Dog Candida or Allergy: Reader Question and Vet Suggestion

by Teena
(Centralia, Illinois)

Is Candida contagious to other pets? My older Newfie has a horrible smell, itch, and loss of hair and matted eyes. My younger Newfie is experiencing some itching and slight loss of hair.

Suggestion From Our Veterinarian

Hi Teena,

Of course I can’t tell you exactly what is wrong with your dog without having the opportunity to examine her myself, but based on your description, it’s quite possible that she has both allergies and a yeast infection (usually Malassezia, not Candida in dogs) instead of one or the other.

Yeast infections affecting the skin and ears of dogs usually develop secondarily to other conditions, such as allergies, that disrupt the health of the skin. This means that both problems need to be addressed. If you focus only on one, the dog’s condition may temporarily improve but almost always relapses.

If you are not happy with the care you are receiving from your current veterinarian, it might be best to seek a second opinion, ideally from a veterinary dermatologist. Skin problems in dogs can be difficult to diagnose and manage, so while seeing a specialist may appear expensive at first, it often pays off in the long term.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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