Candida albicans is a common yeast found in the mucous membranes of the digestive system and throat. They consume sugars (found in grain) in order to survive. When a dog is exposed to antibiotics, drugs like prednisone, rapid diet changes and stress, the good bacteria (Lactobacillus) which normally keep candida under control in our systems are killed off and the candida will become opportunistic and overgrow.
When the candida yeast gets out of control, it morphs into a mycelial fungal form, becomes invasive and grows rhizoids which then burrow into the intestinal wall. These rhizoids leave microscopic holes in the intestinal wall which allows toxins in the form of undigested food particles, bacteria and yeast into our blood stream preventing the immune system from functioning properly. The nervous system and endocrine system may also be compromised as these systems are inter-connected.
When this condition occurs the overgrowth is called Candidiasis or a systemic yeast infection. The toxins that the yeast puts into the system are responsible for the varying conditions that each dog experiences. This overgrowth of yeast can cause eye irritation, leading to tearing and other symptoms like fatigue, painful joints, ear infections and skin disorders.
Skin disorders may be skin lesions or sores. These lesions can be only one or two or, localized in patches, or in some cases all over the body. These sores are usually red and are accompanied by areas of increased pigmentation, hair loss, scaliness or a yellow tinted greasiness. The dogs are also usually very itchy and have a musty type odor. The most common sites for these sores are the underside of the neck, the belly, and the feet, especially between the toes.
Normally, the large intestine hosts a balance of beneficial bacteria (the probiotics in Fido-Vite ) & Flexx) (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus) along with yeast. The harmful Candida is usually kept in check by the Lactobacillus bacteria, partially by the production of lactic acid. Candida actually provides growth factors for Lactobacillus. They exist in a natural balance, until something happens to upset that balance.
Although there is no “single factor” responsible for turning this naturally occurring organism into an agent of disease, the candidal species is notorious for being an “opportunistic” pathogen. They incite disease in hosts whose local or systemic immune attributes have been impaired, damaged, or innately dysfunctional”. Candida has a strong ability to adhere to mucosal surfaces. This is a necessary step for the initiation of candidiasis, and adherence depends on the immune status of the host. Candida secretes enzymes which destroy membrane integrity, leading to dysfunction. Candida also secretes toxins which activate the immune system, overload the liver, and deposit in body tissues.
The main cause of yeast infections, such as Candida Albicans, is from drugs, rapid diet changes, change in water supply and stress. Antibiotics which kill the friendly bacteria which would ordinarily fight and overwhelm the yeast, steroids that shut down the body’s ability to fight back, and any and all other drugs, chemicals and poisons that compromise the immune system are all additional reasons for seeing such a preponderance of yeast infections. Yeast infections seem to be one the most under-diagnosed illnesses in the veterinary field.
Many different types of traditional treatments are being used to treat yeast and other skin problems. Although drugs are temporally effective for the symptoms, they do not eliminate the cause of the symptom.
The disruption if the intestinal balance is where the troubles begin. The Candida yeast goes through cycles of overgrowth, where toxins are released throughout the system causing numerous or various symptoms. Candida makes a variety of toxic chemicals, which kill the good bacteria. The making of these chemicals prevents bacteria from coming back and enables the yeast to stay. If antibiotics have been used, they too kill all the good bacteria with the bad and the yeast gets a stronghold. Give your dog probiotics (Fido-Vite & Flexx) to re-build the good bacteria and to help choke out the yeast.
Other Key Points:
1. Fido-Vite & Flexx also contains prebiotics to promote lactobacillus growth.
2. Dog food processing makes probiotic inclusion and viability difficult.