It's that time of year. Our dogs love to run through the beautiful autumn woods. But lurking in the brush are the dreaded cockleburrs and many other small "stick-tights". On long coated breeds that gather too many of these on their coats, it's very painful for them and time consuming for us to try and get them out of their tangled fur.
A couple of tips: with cockleburrs, reach under the burr, close to the dogs skin and lift it away from the skin. Take a pair of pliers and crush the burr, taking care not to pinch the dog's skin. Depending on coat type, it can than be brushed out with a slicker brush.
Commonly referred to as "stick-tights", these small burrs from various weeds can even be worse than the cockleburrs, but usually aren't as painful to the dog. However, they can cause terrible matting and snarls on longer coated breeds. Try to be acutely aware of these "hitch hikers" on your dog. This solution may work on most dogs: slather your dog with any good human hair conditioner, let it sit on the dog about 3 minutes and then start to comb through the fur with a fine tooth comb. Most of the small burrs will come out. Make sure you wash the dog thoroughly with a good dog shampoo after this, and then put more conditioner on the dog and rinse. When you dry your long coated dog, don't rub the coat! Squeeze the water out with a towel and then use a human blow dryer if they will allow you to. The secret is in the combing.
However, sometimes, the burrs are just too numerous and painful to remove. If it comes to that point, the easiest and safest solution is to shave down your dog. Please call with questions on this.
PLEASE! If you're not familiar with using scissors on your dog, don't try and cut out the burrs. Not only does it look terrible, but there is a far bigger risk of cutting their skin.
A great article about vaccinating our dogs and possible problems...
Thank you from the "Dogs Naturally" website.
A team at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine conducted several studies (1,2) to determine if vaccines can cause changes in the immune system of dogs that might lead to life-threatening immune-mediated diseases. They obviously conducted this research because concern already existed. It was sponsored by the Haywood Foundation which itself was looking for evidence that such changes in the human immune system might also be vaccine induced. It found the evidence.
The vaccinated, but not the non-vaccinated, dogs in the Purdue studies developed autoantibodies to many of their own biochemicals, including fibronectin, laminin, DNA, albumin, cytochrome C, cardiolipin and collagen.
This means that the vaccinated dogs — ”but not the non-vaccinated dogs”– were attacking their own fibronectin, which is involved in tissue repair, cell multiplication and growth, and differentiation between tissues and organs in a living organism.
The vaccinated Purdue dogs also developed autoantibodies to laminin, which is involved in many cellular activities including the adhesion, spreading, differentiation, proliferation and movement of cells. Vaccines thus appear to be capable of removing the natural intelligence of cells.
Autoantibodies to cardiolipin are frequently found in patients with the serious disease systemic lupus erythematosus and also in individuals with other autoimmune diseases. The presence of elevated anti-cardiolipin antibodies is significantly associated with clots within the heart or blood vessels, in poor blood clotting, haemorrhage, bleeding into the skin, foetal loss and neurological conditions.
The Purdue studies also found that vaccinated dogs were developing autoantibodies to their own collagen. About one quarter of all the protein in the body is collagen. Collagen provides structure to our bodies, protecting and supporting the softer tissues and connecting them with the skeleton. It is no wonder that Canine Health Concern’s 1997 study of 4,000 dogs showed a high number of dogs developing mobility problems shortly after they were vaccinated (noted in my 1997 book, What Vets Don’t Tell You About Vaccines).
Perhaps most worryingly, the Purdue studies found that the vaccinated dogs had developed autoantibodies to their own DNA. Did the alarm bells sound? Did the scientific community call a halt to the vaccination program? No. Instead, they stuck their fingers in the air, saying more research is needed to ascertain whether vaccines can cause genetic damage. Meanwhile, the study dogs were found good homes, but no long-term follow-up has been conducted. At around the same time, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force initiated several studies to find out why 160,000 cats each year in the USA develop terminal cancer at their vaccine injection sites.(3) The fact that cats can get vaccine-induced cancer has been acknowledged by veterinary bodies around the world, and even the British Government acknowledged it through its Working Group charged with the task of looking into canine and feline vaccines(4) following pressure from Canine Health Concern. What do you imagine was the advice of the AVMA Task Force, veterinary bodies and governments? “Carry on vaccinating until we find out why vaccines are killing cats, and which cats are most likely to die.”
