Dogs (and cats) with yeast infections of their skin, are often itchy. They usually have some amount of thickening of the skin, sort of looking like "elephant skin", and often get hyperpigmentation - or a darkening of the skin. They will also "smell like a dog". If a dog is itchy and smelly - to me this is almost a slam dunk diagnosis of a yeast infection.
Bathing any animal with a heavy yeast or fungal load on the skin, can be helpful. Repeating the bath every 3-7 days is usually adequate - and over bathing should be avoided. Of course, bathing should be limited to those animals who already get bathed, and avoided for reptiles, birds, and similar animals for which this is not a normal protocol. Horses with Rain Rot, Scratches, or other similar skin irritations also benefit from an essential oil wash - and these conditions often have a fungal or yeast component as well.
This is one of the most common presentations of yeast infections in dogs. Licking or chewing (sometimes gnawing) at the feet. Saliva staining can occur to the fur around the itchy areas, turning them a rusty red-brown color. YeastyBeasty RTU was specifically created with these cases in mind. Although I often want everyone to avoid applications of essential oils to paws and paw pads - this is a situation where we actually desire it. But, it has to be done right, and with the proper concentrations. Immediately assuming that all essential oils should be applied to the feet - is what I want everyone to avoid. But when there is an issue at hand that requires comfort - then we can use essential oils in the proper ways to help out.
Although YeastyBeasty RTU was created mainly as a topical application for yeast infested skin, feet, skin folds, and the like - it contains benefits contributed by essential oils that are not limited to yeast alone. Lavender is soothing and anti-inflammatory to the skin, while also antibacterial and antifungal. Rosemary Verbenone is a milder version of Rosemary that contributes great antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Helichrysum is an amazing healer of all tissues, and contributes to the resolution of most difficult cases. Lemongrass also contributes powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Geranium has long been known as beneficial to many skin conditions. Oregano, Thyme, and Melaleuca alternifolia are incredibly helpful to fungal, yeast, and bacterial conditions - and when used properly are not harmful or irritating to animals or their skin. Myrrh has been known for its help in repair and soothing of the skin. Copaiba magnifies other essential oils, and is also known to have antifungal benefits as well as contributing powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense is also very beneficial to skin health, as well as anti-tumoral. Clove contributes anti-oxidant, antimicrobial, and most importantly topical anesthetic properties. Cypress increases circulation, supports the body's defenses, and aids in the removal of the by-products of healing. Basil has supported anti-histamine responses. Lemon is antimicrobial and also contributes brightening and cleansing properties that help to remove the staining of chronic licking and chewing. Black Spruce has often contributed corticosteroid-like properties clinically - and is often a cornerstone for our ability to eliminate the use of steroids for our patients. Peppermint can calm itch, is anti-inflammatory, and also seems to help drive other essential oils deeper into tissues for more effect. Melissa essential oil is highly regarded as one of the most anti-histamine in action - and we see it contribute to a wide variety of healing, especially in difficult and chronic cases. And finally, Cinnamon Leaf is milder than Cinnamon Bark - and contributes antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and topical anesthetic properties.
Combined these essential oils create an amazing synergistic effect - which supports comfort, healing, a stronger immune system, as well as the death of yeast, bacteria, and fungus. The RTU (Ready To Use) blend is properly diluted to allow for the application to the skin of feet, armpits, skin folds, and other delicate and irritated areas. A NEAT (undiluted) version is also provided - and it intended for addition to shampoos, washes, water mists, or for experienced aromatherapists to dilute to their needed concentration for a client. Neither YeastyBeasty blend is intended for diffusion.
Birds & Exotics: YeastyBeasty RTU is rarely indicated for use with birds due to their feathered status. Most often for birds with skin conditions, we will recommend starting with products such as Feathered Blend NEAT, Feathered Plus NEAT, or Skin Spray Base. Other exotics such as Guinea Pigs may experience skin conditions due to bacteria, fungus (ringworm), mites, and other issues, and can benefit from spot applications with YeastyBeasty RTU or from a bath with YeastyBeasty NEAT added to shampoo as described above. Chinchillas are generally not treated topically with most essential oils, due to their delicate haircoat. For Chinchillas, water-based diffusion with Open-Air is recommended - to permeate their fur with a variety of beneficial properties. For most exotic species - the use of CritterBoost is recommended initially - and then only if adequate responses are not seen - is the move towards YeastyBeasty RTU made.
