Itchy, smelly American pitbull? This may be a yeast infection…
Most pet owners have heard the term “yeast infection” before. But what many pet owners don’t know is exactly what causes a yeast infection. And how to treat and prevent it.
Sometimes dog owners assume that their pets are meant to have kind of a stinky doggie smell when really, their dogs are having a yeast problem.
Here is a complete guide to better understand this beautiful breed: American Pitbull 101
What is Yeast Infection?
Yeast is a spore-like type of fungi that reproduces through a process called budding. Budding just means that portions of the organism’s cell body break off to form a whole new yeast organism.
Yeast infections of the skin and of the ears are very common in dogs and are caused by an organism called Malassezia Pachydermatis. These organisms are normal inhabitants of your dog’s skin and ears.
A normal amount of yeast becomes an infection when the organism begins to reproduce uncontrollably.
Sometimes the yeast production gets out of control. It invade and colonize areas of the dog’s body and skin. This means yeast are opportunistic. They flourish in a body when the body isn’t healthy or in perfect balance
Signs Your Dog May Have a Yeast Infection
A yeast infection can occur anywhere on a dog’s skin. It includes between the toes, in the armpits, and in the deep wrinkles and folds of the skin.
But the most common location for a yeast infection is your dog’s ears
Discomfort And Itching
At a minimum, a dog with a yeast infection feels uncomfortable. The discomfort can range from very mild to terrible.
Almost all dogs with a yeast problem become extremely and chronically itchy at the site of the infection.
- If it’s a yeast problem at paws, your pitbull will not be able to leave them alone. The same goes for ears.
- There can also be a lot of butts scooting.
- And there can also be a lot of digging, tearing wherever the yeast tends to occur on the body.
This terrible itching can lead to desperate scratching and chewing. This can then result in a lot of self-induced trauma and a lot of pain.
You’ll be able to know that your pet has yeast just by your dog smells.
Yeast has a very characteristic smell. Some people will describe it as a moldy bread smell. And some people will say their dog smells musty.
I think it smells like Frito corn chips. In fact, some people even call it “Frito feet”—it’s kind of a pungent, cheese popcorn musty, stinky smell.
Some people say “Ohh, dogs have a doggy odor!”
Dogs shouldn’t have a doggy odor if they’re healthy dogs.
So if you have a pit bull that has smelly paws or stinky ears that are musty, chances are your dog’s probably dealing with yeast.
Skin irritation, Redness And Inflammation
Other signs of a yeast infection include areas of skin irritation, redness, and inflammation.
Check your pitbull body carefully. If you see
- redness in and around the ears
- redness around the toes and pads of the feet
- redness in the nasal or facial folds
- redness around the anus,
- redness under the armpits or the neck, and sometimes around the tail base.
It means your pitbull has a yeast infection.
There might also be hair loss, scaly or oily skin, or a greasy hair coat.
Hair Loss and Scaly or Oily Skin
Hair loss, scaly or oily skin, in pitbull can also be the sign of yeast infection.
Thick Skin And Scaly Skin
Sometimes in chronic, severe yeast infection, there can be dark, very thick skin. That means a pitbull with dark and thick skin has a yeast infection.
Areas of the body that are infected with yeast can produce raised, scaly areas, or patches of skin in your dog.
Sometimes there can be a secondary bacterial infection as well, in addition to yeast infection. There can also be a smelly, yellow-green discharge from the ears, most commonly.
Depression, Loss of Appetite, Anxiety and Aggression
There can also be behavior changes caused by itching and pain. That can range from depression, loss of appetite, to actually anxiety and aggression.
I’ve seen some dogs where their itch is very intense. They’re digging at their paws. When you try and stop them. They will become aggressive. It is because their itch is so intense and so overwhelming.
It’s a very sad situation.
Abnormal Immune System
A normal immune system in a dog maintains the natural balance in the body. On the other hand, a weak or a very strong immune system can lead to yeast infection.
- A weak immune system is unable to fight yeast. This results in yeast infection.
- A strong immune system indirectly leads to yeast infection.
Well, a strong immune system can cause allergies in dogs. In such a scenario, the vet prescribes steroids or antibiotics.
Steroids turn the immune system off. When the immune system’s turned off through drugs, the body can’t respond properly. So your dog ends up with yeast blooms.
Antibiotics are well-known to destroy all the good bacteria and healthy yeast levels. So your dog ends up with yeast blooms.
Yeast Infection Treatment
The yeast infection in American pitbull can be treated with:
- Anti-yeast Diet
- Grain-free and Carb-free Diet
- Antifungal Foods
- Disinfect the Yeasty Parts
- Natural Remedies: Natural Antifungal Rinse
- Helpful Supplements
- Anti-Yeast Baths for Your Pet
If you have a dog that has yeast, I recommend an anti-yeast diet. It is also called an anti-inflammatory diet.
What we mean by that is we know that yeast needs sugar as a source of energy and that carbohydrates break down into sugar.
The first thing yeasty patients – human or canine –need to do is remove sugar from the diet. And remember that dietary sugar isn’t just the white stuff; it’s honey and high-fructose corn syrup on the back of the label.
Even white and sweet potatoes can feed a yeast problem as well as the tapioca found in grain-free dry foods.
- no sugar
- no honey
- no high fructose corn syrup
- no white potatoes
- no sweet potatoes
- no tapioca
Also, here is the Updated List: Best to Worst Food for Your American Pitbull
Grain-free and Carb-free Diet
I recommend an entirely grain-free and carb-free diet for pitbull who have yeast.
This step is actually really, really important. You can’t effectively deal with a yeast problem without addressing this aspect of your pet’s diet.
All of the carbohydrates need to go when it comes to providing a low-sugar diet for your pet.
