections and can actually develop yeast allergy. This allergy should be tested further to determine whether the dog is having an allergic response to his own flora. This can become a problematic situation because allergic response is a holistic reaction, and the manifestation can be observed both internally and externally.

Dogs with compromised immune systems are likely to develop a yeast infection, and those with hyperactive immune systems are not exempt as well. A hyperactive immune system can disturb the normal flora in the dog’s body, and such disturbance can also lead to fungal proliferation or irritation.

Such disturbances can occur because of a diet poor in nutrients and necessary vitamins so it’s very important to make sure that your dog is eating properly. For instance, producers like Orijen offer a wide range of food products that will keep Fido healthy — click here to check out more details.

Signs and symptoms of a yeast infection

Veterinarians can perform a definitive diagnosis by conducting cytology, which refers to the taking of a sample using a swab and examining it under a microscope or performing a culturing in which a sterile swab is forwarded to the laboratory where cells will be grown and identified.

Looking for yeast at dog paw

As a pet parent, you will be able to identify whether your fur baby is currently having a yeast infection just by the smell it emits. Known for a very distinct odor, a yeast infection smells like moldy bread. It can also have a smell that resembles corn chips and cheese-flavored popcorn.

It can be a musty, strong, and unpleasant smell. Pet parents should be aware that a yeasty odor is different from a typical doggy odor. Doggy odors are normal for healthy dogs, and a slight change in this typical scent indicates that your dog must be examined for any signs of worsening infection.

Aside from the smell, dogs with yeast infection can be observed to scratch very frequently. The overgrowth of yeast is an extremely itchy experience for a dog. Yeast overgrowth in the paws, as well as an infection that manifests in the ears, will pose a problem and is more uncomfortable to deal with.

You should take heed when the dog is starting to develop a habit of excessive scratching, because this action can only provide temporary relief and will not solve the problem.

Aside from the smell, dogs with yeast infection can be observed to scratch very frequently. The overgrowth of yeast is an extremely itchy experience for a dog. Yeast overgrowth in the paws, as well as an infection that manifests in the ears, will pose a problem and is more uncomfortable to deal with.

You should take heed when the dog is starting to develop a habit of excessive scratching, because this action can only provide temporary relief and will not solve the problem.

Treatment for yeast infection

To facilitate the treatment for yeast infection, several factors will ensure that the concern will be addressed appropriately. These factors include diet modification, disinfection, and administration of medications.

Modifying the diet

Yeast infection usually presents itself as patches rather than just a single spot. In cases in which the yeast infection shows up in a single location, more conservative treatment can be employed by using topical creams and wash.

However, in cases in which all of the dog’s paws or ears are affected, you should conduct a review on what the dog eats, what might be the cause of the condition, or what aggravates the symptoms.

The basis of a dog’s well-being primarily depends on diet and nutrition. Whether you give your dog a balanced meal everyday will determine if the nourishment it receives allows the immune system to toughen up and combat the ongoing yeast infection or if it is not enough to provide nutritional support, which will result in the worsening of the yeast infection. Check out our guide on organic food for dogs and decide if it will benefit your pooch.

Veterinarians can place the sick dog on an anti-yeast or anti-fungal diet. This diet approach includes anti-inflammatory features and is often a breed-specific diet. Because yeast needs sugar as its energy source, dog experts and veterinarians recommend taking sugar off the sick dog’s diet. This inhibits further yeast blooming, which can lead to more and bigger patches of yeast growth.

For dog owners, sugar does not only refer to the commercially prepared ones that look white and crystallized in appearance. There are a lot of food options, especially treats like dog biscuits and chews, that contain high sugar content. Be wary of dog food that are manufactured in China that can aggravate and harm your pets, as we’ve written down in our other popular article.

They are the hidden forms of sugar that promote the overgrowth of yeast. Always check the label. There are ingredient lists that label sugar outright, although some are substituted with honey, which serves an identical purpose.

Dog owners with yeast-infected dogs must read the labels carefully and avoid dog food products that contain fructose syrup, honey, and even potatoes and sweet potatoes. For dogs with a serious yeast problem, it is recommended that they be placed on a sugar-free diet until the symptoms clear up. There are many naturally-formulated dog food that’s so beneficial, so go check our list to see if it works for your dog.

Dogs can be fed with low glycemic vegetables, while removing corn, rice, wheat, and potatoes from the equation. The dog needs to be in a diet that will allow the normal flora to thrive in healthy and balanced levels.

Raw food diet

 

Aside from these diet recommendations, dog experts have been incorporating natural ingredients with anti-fungal properties into the diet. The most common ingredients include garlic and oregano, which can aid in reducing the yeast levels in the sick dog’s body.