In America, in an attempt to mitigate the problem, they’re vaccinating cats in the tail or leg so they can amputate when cancer appears. Great advice if it’s not your cat amongst the hundreds of thousands on the “oops” list.
But other species are okay – right? Wrong. In August 2003, the Journal of Veterinary Medicine carried an Italian study which showed that dogs also develop vaccine-induced cancers at their injection sites.(5) We already know that vaccine-site cancer is a possible sequel to human vaccines, too, since the Salk polio vaccine was said to carry a monkey retrovirus (from cultivating the vaccine on monkey organs) that produces inheritable cancer. The monkey retrovirus SV40 keeps turning up in human cancer sites.
It is also widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a fast-acting, usually fatal, disease called autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Without treatment, and frequently with treatment, individuals can die in agony within a matter of days. Merck, itself a multinational vaccine manufacturer, states in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy that autoimmune haemolytic anaemia may be caused by modified live-virus vaccines, as do Tizard’s Veterinary Immunology (4th edition) and the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.(6) The British Government’s Working Group, despite being staffed by vaccine-industry consultants who say they are independent, also acknowledged this fact. However, no one warns the pet owners before their animals are subjected to an unnecessary booster, and very few owners are told why after their pets die of AIHA.
A Wide Range of Vaccine-induced Diseases
We also found some worrying correlations between vaccine events and the onset of arthritis in our 1997 survey. Our concerns were compounded by research in the human field.
The New England Journal of Medicine, for example, reported that it is possible to isolate the rubella virus from affected joints in children vaccinated against rubella. It also told of the isolation of viruses from the peripheral blood of women with prolonged arthritis following vaccination.(7)
Then, in 2000, CHC’s findings were confirmed by research which showed that polyarthritis and other diseases like amyloidosis, which affects organs in dogs, were linked to the combined vaccine given to dogs.(8) There is a huge body of research, despite the paucity of funding from the vaccine industry, to confirm that vaccines can cause a wide range of brain and central nervous system damage. Merck itself states in its Manual that vaccines (i.e., its own products) can cause encephalitis: brain inflammation/damage. In some cases, encephalitis involves lesions in the brain and throughout the central nervous system. Merck states that “examples are the encephalitides following measles, chickenpox, rubella, smallpox vaccination, vaccinia, and many other less well defined viral infections”.
When the dog owners who took part in the CHC survey reported that their dogs developed short attention spans, 73.1% of the dogs did so within three months of a vaccine event. The same percentage of dogs was diagnosed with epilepsy within three months of a shot (but usually within days). We also found that 72.5% of dogs that were considered by their owners to be nervous and of a worrying disposition, first exhibited these traits within the three-month post-vaccination period.
I would like to add for the sake of Oliver, my friend who suffered from paralysed rear legs and death shortly after a vaccine shot, that “paresis” is listed in Merck’s Manual as a symptom of encephalitis. This is defined as muscular weakness of a neural (brain) origin which involves partial or incomplete paralysis, resulting from lesions at any level of the descending pathway from the brain. Hind limb paralysis is one of the potential consequences. Encephalitis, incidentally, is a disease that can manifest across the scale from mild to severe and can also cause sudden death.
Organ failure must also be suspected when it occurs shortly after a vaccine event. Dr. Larry Glickman, who spearheaded the Purdue research into post-vaccination biochemical changes in dogs, wrote in a letter to Cavalier Spaniel breeder Bet Hargreaves:
“Our ongoing studies of dogs show that following routine vaccination, there is a significant rise in the level of antibodies dogs produce against their own tissues. Some of these antibodies have been shown to target the thyroid gland, connective tissue such as that found in the valves of the heart, red blood cells, DNA, etc. I do believe that the heart conditions in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels could be the end result of repeated immunisations by vaccines containing tissue culture contaminants that cause a progressive immune response directed at connective tissue in the heart valves. The clinical manifestations would be more pronounced in dogs that have a genetic predisposition [although] the findings should be generally applicable to all dogs regardless of their breed.”
I must mention here that Dr. Glickman believes that vaccines are a necessary evil, but that safer vaccines need to be developed.
