"Candida canine is a yeast infection that either starts in the intestinal tract or has entered the skin and caused redness and possibly infection. The condition is usually due to an underlying cause such as allergy, reaction to a medication such as antibiotics or diabetes. Treatment options range from eliminating the underlying cause, directly treating the yeast and if the problem occurs regularly, dietary supplements."
Candida canine is a yeast infection caused by a yeast that normally lives in the body and intestinal tract of dogs. Its role is to recognize and destroy harmful bacterial. In a healthy body, it's controlled by a properly-functioning immune system and "friendly" bacteria.
Without the active support of these friendly bacteria, yeast undergoes a change from a non-invasive and sugar-fermenting organism to an invasive and mucus damaging organism. This is the start of a primary yeast infection. A secondary yeast infection occurs when yeast penetrates skin that has already been damaged by scratching or injury.
Fungal infections of the lower urinary tract can pose significant therapeutic challenges with Candida as the most common cause in dogs.
Canine candida can also be a reaction to the use of antibiotics or allergy.
There is high incidence of seeing diabetes melitus in dogs with a candida or fungal infection in the digestive tract.
Candida Canine Symptoms
Symptoms of candida canine infection include crusty patches on skin, itchy skin, and smelly skin. Part of the body or all of the body can be affected. Warm, moist areas are most likely to be affected, such as under skin folds, inside the ears, around the eyes or the anus.
Some breeds are genetically predisposed to yeast infections: West Highland White Terrier, Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Silky Terrier, Australian Terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, Poodle, Shetland Sheepdog, Lhasa Apso, and Dachshund.
Candida Canine Diagnosis
Your vet can probably diagnose a yeast infection just by looking at it. If there is a question, he or she can use a moistened cotton swab to remove some of the yeast or can take a scraping of the skin to examine under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.
Candida Canine Treatment
Treatment can be topical, oral, or both. Usually topical treatment by itself is not sufficient, but since oral treatment is expensive, sometimes vets will try topical treatment alone if only small areas on the dog are affected.
An anti-yeast shampoo is usually prescribed. Your dog will need to be bathed twice a week and the shampoo left on for 15 minutes before he is rinsed off. If only a small area is affected, though, you may not need to bathe your dog. Medicated wipes are available and you can just clean the affected area.
Oral medication is generally prescribed as well. The preferred drug is Ketoconazole. It must be taken for several weeks. As mentioned earlier, it is an expensive drug, but is very effective and therefore highly recommended.
The underlying cause of the yeast infection must also be addressed. Often it is caused by an allergy. If that is the case, the cause of the allergy must be determined and dealt with.
In other cases, it is caused by antibiotics, or by too much sugar in the dog's diet (don't feel your dog sugary snack foods), or illness.
Recent research has shown some success with injections of the medication 1% clotrimazole solution.
Natural Treatment Options for Candida Canine
A natural approach to health is better than choosing medication. Effective ways of preventing yeast infection include a healthy, balanced and nutritional diet, avoiding commercial dog foods, and keeping the dog dry whenever he gets wet.
If the dog candida is causing urinary tract infections consider a herbal dietary supplement designed to promote urinary tract, bladder while strengthening the immune system. Consider PetAlive UTI-Free which is made for this purpose.
If your dog is suffering from infections on the skin, having problems with its coat or infection around the ear consider a supplement that contains Equisetum arvense (Horsetail - also good for urinary tract health), Taraxacum officinalis (Dandelion) and Arthrospira platenis (Spirulina). A supplement combines these ingredients and is made to help support the skin is Skin and Coat Tonic.
Consult with your veterinarian so that he or she can track any progress to see if supplementing your dog's diet makes sense.
SourcesMarvista Animal Medical Center
Antifungal Drug Therapy
MacDonald, J. M.
Fungal Urinary Tract Infections
College of Veterinary Medicine
North Carolina State University