How to Get Rid of a Yeast Infection on a Dog’s Paw

Is it a dog fungal skin infection?

A yeast infection on a dog’s paw is more common than you might think. They aren’t usually problems that can make your dog sick. But, they can be irritating and cause your dog discomfort. If left untreated, they can also lead to other health problems. Thankfully, there are different ways that you can treat a yeast infection on your dog’s paw safely.

If you’re wondering ‘how do I know if my dog has a yeast infection on his paws?’, you don’t need to worry. There are many different signs and symptoms you can look for to determine your pet’s condition. The problem is, we don’t often look at our dogs’ feet unless they’re showing signs of physical pain, such as limping.

By the time your dog’s foot is irritated by a yeast infection, it could already be pretty bad. So, it’s important to pay attention to his or her paws at all times. Perform periodic checks to see if you notice any of the common symptoms.

Why are a dog’s paws so susceptible to this infection? It’s mostly because the paws are one of the places where dogs emit sweat. Dogs only sweat where there is no fur on their body. That sweat creates a perfectly warm and moist environment for yeast to form and grow.

How Can You Tell if Your Dog Has a Yeast Infection?

This guide will focus on some of the common symptoms of a yeast infection on a dog’s paw. We’ll also cover what you can do to remove it safely. Though sweat is usually the underlying culprit, there are other medical explanations that are worthy of further investigation.

The more you know about what can cause an infection and the symptoms of one, the better you can treat the problem. Don’t wait for the infection to spread to other areas or for it to cause your dog additional irritation.

What Causes a Yeast Infection on a Dog’s Paw?

According to University of California, Davis, there are around 800 different species of yeast living on the planet at this exact moment. That shouldn’t scare you. Yeast isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it’s used in a lot of things we love. Some are beneficial and others are detrimental to your health. Others just ‘exist’ for different purposes and don’t harm or heal, one way or another.

But, with so many types of yeast, it’s no wonder that contracting a yeast infection is so easy. This is especially true for dogs, who usually don’t have protection on their feet and are more prone to developing problems with yeast against the pads of their paws. Again, a little dog paw yeast can be normal. An overgrowth, though, can be a real nuisance.

Yeast infections in dogs usually occur when the bacteria naturally found in your dog’s body starts to experience an abnormality. This allows the natural yeast to experience significant growth all at once. Too much of this growth is problematic and can cause an infection.

Some of the possible causes for a yeast infection on a dog’s paw include:

  • Allergic reactions (This can be anything from food and plants to a bite from an ant or bug)
  • Changes in environment
  • Being exposed to humidity for a long period of time
  • Certain medications
  • Poor nutrition

Which Dogs Are More at Risk for a Yeast Infection?

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to getting paw infections due to yeast than others.

These breeds include the following:

  • German Shepherd
  • Basset Hound
  • Highland Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Shih Tzu

Certain underlying medical conditions can also put your dog at a greater risk for a yeast infection. Things like hormonal imbalances can also throw off the bacteria-to-yeast balance in your dog’s body and cause an overgrowth.

While yeast infections are usually treatable, some dogs have to deal with recurring ones because of these other conditions. The best thing you can do if that’s the case is to treat the medical issue first. Then, you can focus on getting rid of the yeast infection on their paws for good.

If you have one of the breeds listed above or your dog has another medical condition, make a point to check their paws often. Infections are easier to treat and manage when they are caught early on.

But, if you’re going to be checking your dog’s paws periodically, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with yeast infections on a dog’s paw.

What Are the Symptoms of a Yeast Infection on a Dog’s Paw?

When yeast becomes overgrown, it can gather in one specific area of the body, like a paw.

The yeast tends to invade whichever area it decides, and that can create a lot of irritation for your four-legged friend. Being able to notice some signs of infection early can allow you to get treatment for your dog that much sooner.

Some of the most common symptoms of a yeast infection on the paw include the following:

  • Itchiness – You may notice your dog biting at or rubbing their paw against something
  • Inflammation – If your dog’s paw is red between the toes, it could be a clear sign of an infection
  • Loss of hair around the paws
  • Thick, greasy skin
  • Bad smell – A yeast infection will give off a musty odor. Some pet owners call it “Frito Feet,” as it can mimic the smell of a corn chip.
  • Warm paws
  • Swelling around the area

Itchiness is usually one of the earliest signs of a yeast infection on a dog’s paw. Pay attention to any changes your dog is making in how they treat their paws. If they’re doing a lot of chewing, licking, or rubbing, it could be because their paws are itchy.

