March 03, 2016

Dog allergies? Or yeast infection; Striker the Pom Story (Black Skin Disease)

Dog allergies? Or yeast infection; Striker the Pom Story (Black Skin Disease)

Individual results may vary and are backed by our 90 day satisfaction guarantee

When Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection or Alopecia X (Black Skin Disease)

People write to us all the time about how to use DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion for their dog with hair loss or black skin or general itchiness, especially in the feet.  The largest percentage of these inquiries are from Pomeranian parents whose veterinarians have advised them to “just put a t-shirt on the dog… there’s nothing that can be done.”


Striker the Pom - Day 1

When we first developed our products, we were unaware of the disease known as Alopecia X (which, by the way, simply means “hair loss from an unknown cause”).  Our Skin Rescue Lotionand Hot Spot Salve were created specifically to kill yeast, which is a type of fungus that is present on the skin of all dogs.  When it gets inside or under the skin, that’s when it causes all kinds of problems and is very difficult to diagnose, to test for, or to treat by conventional veterinary methods.  One of the results of a systemic yeast infection is Alopecia X or “Black Skin Disease.”  No one says it better than our friends at Nzymes, so please read about “Allergies Vs. Candida Yeast: The Confusion.”

Where does it come from?  Yeast is a type of fungus and it is present as a normal part of the flora on all dogs, internally and externally.  As long as everything is in balance, the yeast causes no problems.  But if a dog’s immune system is compromised or diminished by illness or a poor diet, or if the yeast gets inside the skin through a cut, bug bite or by shaving, the yeast fungus has a perfect opportunity to take control.  (Never shave your dog and do not let your groomer shave him…  the blade simply injects whatever is on your dog’s skin right underneath it, and in the case of yeast it immediately begins to spread until it is systemic throughout the animal.)

What can be done to get rid of yeast?
  Well, for Poms or any other breed, there is actually something that can be done, and there are hundreds of pet parents out there who have done it with our help, and with the help of the good folks at  It takes persistence, patience, and perseverance, and a couple of months or more.  It took a very long time for the infection to take hold, running quietly under the skin or inside the body, and it takes time to reverse it.


Striker - Full coat 6 months later

 What are the top signs of a yeast infection?  Any one of these is a very strong indicator, regardless of how it got started. If there are two or more of these symptoms, it’s pretty much a given that the dog is systemically infected with yeast:

  • Scratching the ears, or head shaking
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite
  • Chewing or licking the feet, and dark rusty-red hair between the toes
  • Cyclic manifestation of symptoms (appearing in the spring and “going away” in the fall)
  • Hair loss on the tail and upper back
  • Speckles (like tiny black dots) on the underbelly or rust-coloration around the genitals
  • A foul funky smell and greasy hair (seborrhea), often accompanied by heavy dandruff
  • Baldness from having been closely shaved
  • Any black skin, especially if associated with hair loss.

So, how do I know if it’s a yeast infection or an allergy? Or something else?  Well, you don’t know for sure at first.  But if the condition responds well to a natural topical antifungal, the hair grows back, the black skin disappears, the itching and licking stop, and the underbelly returns to a normal pinkish white, that should tell you something.  All these symptoms respond to antifungals, especially to DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion or Hot Spot Salve.  

It could well have been an allergic reaction to something that started all this, like a bug or flea bite or a bad reaction to grain in food, for example.  But what then happens is that the local immune system doesn’t function properly and this allows the yeast to bloom and invade.  This is what many veterinarians can miss.  They generally do not recognize the early signs of yeast, and allergy testing can give misleading false positives in many cases.  So, the pet parent accepts the diagnosis of allergies and spends a fortune on medications for the rest of the dog’s life, which may be considerably shortened by being on these meds long term.

Please write to us and tell us about your experiences with skin problems in your pets!