Understanding Yeast Infections in Dogs

Definition

Most people are familiar with the phrase “yeast infection.” However, many people don’t actually know what a yeast infection is. Yeast is a general term that refers to a kind of single-celled fungus that reproduces by a process called budding. Budding is a type of asexual or genderless reproduction in which a portion of the organism’s cell body becomes separated, pinching off to form a whole new yeast organism. Skin yeast infections are extremely common in domestic dogs. The species that cause most of these infections is Malassezia pachydermatis. This type of yeast is a normal inhabitant of a dog’s skin, in manageable numbers. It likes to live in the host dog’s fatty tissues and is especially fond of the ears. A yeast infection occurs when the yeast start to reproduce uncontrollably, over-populating the areas of skin where they normally live, but in much smaller numbers.

Causes and Prevention of Yeast Infections in Dogs

"Yeast" is an often-used but poorly-understood word. Yeast is a general term for a type of single-celled fungus that reproduces by a process called budding. Budding is a form of genderless reproduction where a portion of the yeast cell body pinches off and becomes a new separate yeast organism. The species of yeast that causes yeast dermatitis or yest skin infections in dogs is Malassezia pachydermatis. These living, one-celled fungi are normal residents of canine

Symptoms of Yeast Infections in Dogs

Yeast infections of the skin, also known as yeast dermatitis, are extremely common in companion dogs. The ears are the most common target, although yeast infections can show up anywhere on a dog’s skin and are also fairly common between the toes, under the armpits (in the axial area) and in facial and other deep skin wrinkles and folds. Yeast infections can be incredibly annoying, both for affected animals and for their owners. At a

Diagnosing Yeast Infections in Dogs

Dogs with yeast infections are usually brought to a veterinarian with a history of intense skin itchiness, with accompanying scratching and chewing at affected areas. The most common cause of canine yeast skin infections is a fungus called Malassezia pachydermatis, which can be tricky to diagnose definitively. A yeast infection should be considered in any dog presenting with extreme itchiness. Initially, the veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination, checking the dog from nose to

Treating Yeast Infections in Dogs

Skin yeast infections are common in companion dogs. The most frequent culprit is a species of fungal yeast organisms called Malassezia pachydermatis. Because these yeast are part of the normal flora of a dog’s skin, an infection only occurs when they reproduce and colonize without any of the normal controls and inhibitions imposed by a healthy immune system. Fortunately, yeast infections in dogs usually are not hard to treat. The goals of treating a canine

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