What Are the Risk Factors?

A yeast infection on your pet’s paws isn’t a life-threatening condition on its own. But, letting the symptoms go untreated can create much more severe problems for your canine.

For some dogs, the discomfort and pain from itching can cause behavioral changes. It can cause them to become aggressive or depressed. Some dogs can even start to experience anxiety and weight loss.

Behavioral changes can sometimes be hard to reverse once they’re put in place. If your dog has been dealing with a yeast infection for a long time and the paw pain has gotten severe, you could start to see a different personality from them.

One of the other major risk factors is raw, weeping sores. Most dogs will try to ‘self-heal’ their paws if they are inflamed, itchy, or sore. The best way they know how to do this is by licking their paws. It can provide temporary relief but can end up leading to major problems. As your dog keeps licking their paws, they can end up making the skin their raw, allowing sores to develop.

These raw sores can lead to the overgrowth of more yeast, making the infection worse. They can also open your dog up to other types of infection from different bacteria. On top of that, the open sores can be extremely painful to walk on.

As you can see, it’s not okay to let a yeast infection on your dog’s paw go untreated. The longer you let it go, the worse things can become for them physically and mentally.

dog paw infection between toes

What is the Best Treatment for a Yeast Infection for a Dog?

Even if your dog has several of the symptoms, you should get an official diagnosis from a vet. The good news is they are relatively easy to diagnose. Most veterinarians can diagnose a yeast infection on the paws through visuals alone. The smell is often a big help in diagnosing the issue, too. But, a small scraping from the paw is sometimes tested, just to make sure it’s an accurate diagnosis.

In most cases, a vet will prescribe some type of antifungal medication for the yeast infection. There are many different forms of antifungal treatments. Some are oral medications. You may also be able to use medicated wipes or creams to rub onto your dog’s paws.

If your dog’s vet is concerned about other types of infection, they may also prescribe an antibacterial solution. Antibiotics will help to ward off any looming problems that could arise if your dog has open sores on their paws.

When rubbing prescription medication on your dog’s paws, it’s important not to let them eat any of it. Your vet may recommend a cone or other device that prevents your dog from licking its paws. You can also cover their paws after applying medication using dog ‘boots,’ or even wrapping them gently in bandages.

But, be sure not to leave them covered for too long. It’s important for their feet to air out, so more moisture doesn’t develop.

What Are the Best Home Remedies?

The best thing about a home remedy is that it’s easy to use and can often be done with things you already have around the house. Plus, it’s rare for a dog to experience any strange or adverse side effects, as they might with prescription treatments.

Some of the best home remedies for a yeast infection in your dog include:

  • Apple cider vinegar: This can help to kill the fungus caused by an overgrowth of yeast. It will help to balance the pH levels of your dog’s paws and create a harsher environment for yeast to grow in. Make sure to use unfiltered, 100% apple cider vinegar for this treatment. All you need to do is dilute it slightly. Use one part vinegar to two parts of water. Then, soak a cotton ball in the solution and rub it all over your dog’s paws.
  • Baking soda: This also helps to balance out the pH levels of your dog’s paws and will create a harsh environment for yeast to grow. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a liter of water and soak your dog’s feet for a few minutes every day for a week. You’ll start to notice the symptoms of the infection go away quickly.
  • Turmeric: This has natural antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only can it help to get rid of the infection, but it can soothe your dog’s symptoms, too. To use it, you can either sprinkle a bit of the spice directly on your dog’s paws. Or, you can make a paste with a bit of water and massage it into their paws for deeper penetration.
  • Coconut oil: This is another natural ingredient with antifungal properties. It also helps with inflammation and can soothe pain and irritation. It also has antiviral properties, which can help if your dog has open sores that are at risk for infection. You can either apply the coconut oil to your dog’s paws directly or add a bit of it to their daily diet. It can work from the inside-out.
  • Epsom salt: Add ¼ of Epsom salt to a liter of water and soak your dog’s feet each day for a week. The Epsom salt will quickly help to reduce inflammation and lower your dog’s desire to itch. This is a great option to use if you catch the yeast infection early on. It can help to make it less severe and less irritating for your dog. Plus, you can use it in combination with other home remedies.

How to Make a Dog Paw Yeast Infection Foot Soak

One of the best things you can do to wipe out a yeast infection on your dog’s paw is to create a foot soak.

