Dogs Itchy Ears, Skin, Paws. (Cause & Home Remedies)

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Dogs Itchy Ears Skin Paws, Cause & Home Remedies

Itching, pawing, and licking are indications of canine skin issues. Have you ever witnessed your dog forcefully licking his paws, scooting along the floor, or shaking his head? There are several reasons why a dog can have itchy ears, skin, and paws. However, it would be best to exclude other causes before starting a specific remedy.

These are manifestations of a dog who is experiencing discomfort. Most of the time, yeast infection is the probable cause. It is likely to occur on the skin folds, ears, butt, and armpits. Despite its location, a yeast infection can provoke severe irritation.

Yeast Infections in Dogs

Yeast dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease that frequently affects dogs, particularly in their skin folds, ears, paws, or other warm, humid parts of their body. A yeast infection develops when there’s an abnormal yeast growth in a particular area.

The yeast present in the dog’s skin is commonly known as Malassezia pachydermatitis. Malassezia is an occasional opportunistic pathogen (infectious fungi). It is usually harmless to dogs, though it can cause illness when anything different generates an irregularity between the host and the yeast. 

Typically, this will happen when your dog’s immune system gets jeopardized, or he has taken a potent immunosuppressive. Some other yeast-like pathogens or microorganisms may hinder the blood and flow, resulting in disputes in the brain, liver, lungs, and other organs. 

Yeast Infections in Dogs

Some of the more severe microorganisms include Histoplasma, Cryptococcus, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, and Aspergillus. These are identified in different domains where dirt conditions benefit the growth of fungal spores, which are receptive to infection. 

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to yeast infections, including:

  • Basset hounds
  • Chihuahuas
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Dachshunds
  • Lhasa apsos
  • Poodles
  • Shetlies
  • Shih Tzus
  • Terriers
  • West Highland Terriers

Causes of Yeast Infection

Dog’s yeast infections are generally secondary issues, meaning there is another problem impairing the skin’s defense reaction.

Allergies

Allergies harm the immune system and make some dogs more prone to yeast infections. Their diets, such as meat, can cause skin allergies. They can also be triggered by environmental allergies like pollen, dust, mites, molds, or grass. Cigarette smoke and even cleaning products can also cause yeast infections.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill all bacteria, including good bacteria (normal flora) that help repress yeast. It enables yeast to grow out of hand, eventually becoming problematic. Antibiotics don’t generate yeast, but if you’ve been taking antibiotics for an extended period, this will cause yeast infections.

Causes of Yeast Infection to Dogs

Steroid Medications

Veterinarians usually prescribe steroids like prednisone or cortisone for dogs with allergies or autoimmune ailments. However, these medications can have a negative effect on dogs. Steroids undermine the immune system, thus making dogs more prone to yeast infections. Their immune systems are in the worst state to repel microorganisms.

Environment

Yeast infections can be periodic, depending on the environment. To be specific, yeast grows in wet and humid environments. Water and debris can be locked in the ear canal if its ears are held wet. And considering yeast grows in humid areas, bathing a dog regularly will leave him more predisposed to yeast infections in the ear. 

Wax buildup, poor hygiene, tropical weather, and usage of ear drops that tweak the natural conditions of the ear also lead to yeast infections in a dog’s ear.

Dog Breeds

Dogs with skin fold like the brachycephalic breeds (i.e., Pugs and Bulldogs) and dogs with floppy ears (i.e., Basset Hounds and Poodles) are at a heightened risk. Schnauzers, which have fur within the ear canal, are more likely to have yeast infections. Hence, ensure that you clean your dog’s ear and paw pads all the time.

Bacterial Infection

Another cause of yeast infection might be a recurrence of bacterial skin infection. The latter typically boosts oil production in the skin, which leads to excessive itching. It can generate secondary inflammation, granting even more favorable conditions for the yeast to flourish.

Signs Of Yeast Infections In Dogs

Some symptoms will help determine if your dog is suffering from a yeast infection. One of the main symptoms is instability, as yeast can develop with changes in temperature or pH. 

