Many dogs who have been diagnosed with allergies, can also be suffering from systemic yeast overgrowth. The typical conventional treatment of antibiotics and steroids only address symptoms not the underlying cause.
Kramer suffered from allergies, but our other dog Auggie tends to be susceptible to yeast overgrowth.
A gut that is affected by yeast overgrowth tends to also develop chronic illness like bladder and ear infections (this also happens with people as well.) Malassezia pachydermatis is a yeast commonly found in the ears and on the skin of dogs, a healthy immune system, 80% of which is in the gut, keeps them in check. But once that balance is disrupted the cycle of itching, hot spots, vet visits begin.
So how in the world does this happened and what can be done about it?
This process usually starts with antibiotics -
Antibiotics are necessary and life saving so I am not saying to ignore veterinary care, but many do not understand the need to rebuild the gut flora after use.
About two weeks after antibiotic use we start to see ear infections with its smelly discharge (which leads to more antibiotics) itching, hair loss, endless scratching.....blacken skin...sores, hot spots, and a very distinctive stinky smell. Which leads to more trips to the vet, vague diagnosis of allergies, and or fleas - and expensive vet bought food (with by products ) that the dog will not eat.
Kramer would eat anything (he once stole tofu) but would never touch the foul smelling expensive prescription diets.
This is the protocol I have found that works for the dogs in my life..
- Get a blood panel done at the vet, make sure the thyroid is working well. Other illness like Cushing's can also create symptoms like these.
- On a healthy dog, do a gentle liver detox. Many holistic vets will do a one time consult over the phone.
- Switch to high quality grain free food, it may be necessary to switch to a home made diet for a few weeks (consult a vet for recipes if you chose this path do not Google,) raw or wet/can as many dry grain free foods still use sweet potato which can still produce sugar. I personally had great success with Wysong, Dogswell, and Wellness can foods initially. Its very important to remove sugar (in the form of carbs) from the diet as yeast live off sugar. Also important is to remove by products, Gluten, Corn, and Soy.
- Begin to add high quality (made for people) Lactobacillus acidophilus with meals to replenish gut flora.
- Use a topical like Kramer’s Salve to treat any open skin eruptions and reduce the possibility of infection.
- Clean stinky ears daily with a gentle tea tree oil based cleaner for the first two weeks or so after beginning treatment. And bathe with a tea tree oil or anti fungi shampoo weekly during this period. I do not recommend the use of Oatmeal shampoos during this time as its a grain.
- Be patient - this process works but requires time.