Sometimes, wiping down your dog’s paws or spraying them with an antifungal solution just isn’t enough. Yeast can be tricky to get rid of. It can get in all the cracks and crannies of the paw, and even underneath the nails. Using a foot soak ensures that whatever ingredient you’re using has a chance to fully penetrate all around the paw.

You can use many different natural ingredients in a foot soak, including some of the home remedy options listed above.

Or, you can try this easy recipe and method for an effective foot soak for your dog:

  1. Fill a bowl or basin with one gallon of warm (not hot) water.
  2. Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Add 1-2 cups white distilled vinegar.
  4. Soak your dog’s feet for 5-10 minutes.
  5. There is no need to rinse, but make sure to dry your dog’s paws completely.
  6. Repeat 3-5 times a week until the infection is cleared up.

It’s important to note that a foot soak like this works best on mild infections. Using a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and water can also be an effective soak. But, it also works best on mild infections. Using a soak with vinegar and a little bit of baking soda can also help to get rid of the bad smell associated with yeast infections.

Don’t use a foot soak containing vinegar if your dog has any open wounds on their feet. Vinegar is acidic, and any cuts or sores that are exposed to it can burn and be painful for your dog.

How do you treat a dog's feet with a yeast infection?

Can Yeast Infections in Dogs be Prevented?

Unfortunately, it’s not 100% possible to prevent yeast infections. There are so many factors that can contribute to them, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to keep one from forming.

But, there are certain things you can do to lower your dog’s risk. These preventative measures can help your dog to get infected less often. They can also help to keep infections mild and comfortable to treat.

  • Keep your dog’s paws clean. Hygiene is an integral part of preventing yeast infections. Think about what your dog’s feet come in contact with on a daily basis. They have nothing to protect their feet from all sorts of bacteria and fungus. The risk of developing something becomes even more significant if your dog walks or plays in dirty areas. Every day, take time to wash your dog’s paws.
  • Keep your dog’s paws dry. Yeast loves moist environments. It grows faster in warm, wet areas. Since dogs sweat through their paws, it’s the perfect place for infections to occur. Along with keeping your dog’s feet clean, they need to stay dry. Be sure to wipe them down with a towel after washing them. You should also dry them off if your dog has been running around or after a long walk.
  • Take a look at your dog’s food. A yeast infection can start from the inside out, in some cases. If your dog’s food is high in carbohydrates, you could be putting them at a greater risk for yeast infections. Switch to a high-quality, grain-free food. You should also cut back on dog treats, as most of them have a high carbohydrate count. If you want to give your dog a treat, choose something high in protein. If you have a dog that frequently gets recurring infections, this simple change can make a big difference.
  • Introduce probiotics to your dog’s diet. You can use probiotic supplements (available in most pet stores) or natural, unsweetened yogurt. Probiotics are a kind of good bacteria that will help to stop the overgrowth of yeast within the body. It’s another way to prevent infection from the inside out.

How Long Does It Take for a Yeast Infection to Go Away?

How long it takes to treat a yeast infection on your dog’s paw depends on the infection itself. If it’s a mild infection that you caught early, it can sometimes clear up in a matter of days. More severe infections can take weeks to heal fully.

Keep treating a yeast infection until all the symptoms are gone. This type of fungus can regenerate quickly. If it’s not fully treated, it can come back, and you’ll have to start the treatment process all over again.

As we talked about earlier, some dogs are more prone to recurring yeast infections. But, the rules still apply. Treating it earlier rather than later can help it to go away faster. You can also use some of the preventative measures listed here to lessen the frequency of the infections.

If your dog has open sores on their paws and develops another kind of infection, it may take longer for everything to heal up completely. If possible, it’s best not to let the infection get that far.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to get yeast infections. The paws are a huge target because they can get dirty easily and harbor a lot of moisture if your dog tends to sweat quite a bit. While yeast infections on the paws aren’t completely preventable, they are manageable.

The best thing you can do as a dog owner is to pay attention to the signs. Recognizing early symptoms can make this kind of infection much easier to treat. If you have a breed that is more susceptible to yeast infections, it’s important to pay even closer attention to their feet.

As you can see, there are many treatment options. Whether you choose a prescription method or home remedy, stick with it until the infection is gone. Your dog will be happy to find relief, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing the infection won’t cause any further distress.

In the interim, you might want to use Pet Gear NV pet stroller to help your friend get about until his/her paw is healed completely.

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