Vaccines Stimulate an Inflammatory Response
The word “allergy” is synonymous with “sensitivity” and “inflammation”. It should, by rights, also be synonymous with the word “vaccination”. This is what vaccines do: they sensitise (render allergic)an individual in the process of forcing them to develop antibodies to fight a disease threat. In other words, as is acknowledged and accepted, as part of the vaccine process the body will respond with inflammation. This may be apparently temporary or it may be longstanding.
Holistic doctors and veterinarians have known this for at least 100 years. They talk about a wide range of inflammatory or “-itis” diseases which arise shortly after a vaccine event. Vaccines, in fact, plunge many individuals into an allergic state. Again, this is a disorder that ranges from mild all the way through to the suddenly fatal. Anaphylactic shock is the culmination: it’s where an individual has a massive allergic reaction to a vaccine and will die within minutes if adrenaline or its equivalent is not administered.
There are some individuals who are genetically not well placed to withstand the vaccine challenge. These are the people (and animals are “people”, too) who have inherited faulty B and T cell function. B and T cells are components within the immune system which identify foreign invaders and destroy them, and hold the invader in memory so that they cannot cause future harm. However, where inflammatory responses are concerned, the immune system overreacts and causes unwanted effects such as allergies and other inflammatory conditions.
Merck warns in its Manual that patients with, or from families with, B and/or T cell immunodeficiencies should not receive live-virus vaccines due to the risk of severe or fatal infection. Elsewhere, it lists features of B and T cell immunodeficiencies as food allergies, inhalant allergies, eczema, dermatitis, neurological deterioration and heart disease. To translate, people with these conditions can die if they receive live-virus vaccines. Their immune systems are simply not competent enough to guarantee a healthy reaction to the viral assault from modified live-virus vaccines.
Modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines replicate in the patient until an immune response is provoked. If a defence isn’t stimulated, then the vaccine continues to replicate until it gives the patient the very disease it was intending to prevent.
Alternatively, a deranged immune response will lead to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, pancreatitis, colitis, encephalitis and any number of autoimmune diseases such as cancer and leukaemia, where the body attacks its own cells.
A new theory, stumbled upon by Open University student Gary Smith, explains what holistic practitioners have been saying for a very long time. Here is what a few of the holistic vets have said in relation to their patients:
Dr Jean Dodds: “Many veterinarians trace the present problems with allergic and immunologic diseases to the introduction of MLV vaccines…” (9)
Christina Chambreau, DVM: “Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. They cause all types of illnesses, but not directly to where we would relate them definitely to be caused by the vaccine.” (10)
Martin Goldstein, DVM: “I think that vaccines…are leading killers of dogs and cats in America today.”
Dr Charles E. Loops, DVM: “Homoeopathic veterinarians and other holistic practitioners have maintained for some time that vaccinations do more harm than they provide benefits.” (12)
Mike Kohn, DVM: “In response to this [vaccine] violation, there have been increased autoimmune diseases (allergies being one component), epilepsy, neoplasia [tumours], as well as behavioural problems in small animals.” (13)
A Theory on Inflammation
Gary Smith explains what observant healthcare practitioners have been saying for a very long time, but perhaps they’ve not understood why their observations led them to say it. His theory, incidentally, is causing a huge stir within the inner scientific sanctum. Some believe that his theory could lead to a cure for many diseases including cancer. For me, it explains why the vaccine process is inherently questionable.
Gary was learning about inflammation as part of his studies when he struck upon a theory so extraordinary that it could have implications for the treatment of almost every inflammatory disease — including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis and even HIV and AIDS.
Gary’s theory questions the received wisdom that when a person gets ill, the inflammation that occurs around the infected area helps it to heal. He claims that, in reality, inflammation prevents the body from recognising a foreign substance and therefore serves as a hiding place for invaders. The inflammation occurs when at-risk cells produce receptors called All (known as angiotensin II type I receptors). He says that while At1 has a balancing receptor, At2, which is supposed to switch off the inflammation, in most diseases this does not happen.
“Cancer has been described as the wound that never heals,” he says. “All successful cancers are surrounded by inflammation. Commonly this is thought to be the body’s reaction to try to fight the cancer, but this is not the case.