- no corn
- no wheat
- no rice
Antifungal food can be beneficial in helping to reduce the amount of yeast level in your pet’s body.
- A small amount of fresh garlic, thyme, parsley, and oregano to help naturally reduce the level of yeast in your pitbull’s body.
- Adding fermented veggies can also be really beneficial.
- Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are also really good natural antifungal additions.
Disinfect the Yeasty Parts
Yeast loves a moist environment. And it grows in crevices, like between your dog’s toe pads, in the armpit, the creases of his groin, or around the tail base.
It’s not enough to just apply a cream, salve, or antifungal solution to those parts of the body. The parts of the body that have a yeast infection must be disinfected and regularly disinfected.
I recommend disinfecting the yeasty part at least once a day. So that the topical remedies that you apply after you’ve cleaned the area have a chance to work.
Applying any topical agent without removing the dead yeast on a consistent basis can actually make the problem much worse.
Natural Remedies: Natural Antifungal Rinse
A Natural Antifungal Rinse is poured on your dog after a bath and may help extend the number of days in between baths to control yeast. There are several different rinses you can try.
Here is the list of natural remedies for yeast infection in your pitbull.
- lemon juice
- and essential oils
Vinegar and lemon are naturally astringing, so they are drying by nature. They are excellent for dogs with greasy or oily coats.
Remember, since lemon juice can also lighten fur, I recommend using vinegar or the essential oil mixes for dogs with dark coats.
Natural Remedy #1
Add one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water
Natural Remedy #2
Add one cup of lemon juice to one gallon of water.
Natural Remedy #3
You can also add 10 drops of peppermint oil with 10 drops of lavender oil to a gallon of water.
How to use Natural Antifungal Rinse
Shampoo your dog and rinse thoroughly. You follow up with your gallon of natural antifungal rinse. It will knock down the amount of yeast remaining on your dog’s skin.
- You pour the rinse water over your dog’s collar, from her neck to the base of her tail.
- Make sure you don’t apply it to her head. You rub the solution into her coat and skin, focusing on the areas where she is yeasty.
- You need to make sure that you get the solution around the armpits, down around the feet, around the groin area, and around the tail base.
- You don’t rinse the solution off.
You just pour the solution on, rub it in, and then towel dry.
You can also put any of these solutions into a spray bottle. And mist the itchy areas throughout the day as needed. It helps to control itch and yeast overgrowth.
Adding a dropper full of colloidal silver to the spray bottle also adds an additional all-natural antimicrobial agent
There are some supplements your veterinarian may also recommend. Supplements to control yeast infection in pitbull are as follows:
- herbs pau d’arco,
- caprylic acid,
- or the more potent 10-undecenoic acid
Treatment For Yeasty Dog Ears
The best treatment for yeasty pitbull ears are as follows:
- Anti yeast diet
- Sugar-free diet
- Grain-free and carb-free diet
- Helpful supplements
- Natural antifungal rinse
- and disinfect the yeasty ears of your pitbull daily.
How to disinfect yeasty ears?
You can clean your dog’s ear out either with a solution you prefer to buy. You can also use witch hazel on big cotton balls. But you’ve got to remove the debris using as many cotton balls as it takes. The aim is to effectively keep your dog’s ears clean and dry.
Note: The frequency with which you clean your dog’s ears is 100 percent dependent on how much debris the ears produce.
Treatment for Yeasty Dog Paws
Similar to the treatment of yeast ear, the treatment for yeasty pitbull paws include:
- Anti yeast diet
- Sugar-free diet
- Grain-free and carb-free diet
- Helpful supplements
- Natural antifungal rinse
- and disinfect the yeasty paws of your pitbull daily.
How to disinfect yeasty paws?
- Use a gallon of water, a cup of peroxide, and a cup of white vinegar as a foot dunk solution.
Get a Rubbermaid sweater box and fill it up with a hose. Have your dog step into it. Dunking the foot in a foot soak is a much more therapeutic option than spraying or even wiping down your pet’s feet.
After you dip your pet’s feet in astringent solution, you can pat dry. And you don’t have to rinse it off. That solution left on your pet’s feet is antifungal. It will help reduce
the amount of licking and secondary yeast production that will occur
Anti-Yeast Baths for Your Pet
If your pet has yeast growing on its skin, you have to disinfect your pet’s body with naturally anti-fungal shampoo.
No Oatmeal Bath
Yeast love grains and carbs, so do not use oatmeal on a yeasty dog. Oatmeal is a grain. And it provides a food source.
I want you to use an anti-fungal shampoo. It will help naturally diminish the amount of yeast growing on your pet.
Post Bath Anti-fungal Rinses
Post bath antifungal rinses provide not only improvements with how your dog feels, but will also help reduce how quickly the yeast is able to replicate. You can use the rinses as often as necessary.
You can any of the following antifungal solutions for rinses.
- a gallon of water, a cup of vinegar (which makes the dog smell nice), or
- a cup of lemon juice (which makes them smell even nicer) added to a gallon of water.
- You can also use 20 drops of peppermint oil.
Note: All of these post-bath rinses should not be poured on the head. Don’t get any rinse in your dog’s eyes.
If the Yeast Persists, Check Your Dog’s Immune System
Unfortunately, some dogs have year-round yeast problems.
No matter what food they’re eating. And what remedies their owners are trying to manage their condition. The yeast is just out of control.
In this case, it’s most likely an immune system issue.
Here you need to take your dog to the vet. With a blood test, immunoglobulin levels in the body are measured. Generally, these levels are low in a dog with constant yeast overgrowth.
In this case, your vet will recommend the treatment to cure the immune system of your dog. As the immune system of your dog strengthens, it will eliminate the yeast infection.