• Lara Rose

Itchy dog?

Do you have an itchy dog? Wondering why he’s itchy? Want to know how to help? You’re in the right place. The most likely causes of your dog’s itchiness are either allergies or a yeast infection. Your dog’s seasonal or environmental allergies are just like yours; caused by dust pollen, mold, etc… Food allergies can produce similar issues, but we won’t be focusing on those here. Systemic yeast only has one cause, yeast. The fungus Malassezia pachydermatis makes a home on the dog’s skin and causes all sorts of uncomfortable side effects. Let's break down the common symptoms of both, so we can decide which treatment path to take later on:

Seasonal or Environmental Allergies Systemic Yeast

itchiness itchiness hives redness swelling of face, ears, lips, eyelids sores redness greasy coat, oily skin diarrhea hair loss vomiting thickening skin sneezing crusty, flaking skin watery eyes recurring ear infections, head shaking coughing, wheezing, congestion distinct odor paw licking paw licking

Ok. Have a better idea of what you’re dealing with? Good. Then let’s look at how to treat the itchiness:

Seasonal or Environmental Allergies Systemic Yeast

See your Vet for: See your Vet for: allergy test skin/fungal culture test prescription antihistamine prescription anti-fungal prescription anti-itch steroid prescription anti-itch steroid Antibiotic (if allergies have led to a bacterial infection) Antibiotic At home: To kill the yeast at home: soothing baths 1. baths: medicated shampoo with NO oatmeal anti-itch spray 2. disinfect and dry out the infected areas

fatty acid supplement with witch hazel, hot spot spray oral anti-inflammatory: CBD, turmeric 3. change diet: - don’t feed foods that yeast likes - remove as much sugar & starch as you can - feed probiotics or fermented veggies to

promote a healthy gut biome and immune system - oral anti-inflammatory: CBD, turmeric

Allergies are easy, you can manage the problem with a prescription, or if they’re not too severe, ease the itchiness with soothing oatmeal baths, moisturizing sprays, and natural anti-inflammatories.

Yeast on the other hand, is a much more complicated beast. You have to kill the fungus to relieve the symptoms. The most effective way to do this, is to stop feeding it. The yeast fungus needs moisture and sugar to survive, so if you take away these things, it will die. Medicated shampoos containing Chlorhexidine, Ketoconazole, Benzethonium chloride, and/or tea tree oil will work to actively kill the fungus, and should be used once a week while the issue persists. It is very important that whatever shampoo you use does not contain oatmeal. I know oatmeal soothes itching, but it also feeds yeast, and that’s the opposite of what you want here. You must also disinfect and dry out the yeasty areas (ears, feet, skin folds, etc…) daily with a hot spot solution, or witch hazel applied with cotton balls, or a foot soak. As an extra precaution, make sure your dog’s gut has an active microbiome. Adding a probiotic supplement or fermented veggies will stimulate a immune system and therefore immune response.

Unfortunately, some dogs have yeast problems no matter what remedies their owners are using to manage the condition. If this is the case with your dog, you are likely dealing with an immune and/or diet related condition. A blood test from your veterinarian to measure immunoglobulin levels could shed light on the problem. And diet changes such as eliminating as much sugar, starch, and carbohydrates as possible will help as well.

If you’d like more advice on any of the products and treatments highlighted in this post, or are interested in nutritional guidance for managing yeast please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by filling out this form, or by popping into the store on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. As always, have a lovely day, and thank you for stopping by.