Allergies or Yeast? How To Tell the Difference & Provide Relief for your Dog
Posted on October 26 2021
Itchy skin, ear infections, irritated paws. The symptoms of a yeast infection and food allergies can be similar, so how can you tell the difference? And what actions can you take to provide relief to your furry family members?
What are allergies?
Allergy symptoms arise when your dog has repeated and prolonged exposure to a trigger or allergen. These symptoms are your dog's immune system waving a red flag. This can be from their food or environmental. For the purpose of this article, our attention will be on food allergies.
Signs that your dog has food related allergies are:
- Frequent ear infections (2+ per year)
- Bronze, red, brown nail beds
- Bronzing around the lips
- Dull coat, itchy skin, red underbelly
- Watery Eyes
- Digestive issues
What is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast is a natural fungus that lives in your dogs intestines. It's normal to have small amounts of yeast in your dog's flora and it helps your dog properly digest their food. The good bacteria (Probiotics) in your dog's gut helps keep the yeast in check. (Another reason why daily probiotics and prebiotics are essential for your pups!)
Yeast and bacteria compete for food, so when there is a healthy amount of good bacteria in the gut, the yeast is kept under control. When there isn't enough bacteria to challenge the yeast, the yeast starts to grow. Overgrowth of yeast can irritate the gut lining and that is when symptoms start to show.
If your dog has more than one of these signs, yeast might be an issue for your dog:
- Hair loss on back and tail along with black skin
- Speckles on underbelly
- Greasy, smelly hair
- Seasonal allergies
- Chewing/licking feet
- Frequent ear infections
- Rust color between toes
- Rust or gray color around genitals
- Bacterial infections
Ok, so now what?
Before we talk about the protocols, the first item to address is food. Is your dog currently on a kibble diet? If yes, now is the time to consider raw for your dog. There is a good chance that your dog is reacting to the grains, rancid oil, vegetable protein ingredients found in kibble. These are foods that dogs have difficulty digesting and promotes chronic inflammation in the body leading to much of the issues dogs experience.
Another benefit of a raw dog food diet is that you will be able to truly do a limited ingredient diet (more on this below). The single protein, hypoallergenic kibble that is typically recommended in cases of allergies, can contain much of the problem ingredients that initiates the symptoms in the first place. Ingredients like wheat, corn, rice, and soybean meal. With a fresh raw diet, the ingredient list is only 3-4 items for our plain protein options. This gives you the ability to dial in what works and what doesn't work for your pup.
Transition to raw using our protein only options (no veggie mixes at this point) and document any changes in their behaviour and symptoms over the course of a month or two. The switch to a fresh, raw diet might be all they need to clear up the symptoms. For other dogs, some of their symptoms may be relieved, but doesn't clear up completely. If this is the case, the below protocols will be your next step.
For those who currently feed raw, your next step will be determining if food allergies are to blame.
There are two ways to determine what is causing the allergy symptoms.
Work with your vet to run an environmental and food allergy test. You could also research a home testing kit that works for you. This option is the fastest, but can also cost a bit more money.
Food Elimination Diet
A food elimination diet will require some patience, documentation, and time. If you are currently feeding one of our Doggy Moggy Veggie blends, this will be the time to change to a protein only option temporarily until you can determine what might be causing the reactions in your dog.
During this time (the process will take roughly 4-6 months) you will be feeding your pup the bare essentials. This means concentrating only on the foundational components of a raw diet (bone/organ/meat) and limiting food supplements (veggies, fruit, eggs) until you get a handle on what protein options work best for your dog.
If you suspect chicken is an issue for your dog, start by feeding Doggy Moggy Beef only for 1-2 weeks. Document any changes you see in their behaviour and skin. Once you feel confident in your findings with the beef, repeat the process for Doggy Moggy Turkey. Repeat as many times as needed to determine your protein base.
While I know this process seems long, I do believe it's beneficial to rotate through the proteins so you have a good idea of what proteins work for your dog so you are able to feed a variety of protein options to your dog within the limitations of their allergies.
Once proteins are assessed, move on to supplements like fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. Allow a slow introduction for each, similar to the protein and document any changes you see in your dog.
It will help to create a list of what works and what doesn't work. Once that list is compiled, keep it handy for you and your family to refer to. Going forward, you will need to avoid feeding problematic foods to your dogs. Below is a list of common food allergens for dogs.
Common Food Allergens
- Sweet potatoes
- Zucchini, yellow squash
So you have addressed the diet, but there are still some lingering symptoms Combat yeast with the Four Leaf Rover Yeast Free Fido protocol. This is a natural way to combat yeast and rebuild the gut with beneficial bacteria.
There are three steps to beating the yeast:
1. Break down the yeasts protective coating
2. Eliminate and detoxify the Yeast
3. Restore bacteria and repair the gut lining
As the yeast starts to die off, you may notice your dog feeling off. Toxins are released into your dogs system during the process which can produce hang over like symptoms. These symptoms are normal and should subside within a few days or weeks.
- Worsening of symptoms
- Discharge from eyes, nose, skin and ears.
- Joint soreness
It's important to also remove yeast's food supply. Yeast loves sugars and starches. Removing all carbs and sugar (fruit) from your dogs diet will help starve the yeast. Yeast also loves heavy metals. Removing low quality food & fish/fish oil will help limit the heavy metals your dog is exposed to. Fermented foods should be also avoided until the yeast is under control.
Once you complete the protocol, maintain your dogs healing with Protect Probiotics. Creating a healthy stock of bacteria in your dogs gut will help prevent yeast from from taking over again.
Share with the #granddograwpack!
This post was inspired from one of our #granddograwpack members on Instagram! I hope this provides some clarity on Yeast vs. Allergies. If you ever have a topic you would like to see some more information on, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (825) 401-3214 .
Have you tried our Yeast Free Protocol for your dog? Or have you had to figure out your dogs allergies? I would love to hear your experience! Share your story in the comments or reach out to me at the contact information below. Pictures ALWAYS welcome. 🤗
Amanda Monsma (she/her)
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Disclaimer: All information presented on this website is for informational and/or educational purposes only and based on our experience and those shared by our clients. These statements have not been evaluated by a veterinarian. This website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and is not intended to be a substitute or replacement for any medical treatment. Please seek the advice of a holistic veterinarian for your dog’s specific health concerns.