Once in a lifetime, every dog can suffer from itching and skin problems. There are several reasons behind this itchiness, and one of the most common reasons is a fungal infection.
Dogs have an immune system in their body that helps keep microorganisms at bay. At some point, the immune system was compromised, and the powerful microorganism can cause a yeast infection.
So what is a yeast infection? Why does it occur in the paws of dogs, and what is its treatment? We will discuss all of this in detail here.
What is a yeast infection?
Yeast is a microorganism found in all parts of the world. There are more than 800 species of yeast present on earth, and they perform different roles, from beneficial to harmful in the ecosystem.
Yeast infection can cause skin diseases in dogs and is very common. Yeast dermatitis is typically found on the ears, skin folds, dog paws, and other moist areas of the body.
The moist and humid condition provides an excellent place for yeast to grow, and there is a lot of moisture on the dog paws, as a result, it proliferates widely on the dog paws.
Why do Dogs get Yeast infection?
Yeast infection most commonly occurs in those dogs that have a weak immune system or whose immune system has been compromised by the overuse of medications. It is most common during allergy season when your dog on steroids or antibiotics.
In any illness, when your dog takes steroids as a side effect, your dog’s immune system is compromised and often allows the yeast to grow. Similarly, when a dog is taking long-term antibiotics, the normal microflora of the gut will be damaged. As a result, yeast will proliferate and cause infection in dogs.
Another common cause behind the development of yeast infection is the genetics or body traits of dogs; for example, it is more common in those dogs that have excessive skin folds.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are several symptoms that are observed during the presence of yeast infection, and most of the signs that are seen are:
- Greasy skin
- Swollen, inflamed or red nail beds
- Thickened skin
- Musty odor coming from the paws
- Discharge from the skin or nail beds
- Crusty, flaky skin on the paws
- Swelling of the infected area
Itching is the basic sign that appears as a result of yeast infection. When a dog suffers from a yeast infection, he continuously bites and licks his paws, and when you look closely at it or smell it, it smells like rotten corn chips. The name ‘Frito Feet’ was given because of this smell.
The symptom of yeast infection occurs in different parts of the body, and yeast infection in different parts of the body has different symptoms. But our main focus is on the dog paws, so a dog that has a yeast infection elsewhere on the body don’t show paw symptoms.
For example, a dog suffering from urinary tract yeast infection will not have any signs on the paw pads. Instead, the dog will urinate more frequently.
Diagnosis of Infection in Dog Paws
The first thing to do when your dog suffers from any itchiness on paws is to contact your veterinarian. It is important to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible, especially if he hasn’t seen such a problem before.
However, if you know about yeast infection and your dog has had it in the past, discuss it with your vet and start treating it yourself.
Yeast infection on dog paws is very easy to diagnose, the diagnosis is based on the complete and detailed history, inspection of the infected area, and the presence of a cheesy odor which is the main characteristic of Yeast infection in dogs.
Sometimes veterinarians undergo further tests to confirm yeast infection. There are several techniques that are used to diagnose the presence of yeast infection, and one of the most common and simple methods is to collect the skin scrap from the infected dog paw. These skin scraps are further tested under the microscope for a definitive diagnosis.
How to Treat a Yeast Infection
Once yeast infection on the dog’s paws is diagnosed, the next step is treatment. In general, treatment begins by prescribing antifungal medications. Antifungals are available in different forms, including topical creams, medicated wipes, and oral medications. Your vet will prescribe one of these based on the severity of the yeast infection.
Bacterial infection can also occur in conjunction with a fungal infection, so antibiotics can also be used. Sometimes yeast infection can occur due to allergies to flea bites, so be sure to provide your pup with preventive flea medications.
Prevent Infections in Dog Paws
Dog paws come into contact with dirt and filth on a daily basis, and there is no doubt that there can be a lot of yeast in them. Therefore, it is best to wash your dog paws when he returns from a long walk, especially when your dog is jumping and running in dirty places. You can also use doggy boots to keep your dog paws clean.
If your dog likes to swim, always make sure that when he gets out of the pool, he dries up well because a wet condition can stimulate yeast growth. Dry the places like between toes, crevices of pads, and other crevices. As you know, the sweat glands of dogs are located in their paws, so it is beneficial to clean their feet after playing in the dirt.
Take care of your dog’s diet because some foods increase the chances of yeast infection, hot spots, or cysts in dogs. Carbohydrates are primarily considered the culprits, so choosing a grain-free diet is best if your dog is suffering from yeast infections. It is also recommended to keep your dog away from unhealthy treats and table scraps, especially which are whole corn syrup and carbohydrates.
Bathing your dog with antifungal shampoo is also a good idea. There are various antifungal shampoos available in the market, and these shampoos not only prevent yeast infection but also eliminate if any infection is present.
Yeast infection on dog paws is very common, and its growth is rapid due to many factors. Fortunately, by following certain preventive measures and treatments, you can protect your dog from this infection and return to a healthy life.