“The inflammation is not the body trying to fight the infection. It is actually the virus or bacteria deliberately causing inflammation in order to hide from the immune system [author's emphasis].” (14)
If Gary is right, then the inflammatory process so commonly stimulated by vaccines is not, as hitherto assumed, a necessarily acceptable sign. Instead, it could be a sign that the viral or bacterial component, or the adjuvant (which, containing foreign protein, is seen as an invader by the immune system), in the vaccine is winning by stealth.
If Gary is correct in believing that the inflammatory response is not protective but a sign that invasion is taking place under cover of darkness, vaccines are certainly not the friends we thought they were. They are undercover assassins working on behalf of the enemy, and vets and medical doctors are unwittingly acting as collaborators. Worse, we animal guardians and parents are actually paying doctors and vets to unwittingly betray our loved ones.
Potentially, vaccines are the stealth bomb of the medical world. They are used to catapult invaders inside the castle walls where they can wreak havoc, with none of us any the wiser. So rather than experiencing frank viral diseases such as the ‘flu, measles, mumps and rubella (and, in the case of dogs, parvovirus and distemper), we are allowing the viruses to win anyway – but with cancer, leukaemia and other inflammatory or autoimmune (self-attacking) diseases taking their place.
The Final Insult
All 27 veterinary schools in North America have changed their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats along the following lines; (15) however, vets in practice are reluctant to listen to these changed protocols and official veterinary bodies in the UK and other countries are ignoring the following facts.
Dogs’ and cats’ immune systems mature fully at six months. If modified live-virus vaccine is giver after six months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet. If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralise the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The litre is no “boosted”, nor are more memory cells induced.
Not only are annual boosters unnecessary, but they subject the pet to potential risks such as allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia.
In plain language, veterinary schools in America, plus the American Veterinary Medical Association, have looked at studies to show how long vaccines last and they have concluded and announced that annual vaccination is unnecessary.(16-19)
Further, they have acknowledged that vaccines are not without harm. Dr Ron Schultz, head of pathobiology at Wisconsin University and a leading light in this field, has been saying this politely to his veterinary colleagues since the 1980s. I’ve been saying it for the past 12 years. But change is so long in coming and, in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of animals are dying every year – unnecessarily.
The good news is that thousands of animal lovers (but not enough) have heard what we’ve been saying. Canine Health Concern members around the world use real food as Nature’s supreme disease preventative, eschewing processed pet food, and minimise the vaccine risk. Some of us, myself included, have chosen not to vaccinate our pets at all. Our reward is healthy and long-lived dogs.
It has taken but one paragraph to tell you the good and simple news. The gratitude I feel each day, when I embrace my healthy dogs, stretches from the centre of the Earth to the Universe and beyond.
1. “Effects of Vaccination on the Endocrine and Immune Systems of Dogs, Phase II”, Purdue University, November 1,1999, at http://www.homestead.com/vonhapsburg/haywardstudyonvaccines.html.
2. See www.vet.purdue.edu/epi/gdhstudy.htm.
3. See http://www.avma.org/vafstf/default.asp.
4. Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) Working Group on Feline and Canine Vaccination, DEFRA, May 2001.
5. JVM Series A 50(6):286-291, August 2003.
6. Duval, D. and Giger,U. (1996). “Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog”, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 10:290-295.
7. New England Journal of Medicine, vol.313,1985.
See also Clin Exp Rheumatol 20(6):767-71, Nov-Dec 2002.
8. Am Coll Vet Intern Med 14:381,2000.
9. Dodds, Jean W.,DVM, “Immune System and Disease Resistance”, at http://www.critterchat.net/immune.htm.
10. Wolf Clan magazine, April/May 1995.
11. Goldstein, Martin, The Nature of Animal Healing, Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999.
12. Wolf Clan magazine, op. cit.
14. Journal of Inflammation 1:3,2004, at http://www.journal-inflammation.com content/1/1/3.
15. Klingborg, D.J., Hustead, D.R. and Curry-Galvin, E. et al., “AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents’ report on cat and dog vaccines”, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 221(10):1401-1407, November 15,2002, http://www.avma.org/policies/vaccination.htm.
17. Schultz, R.D., “Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs”, Vet Med 93:233-254,1998.
18. Schultz, R.D., Ford, R.B., Olsen, J. and Scott, P., “Titer testing and vaccination: a new look at traditional practices”, Vet Med 97:1-13, 2002 (insert).