Cleaning and disinfecting the affected paws

Because yeast loves to thrive in the warm and moist parts of the dog’s body, like the spaces between the dog’s foot pads and its ears, it is important to pay careful attention to these areas and clean and disinfect them.

The only parts of a dog’s body where it can sweat are the nose and foot pads. Thus, the paws should be disinfected often, especially during the hot and humid season when yeast is more prevalent.

Dog’s feet should be cleaned and placed in a medicated foot soak. Also, you should consider products specially designed for cleaning a dog’s paws like deep cleaning cotton balls (click here to see the price) which can reach tough spots and clean all the dirt between the toes.

Remember, the treatment requires soaking and not spraying. Spraying may provide coverage on the surface but cannot give the same effect as an actual soak in which the nail beds and crevices are also penetrated, such that the medication reaches the areas that sprays cannot. Traditional foot soaks can be made with hydrogen peroxide, together with white vinegar and water.

[the_ad_placement id=»in-text-2″]

Spraying or wiping down a dog’s paws will not get the job done. Yeast lives under the nail beds and in all the creases you cannot get to if the paws are not submerged in a foot soak. The foot soak can be done several times a day to keep the dog’s feet disinfected.

After the dog’s feet are soaked in the solution, you should only pat them dry and not rinse them. This will allow the solution to do its job and reduce the proliferation of the yeast infection. Pat drying also gives the solution more time to give its anti-fungal effect. See how our article on ways you can manage your dog’s yeast infection can provide more options for you.

The remaining solution will also inhibit the sick dog from licking and scratching the affected feet. However, if this doesn’t do the trick, there are special solutions, made out of natural ingredients, that work wonders in keeping Fido from licking or biting his paws — you can check the details and price here.

Anti-yeast or anti-fungal baths and rinses

Anti-yeast baths and rinses are recommended for dogs that have a more systemic yeast infection that has spread further from the paws to the skin at the back and the flaps of the ears. There are numerous anti-fungal shampoos available in the market that are gentle enough for daily use, but we believe that the best method is prevention.

For instance, you could use a special cream that acts as a protective coating on your dog’s paws, keeping him from breaking the skin or getting injured.

Yeast-infected dogs can receive regular bathing twice or thrice a week depending on the frequency recommended by the veterinarian. In selecting the ideal shampoo, consider only the gentle variants that can clean the coat and skin without over-drying or causing irritation.

However, the use of oatmeal-based bath products or anything that utilizes grains is discouraged because these ingredients can be a good source of nutrition for the ongoing yeast infection. Veterinarians recommend products that include herbal combinations and tea tree oil. These ingredients have a bacteriostatic effect and can control the growth of yeast in the sick dog’s skin.

Yeast and bacteria solution

A prepared routine can include bathing, rinsing, and a foot soak. After a thorough bath, make sure that the suds are cleared, and the body is properly rinsed. Suds that dry up and remain in contact with the skin can cause irritation. Anti-fungal rinses can be prepared by using water with lemon juice and a few drops of peppermint oil. This inhibits the pungent combination of yeasty and doggy odor and will instead emit a fresh scent.

Remember that you should never pour any kind of solution over the sick dog’s head or eyes, no matter how natural the ingredients are. This is a rule that should be followed to avoid further complications and eye irritation.

You can pour the rinsing solution from the collar down to its back. A gallon of solution should be enough to be distributed throughout the dog’s coat and skin, with a focus on the body parts that are the most susceptible to yeast growth, such as the armpits, groin, and tail area.

Post-rinse, the dog should be towel-dried with by mildly going over its body with a cloth while allowing the solution to sit and take effect. Then, a quick foot soak will finish the treatment by clearing the foot pads from the accumulated infection that was not thoroughly taken care of by the anti-fungal bath. This regimen will not only refresh your dog, but will also slow down the replication process of the yeast infection.

Remember: Using lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide can bleach black fur. If the sick dog has a black coat, the only ingredient that can be used is vinegar to avoid coat bleaching and fading.

Treatment of recurring yeast infections

Yeast infections are one of the seasonal problems that dogs and their pet parents can experience. As the humidity and temperature levels increase every year, dogs will become prone to the over proliferation of yeast, which will make them smell bad.

If this is starting to become a yearly occurrence for your dog, it is your responsibility to be observant enough to identify a potential yeast infection to administer prompt treatment and supportive management at the soonest possible time. As previously discussed, this will involve a holistic approach that starts from diet modification to medical management.

For cases in which the dog is having a yeast infection all year-round, you should consider a more aggressive treatment, which can be discussed with your veterinarian. This chronic infection can be a sign of a more serious immune system problem. There is list of best treatments for your dog’s skin yeast infection, find out in our earlier article.

If the dog is overwhelmed by infections that healthy dogs can combat well or at least tolerate and respond well to with medications, it is highly likely that there is a problem going on with its immune system.

