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Many dogs suffer from skin problems. These can originate from a multitude of of causes, with the most common being skin allergies, which in themselves have a variety of origins.
But a fairly common skin problem in dogs that is not so widely known is the skin problem caused by a bacterial or fungal skin infection, the most common type of which is a yeast infection.
A yeast infection is of the fungal type. It is basically a naturally occurring organism that is always present on the skin, but has gotten out of control. Yeast lives on normal skin, as well as in the ears and in the anal glands. But it’s when the yeast starts to multiply that problems develop.
The first signs of a yeast infection will probably be a rash on your dog’s skin. The underlying cause for the proliferation of the yeast organism may well be an allergic reaction. But once the yeast starts to “overgrow”, it will cause health problems for your dog regardless of whether the allergen is still present or not.
Another common cause of a yeast infection is an immune system problem – an underactive immune system, or immune deficiency. Boosting the immune system can prevent yeast infections in dogs from developing.
So it’s useful to know what the underlying causes of the yeast infection are so that those causes can be treated as well. If they’re not, even after you’ve treated the yeast infection and got it under control, the infection can recur because the cause has not also been treated.
There are a number of dog breeds that are particularly susceptible to yeast infections (although any breed can, of course, suffer from this condition). These susceptible breeds are the Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, Chihuahua, Poodle, Silky Terrier, Australian Terrier, Dachshund, Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Shetland Sheepdog, German Shepherd, and the West Highland White Terrier.
Once your dog has a yeast infection affecting his/her skin, it’s very important to keep the oil secretions on the skin to a minimum, since the sebaceous oil produced by the skin will actually “feed” the yeast infection.
Sometimes a yeast infection in your dog will manifest as a localized rash affecting only a small part of the body, while other times the infection can affect the entire body, in which event, the infection may be accompanied by an unpleasant smell.
If the whole body is affected, then frequent bathing is recommended (twice per week, and leaving the shampoo on the dog for 15 minutes before rinsing), while for smaller areas you may be able to treat only the small area. One way of doing this is by dabbing diluted vinegar (half vinegar and half water) on the rash on a daily basis.
There are specific anti-fungal shampoos that your vet may recommend, that contain various chemicals, including some brands of human dandruff shampoo.
But you should also treat the problem from the inside out. Your vet may prescribe a drug treatment, usually Ketoconazole, which can have some nasty side effects. But there are some very effective natural remedies for dog skin conditions that can work just as well as the drugs, but without the undesirable side effects.
Click on the links following for more information on some products that may help:
Natural Yeast Infection Treatment for Dogs – Dog Skin and Coat Tonic
Toxin Remover – detoxes the dog’s system, which assists with allergies
Immune Support for Pets – a healthy immune system can beat almost any illness or disease