Are you struggling to shift your dog's yeast infection? Our experts offer their advice...
(Q) One of my dogs has a yeast infection and is currently undergoing treatment. I want to avoid it happening again. I realise that it could be down to an allergy, as yet undetermined, or it could be because she has had a number of antibiotics this year.
(A) Vet Roberta Baxter says: Yeast infections in dogs can relate to a disorder in the natural balance between bacteria and yeasts in the skin and other areas. Most active yeast infections are in the skin, although they can also occur in the mouth and other places such as the ears.
The skin between the toes is also a common location. Often these dogs get yeast infections partly because their bacterial balance is wrong, and partly because their skin barrier is not protecting them properly, which commonly happens in dogs with allergic skin disease.
This means that those dogs who have underlying skin disease will respond best if the underlying problem is also addressed and their allergies are treated. Using an essential fatty acid supplement, which improves the skin barrier, is also helpful.
Avoiding grains and sugars can be useful in some cases, and some dogs benefit from probiotics (many dogs are lactose intolerant so do better on capsules/tablets available from your vet or online). Antibiotics might be needed in some cases, and anti-yeast shampoos and wipes can also be beneficial.
(A) Vet John Burns says: Your dog has had a number of antibiotics this year and now she has a yeast infection. This tells me that her system is fundamentally unhealthy and you need to look at her basic diet to correct this.
The body depends on sugar (glucose) as its main source of energy but it is incorrect to assume that all sources of sugar are the same. Whole grains and carrots have a very different effect compared to fruits and simple sugars, even honey.
I'd recommend a hypo-allergenic-type, low fat, low-protein diet based on whole grains such as brown rice, oats or maize. There are a number of foods that may be suitable. Feed sparingly and avoid treats for the time being. This should make her system more resistant to infections.