[the_ad_placement id=»in-text-3″]

Your veterinarian may conduct several laboratory tests to detect the immunoglobulin levels of the dog. It is expected that the test results will show low levels when a dog is experiencing a constant and year-round proliferation of yeasts. Testing for possible allergens in your dog is crucial, so read this in our article on how you can do that immediately.

Paw spa for dogs

Infections in dogs are part of the normal life process. Dogs are equipped with a functional immune system to help them fight these infections. Studies show several benefits of dog massage, so find out how touch therapy helps a dog’s immune system in our earlier piece under the Health & Care section. However, there will be instances in which an infection can be overwhelming for the dog, such that it will need supportive medications and management.

The most important parts of any treatment protocol is your care as a pet parent and the supportive care that the sick dog should receive as the medications take their course of action.

Supportive care stabilizes the dog’s health status so that it will not experience further complications, such as behavioral changes, which can cause the aggravation of symptoms. If you think your canine friend can benefit from other non-traditional cures, check out how alternative modes of treatment works for your dog.

Having a sick dog increases your awareness on what should be done to prevent such occurrence from happening again. Support and treatment should be a collaborative process that involves your dog, you as the pet parent, and a veterinarian.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • Shannon-K

    Can you recommend any resources for what seems to be a bacterial paw infection? Seems like my pup is being affected less by yeast and more by pyoderma…

    • Hello Shannon,
      Did you discuss this with your vet? The internet is great for general information but a more exact diagnostic can only come from a vet.

  • Amber Hart

    One that served my dog’s paws well in the past is a foot soak of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar (with water). It helped relieve the itch and our vet assured that it kills the bacteria. So, armed with a foot soak and an antibiotic the yeast stood no chance! Sharing this for the rest of the dog owners. Are there other soaks that you’d like to share?

    • A Turek

      What is the formula for the foot soak? How many parts vingegar and how many parts hydrogen peroxide per 10 parts of water?

  • Michelle Jakway

    In the case of a yeast infection, how long might you expect the effects of diet to linger once the offending ingredients have been removed from the diet? I was told that exposure to an allergen, such as dairy, could cause itchiness for up to 3 weeks. Would yeast be different since we would be waiting for the overproliferation to return to normal, healthy levels? Would probiotics be beneficial in combating yeast infection?

    Thank you for such an informative piece!

  • Hi, Michelle,

    Probiotics can help stabilize normal canina flora and can address yeast infections as supportive management. It is also a safer bet to incorporate in the management that will be recommended by the veterinarian (or the current medical management that is being implemented).

  • Welcome to Dogsaholic, A!

    Depending on the severity of your dog’s yeast infection, a vinegar soak can be done to cleanse the paws properly. What can be done is like this:

    In a gallon of water, you can add two cups of vinegar and a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Stir well without vigorous action to prevent «bubbling». Soak your dog’s paws in the solution and let it sit there for 2-3 minutes. Pat dry the paws and don’t rinse. You can repeat this process twice a day with at least six hours interval.

  • Sharon

    Hello! Thank you for all this great information. Our pup went from having fleas for the first time to now having a yeast infection, also for the first time. We are doing, as of tonight, the bath, rinse, and soak. How long does it typically take to get rid of a yeast infection? Thanks again for this post, we are glad to have found your page!!

    • Wyatt Robinson

      Welcome to Dogsaholic, Sharon! The improvement of the symptoms can vary in as little as few days to several weeks depending on the severity of the yeast infection. As long as you follow the standard routine and continue with what you are doing, then we are expecting significant improvement after several days.

  • Jill

    Hi my westie has many skin issues and is seen regularly by a skin vet who is fabulous . This foot soak of hydrogen peroxide vinegar and water . Can I keep the remaining mix for use the next day or do I need to mix up a new soak each time. Thanks for all your reassuring comments in your article because as a pet parent I hope I am doing the best I can do for my gorgeous dog. Jill

    • Wyatt Robinson

      You are very welcome, Jill. Wish we can see some pictures of your Westie! That would be very adorable. Yeast infection might sound overwhelming, but its management is actually rather easy.

  • Kristi B

    My American Bulldog has a suppressed immune system and horrible allergies. She is 4 years old. She has yeast… out of this world!!! We can’t get rid of it. I’ve tried the vinegar, peroxide, water thing. I’m guessing I am expecting a miracle overnight :( She licks her paws and the smell is horrible! I have read lemon and mint??? What is that mixture? Willing to try anything at this point!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Wyatt Robinson

      You can try the Lemon juice with crushed mint, to be alternated with Apple Cider spray. The former mixture will help reduce the odor, while the Apple Cider will be your primary active ingredient. After each application, just pat dry the paws and do this method about two to three times a day.

0
0
Total
0
Shares