But, we're here to remedy this situation and help you solve the problem!
Signs of Yeast Overgrowth
If your dogs are experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, it's time to start evaluating the issue as a yeast condition (like a hot spot or alopecia X) rather than an incurable condition (like allergies).
- Scratching the ears
- Head shaking
- Loss of appetite
- Chewing or licking the feet
- Dark, rust-colored fur between the paw pads and toes
- Cyclic manifestation of symptoms (appearing in the spring and “going away” in the fall)
- Hair loss on the tail and upper back
- Speckles (tiny black dots) on the underbelly
- 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.
How Can We Be Sure it's Yeast
There are certain thyroid conditions that can cause hair loss in pets. Allergies are certainly a possibility, but since allergies are mostly untreatable and cyclical, it can be difficult to know for sure.
The truth is, you may not know for sure if it's related to yeast at first. But here is a good guideline:
If the condition responds well to a natural topical antifungal (such as DERMagic Skin Rescue Lotion or Hot Spot Salve), the hair will grow back, the black skin disappears, the itching and licking will stop, and the underbelly returns to a normal pinkish white.
It may take time, often between 4-6 weeks of treatment, before you see results. Don't be hasty in assigning your diagnosis!
Flea Bites or Allergic Reactions
Your dog's condition may well have been an allergic reaction to something. One of the most common allergy issues is to flea saliva. Most hot spots are initially started by a bug or flea bite.
Commercial Pet Food
Food allergies are another common trigger in pets. Your dog may have had a reaction to grains or proteins in food. Since we took over mass manufacturing in the late 1800s, we've not paid as much attention to our pets diets.
Canned pet food became the norm in 1922 when Ken-L-Ration started canning horse meat, which was carefully labeled as "lean, red meat". This brand shared 90% of the dog food market within a year. By 1941, canned food was so successful that manufacturers were breeding horses specifically for dog food and slaughtered more than 50,000 horses a year!
After World War II, the U.S. had to start rationing both tin and meat. Pet food was deemed "inessential" and a new industry was born: Kibble.
Dry kibble became the norm after General Mills and Ralston Purina joined the pet industry. By 1956, both companies experimented with machines they were using to create their Chex food. By 1956, a process known as Extrusion was created. Wet and dry ingredients are mixed together and fed through a machine that creates the shelf-stable kibble that most still feed today.
Feeding the same diet day in and day out has taken a toll on our pets. After so much time, dogs and cats develop reactions to the grains and protein used in these foods. It's part of how our bodies react to
Your Pet's Immune System
When you or your pet are not receiving proper nutrition, your local immune system doesn’t function properly. This allows the yeast to bloom and invade. Even the simplest grooming or a surgical shave can result in systemic yeast conditions.
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 check our website for more information on this important, and not-very-well-understood, dog skin problems.