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Dogs/10.5 year old Sheltie with odor and skin problems


Dear Roger,
I just read your response to an email about yeast in dogs.  You listed several good name brand foods.  I have had our Sheltie, Daisy, on Back to Basics dry dog food for almost 2 years.  I even took a break with the dry and tried to feed her a natural raw meat diet + ground up hard boiled eggs, shell and all, this for over 3+ months recommended online by a Dinovite rep. For 6 months she has taken 1 tb. of Dinovite Nutritional Supplement and Lick-O-Chops omega 3 supplement. We went back to the Back to Basics Turkey brand as we could not afford to stay on raw meat. The brand was recommended by a woman who owns a natural pet food store.
Not much changed in Daisy's flaky skin and odor.  If anything, it has worsened and we can hardly stand her to be in the same room.  I have bathed her every month or so, due to the awful odor, with a medicated shampoo the vet prescribed called Vet Solutions - (anti-bacterial/anti-fungal).  Also, do you know if there is a supplement to her diet that she is missing?  You mentioned enzymes.  Would the yeast fighting supplements for humans work on dogs?  Daisy is still active and loves walks, running in the yard with her two companions (another Sheltie and a Maltepoo). They are all indoor dogs.  Could it be her age and the cumulative years of stress from moves (cross country chasing job), vaccines, etc.   
Thank you for your time,
God bless,
Lee Ann

Hi Lee Ann,

Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I've been hit by a cold and was down for a couple days.

You may need to see a holistic vet to get the yeast out of the system.  Unfortunately, a traditional vet will prescribe things like antibiotics which tend to make it worse.  

I am not sure about the yest fighting supplements for people to be used on your dogs.  Look at the ingredients and research to see if dogs have any adverse effects from it. We've personally have not done this.

Usually the shampoo given by your vet is to be used at least once a week, if not twice to get the yeast off the skin.  We are dealing with a rescue who had yeast and that seem to take the excess oil and smell away.  You may also rinse with a dilution of organic vinegar and water 50/50 or I believe if you use white vinegar it is one gallon of water with one cup of white vinegar.

When she is wet, pour this mixture all over her and let sit for 5 minutes then rinse. This will balance PH and give her some needed relief.

Enzymes are always essential in the diet but it is important to make sure you give a therapeutic dose of both enzymes and probiotics. These higher doses are needed when a chronic condition is present.

These work together to digest foods small enough to be absorbed into the system and of course the probiotics will flourish in the intestinal system and will help battle the yeast bacteria.

You were getting lots of both of these with the raw food diet but as you know, they are destroyed when you cook foods.

I would get a separate enzyme and probiotic supplement and give extra doses of each. If you get the one like from Animal Essentials that contains both enzymes and probiotics in one, you could just double up on the dose.

Organic, extra virgin coconut oil is very good for healing what is called leaky gut syndrome.  This happens when a dog suffers from too much yeast and there are perforations in the intestines.  The coconut oil helps to heal the intestines.  

I have heard customers say that they have purchased natural cures for yeast online which included detox and it worked well for them.  

Keep in mind, carbs feed yeast.  Even your high protein dog foods will offer some carbs.  Your Back to Basics Turkey is about 25% carbs.  To adjust this to a higher protein, you can cut back on the dry food a bit and add fresh lean meats, eggs, or sardines.  You can add a 95% canned meat as well.  Merrick, Instinct, By Nature are a few that don't add any carbs to their canned food.  Keeping moisture in the diet is very important as well.

The premium canned food is so much better for her than dry for the above reason as well as being higher moisture. The moisture nourishes the internal organs as well as the skin and coat. Higher moisture is good for females as it helps flush and keep the urinary system clean.

The above tactics have taken care of most of the yeast problems we've faced in the past. Of course there are different levels and sometimes will require the help of a holistic vet to give you the right supplements to balance and restore her system.

Her age will have little to do with this. Stress does effect the immune system and can lead to many health conditions but you should be able to get her restored back to great health once more.

If the above is not working, research to see if there is a holistic vet in your area. Look in the yellow pages, ask at the natural feed stores and find one to go see. Even if you have to drive a long ways to go see one, it will usually take only one or two visits. From then on, they can usually ship you any supplements that are needed.

I don't know if you've had any experience with holistic vets but they are usually great to work with. They are the ones that studied medicine like your regular vet but have taken years more schooling in nutrition and healing the body from the inside out.

They will usually get your records from your current vet before your visit so they will know what's been going on with her.

I hope this all helps some and by all means, if you have more questions or anything else, let me know.



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

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