Here are a few signs to pay attention to if you think your dog has a yeast infection:

  • Itching and redness: Persistent itchiness due to yeast infections will cause your dog to scratch due to discomfort. You may notice your dog dragging his butt across the carpet, rubbing his body against any surfaces, or scratching the inflicted part – these are all signs of an itchy dog. Your dog may also shake his head or paw his ears.
  • Sores on the skin: You might see an itchy and inflamed circular-shaped blister manifesting on your dog’s skin.
  • Unusual smell: Your dog might have a sharp, rotten odor that wasn’t there before if he has a yeast infection. A few individuals are somewhat easily affected by the sudden change in their dog’s general smell.
  • Oily Skin: Suppose your dog’s skin is exceptionally greasy or oily; a yeast infection could cause this. Or sometimes, the dog’s greasy skin worsens the problem of having yeast dermatitis.
  • Crusted and flaky skin: Your dog’s skin can become flaky and scaly, appearing like dandruff.
  • Changes in skin texture and color: There may be a transition in the dog’s skin because of infection. Some changes can include redness or more pink than normal. As it worsens, your dog’s skin could harden and change to black or gray.
  • Hair loss: Dogs are likely to shed their hair on the back or tail or in other parts where microorganism grows.
  • Head tilting and shaking: Yeast infections commonly develop on dogs’ ears. An infected ear can prompt your dog to tilt or shake its head because of irritation and to ease the painful sensations.
  • Deafness: Severe cases of yeast development could obstruct the dog’s ear’s pathways and result in loss of hearing.

Treatment: Home Remedies

When it comes to treating yeast infections, we should observe the cause. Merely focusing on the condition won’t stop a potential infection if your dog has allergies. There has to be an accompanying treatment to deal with the situation. You need to remove whatever facilitates the yeast infection while curing the illness itself. 

Your vet can prescribe ear drops, topical creams, and antibiotics. Oral medications like terbinafine, ketoconazole, or fluconazole may also be prescribed for more severe problems. 

But if your dog’s ears are affected, it could lead to loss of hearing. In such an event, a total ear canal ablation will be conducted.

Considering surgical procedures and other treatments for damages can be abrupt, it is always best to have a dog’s health insurance for your comfort. There are ways that you can help relieve your dog’s condition, even at home.

Bathing

Bathing your dog with a high-quality dog shampoo is a sure way to treat the yeast infection. You have to get rid of the thick yeast and waxy buildup that is troubling your pet. Remember to wear rubber gloves to help prevent the spread of yeast in his skin. 

For 2-12 weeks, bathe your dog every three to five days, depending on your vet’s advice. For an effective shampoo remedy, wait for 10 minutes before rinsing the shampoo. See to it that your dog’s fur is completely dry after taking a bath or playing in the water.

Clean your dog’s ears

It’s always necessary to clean your dog’s ear because they are the common areas targetted by yeast infections. Some soft tissue or cotton balls and a good quality ear cleaning solution are all that is required. Remember not to shove Q-tips down into the ear canal, and if needed, use a yeast infection cream as instructed.

Cleaning dog’s ears as a remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another clever home remedy that you must always have and hoard. Its antibacterial and antiseptic properties help rectify skin infections. It also soothes skin soreness and redness to help your pet improve. 

Mix the vinegar with an equivalent volume of water, spray it onto his body, and don’t rinse it off; allow it to dry. If your dog has injuries, you will need to keep those parts covered. The solution, even diluted, will still burn.

Apple Cider Vinegar Home Remedies for Dogs

Stop Feeding Your Dog Yeast

Yeast enjoys sugar. When your dog consumes carbohydrates, it is converted into sugar, replenishing the yeast. Therefore, the best means to prevent yeast growth in your dog’s abdomen is by eliminating sugars and carbohydrates from his menu. Carbohydrates and sugars can be found in the following:

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Oats
  • Corn and wheat
  • Rice
  • Millet 

A raw dog food diet is still the best option for dogs. This is because it doesn’t contain a high amount of carbs, especially compared to commercially available dog food.

Reduce the Amount of Sodium

Sodium can increase the rate of yeast infection. Hence, you should reduce the amount of sodium your pet eats to lower the risk of yeast infection. You can do this by observing the following:

Caution! According to PetMD, there is no data to prove that the following remedies will help deal with yeast infections:

  • Essential oils (these may be toxic to dogs)
  • Coconut oil
  • Tea tree oil/herbal shampoo
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Witch hazel

Conclusion

Yeast infections are normal skin problems for dogs and can cause inflammation and itching. They commonly occur around the ears, skin, and paws. It must be treated immediately to prevent secondary conditions and mitigate your dog’s pain. Since some canines can be predisposed to chronic yeast dermatitis, it’s necessary to distinguish the underlying cause and do what’s needed to safeguard their immune system.

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