19. Twark, L. and Dodds, W.J., “Clinical application of serum parvovirus and distemper virus antibody titers for determining revaccination strategies in healthy dogs”, J Am Vet Med Assoc 217:1021-1024,2000.
_Fungal and Yeast Infections in Dogs
Please link to this site for more information:
Skin diseases are common in dogs, and many such diseases fall into one of three categories: Fungal infections, yeast infections or fungus/yeast infections. These are almost never fatal, but they are sometimes chronic - so it's wise to keep an eye out for symptoms that may indicate your dog is infected.
Candida Albicans is a fungus/yeast and a common microorganism that lives in the gut of a humans and dogs. But when there is an "overgrowth" of this fungus/yeast in the gut, it is called a Systemic Yeast Infection, and it affects the health and well-being of the whole animal or human.
When the pH balance of the gut is out of balance, and beneficial bacteria in the gut have been destroyed, this insidious fungus and pathogenic bacteria can take over and the negative results are very detrimental to our health and well-being. One of those by products of a pH imbalance in the gut is bloat/torsion.
What causes the pH balance of the gut to be out of balance and cause fungus/yeast overgrowth?
• Overuse of antibiotics - killing off good bacteria in the gut
• Poor Nutrition (inadequate protein, too many carbohydrates, no probiotics, digestive enzymes, dietary enzymes, unusable minerals)
• Over vaccinations (i.e. allergies, thyroid problems)
• Thyroid problems = metabolic problems (the body's electrical system)
• Hormone stress (seasons, whelping, lactation, vaccines)
• Stress (environmental, genetic, physical, emotional etc.)
• Anxiousness (males when bitches are in seasons)
• High strung hyperactive dogs
• Change in environment or weather related (heat or cold)
• Change in home or home environment
• Inbreeding -compromised immune system
• Illness which compromises the immune system
• Sensitivity to stimulus (light, sounds, movements)
• Travel (showing)
• Flea preparations
• Heartworm medications
The result of this yeast/fungus overgrowth manifests itself in external and internal expressions of disease. Based on clinical and research studies, Candida overgrowth in the intestines will create what has been called as "leaky gut" syndrome. Toxins and food allergens may pass through this membrane and go to other parts of the body, making him feel generally sick all over. Since antibiotics don't affect Candida yeast/fungus, they keep on multiplying and making more yeast, which in turn, puts out more toxins and weakens the immune system. It is a vicious cycle.
Some examples of "external" expression of a
systemic yeast infection are:
Skin Irritation - Itchy skin or feet - Licking paws, genital or vaginal area - Itchy mouth, throat, face - Rubbing nose
Redness, Inflammation and Odor - Underarms, Folds of Skin - Inner Thighs, Between Toes, Lips - Joint pain
Reoccurring Secondary Bacterial Infections - Ears - Bladder - Skin or Feet -
Sensitivity to light, sound, movement
You can see by this list of symptoms the animal is often misdiagnosed as having a food or contact allergy, or only a bacterial infection, when in fact the origin of the disease is yeast/fungus overgrowth.
Some examples of "internal" expression of a systemic yeast infection are:
• Gastrointestinal tract problems
• Gas/bloating - Bloat/torsion
• Suppressed immune system
• Inadequate absorption of nutrients
Other facts about Candida overgrowth - Systemic Yeast Infections: Systemic yeast infections (fungus) are extremely difficult to detect and kill.
When pH balance of the gut is out of balance, an environment is ripe for pathogenic bacteria and fungus to multiply at an alarming rate.
The by-products of bacteria and fungus produce "toxins." These can result in systemic disease, as well as bloat, stomach gas and foam.
Control Fungus Internally:
Feed a high quality based diet.
Use a metabolic enzyme to detoxify the body.
Use probiotics/digestive and dietary enzymes to keep the pH balance of the stomach in proper balance. This in turn helps prevent yeast overgrowth.
Use raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice - 2 teaspoons per day on food or in water, to help keep the pH balance where it should be in the gut and make an environment, which is not conducive to yeast proliferation.
