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Nail and Nail Bed Yeast Infections in Dogs

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paw cleaning closeup

Does your dog have issues with their nails or has the skin around their nails started to look flaky? These are signs of nail and nail bed yeast infections. As a vet, this is an issue that I see commonly – at least once a week. With a little care and attention, yeast infections in nail beds can easily be treated and managed. 

What yeast infections in dog nails look like [with pictures]

Nail bed yeast infections can take on a number of different appearances, often depending on the underlying cause. Typical signs include:

  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss around nails
  • Red itchy skin
  • Smelly feet
  • Brown discharge around the nails
  • Sores on skin 
  • Elephant skin like appearance

Top causes of yeast infections in dogs’ nails / nail beds

There are many different causes of yeast infections in your dog’s nails and nail bed such as:

  • Allergies
  • Mites
  • Heat and humidity
  • Swimming 
  • Under active immune system

Below are pictures of yeast infections in a dog’s paws or nail beds:

closeup picture of a yeast infection on a dog's paw
closeup picture of a yeast infection on a dog's paws

Below is a picture showing a severe yeast infection in a dog’s nail bed and paw:

Home remedies to treat your dog’s nail beds & paw pads

Sometimes you can treat mild yeast infections at home while more severe issues will need to see your vet. For mild yeast infections on your dog’s paws and nail beds, you can:


WATCH: 3 Important Tips To Care For an Old Dog [VET VIDEO]


1. Soak your dog’s feet. Keeping your dog’s feet clean is key to treating any infection on their feet and toes. You can run water in the bathtub or sink and but espon salt in there. Then let your dog stand in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. This can help dry up any infection that you see. Make sure that you fully dry their feet after soaking them and make sure that your dog does not drink the bath water. 

2. Keep your pet’s feet dry as possible. Most infections love a wet environment to live in. Every time your dog goes outside, bring them back in and wipe their paws to help keep them clean and dry. 

3. Apply antifungal cream. Many times applying antifungal creams such as athlete’s feet cream or powder can help treat these yeast infections. 

These at-home remedies should only be used for very mild infections and if you do not see any improvement after just a few days, it would be best to see your vet. Severe infections can be very frustrating and time-consuming to treat. 

For moderate to severe infections, it is best that your dog see your vet. They can prescribe oral antifungals and provide you with prescription medications to help clear your dog’s yeast infection. The longer you wait before seeking veterinary care the longer it will take to treat your dog’s feet. Dogs with severe yeast infections will need to be on long courses on antifungals and often antibiotics and other medications to help clear the infections. 

Recommended products for yeast infections

These are some great products that you can use to help treat and prevent yeast infections in your dog.

1. Antifungal Shampoo: This is one of my favorite shampoos for dogs with fungal infections. I use this shampoo on my own dog to help prevent yeast infections on her skin.

Dechra MiconaHex + Triz Shampoo for Dogs,...
  • MEDICATED SHAMPOO treats skin infections on cats and dogs

2. Antifungal Cream: This is a cream that you can use to help treat fungal infections topically:

McKesson Antifungal Cream, 2% Miconazole...
  • McKesson 2% strength antifungal cream can help itching, chafing, scaling, cracking, burning, soreness, redness, soreness and irritation; helps provide relief from skin discomfort

Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.

3. Epson Salt: This is great to soak your dog’s feet to help dry up any infection. It is best to not use any epson salt with added scents such as eucalyptus. 

Epsoak Epsom Salt 19 lb. Bulk Bag Magnesium...
  • Epsoak Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) is USP grade. It is GMO free (Genetically Modified Organism).

While many of these products are only good for mild infections, they can help with severe infections while waiting to see your vet for prescription medications. If you have used these products and have not seen any improvement after just a few days, it is best that your dog sees a vet. 

It’s time to see the vet: signs that your dog’s nail beds need veterinarian help

If you have tried a few of the at-home remedies or your dog has open sores on their feet and skin, it is time to see a vet. Most cases of yeast infections in dog’s nail beds will require veterinarian treatment, with antibiotics along with antifungals.

Veterinarian visits about nail yeast infections

Diagnosis

Your vet may take a skin scrape or impression of the skin to look at under the microscope to see if your dog does have a yeast infection, mites or bacteria growing on their skin. 

Treatment options & estimates of costs

After your vet has confirmed that your dog has a yeast infection they most likely will prescribe antifungal medications. Depending on the size of your dog the cost of this medication can range from $25 to $100+. Also many vets will have you clean your dog’s feet and apply ointment to the feet twice a day. Depending on the severity of the infection and if there is also bacteria involved your dog may need antibiotics to help. 

Prognosis

If you start treatment on your dog’s yeast infection early the prognosis is great and most dogs usually recover in just a few weeks. Dogs with severe yeast infections can have life long issues that will require them to take very strong antifungals. These anti-fungals can cause issues with your dog’s liver and kidneys especially if given for long periods of time. 

How to prevent yeast infections from recurring

After you have cleared the yeast infection in your dog, it is best to try to prevent this from reoccuring. Everytime you give your dog a bath you need to look at their feet and make sure that the yest infection is not reoccuring. Using antifungal shampoo each time you bathe your dog can help keep the fungal infection at bay. Everytime that your dog goes outside you need to make sure that their feet are clean and dry. Doing these few simple things can help prevent your dog from developing a yeast infection and keep your dog health and happy.

Author

  • Dr Sara Ochoa, Veterinarian

    Dr. Ochoa earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from St. George University in 2015, and completed her program with excellent scores. She has more than 7 years of experience practicing as a veterinarian for Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse, TX.

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