Dog Allergies or Candida Infection

by Michele
(South Mills, NC)

Reader Question: The Difference Between Allergy and Candida As A Cause of Skin Irritation

My approximately 7 year old English Setter's skin is itchy, it smells, it is red with soars, no hair, blackened on her belly, hot and greasy. She was diagnosed with allergies and was on shots for 1-1/2 years. She has been on the cycle of steroids and antibiotics for at least two years that I have had her. She keeps getting these bacterial infections. No one can help her.

I have been reading about Candida. None of the vets mentioned anything about Candida to me. I took her off her shots then I took her off her steroids and antibiotics three weeks ago and am playing vet myself, which is a little scary. I am giving her Wellness canned food, no grain treats, 2 tsp of turmeric for inflammation, 4 tsp of omega 3, 2 tsp of coconut oil to kill the bad bacteria, 4 tsp of apple cider vinegar per day. She gets 1/2 cup plain yogurt each day for a snack and gets a bath daily with anti-fungal shampoo (which she really needs and it helps) with an apple cider mixed with water rinse.

I am obsessed with getting her healthy. Do you think I'm on the right track, I don't want to hurt her.

Suggestion from our Vet Regarding Candida Infection

Hi Michele,

Many Candida (a type of yeast/fungus) infections occur as a result of allergies in dogs. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to address both the allergies and the yeast infection if she is to recover. Mild yeast infections can respond to some of the treatments you are trying (e.g., the antifungal shampoo), but severe cases require more potent antifungal medications. Some dogs have mixed bacterial and yeast infections that only partially respond to antibiotics or develop yeast infections as a result of being treated with antibiotics.

The type of scenario you describe is not uncommon but can get very complicated, so I don’t recommend you try to treat it by yourself. If you have not been satisfied with your “regular” veterinarian, I recommend you make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist. These specialists have advanced training in just the type of problems your dog is suffering from and can develop an effective plan for diagnosis, treatment, and long-term prevention/management. The American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology has a “Find a Dermatologist” function on their website.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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