Control Fungus Externally:
1. Bathe in sulfur-based or medicated shampoo 2. Prepare a 50/50 mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar & Water 3. Rinse or wipe affected areas with 50/50 mixture daily. Note: Do not use Apple cider mixture on open lesions 4. Prepare a 2% solution of Oxy-Drops (1 teaspoon + 1 cup of distilled water). Use this to spray or wipe skin, ears, and feet with to prevent secondary bacterial infection. 5. For ears - your vet can recommend the appropriate medication.
Always consult with your veterinarian for his recommendations.
Ringworm: Ringworm (caused by the fungi Microsporum and Trichophyton) is the primary fungal infection that troubles dogs. Such fungi live in dead skin tissues, nails, and hairs - particularly, but not exclusively, among young dogs. Symptoms include:
Hair loss, usually in circular patches Hair loss patches that may have a crusty, dry look Hair loss on the head and legs Scratching of the patchy areas
If your dog develops these symptoms, take him to his veterinarian right away. If your vet suspects ringworm, he will probably run a Wood's Lamp Test (using an ultraviolet light), or take a fungal culture.
Typically, treatment includes: Trimming or shaving the hair around affected areas, using fungicidal shampoos for bathing the dog, applying a topical antifungal medication, and lime sulphur dips
Ringworm is quite contagious to both animals and humans, with children being especially vulnerable. Dogs with ringworm must be kept away from children and other pets until the infection is gone. (This may two or three months, or longer.) Adults should wash their hands well after handling a dog with ringworm.
Blastomycosis: Blastomycosis is a fungal disease usually found in both dogs and humans. (Some other animals may be affected, too, including cats, horses, and wild animals.) Most cases of Blastomycosis have been traced to damp soil containing organic matter - a perfect place for fungi to grow. Hunting dogs and other dogs who are frequently allowed to roam are particularly susceptible.
The fungus may enter your dog through wounds, or it may be inhaled. As the fungus begins to thrive in the dog's body, it spreads to the lungs, the vascular system, or to the lymph nodes.
Symptoms of blastomycosis include: Weight loss, chronic coughing, loss of muscle tone, shortness of breath, skin lesions, red eyes, swollen eyes, excessive tearing of the eyes, and clouding of the corneas
If you dog has any of the above symptoms, you should immediately take him to the vet. There is no cure without treatment, and the earlier your dog is treated, the better his chances are for a healthy recovery. Without treatment, your dog may go blind, or have other serious, life threatening problems.
Treatment includes drug therapy, and may require several short hospitalizations. Do not be alarmed if your dog's symptoms worsen at first; when the fungus begins to die inflammation is common, and this can make the symptoms appear stronger. When your dog comes home after treatment, his diet should consist of high-quality food only, and you should restrict his exercise until he is completely well.
Humans may also become infected by blastomycosis. When handling your infected dog, wear gloves and wash your hands frequently. (However, humans are much more likely to become infected by an environment contaminated by the fungi.)
Valley Fever: A fungus called Coccidioides immitis causes Valley Fever in both dogs and humans. The fungus is found in dry, arid soil; when dust is raised from that soil, the fungus is inhaled. Dogs who have been around construction areas, who dig frequently, or are out in the wind, are especially susceptible. Young dogs or dogs with weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop Valley Fever.
Symptoms include: A harsh cough, fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and seizures
This fungus is difficult to diagnoses and is sometimes mistaken for other fungal diseases, cancer, pneumonia, cancer, or Lyme disease. If your vet suspects Valley Fever, blood tests, x-rays, or antibody testing may be used to help diagnose the disease.
Other fungal diseases in dogs include:
Aspergillosis, which usually affects the nasal cavity and respiratory system, before attacking the rest of the body. Dogs with long noses are most susceptible. Symptoms may include open sores around the nostrils, bloody or puss-filled nasal discharge, weight loss, fever, lethargy, and vomiting.
Cryptococcosis is usually inhaled from the excrement of birds (particularly pigeons), and tends to invade dogs' nervous systems. Symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, head tilting, and eyes that dart back and forth.
Histoplasmosis is caused by breathing in Histoplasma capsulatum, which is carried in dust. Symptoms may include labored breathing, fever, anemia, and enlarged liver or other organs.
Yeast Infections: Yeasts are found on the surfaces of every living thing - including your dog's body. When your dog is healthy his immune system can stave off and destroy yeasts. But if his immune system is weak his body may not be able to fight off yeast, leading to toxic levels that cause a myriad of health problems.
