How Fungal Infections affect your pet in the Lowcountry

Scratching, biting, rubbing, and whining, may be a sign that your pet has a fungal infection in the Lowcountry.

Fungal infections and yeast infections in pets, while both technically the same type of microorganism, are in fact quite different. The symptoms are similar, and both can present in conjunction with allergies, and skin diseases, but each reacts differently to different treatments.

Most fungal infections can be attributed to Aspergillus, Blastomyces, and Ringworm which can be transmitted to humans.

Fungal Infection: Aspergillus

A fungus that can be found in contaminated soil. Animals get a whiff of the contaminated soil which affects nasal passages and eyes. It affects sinuses, causing sneezing, pain, and sometimes nose bleeds. Some breeds are especially susceptible to the fungus. German Shepherds often present with additional symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, and poor appetite.

Fungal Infection: Blastomyces

This fungus is also found in soil, generally soil that is moist and decaying. The fungus infects the dogs lungs when inhaled and can cause pneumonia. 

Fungal Infection: Ringworm

Generally transmitted from another animal, either by direct contact, or even shared water and food bowls, ringworm is not a worm. It is another fungus that can come from the soil, but there are specific varieties that affect dogs and cats, and even a hedgehog variant. Young, old, and immunocompromised humans can contract the fungus. It affects pets in the tail, ears, face, and feet the most and can cause secondary infections that produce lesions.

Yeast Infections In Pets In The Low Country

Yeast is naturally on your pet’s skin as well as your own and in the right amount it is a beneficial organism. Yeast infections in pets, however, are secondary problems that present when your pet’s immune system is compromised, producing an overgrowth of the fungus. They aren’t contagious, so your pet won’t spread it to others.

Malassezia pachydermatis fungi primarily invades the ear canal but can also be present on lip margins, groin area, neck, facial folds, or tail folds.

Candida yeast is the most common type of fungal infection in humans as well as pets and can invade any location on the body.

Yeast infections aren’t contagious


All fungal infections can cause :

  • Itchiness, skin irritation, and skin redness or crusting
  • Body odor
  • Hot spots
  • Excessive grooming in the affected site
  • Dull or greasy coat
  • Hair loss
  • Dark skin patches (hyperpigmentation)
  • Elephant skin – dry and leathery

Animals with folds in their skin are very susceptible to yeast infections, especially if they are already suffering from diabetes, hormonal disorders, hypothyroidism, or have been taking any form of antibiotic or steroid therapy. 

Treatment For Fungal Infections in the Low Country

Each type of fungal infection requires different types of treatment. While some can be treated with probiotics, or special shampoos, some require topical ointments, or other prescription medications. The veterinary staff in the Lowcountry will take samples to determine which microorganism needs treated. 

If your pet is showing any of the signs above, please give us a call here in the Lowcountry, at (843) 580-6209 so we can help properly diagnose the situation, and help you determine the best course of action for your pet. .