Yeasts are naturally occurring microbes present in the environments and on some animals, including dogs. They mostly cause infection when there is an underlying condition such as allergies, excess skin folds, hormonal disorders and oily/keratinized skin. Usually, any condition that will cause itchy, moist or oily skin can result in yeast infection.
Yeast can affect all life stages and breeds of dogs although some breeds are more predisposed than others. Breeds like Daschund, German shepherd, Poodle, Boxer, Cocker spaniel and Shih Tzus are known to be more prone to yeast infection. The common site of yeast infections are the ears, paws, and skin.
It is believed that diet plays an important role in the occurrence and management of yeast infections in dogs. For example, high carbohydrates and sugar diets are reportedly known to cause yeast infection, however, this has not been scientifically proven. The only proven way diet affect yeast management is in food allergy where the food is changed to a non-allergic food or hypoallergenic veterinary diet.
The two main model of treating yeast infection is by reducing yeast load on the dog and treating the predisposing/risk factors that caused it. Antifungal medications like wipes, cream, ointment are effective in treating yeast. Prevention can be achieved by regularly cleaning the ears, use of antiseptic shampoos, and flea & tick prevention.