Canine candidiasis, or dog thrush can cause an infection in your dog's ears, mouth and bladder. When the infection is on your dog's skin, it appears as lesions that are usually hot to the touch and painful to your pooch. If you suspect dog thrush, your pet needs to see his vet.
Candida, sugar-digesting yeast is found normally in a dog's ears, nose, and mouth, genital and gastrointestinal tracts. When there is an overgrowth of Candida, candidiasis occurs as a type of fungal infection. It may be localized in one part of the body or systemic and colonize the entire body.
Dogs Prone to Thrush
Dog breeds with long, floppy ears such as cocker spaniels, golden retrievers, poodles and basset hounds and dogs with hair in the inner ear canal are more susceptible to candidiasis in the ear. Dogs with an immuno-suppressed system are more likely to have thrush where it invades damaged tissues. Dogs with diabetes are prone to thrush.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms for dog thrush or candidiasis are dependent on what area is infected on a dog. In an ear infection, a dog will frequently shake his head and scratch at his head. In the case of an oral infection, a dog will drool excessively. A bladder infection causes cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. Candidiasis is common around IV catheters and gastronomy tubes accompanied with skin irritation, open lesions on the skin and fever.
When you take your dog to the vet, tests are conducted to diagnose candidiasis. Lesions require a biopsy of infected tissue, and a urine sample will show a bacteria infection to confirm the disease. Infected ears are swabbed and examined to confirm a diagnosis in an ear infection. Tests will show large numbers of yeast organisms with a white, cheesy foci in inflamed tissues. Veterinary treatment consists of topical medications on the infected areas and the removal of a catheter if the infection surrounds it.
After your dog has been diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian, you can make a few changes to prevent further infections in your pooch. Changing your dog to a fresh meat and bone diet without grains and vegetables can prevent future infections. Probiotics can rebuild your dog's good bacteria and kill the yeast in his digestive tract. Always check with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog or giving him any over-the-counter medications.