When we see our fur babies itching, biting and scratching we automatically assume that they have an allergy. This post is designed to give some pointers on yeast infections so that you can distinguish the difference.
Does your dog suffer from itchy skin, hot spots, itchy smelly ears/feet or has various food sensitivities? Scratching and itching can be signs of an allergy but when combined with these other symptoms there is a high chance that they may have a yeast infection.
What is Yeast?
Yeast is a fungus that lives in your dogs intestines and helps to digest his food. It is normally present in small amounts, however when there is an overgrowth of yeast, problems start to arise. The good gut bacteria will normally keep yeast at bay, however if yeast does grow out of control, it can irritate the cells in the lining of the gut wall causing inflammation and resulting in harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins to pass through the intestines and into the bloodstream which leads to a problem known as ‘leaky gut’.
Here is what to look out for with a yeast infection;
* Chewing, biting or licking the feet
* Head shaking
* Ear infections/smelly greasy ears
* Dark rust/red hair between the toes
* Black skin, speckled underbelly
* Pungent smell
* Hair loss
The first place that you usually notice that your dog has a yeast infection are his ears. Head shaking and smelly dirty ears are a good indication that there is more at play than an allergy or sensitivity.
When tackling a yeast infection it is critical to avoid sugar, carbohydrates, chemicals and toxins.Yeast loves and thrives on sugar so by removing carbohydrates/sugars from your dog’s diet, you starve the yeast. When it’s at its most aggressive state yeast can release over 60 different toxins into the bloodstream.
Sources of sugars and carbohydrates in processed dog foods include rice, millet, wheat, corn, peas, oats or potatoes. Be aware that grain-free foods can have just as much starch as other non grain-free foods. A natural, fresh or raw diet with no sugar fuelled ingredients is best for dogs with yeast infections as it doesn’t contain the large amount of carbohydrates and sugars that most processed commercial dog food does.
Believe it or not, yeast also loves toxic metals such as chromium, lead and mercury which come from vaccinations, pesticides, chemical flea treatments, fish, low quality fish oil or commercial pet foods. Avoid all of the above where possible (or if not ethically sourced) and do a regular detox which will help to reduce any toxic build up.
You may notice that as you make these change to your dogs diet and eliminate toxins that your dog experiences some unpleasant symptoms such as loose stools, sickness, discharge from the skin, eyes or ears, joint pain or lethargy. This is because as yeast starts to die off it releases a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. These symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks and are perfectly normal, after which time your dog will start to feel much better.
After the detox period you need to get your dogs microbiome back in good order and adding pre and probiotics will help to achieve this. Probiotic Bacillus subtilus is known to help fight yeast overgrowth directly and prebiotics Dandelion & inulin from Chicory will provide the fibre necessary for the good bacteria from the probiotic to grow and thrive. (Probiotics alone only live in your dogs gut for a couple of days so fibre based prebiotics are critical to keep ‘feeding’ the probiotics).
Avoid feeding fermented foods while your dog has a yeast infection. This might seem counterintuitive since your dog needs probiotics but fermentation happens when the carbohydrates and sugars in food are eaten by bacteria and yeast. So the prebiotics found in fermented food will also feed the yeast.
Proflax can help to get to grips with your dogs yeast infection..
Eradicating yeast can be a lengthy and difficult process, depending on its severity. When the liver is functioning at its best the immune system is able to fight off toxic invaders in the bloodstream so a liver cleanse is absolutely critical together with balancing the gut microbiome.
For the detox - Liver Love contains Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Yarrow, Yellow Dock, Artichoke, Schizandra and Liquorice which will provide a deep detox of the liver. https://proflax.co.uk/products/liver-love-1
To build the gut - Tummy Tastic contains probiotics Bacillus subtilus and Enterococcus faecium, prebiotics Dandelion and Chicory root, Slippery Elm, Fennel and Chamomile for gut strength and repair and Montmorillonite & Sepiolite clays to remove any excess toxins from the gut wall.
Feed Liver Love and Tummy Tastic on alternate days for a month whilst adapting a strict diet protocol. Bathe regularly using a natural tea tree shampoo and rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar. Wash paws once or twice daily and clean ears using a diluted witch hazel solution. Try and avoid prescribed medication where possible.