General Health for Iowa Chow Chow Puppies, Shih Tzu Puppies and Sheltie Puppies
1) How can a seemingly happy, healthy puppy deteriorate into a mangy, yeast- infected, urinary-tract infected, mite-infested, sickly puppy in just a few days in a new home?
Is this due to bad breeding, genetics or the origin of the puppy, such as from a puppy mill?
Typically when a puppy is uprooted and moves to a new home, it is under a great deal of stress which will affect its immune system.There are upwards of 500-600 various micro-organisms that are normal flora in a puppy.Some bacteria are good and necessary for digestion as well as other things, some bad and held under suppression by the immune system. The good bugs keep the pH in balance which suppresses the bad bugs and everything is fine. They peacefully co-exist and all is well. Stress can upset this balance.
If the immune system is under attack by stress or other factors, the pH of the animal changes and the bad organisms, being opportunistic, can get the upper hand. Most notably a yeast variety known as the Candidal species, will be the culprit. This yeast secretes enzymes and toxins that can cause secondary issues for a puppy including ear mites, yeast infections, hot spots, rashes and skin outbreaks in the paws, face/muzzle, and ears, underarms, underbelly and in genital areas. Other symptoms can include recurring ear infections, eye infections, and bladder or urinary tract infections. Yeasts can cause fatigue, lethargy, immobility, joint pain and discomfort. The animals can start experience severe itching, which leads to endless biting, chewing and hair loss. Symptoms may include skin problems like: blackening of the skin, dry flaky skin or greasy type grit on the skin. As the condition worsens over time, a bad yeasty smell or odor may accompany this. Many times this can lead to eczema and psoriasis, and intestinally to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Another example would be that of a Lick granuloma (acral pruritic dermatitis): Red, shiny skin ulcer caused by continuous licking at wrist or ankle or foot.
These issueshave nothing to do with origin, genetics or breeding practices of the puppy or breeder.This is pure and simple an environmental issue.The key is to get the good bacteria working again and the pH levels such that the Candida cannot thrive.Antibiotics, steroids, or other immune suppressing systems, while restricting the yeast, will also kill and inhibit the good bacteria which would be counter-productive and should be avoided. Yeasts are not all that sensitive to antibiotics.
2) What can I do to rid my puppy of the Candida yeasts?
The key is stress reduction, strong immune system and pH control.This is primarily accomplished by good nutrition; lactobacillus bacteria or other lactic acid building bacteria which help subdue Candida. This can be a slow and tedious recovery for a puppy, but in time and patience will correct itself. There are supplements available for this. Additionally, don't underestimate the value of direct sunlight. The Ultra-violet rays will aid in yeast control.
The secondary issues caused by the yeast infections must also be recognized and treated.
There are three types of Yeast infections:
Superficial, Locally Invasive and Systemic each causing typical issues for a puppy. Superficial infections are mainly those of skin or tissue lining inflammations in the GI Tract, Pharnyx, and in upper and lower respiratory tract. Locally Invasiveinfections can be linked to pneumonia, cystitis, esophagitis, the most common being ulcerations of the intestinal, respiratory or genito-urinary tract. Systemic infections will causean invasive infection, characterized by lesions of the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, lung, brain and other organs.