YEAST CANDIDA IN OUR PETS – It May Not Be An Allergy
Tell me if this situation sounds familiar: your dog has started itching and chewing at their paws. You try giving them a bath in some soothing shampoo to try and ease their itching. This does not help. You notice that they smell a little funny and look in their ears and there you find some black, mold-looking gunk. After you clean it out over and over, it just keeps coming back, and the itching never stops. After a while you go to the vet, maybe they will have the answer. They run some expensive tests and tell you it is an allergy and recommend you feed their ‘hypoallergenic’ food. You notice how expensive it is but think, if it helps then I am willing to spend the money. Much to your dismay the symptoms don’t improve, and may even get worse. You have been at this for months, maybe longer. Is there any solution?
If this sounds like you and your pet’s situation, they may have Yeast Candida.
It is a condition where the yeast overtakes the good bacteria in the gut. Veterinarians often do not diagnose it because they see a yeast problem as a side effect of an allergy. But guess what? Those steroids they prescribed you to mask the symptoms of the allergy are only going to make things worse. Owning a pet food store I come in contact with a lot of pet owners. It seems like at least one person a week comes in asking for help because their dog has these same symptoms and they have spent x-amount of money at the vet and have not seen any improvement.
Black mold in the ears
Itching skin and ears
Medication that affects the gut flora (including antibiotics and steroids to treat allergies)
This condition is usually caused when the gut flora in the stomach undergo some kind of stressor that kills them. This stressor can be a vaccine or medication, or something environmental. More often than not, antibiotics and steroids are the main culprits. Normally, the gut has a balance of healthy gut flora (healthy bacteria) and yeast. These microorganisms help the gut digest foods, especially plant-based ones, and produce and absorb some nutrients. However, when the number of bacteria is drastically reduced the yeast begins to overgrow. It starts in the gut, with the only symptoms being occasional itching and possibly diarrhea. If it persists, the yeast will start building up in the ears and feet, and can come out the pores of the skin. You may see darkening of the skin on the stomach and sides of your pet. As some of us know, yeast also has a distinct smell, and this scent will often come off of your dog, especially in the ears where the yeast builds in large quantities.
There are some simple steps that can be taken to help remedy this condition.
STEP ONE: IDENTIFY THE CAUSE
The first step is to try and identify what is causing the gut flora to die off and allow the yeast to take over. Try looking into more natural ways of treating your pet’s minor ailments as natural remedies tend to be gentler on the stomach. An example is using Colloidal Silver instead of antibiotics for a mild infection. Silver is a natural antibiotic and has much less effect on the gut flora than antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
STEP TWO: ELIMINATE AS MUCH STARCH AS POSSIBLE
The second step is to look at the food you feed. You want to cut out as much starch as possible! Basically, you want to avoid any kind of sugar, white potato, white rice, tapioca, beet pulp, corn, or any other ingredients that are high in sugars and starches. Starches feed yeast and allow it to prosper. Minimizing the yeast’s growth is an important aspect of eliminating Yeast Candida from your pet. Veterinary foods are high in starch as they use such ingredients such as corn and white potato. Take a look at their ingredients and it will surprise you!
STEP THREE: REBUILD THE GUT FLORA
The next step you can take is to supply some supplements to bolster the bacteria in your pet’s gut. This includes Pre- and Probiotics, as well as olive leaf powder. Prebiotics can be obtained in the form of digestible fibre, which feed the good bacteria of the gut and help them grow. Pumpkin is a good source of these digestible fibres, and can help with stool formation as well. Probiotics are the bacteria you want included in the gut flora, so feeding them to your pet helps increase colony formation in the intestines. Yogurt, or a form of powdered probiotic are two good sources; the brand Omega Alpha makes a very good probiotic powder which I feed to my own dogs for the maintenance of their healthy colons. However, if you are going to try giving them yogurt, you want to make sure that the yogurt you get is a plain yogurt with no added sugars or flavouring, and of course that it contains added probiotics. Now, I mentioned olive leaf powder as another supplement to add to their diet. This is because it is a natural antifungal, and will therefore help knock back the yeast numbers in the body. If you cannot find olive leaf powder or want to try something else, coconut oil is also an antifungal but it is not as potent, so it may take longer for it to start showing improvements.
Taking any of these steps should in some way help with a Yeast Candida problem. All together they are the ultimate weapon against the condition. With any of them, however, be prepared not to see a drastic improvement for three weeks to three months, depending on the severity. Rule of thumb is usually, after three days you should see slight improvement in some way, maybe a reduction in itching, or the ears don’t get as dirty. After three weeks there should be a definite improvement in itching, skin appearance, ear cleanliness, etc. After three months the gut flora, bacteria and yeast alike, should be pretty close to a normal homeostatic level again. This entire epidemic, as I see it, could be drastically reduced if veterinarians stopped over vaccinating pets and began providing some sort of probiotic when prescribing medications that affect the gut flora. This practice is commonplace in Europe and they do not seem to have the same problems, so let us take a lesson from them and start taking responsibility for what is becoming a severe problem.