YeastyBeasty NEAT Water Misting Spray: For most dogs (and larger animals) a solution of 10-20 drops per 4 ounces of distilled water (120 mL) can be used. Occasionally a stronger solution is used as well - up to even 80 drops per 4 ounces of water (20 drops in a 1 ounce sprayer). Make sure to use glass spray bottles as found on our Order Accessories page - there are also spray bottle labels to help you identify your various sprays. YeastyBeasty Spray is generally not used near the face, eyes, fresh surgical wounds, or on delicate mucous membranes. Water based mists are wonderful for use on the anal region, and any other irritated area can have the spray misted on, up to three times a day or as needed. Shake well before each use, and mist lightly over the entire desired area. For cases involving areas near the face or eyes - Skin Spray Base is generally selected for use.
YeastyBeasty RTU: For longer lasting, gentle yet strong effects; YeastyBeasty RTU is diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil. This formulation is perfect to be rubbed into itchy, yeasty feet - providing comfort and aiding in killing the yeasty problem. I also find this preparation to be perfect for affected necks, backs, groins, armpits, anal regions, and so forth. For dogs with ear infections - Canine Ear Spray is my first selection - but for those dogs who will absolutely not allow a spray into the ears - then we can apply some of the YeastyBeasty RTU into the affected ears. Approximately 3-5 drops twice a day is recommended.
There are so many presentations for yeast. Red, hot. Dry, flaky. Greasy, smelly. And everything in between. But the most common thing is that it is irritated, often itchy, being licked or chewed, and usually a bit smelly. Because yeast is often present with another condition - such as mites, fleas, "allergies", bacteria, and so forth - the appearance can vary as to which friends are along for the ride. If an animal is itchy or has a skin condition that has not resolved with usual veterinary care - I always want to make sure that yeast has been addressed and treated - whether or not it is found with laboratory testing.
It is important to know that although some vets may lump fungus and yeast as similar entities, they are different. We rarely culture for yeast, and although fairly easy to find in an ear smear for an ear infection - yeast is not so easily confirmed on the skin. We can do "tape preps" of the skin's surface, and usually find yeast if the infection is bad enough. But, not finding it on scrapings, smears, skin samples, cultures, and sometimes even biopsies - doesn't eliminate the need to treat problem cases for potential yeast in my eyes. And for many cases, traditional medications such as oral Ketoconazole - are truly necessary.
Ringworm is a fungus that is pretty easy to culture. Some symptoms can look very similar to staph bacterial infections and yeast infections - so if Ringworm is considered for an animal - then a specific culture should be submitted for this problem. However, the same oils that contribute to anti-yeast actions, will indeed be anti-fungal in general - and beneficial to Ringworm. Ringworm is able to be transmitted to humans and other animals - so if you think you might be dealing with Ringworm - please make sure to completely discuss this with your veterinarian.
Cats: Cats can use YeastyBeasty RTU - however most of the time we will start with using KittyBoost for them. We will apply the KittyBoost along their back in a "normal" application - and sometimes also apply a bit to discrete spots of fungal issues (Ringworm) as well. For a cat with a confirmed yeast skin infection or with Ringworm - bathing with YeastyBeasty NEAT added to the shampoo can be very helpful - as described above. If we have a cat or kitten with Ringworm in our veterinary care - I will bathe them 1-2 times a week (if allowed) with YeastyBeasty NEAT added to shampoo. Then, I will apply KittyBoost along the spine every 1-3 days - depending on the severity of the case, and how the cat responds or tolerates the applications. KittyBoost is also dabbed onto the areas that might have a discrete Ringworm lesion often up to daily - making sure to avoid application near the eyes, nose, and other delicate areas. "Cat Controversial" oils are within YeastyBeasty - so if you have questions regarding this - please read more about Cats HERE.
Horses & Large Animals: These animals get a few different conditions of the fungal and yeast variety - and thankfully these species are pretty hardy and easy to treat with essential oils. Ringworm is quite common - and in most situations the spot application of YeastyBeasty RTU can be used for most discrete Ringworm lesions. Usually several drops, twice a day is adequate. For severe and stubborn areas, we can consider using YeastyBeasty NEAT in a shampoo, wash, water-mist, or occasionally even as a neat application to a lesion.
Scratches and Rain Rot are two other conditions that can have a yeast or fungal component. YeastyBeasty NEAT in a shampoo, wash, or water-mist is also excellent for these conditions. YeastyBeasty RTU can be used for all issues - being careful to avoid the use of the RTU (diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil) - for lesions that become too moist or fail to improve. For the most part, large animals can be treated in similar methods to dogs, and can tolerate all described treatment methods.
Cats are quite commonly diagnosed with Ringworm. For most cases, using KittyBoost as directed is our initial starting point - and even some of the KittyBoost can be applied to a focal Ringworm "spot". YeastyBeasty RTU can also be "spot applied" to feline Ringworm lesions if KittyBoost has not proven strong enough.
