While yeast is a natural component of the body’s microbiome, an imbalance between beneficial bacteria and yeast can result in Candida Yeast Infections. This imbalance can be caused by various internal or external factors.
Yeast within the digestive tract and on the skin are normally kept in check by beneficial bacteria within the body’s microbiome. These bacteria can become unbalanced or reduced for various reasons which provides the opportunity for yeast to grow.
Consulting with a veterinarian to culture present skin, ear, or paw infections to receive a diagnosis is the first step. Once yeast is confirmed through a skin culture, there are several steps pet owners can take to get yeast infections under control:
Raw Diet Modifications
There are several baseline dietary modifications that should be considered when dealing with yeast infections. The largest factor in managing yeast is eliminating any ingredients that feed yeast or trigger inflammation, as well as making sure the diet is balanced.
Avoid Starchy & Sugary Ingredients
Yeast is a component of fermentation. Within this process, yeast uses starches and sugars as an energy source to reproduce. Removing starches and sugars from the diet helps to remove yeast’s primary energy source.
It is recommended to avoid feeding starchy vegetables and fruit when dealing with yeast infections.
Eliminate Trigger Foods
Beyond removing starches and sugars from the diet, other foods may need to be eliminated if they trigger an inflammatory response. Inflammation from food allergies or intolerances can potentially trigger yeast infections.
Allergies and intolerances often vary greatly based on the individual animal, therefore an elimination diet may be necessary to identify and eliminate any problem foods.
Provide a Balanced Diet
Not only is a balanced diet important for overall health, certain essential nutrients can act as antifungals and boost the immune system. Therefore, it is important to make sure the diet is sufficient in all essential nutrients, with special attention to the following:
Probiotics & Prebiotics
A pet’s microbiome may become imbalanced for many reasons. Without enough good bacteria to maintain microbial balance, yeast can often bloom out of control. Once proper diet modifications have been made, additional support via probiotics and prebiotics can help re-balance the microbiome.
Probiotics are cultures of beneficial bacteria that can help re-colonize the gut and restore microbial balance. Supplemental probiotics can be useful in getting yeast infections under control.
Supplemental probiotics will also need a food source in the form of prebiotics. “Feeding” the probiotics with prebiotic fiber will give the beneficial bacteria a chance to multiply and colonize the gut. Dandelion greens are especially beneficial for prebiotic fiber, however leafy green vegetables in general will supply appropriate fiber.
Fiber Supplement Cautions
Inulin is often recommended as a prebiotic, however inulin can be fructose based. Since yeast typically feeds off of sugars, inulin may make yeast worse. In these cases, Psyllium Husk is another alternative.
Yeast infections can be an internal issue as well as an external one. It often spreads to the skin in moist areas, folds of skin, wounds, areas of excessive grooming, and on areas that are in contact with allergens such as the feet. There are several techniques that pet owners can use to provide relief and topical control.
There are more options to pursue if a pet suffers from yeast in addition to diet modifications, the addition of probiotics, and topical support. These options are outside the scope of balanced nutrition and enter into holistic practices.
Returning yeast to normal levels may be a simple process for some pets, yet other times it may take a more thorough process. These steps include:
Although yeast infections are unpleasant for both pet and pet owner. Gaining control over yeast is possible with the changes discussed and a lot of patience. Microbiome balance will not happen overnight.