What Is Fungal Disease
Sporotrichosis is a fungal disease of the skin, but can also negatively affect the respiratory system, bones, and brain. The fungus, Sporothrix Schenckii, which is abundantly found in nature, is responsible for the fungal infection that can spread to dogs. It affects dogs by entering through abrasions of the skin or even by breathing it in. Although this disease begins on the skin, and if allowed to grow it can adversely affect the organs of the dogs body and can become quite serious.
The fungus is found in the environment. It is readily found in soil, certain types of moss, plants, and between a variety of animal species and humans as well. Dogs that are out hunting among the wooded areas with moss, soil, and thorny branches are susceptible to this illness.
This fungal disease is highly contagious and can spread via animal to animal and from animal to human.
Fungal disease of the skin in dogs is caused by the fungus Sporothrix Schenckii. The direct contact through open wounds or other orifices of spores of this fungus can cause mild to serious inflammation.
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How Is Fungal Dermatitis In Dogs Diagnosed
Your vet may use any of these techniques to collect a sample from your dog so his infection can be diagnosed and treated:
Skin biopsy – The most invasive diagnostic test uses a biopsy punch to obtain a small piece of skin. However, this provides the most complete diagnostic data.
Cotton swab sample – The skin is rubbed with a moistened swab to collect yeast organisms. Impression smear – A microscope slide is pressed onto the skin to collect yeast organisms. Acetate tape preparations – A piece of clear tape is applied to the skin to collect yeast organisms.
Skin scrape – The skin is scraped with a blade so yeast organisms can be collected.
What You Need To Learn About Yeast Infections In Dogs
If you find that your dog has irritated and itchy skin or a presence of strong or bad odor, they could have a yeast infection. Yeast, which is actually a fungus, normally lives on the skin of dogs without causing an irritation or illness. If there is an excess of the yeast on the body, that is when issues can arise.
The yeast living on dog skin is typically called Malassezia pachydermatitis. This is the yeast that can also cause skin and ear infections. Malassezia is an opportunistic pathogen . This implies that it normally does not harm its host but can cause disease when something else creates an imbalance between the yeast and the host. This includes situations when the host bodys resistance is low.
Since it resides on the skin, yeast can cause problems on the belly, paws, and ears of dogs. In fact, yeast infections can affect any part of skin, including multiple areas at the same time.
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How Is Yeast Dermatitis Diagnosed
There are several techniques used to collect samples for diagnosing yeast dermatitis:
- Skin scraping – scraping the skin with a blade to collect yeast organisms
- Impression smear – pressing a microscope slide on the skin to collect yeast organisms.
- Cotton swab sample – rubbing a moistened swab on the skin to collect yeast organisms.
- Acetate tape preparations – applying a piece of clear tape to the skin to collect yeast organisms.
- Skin biopsy – obtaining a small piece of skin with a biopsy punch. This is the most invasive diagnostic test, but provides the most complete diagnostic information.
Once the sample is obtained, it is examined by a veterinary pathologist under the microscope.
Oral Treatment For Dog Yeast Infections
Kelso points out that sometimes topical medications just aren’t effective, especially for dogs that hate bath time or have long, dense coats that make it hard to get topical treatments on the skin. In these situations, oral treatment may be the only option.
Taking an antifungal pill can also be better for more advanced yeast infection cases because it kills yeast fast. But prescriptions like ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, and terbinafine aren’t without a downsidethey can also cause stomach upset and affect the liver. According to Kelso, monitoring your pet with regular blood work is necessary during oral treatment.
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Signs Of Coccidioidomycosis In Dogs
Coccidioidomycosis is primarily a chronic respiratory disease, but canine infections can spread to many tissues, especially eyes, joints, and bone. Dogs with generalized disease may have the following signs:
Also see professional information regarding coccidioidomycosis Coccidioidomycosis Coccidioidomycosis is a dustborne, noncontagious infection caused by the dimorphic fungus Coccidioides immitis. Infections are limited to arid and semiarid regions of the… read more
What Are Localized Skin Fungal Infections In Dogs
Fungal infections that affect your dog’s skin can be difficult for pet parents to recognize since the itching and scratching that goes hand-in-hand with these infections is often thought to be the result of dry skin or flea bites. There are two common forms of skin fungal infections that our Bartlett vets commonly see in dogs.
Dermatophytes in dogs, more commonly known as ringworm, is caused by a collection of pathogenic fungi. Ringworm in dogs is extremely contagious and is spread through direct contact with the fungus. This can happen when a dog comes in direct contact with an infected animal, person, or object such as a couch, comb, bowl, bedding, or carpet. Ringworm can affect your dogs skin, fur, or nails. Symptoms of this common fungal infection include hair loss, itching, flaky or crusty skin, and misshapen or brittle nails. Early detection and treatment is essential for preventing the spread of ringworm to other household pets or people!
