Fungal infections in dogs, most commonly known as yeast infections, are infections that greatly affect your fur-baby's mouth, skin, and urinary tract. As a heads up, fungal yeasts actually naturally exist in your dog's body and are not really a cause of concern, but there are many things that serve as a trigger. These triggers then cause abnormal yeast overgrowth, thus the infection.
Fungal infections, like any other infections, cause discomfort and can even lead to greater infections with severe complications - who would want this for their fur-babies? That's why here at Pet Parents®, we've come up with a guide on what you should know about the causes and symptoms of fungal infections and what you can do to have snuggle moments with your pooch again.
CAUSES OF FUNGAL INFECTIONS IN DOGS
Overgrowth of fungal yeasts that leads to infections can be because of many reasons. And though some dog breeds are naturally predisposed to yeast infections (like the Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, German Shepherds, etc), fungal infections can still develop in any breed, at any age. The following are just some of the causes of fungal infections in dogs:
- Unhealthy and improper diet
- Lack of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Weakened immune system
- Allergy to food or allergy to an ingredient
- Long periods of exposure to extreme weather (too cold, too hot)
- Unhygienic and dirty surroundings/environment
- Skin allergies due to bites of mites, fleas, and parasites
- Underlying health condition like Diabetes, Cushing's disease, and endocrine disorders
- Intense cancer treatment and/or chemotherapy
- Improper use and dosage of antibiotics
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR DOG HAS A FUNGAL INFECTION?
Signs and symptoms of fungal infections in dogs greatly depend on what body part is affected. As these infections commonly affect the skin, mouth and urinary tract, here are are a few signs to watch out for:
In your dog's mouth:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating
- Presence of Thrush (white coating around the mouth or on the tongue)
On your dog's skin (usually on the paws, ears and near the private area):
- Constant licking, chewing, scratching pawing of affected areas
- Bad odor especially with the ears
- Inflamed skin
- Scaly and flaky skin
- Open sores
- Oily and greasy coat
Of the urinary tract:
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Pain while urinating
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Constant pawing or licking of the private area
MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION
Treatment and management of fungal infections greatly depend on what body part of your fur-baby is affected, considering also the severity of the symptoms, the type of yeast and the cause/s. For fungal infections caused by allergies, removing the allergens or discontinuing medications may be enough (but additional treatment may be necessary, too), while infections in the urinary tract may require medications.
To prevent fungal infections from occurring in your fur baby, you can:
Give your dog a good bath...quickly so that the healthy oils naturally occurring in your fur-baby's skin is not stripped off because of that long bath. Use shampoos that are specifically made for dogs and are mild to them.
Provide a healthy diet. What your dog eats greatly affects his health. Make sure his diet is filled with whole foods, protein, and fiber, containing a wide variety of nutrients to be able to support your dog's body to function well, ward off infections and prevent yeast overgrowth.
Give high-quality supplements. High-quality supplements like Pet Parents® Probiotic Supplements that help in preventing yeast overgrowth in your fur buddy. These probiotic supplements contain clinically-proven branded source of Bacillus coagulans, MS-99®, which is more effective than the Bacillus coagulans found in other probiotic supplements because it undergoes meticulous processes that increase its efficacy. You can also give Pet Parents® Bladder Supplements since yeast infections are very common in urinary tracts.
Fungal infections in dogs can be quite tough to deal with, but there are ways on how to avoid, prevent and manage them, together with the help of Pet Parents®. For that happier and healthier life, not only for your fur-baby but for the both of you in the coming years ahead.