Moldy Dogs: Fungal and Yeast Infections in Dogs

We’ve received several inquiries about “dog mold“. Fortunately there is no such condition. But some dogs are prone to skin diseases or infections. Rarely fatal but these conditions can be extremely uncomfortable.

There are 3 types of dog mold, er make that infections: yeast infections, Fungal infections and fungus/yeast infections. 

Candida Albicans

A common microorganism that lives in the stomachs of dogs and people is Candida Albicans. It is a fungus/yeast that can become a problem when it overgrows. This is a systemic yeast infection.

This insidious fungus is a pathogen that can take over the gut when the pH level is not in balance. The most common symptom is bloat/torsion.

What causes the overgrowth of fungus/yeast?

  •  Metabolic issues from thyroid imbalance
  • Hormone stress (seasons, whelping, lactation, vaccines)
  • Stress – all kinds of stresses including change in home life, lactation, whelping, vaccines, male response to biches in heat, abuse, change in owners, travel, dog shows
  • Genetic factors – some breeds are more hyperactive
  • Weather or environmental factors
  • destroying good gut bacterias – usually from antibiotic overuse
  • nutritional issues such as excessive carbs, not enough protein, low digestive enzymes poor probiotics
  • Change in home environment or boarding
  • Weak immune system due to inbreeding
  • Hormone stress (seasons, whelping, lactation, vaccines
  • Stress – all kinds of stresses including change in home life, lactation, whelping, vaccines, male response to biches in heat, abuse, change in owners, travel, dog shows
  • Compromised immune system because of other illnesses
  • Sensitivity to stimulus (light, sounds, movements)
  • Flea or heartworm medications
Much of the problem with Candida overgrowth is “leaky gut” syndrome. Toxins escape the gut  to other parts of the body causing your dog to feel sick all over. Candida cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a yeast/fungus so they continue to multiply causing more toxins to compromise the immune system.

Symptoms of systemic yeast infection:

Systemic yeast infections often go misdiagnosed as a bacterial infection or as allergies, either food or environmental. Many of the immediately observable symptoms can support such diagnosis.

A wide variety of symptoms can occur because of a compromised immune system. Other conditions can arise because the dog will not be able to adequately absorb nutrients.

Watch for skin irritations. Your dog may be licking its paws or genitals. There skin may be itchy as can their faces mouth or throat.

There may be signs of inflammation and joint pain, look for redness. There may be a smell in the folds of skin, thighs or under arms.

Your dog may have ongoing secondary bacterial infections. These can be reoccurring skin, ear  or bladder infections.

Be aware if your dog becomes obviously over sensitive to sounds, light or movement. They will likely be otherwise lethargic, depressed and easily tired .

Bloating/torsion should be a strong indicator for your vet to test for systemic yeast infection. There could be other gastrointestinal problems.

How to prevent and treat systemic yeast infections:

There are a number of pro-active steps you can take if your dog is susceptible to Candida overgrowth. Working with your vet is important.

Begin with good quality food. Supplementing their diet. Probiotics with dietary enzymes will maintain pH balance. Oxy-Drops on food and apple cider vinegar in drinking water will also help stabilize pH levels (note: don’t put them both in water . One is acid, the other alkaline so they would cancel each other out). Detoxify with Nzymes supplement, a metabolic enzyme.

Prevent secondary bacterial infections by wiping the dogs skin with Oxy-Drops diluted at 1 tsp to one cup distilled water. You can also to a one to one solution of water with apple cider vinegar to wipe any infected areas every day. Don’t apply to open lesions. Bathing your dog in a medicated shampoo is helpful.

Other Fungal Infections in Dogs

Dogs may encounter infections from other types of parasitic fungi. They can be found on dead animals, feces and decaying vegetation. They can be acquired through the skin or through inhalation or ingestion. Fungal infection in canines include ringworm and deep infections like blastomysosis. Some fungal infections like cryptococcosis and aspergillosis may need a host with a suppressed immune system though some strong strains will infect perfectly healthy dogs. Fungal infections require both microscopic and culture identificaiton.

Most parasitic fungi exist as an organism in soil, decaying vegetation and feces, and on decaying animal matter and tissues. The soil and the air is the primary source of most infections, which can be acquired by ingestion, inhalation, or even through the skin. Those fungi capable of producing infection in hosts, such as histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, and blastomycosis are regarded as primary systemic mycoses. Opportunistic fungi, such as aspergillosis, and cryptococcosis, usually require a host that is debilitated, or immune-suppressed, to establish infection, but stronger strains have been doing just the opposite. Clinical diagnosis of fungal infections can only be reached by both the culture and microscopic identification of the organism. Serology may also be used as a diagnostic tool for some fungal disease. Fungal infections in dogs and puppies include skin infections such as ringworm and deep fungal infections such as blastomycosis. The symptoms, diagnosi and treatment of fungal infections are discussed in the following articles:

Ringworm

Blastomycosis

Coccidioides immitis/Valley Fever

Aspergillosis

Histoplasmosis

Cryptococcosis

Pythiosis

• Zygomycosis

Related articles include:

Your Pet May Have a Mold Allergy