Treatment for ringworm in dogs will depend upon the severity of the infection but may include a combination of medicated baths and dips and/or oral antifungal medications. Vacuuming and disinfecting the house frequently is also a necessary step in preventing the spread of ringworm to others in the home.
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Treatments For Dog Skin Fungus
The main treatment that you can give your dog for skin fungus is a weekly bath using the high quality natural products that contain antifungal properties. You can also use antifungal creams and sprays, and natural conditioners to remoisten the skin. Your vet may also prescribe antifungal drops if your dog suffers from a yeast ear infection.
Soos Pets recommends our Deep Cleansing Shampoo and our Home Hydrotherapy Salt Soak because it is specially designed to remove yeast build up from the paws and body. Simply add it to the bath water as you bathe your dog and occasionally pour it over them. Additionally, many of our Dead Sea enriched products, such as our Mineral Enriched Rescue Cream, are fortified with antifungal agents that will help to relieve itching, moisturize skin, and reduce yeast build up by nipping the problem in the bud.
In order to rule out an underlying cause, you should also take your pup to the vet to be examined and treated if necessary. Lastly, your dog’s immune system can be enhanced with digestive tract such as probiotics, and supplements such as digestive enzymes, which will stop the fungus getting out of hand in the future.
What Are Fungal Infections
Although fungal infections are less common than either bacterial or viral infections, these infections can be just as serious. Fungal infections may occur due to contact with other animals, from the environment, or as a result of the overgrowth of fungi that are naturally present in and on your dog’s own body.
There are two main categories of fungal infections that your dog could be diagnosed with, systematic fungal infections which affect your dog’s major body systems, and localized fungal infections that are typically seen on your dog’s skin or external features.
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How Is Yeast Dermatitis Treated
Treatment for yeast dermatitis may be topical, oral, or a combination of both, and is based on the severity of your dog’s condition.
Topical treatment. Treatment with medicated shampoos is a vital part of treating yeast dermatitis. Many dogs with greasy or oily skin will require an initial degreasing cleansing with a shampoo containing selenium sulfide or benzoyl peroxide. After the initial bathing is complete, bathing with an anti-fungal shampoo containing chlorhexidine, miconazole, or ketoconazole is performed. It is important the anti-fungal shampoo remain in contact with the skin for at least ten minutes. To be effective, this topical treatment is required every 3-5 days for two to twelve weeks. If the infection is in the ears or in only one or two spots on the skin, a topical ointment may be prescribed for daily use.
Oral treatment. In more severe, chronic, or persistent cases of yeast dermatitis, the use of oral or systemic anti-fungal medications is often required. Many dogs with yeast dermatitis will also have a bacterial skin infection and will require antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection for typically four to twelve weeks. Oral anti-fungal medications include ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole.
How Your Dogs Yeast Infection Is Diagnosed
The only surefire way to tell if your dog has a yeast infection is to take him to the vet. Your vet will take a sample from your dog’s infected ear or skin by swab or scrape, with a piece of tape, or by simply pressing a microscope slide along the skin. Reviewing this sample under a microscope can reveal if your pup has yeast and how much of it there is.
In addition, your vet will analyze the sample for other issues. “Frequently, dogs with yeast also have bacterial infections or skin mites ,” Kelso says. “In these cases, treating only the yeast won’t solve the problem.”
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What Are Systematic Fungal Infections In Dogs
Systematic fungal infections reach beyond the skin and invade the inner body systems of your dog. These infections can be seen in your dog’s lungs, nasal passages, bone or eyes. Below is a list of a few of the most common systematic fungal infections seen in dogs throughout the US.
Aspergillosis is a fungal infection in dogs that is caused by a number of different Aspergillus species which are found in soil all around the world. This fungus is responsible for two main types of infection in dogs:
The fungus Cryptococcus is found in soil around the world but is most abundant in areas where pigeons or other birds gather in large numbers. Dogs generally inhale the fungus, which then leads to lung infection. This fungal disease initially affects the dog’s respiratory tract, but can go on to affect the central nervous system, eyes, and skin. Symptoms of cryptococcosis in dogs range from lethargy, coughing, nasal discharge, eye problems, and skin lesions, to seizures and other neurologic abnormalities. Treating cryptococosis can be challenging. While the most common treatment is an oral antifungal medication, it may need to be administered for a year or longer. Sadly, many dogs are unable to recover from this fungal infection.
Summary Of Yeast Infections In Dogs
Yeast infections are a common skin concern for dogs, causing itching and irritation. They typically occur in moist environments, like on the skin or in the ears or even the folds of their face. Often caused by allergies, yeast infections should be treated promptly, to avoid secondary infections and alleviate your dogs discomfort. As some dogs can be prone to recurrent yeast infections, its important to identify the root cause and take precautions ahead of time to protect their immune system.