In addition, some breeds are more inclined toward yeast infections, including West Highland White Terrier, Basset hound, Cocker spaniel, Silky terrier, Australian terrier, Maltese, Chihuahua, Poodle, Shetland sheepdog, Lhasa Apso, and the Dachshund. Also, any dog with skin allergies, an under-active thyroid gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, or who's had recent treatment with an antibiotic or corticosteroid, may be more prone to develop a yeast infection.
Symptoms of a yeast infection may include: Greasy or waxy skin, smelly skin, a white tongue, hives or rashes, chronic infections, chronic cough, crusty skin, and discharge from the eyes, nose or ears.
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, he should see his vet right away. Since these symptoms are general, and may be grounded in other problems, the veterinarian will probably try to rule out other possible causes. Your vet may also take a sample of the yeast on your dog's skin (with a cotton swab or piece of tape, for example), or do a small biopsy and study it under a microscope.
Treatment often includes treatment of underlying problems (like allergies or a thyroid problem), topical shampoo or spray, and oral medications.
Yeast/Ear Infections: Yeast are single celled fungus and they are used in brewing beer or baking bread. Some types of yeast are less useful and that's the kind that grows in your dog's ear. Yeast infections are probably the most common type of ear infections in dogs. Because dogs have long ear canals that can hold water after a bath, swim, or run through tall, wet grass. Add to this a floppy ear that prevents good ventilation of the ear canal and you have a warm, moist, dark environment in which yeast thrive. The more moisture yeast get, the worse the infection will be.
Yeast infections are most common in dogs that love water (Labradors, Retrievers), have long floppy ears (Bassets, Beagles, Spaniels), have either narrow and/or furry ear canals (Poodles, Cocker Spaniels), or have a history of ear infections or allergies.
Symptoms include: The inside of his ears will appear red and irritated; he will shake his head and scratch at his ears almost constantly, sometimes to the point of bleeding; a foul odor will emanate from the inside of his ears; and he may whine, pace, or even stop eating because of the pain and irritation.
Serious injury or permanent damage may occur to the ears if an ear infection is left untreated.
Prevention and early treatment are the keys. In principle, yeast are easy to kill if you keep in mind that they hate dry, acidic environments. If you keep your dog's inner ears dry and clean by using an acidic type cleaning solution made for dog's ears, you will make the ear environment very uninviting to yeast. Acidic cleaning solutions are available from your veterinarian.
It is also common to see a bacterial infection associated with a severe yeast infection. Unfortunately, routine ear cleaning will not cure a serious bacterial infection. Such double infections occur when yeast infections are not treated in their early stages. It is more difficult and expensive to cure this double infection.
Your dog may also have underlying problems such as allergies and hypothyroidism that can add to the seriousness of an ear infection.
If you see no improvement in your dog's ears within 72 hours after you start cleaning them, make an appointment to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. You dog may need other medications to clear up the infections. If severe irritation or a creamy discharge is noticed, see your veterinarian right away.
Ear infections can be very painful for your dog but they can be avoided with a little help from you.
For pets with itchy skin from yeast infections, use a Baking Soda rinse alone or after shampooing your pets body with the appropriate pet shampoo for fungus infections (see vet). It will be quite helpful with the overall itchiness, skin problems and inflammation. Ask your veterinarian for his recommendations.
Baking Soda Recipe: Mix two (2) teaspoons of Baking Soda per gallon of warm water; make sure to mix it so it completely dissolves - pour over pet, do not rinse off.
The Bottom Line:
If you suspect your dog may have a fungal infection or yeast infection, it's important to give your veterinarian a history of where your dog has been, and what led up to the first symptoms that you noticed. Sometimes such histories need to go back as far as six or seven months. Explaining your dog's habits may also be important. For example, if your pet tends to paw and dig at gopher holes, this can be vital information for your vet to know.
So, with a vigilant eye and a little sensitivity toward any discomforts your pet may be feeling, you can keep not only your "best friend" healthy, but your family and your other pets fit and well, too.
Note from Chazlyn: feeding a diet high in grain can make yeast issues worse. Dog foods without corn and wheat are far better for dogs.