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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
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504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Candidiasis

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 by Mike Cronk

Whew—that’s a mouthful!  The title is the name of a yeast overgrowth which has been responsible for many problems in both man and dog.  According to “The Whole Dog Journal,” it is an “underlying cause of many skin and coat problems, food sensitivities and other symptoms in our canine companions.”  Based on this list, a lot of the coat and skin problems we see as groomers could be diagnosed as yeast infections, including: “recurring hot spots or infections of the ears, eyes, bladder or urinary tract.”

Candida is a single-celled organism classified as both a yeast and a fungus.  It is found naturally in the digestive system and genital tracts and normally is kept in balance by beneficial bacteria. A low count of bacteria allows the yeast to thrive and cause problems in humans such as thrush, diaper rash, athlete’s foot, jock itch, vaginal yeast infections, digestive problems, seasonal allergies, ring worm and nail fungus. 

An increased use of antibiotics is the most common cause of this type of infection because it not only kills bad bacteria but good bacteria as well—the kind that usually keeps Candida in check. 

What’s worse is that when Candida takes hold, its cells manufacture chemicals that kill the beneficial and balancing bacteria.  It is thus very difficult to rebalance the body.  While this all sounds like the script for a sci-fi movie, it is real enough and we have all seen the manifestation in ourselves, friends, and our canine companions.

An overgrowth of yeast lowers the body’s immune system and can result in the growth of yeast in parts of the body other than the digestive tract—ears, paws, etc.  It can be the cause of just about any infirmity which our dogs exhibit.  While we don’t want to call every problem the result of yeast imbalance, educating ourselves may help us treat a cause rather than symptoms.  Talk with your veterinarian if you have concerns about Candida.

Symptoms

  1. Skin has an offensive greasy smell.
  2. Constant licking of body parts—legs, toes, etc.
  3. Hair loss, redness, hot spots, hyper pigmentation (blackening of the skin) and thickening of the skin.
  4. Severe itching.
  5. Redness, swelling, and odor of the ear flaps and outer ear canal.

“The Whole Dog Journal” referenced http://www.nzymes.com/ and there you can find pictures of various types of yeast infection as well as descriptions and potential solutions.  Their descriptions of yeast match the other research we have found but we do not necessarily endorse the product they are selling because we have not personally tested it.

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