Treatment Of Fungal Disease In Dogs
Prompt treatment is necessary to begin fighting the infection so it can be contained and no longer spread. Your dog may also be hospitalized in the beginning, as this infection can spread to humans. If your dog has been diagnosed with Sporotrichosis, treatment may include:
There are several types of antifungal medications, such as Itraconazole and Terbinafine. Medications that contain potassium iodide may also be what work for your dog. This medication will wipe out any spores and kill the infection. The veterinarian will show you how to apply this and it is crucial to keep giving the dog the treatment regularly until it is finished.
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Types Of Fungal Skin Infections In Dogs
Fungal skin infections are very common in dogs and can happen in any breed of any age. There are several types of fungal infections, but they can be generally grouped into two main categories: systemic and cutaneous.
Systemic fungal infections are generally more severe compared to cutaneous ones. This type of fungal infection involves the invasion and infection of a dogs internal system by the fungal microorganism. As these infections target internal organs, the resulting symptoms are systemic in nature and generally more serious.
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How To Prevent Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are incredibly common in dogs. You cant always predict how or when your dog will be exposed. However, there are steps you can take to protect your dog from fungal infection:
- Bathe your dog after they swim in a natural body of water or hike through brush
- After your dog bathes or swims, dry her off completely, including the outer part of the ears
- Feed a high-quality diet
If you or your dog sitter suspect your dog has a fungal infection, schedule an appointment with the vet. There are anti-fungal shampoos for dogs which inhibit fungal and bacterial growth. Fungal infections are very common, and typically very treatable, but you wont know how to treat your dog until you consult a vet.
What Is Fungal Infection Of The Skin
Malassezia pachydermatis is a fungus that is frequently found on the skin and in the mucosa, and ear canals and of dogs. In small numbers, it is asymptomatic, but the fungus can take advantage of a weakened immune system or another disease to multiply and cause an opportunistic infection. This is called malassezia or yeast dermatitis. Most dogs with this infection have patches of itchy, flaky or crusted skin. The fungus flourishes in conditions of humidity, so symptoms will develop around moist areas such as the eyes or groin, or in between the claws. Malassezia can also cause ear infections, usually otitis externa. Yeast dermatitis often develops due to excess oil in the skin and is more common in dogs with folding or pouched skin. A fungal infection may be caused by allergies that make the skin oily, or it can be a sign of more serious disease such a staph infection or an endocrine imbalance. Dogs taking immunosuppressant drugs are particularly at risk. Most cases will clear up with antifungal treatment, but dogs with recurrent symptoms may need continuous treatment. This type of fungal infection is not contagious so it will not spread to other dogs.
Malassezia pachydermatis is a fungus that is found naturally in small numbers on most dogs. It can multiply and cause skin infection in dogs that weak or unhealthy, or have oily skin from allergies. This is called malassezia dermatitis or yeast dermatitis. It usually clears up with antifungal treatment.
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Topical Treatment For Skin Yeast Infections
Topical treatments for canine yeast infection on the skin include shampoos, ointments, and wipes. Kelso says that using them will typically involve a few steps:
Preventing Fungal Infections In Dogs
Fungal infections in dogs range from localized annoyances to potentially fatal systemic diseases. Prevention is not always possible, but common sense measures can help. If you live in an area where a certain type of fungal infection is endemic, avoid high risk environments. Pets with ringworm should be isolated to limit the spread of the disease to people or other animals. Finally, appropriately manage any underlying health problems that increase your dogs risk for developing a fungal infection.
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Yeast Infections In Dogs
Yeast infections in dogs are commonly caused by different species from the genus Malassezia sp. These are unicellular, fungal microorganisms that appear as footprint-shaped under the microscope. Often considered as a commensal skin microflora, yeast skin infection only happens when the dogs innate defenses are compromised due to several skin conditions. Malassezia dermatitis in dogs is often secondary to an underlying disease, usually allergic dermatitis.
Canine yeast infections are commonly seen in skin folds, axillary and inguinal regions, and ears of infected dogs. Infection results in redness of the skin with hyperkeratosis or thickening, and hyperpigmentation. Generalized skin yeast infections tend to be itchy and infected dogs will scratch excessively.
Most cases of skin yeast infection can be treated with topical antifungal medications like shampoos, topical sprays, or creams. Severe cases of skin yeast infection will require systemic antifungal therapy, but its important to note that not all antifungal medicines are effective against yeast cells. Proper identification and diagnosis are needed for the treatment to be effective.
As mentioned, the majority of canine Malassezia dermatitis cases are secondary to an underlying condition, and addressing the primary disease is essential in completely controlling the yeast infection. A proper diagnostic approach is necessary for dealing with skin yeast infections in dogs.