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Question
My 10 year old black German Shepard has suffered for years with severe yeast infection.  It has been 2 years now that I have switched to feeding him a raw diet, which got him back to walking and enjoying life, but he still suffers from the horrible smell of yeast, and scratching which I caved in and put him on steroids.  Now my 5 year old Shih tzu is turning yeasty and scratching all the time.  She as well has been fed raw for the past 2 years.  Is the fungus contagious? I have tried oil of oregano, oregano pills probiotic pills, yogurt with no avail.  Their raw diet consist of ground beef mainly ground pork with green vegetables and some organ meat mixed in with the prepared ground meats.  They also eat chicken with bone,pork giblets and occasional goat with bone. I cannot afford to feed my dogs organic for I do not fully feed my family organic for the higher costs.  I don't enjoy being a dog owner any more.  Help!

Answer
Hi Nicola,

I feel for your situation and I'm sorry you have to go through it. I can try and make a couple suggestions but this may take a vet to do some further testing.

First, you are feeding a good diet as far as I can tell. It's hard to get homemade diets balanced with enough calcium and other critical vitamins/minerals.

For yeast infections the object of the game is to get rid of all carbs and sugars from the diet. You seem to have done that.

You do not need to feed an organic diet. We feed raw to our dogs and cats but we use commercially prepared raw that is balanced with organ meat and ground up bone and vegetables. There are many good companies producing raw diets that make it very easy to feed.

The yeast dermatitis is not contagious.

Chronic yeast infections may require an immune testing to measure his immunoglobulin levels. Generally these levels are low in a dog with constant yeast overgrowth.

If your dog is producing healthy levels of immunoglobulins, he should be able to overcome almost any infection, and particularly a yeast infection.

In more severe, chronic or persistent cases of yeast dermatitis, the use of oral or systemic anti-fungal medications is often required. Many dogs with yeast dermatitis will also have a bacterial skin infection (pyoderma) and will require antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection for typically four to twelve weeks.

Continue feeding therapeutic levels of probiotics. Do NOT forget digestive enzymes as well. Both are critical in a diet.

You will have to work closely with your vet or better a holistic vet if you have one in your area. I'm sure this chronic issue can be resolved, it will just need to get further tested and treated.

Lastly, you may want to totally switch proteins in your dogs diets. In rare cases I've seen chronic skin conditions form from the meats the animal is eating.

You may want to look in your local pet food shops that carry frozen raw foods and find some chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit or similar. Maybe they are having problems with the beef. I've seen it before. Especially since your second dog is developing it.

I wish I could be of more help but without further testing and diagnosing, it's really hard to treat it.

Please feel free to write back with any further questions or additions, I will be happy to help if I can.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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