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Pungent Puppy Paws

Dog holding paw up over pink baxkground

Our dogs have to spend their entire lives traveling around on their four paws. Because of this, their paws can take quite a beating from rough terrain and messy environments. As such it isn’t uncommon for your dogs paw to become injured or infected in some way at some point during their adventures. Whenever you notice your dog favoring one paw over all the others or chewing on a particular paw an unusual amount, this is a good time to check for injuries and infections. One of the most common types of infections that can happen to your dog's paw are yeast infections, If you notice dry, red, or itchy skin, or hair loss on whatever paw your dog has been acting funny about, it is a good indication your dog has one. If you want to know how to identify, treat, and prevent yeast infections in the future check out the article below.

cute bull dog with its paw raised in the air
Check the pads of your dog's paw for yeast infections. Photo Courtesy of Bulldogology.

Do You Notice An Unusual Scent When Your Dogs Around?

How to Tell If It's A Yeast Infection Or Not.

When you notice your dog favoring one of their paws over all the other and you decide to take a look and figure out what’s happening, there are a few signs and symptoms of a yeast infection to look out for. 

When you go to check out your dog’s paws there are a few things to keep in mind. Yeast prefers dark and damp places in order in order to reproduce. So when a yeast infection happens it means that the yeast has found a hospitable environment like this to reproduce in. On your dog’s paw the one place that is most likely for yeast infection to take hold and that is between the little pads on your dog’s foot. However, the infection could happen anywhere on the paws. The yeast just prefers the little crevices between the pads of your dogs paws.

When you check the pads on your dog's paw there are a few things to look for. The most common symptoms associated with a yeast infection on your dog’s paws involves the skin on the pads of their feet becoming dry, red, cracked, irritated, or itchy. Additionally, yeast infections can often leave hair loss around the area of the infection. So if you notice your dog missing hair around the pads of its foot this is a good indication of a yeast infection.

close up of dogs paw
Check for red irritated skin or a rash when you examine your dog’s paw for a yeast infection. Photo Courtesy of Health Care For Pets.

Now That You Know What Is Causing It What Happens Next?

How to Treat A Yeast Infection On Your Dog’s Paws

Once you’v e determined that your dog has a yeast infection on their paw there are a few things you can do to alleviate the scenario. And best of all you can do them right at home.

There are several treatments for yeast infections on your dog's paws. The majority of these can be purchased right over the counter at pet stores or local pharmacies. Most of these involve some sort of anti-fungal cream, wipe, spray, or anti-fungal shampoo. 

The topical ingredients that have been shown to be most effective in treating yeast infection in dogs include chlorhexidine, miconazole, and ketoconazole. So you’ll want to keep an eye out for these ingredients to be listed when you purchase a topical anti-fungal treatment for your dog's yeast infection.

However, in some cases the yeast infection may be too severe for standard topical medications to be effective. In this scenario, where you have been tryin anti-fungal treatments and you notice the infection has gotten any better, or has even gotten worse, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Sometimes it takes medical grade treatment to deal with a yeast infection. So if the over the counter options fail, you’ll want to get the correct medicine that is only available from a veterinarian.

black and white dog chewing on its paw in the snow
When your dog has a yeast infection in their paw they may chew and bite on it an unusual amount. Photo Courtesy of The Happy Puppy Site.

Don’t Want to Deal With Infections in the Future?

How to Prevent A Yeast Infection From Happening

Once you’ve gotten your dog’s yeast infection taken care of and you want to prevent it from happening again, or if you just want to prevent one from happening in the first place, there are a few easy steps you can take at home. Since yeast infections in your dog's paws are caused by their being a moist, dark, safe environment for the yeast to grow in your dog’s paws, the best thing you can do is to make sure their pads and paws stay dry and free of debris. So if your dog has been out in the snow, rain, or mud, be sure to dry their paws off. 

Additionally, giving your dogs bathes more regularly can help as long as you ensure you get their paws nice and dry each time. There is also anecdotal support for the use of household products like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil being used to help treat and prevent yeast infections in dog’s paws. The vinegar serves as a disinfectant to kill the yeast before it can reproduce and the coconut oil serves a topical solution that assists in repairing the red itchy skin caused by the infection. 

close up of top of dogs paw with hairloss
Unusual red skin and hair loss is a sign that your dog has a yeast infection in their paw. Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Dogs.

If you discover a yeast infection on your dog's paw there is no need to worry. With a little bit of work you can treat and prevent yeast infections right at home. If you examine what your dog has been eating, keeping their paws clean and dry you can significantly cut down on the likelihood that yeast infections occur. Additionally if you wish to take extra steps to prevent a yeast infection from occurring, or need to treat a new yeast infection, apple cider is a cost effective acidic solution that you can use to disinfect your dogs paw and create an unfavorable environment for yeast.

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