Some cats may be amenable to bathing...but let's face it - most are not too pleased with the option. For those who are - I will often place 10-20 drops of YeastyBeasty NEAT into 1-2 Tablespoons of a natural and organic shampoo base (like Dr. Bronner's Baby Unscented Organic Pump Soap) and then bathe the animal - allowing the essential oil lather to remain on the animal for as long as possible - 10 minutes is super great!
What is yeast in an animal? It is a bit different than a yeast infection or candida in a human. Mainly we see yeast infections in dogs and cats, but occasionally in a few other animal species. But, dogs are certainly the most common animal affected. The yeast organism that mainly affects animals is named Malassezia. Yeast infections are commonly recognized in the ears of dogs - but on feet, around the anus, inside anal glands, in armpits and groins, and on skin areas in general - yeast seems to go undiagnosed and untreated all too commonly. I find that yeast infections are usually secondary in nature - so that might be why they are so overlooked. A dog may have demodex mange (mites) and so that is the "screaming" diagnosis - however this dog is also likely to have bacterial and yeast infections of the skin due to the horrible irritation and compromise to the immune system. Treating only the demodex mites, will ONLY get you dead mites, while the dog will still be suffering from irritation due to the secondary infections. Vets more commonly will treat secondary skin infections, such as Staph, with antibiotics - but more often than not, completely ignore the fact that Malassezia yeast is everywhere on the body and causing a horribly itchy situation.
Cats with skin issues or ear infections are a bit different to me. About 85% of cats with skin issues will turn out to have an issue with fleas. Even if you never see one. One flea bite can create an irritation that lasts for a month - and since a cat grooms so effectively - the flea is unlikely to be around long enough for us to find it. Ear infections in cats are rarely yeast infections as they are in dogs. Brown debris is most likely to be from an Ear Mite infection - and needs to have an ear smear performed by a veterinarian to have an accurate diagnosis. Some cats will have brown debris in their ears - without any ear mites and actually without infection at all. These are usually ears that are inflamed by dietary issues - and finding the proper diet for the cat will generally eliminate the additional ear debris. An ear smear by a veterinarian, should reveal the cause of the excess ear wax.
Dogs: Are the most likely to be in need of YeastyBeasty. Feet, ears, armpits, butts, necks, skin folds, and many other areas are commonly affected by yeast. It is important to have your veterinarian help to evaluate the issues at hand - and to still prescribe the proper traditional medications when needed. For me - I can avoid the use of steroids all together - when the proper antibiotic (often Cephalexin), antifungal (Ketoconazole), and essential oils are used in combination. For lesions such as hot spots - I may want to avoid adding too much moisture to the problem. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a bit too moisturizing in these situations - and I will tend towards using Skin Spray Base in a water-misting application. Water can dry faster, and not leave a residual "moisture" behind. For more difficult situations, or when Skin Spray Base has not yielded enough results, a water mist can be made with YeastyBeasty NEAT.
I can almost guarantee you that this dog to the right - has a raging yeast infection on top of the likely immune compromise, mange, and bacterial skin infections. If only the mange and bacteria were treated - then the dog would remain affected by the yeast infection.
A cat that over-grooms, or licks and chews itself more than it should - could have a yeast infection on the skin. But, it is more unlikely than in dogs. For cats who display these symptoms - using KittyBoost is the primary recommendation.
There are several promising and published studies on the benefits of essential oils for dermatitis. This study HERE - shows how well blends containing Neroli, Lavender, Oregano, Marjoram, Peppermint, and Helichrysum did for yeast related dermatitis in a group of dogs. This study compared the dogs with those treated traditionally - and recurrence of symptoms were noted in the traditionally treated dogs, and not in the essential oil treated dogs.
THIS STUDY shows how well yeast responds to an essential oil such as Melaleuca alternifolia. And THIS paper shows many veterinary cases that responded very well, and with a high level of safety. There are tons of articles on the help that essential oils can provide - another one HERE - and you can search at www.pubmed.gov for yourself!
I would say one of the most concerning things I encounter is the number of missed secondary infections that seem to plague itchy animals. It is not just yeast, but bacteria as well. But, yeast certainly takes the cake for one of the most untreated issues I see, in my personal opinion.
Sometimes I think the answer is no. Okay, let's rephrase that. I always think the answer is no. I actually don't believe in allergies. I believe in improper nutrition, improper digestion, improper absorption, and a failing immune system that is overwhelmed. OR - more often than not - I believe the animal to have a secondary infection (most commonly yeast) that has never been treated or addressed. And yes, secondary infections can seem to come and go with the seasons, or fluctuate in ways that make you think the animal is having an allergic response, instead of a basic secondary infection. It is also important to recognize that just because you have gotten rid of an infection before, doesn't mean that it hasn't come back again when you least expect it. If an infection improved, but was never quite eliminated completely - you can also expect confusing flair ups.