A yeast infection is a typical example of a beneficial organism revolting and causing harm if other systems of the body are not functioning properly. Yeast, a single-celled fungus that reproduces asexually by budding or division is present in the body and intestinal tracts of a dog. In a healthy dog, yeast identifies and destroys harmful bacteria and is controlled by the immune system.
A weakened immune system drastically reduces the number of friendly bacteria in the body. Without the active support of these friendly bacteria, yeast undergoes a dramatic 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.
Skin problems in dogs and other pets produce symptoms that can bring about significant changes to the look of your pet. Conditions like canine and feline acne , dog and cat dandruff, dog ear mites, intestinal parasites, imbalanced diet and eczema can cause an itchy skin. The resultant scratching can lead to skin damage and this increases the risk of penetration by yeast. A yeast infection mostly affects moist parts but can prevail in almost any part of the skin.
Giving frequent baths to dogs, which they actually do not require, leads to depletion of essential oils in the skin rendering it dry and vulnerable to a yeast infection.
Major symptoms of a yeast infection surface in the shape of skin rashes, itching, redness, pimples and sometimes greasiness. A veterinarian will use a microscope, take a culture of skin scrapings or conduct a smear test to confirm the diagnosis. Itching induced by a yeast infection further leads to skin damage. If not attended to in time this may lead to canine or feline hair loss and further complications that may become difficult to handle.
More often than not, a yeast infection is caused by some medical condition that has rendered the immune system incapable of functioning properly. Treatment of the underlying condition will effectively cure your dog of a yeast infection. Topical treatments are not very effective as the dog is prone to lick them off. Shampoos containing antifungal agents in the form of a nitrate can help in treatment but only to a certain extent.
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.