New user needs supplements advice for dog with yeast infection and colitis

Hi this is my first ever post on any forum.

I am getting desperate. My poor boy has suffered with Malassezia and colitis for a couple of years now, after an illness that required him to take strong doses of antibiotics and steroids for several months. I am looking for probiotics and enzymes that he can take that wont upset either of these conditions.

Anyone who has a dog with either of these conditions will know there are ups and downs. He is having a flare up at the moment which was his colitis, now its the yeast. I’ve introduced turmeric into his diet these last two weeks and so far so good. His colitis seems to be getting under control after a couple of months of problems, (he is permanently on Salazopyrin, 2 a day since Xmas this year, previously we got him down to one a day for a few months).

His dirty ears have become a problem again after several months of them being clear and his itchy skin isn’t too bad using non stinky stinky stuff but his feet are a problem. He is suffering with Cracked paws and has done for months because he is always nibbling at them as they are itchy. We use a paw balm 3 times a day for the cracking and have been using germolene to reduce the redness and itching, as the topical spray provided by the vets is becoming less and less effective.

If we go to the vets we will be given more steroids which will work for a time but once he comes off them, off we go again, worse than before.

I have removed all yeast feeding foods such as starchy carbs and sugars from his diet. He eats raw with some kale, spinach or broccoli added (plus turmeric) I sometime add an omega 3 oil. Whenever I’ve tried adding a supplement to his diet his colitis flares up. This could be a coincidence I suppose but I just don’t know.

I have read so much information I’m getting overwhelmed with it. Can I give him brewers yeast or not? Advice seems to contradict each other.

If there is anyone out there with a dog like this, what have you used which has worked?

Also whilst on a short break, we had to go to another vet, who recommended adding bran to his diet to help the colitis but this will surely antagonise his yeast infection?? Any help would be so gratefully receive by me and my poor little Masey Moo.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I am sorry that your dog is so very poorly. For anyone who is not familiar with Malassezia, here is a description. I have a very good idea of what you are going through because I have dogs in the past with colitis and skin problems but not together in one dog. The most recent one was a rescue who had extensive ear surgery as a result of neglect (before I had her). Much of the time she was in baby socks using a home made sock harness as described here I got that information from Dermapaw and used their product. I used to wash and dry her feet every time she came in from a walk then apply the ointment and put the socks on. In time I got her feet in good condition. Sometimes I had to use one of those inflatable collars to stop her chewing.

It seems that you are looking for supplements for the colitis. I understand that Pro and Prebiotics need to be canine specific. David has written about Priobiotics here. Bionic Bioticthis thread seems to get good reviews. The My Itchy Dog website has useful information but as you say, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Yesterday our member Seaweed posted about a new company to the UK called AniForte. I haven’t studied it all properly yet but they seem to have a wide range of supplements so you might want to have a look at that. It is important to just try one thing at a time for proper evaluation.

I can see why the vet suggested bran for the anal gland problem as normally fibre is recommended. I do not know whether it will exacerbate your dog’s skin condition. Most of the things that add fibre to the diet are carbohydrates e.g. brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato so maybe bran would be the better choice. You can but try it.

One of my current dogs has had long standing skin problems but not as bad as yours. She is currently OK but in the past I have found that medicated baths (sometimes weekly) have been most helpful. The two shampoos that I use are Sebocalm because it is soapless and when she has had flare ups I use Seleen. I used the latter many years ago on a Westie that I had and it was always useful. However, as you probably know there are other shampoos specifically for yeast problems. From what I read, dogs excrete toxins via the skin so regular bathing is useful, and indeed necessary for getting rid of them. Bedding too needs to be washed regularly. This particular dog was also treated with Yumega Plus (now Yumega Itchy Dog) and I found it helpful. The reviews are usually very positive. Luckily, she doesn’t need it now.

Food wise, I cannot suggest anything because it would appear that you are already using food that is appropriate for the problem. However, if you feel that it is not helping and you would like to try something different, please let me know and I will ask David, the site owner if he can think of anything else. The only other thing to mention is that I wonder if it is time to consult a veterinary surgeon who specializes in dermatology.


Hello and welcome to the forum, I am sorry that your dog has so many health issues. I know nothing about probiotics and other supplements and luckily, I haven’t had to deal with stomach issues either. My dog does tend to suffer from itchy red paws in any time between June and November which suggests environmental triggers. Initially she was put on steroids to treat and we found that sometimes they would flare up worse than before after the course stopped. This year we followed the advice of a new vet and others, and washed the paws after every walk. She only had a couple of flare ups when we were away and that was probably because we were in a caravan and couldn’t wash them properly. Once the redness started we bathed her feet in a solution of hibiscrub also recommended by the vet. This worked well. The success of this will probably depend on the cause.
Sorry I can’t be more help with the other issues. Hopefully somebody else will have more experience.

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I have been pondering about the steroids and immune system. Anecdotally I have heard that a raw diet is good for conditions as described. Dogs can usually deal with bacteria in the meat but I am just wondering about possible problems in view of your dog’s impaired immune system. I might be totally off the mark so please ignore if you think that this is the case. It is just my thoughts - not scientific at all. Meg says there may be something in the current protein source that is a trigger so that too got me wondering.

Down in the home cooking section I mentioned a few websites dedicated to this subject. One of them is BalanceIT which provides recipes for various conditions. It is in the USA. I have no personal experience of it so I asked David to check it out and he approved my posting of the link.

The beauty of the home cooked diet is that it can be tailored exactly to the dog’s needs and it is easier to trial different
ingredients. The meals can be kept very simple. Obviously, if interested you would need to discuss it with the vet.

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Wow, thank you all for your responses! :slight_smile:

I love the sock harness, I will be giving that a try for sure, I’ve also ordered the Dermapaw to see if that helps.

I will read up more on the supplements info you’ve kindly provided. I’m certain that if I could just get his immune system supported we will have an easier time of it.

As for his diet, I thought I had already removed all the yeast feeding elements, including his treats, I have to read the ingredients lists of absolutely everything he has (costs an absolute fortune, good job he’s such a lovely boy :wink: ) to make sure it is only pure meat. I was so shocked by how much dehydrated Chicken treats out there actually contain sugars!!!

I’ve used the vets prescribed medicated shampoos on him but they send him doolally! He gets dandruff after using it and you can see his skin twitching even though he’s not being touched or scratching. I’ve been using the non stinky Stinky Stuff as this has had the best result but has not eliminated the problem yet, so all suggestions for more natural solutions are greatly appreciated.

Again I can’t thank you all enough, and it helps to know your not alone with these problems. It breaks my heart to watch him nibbling and scratching all the time, I know its not life threatening but he just doesn’t deserve it.

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just as an after thought on the food front, we are feeding both dogs Natures Menu freeflow mince (Tripe, Chicken, Lamb, & Beef)

If anyone has any views or experiences on this feed, please do let me know… As far as I can tell it should be ok for him for both conditions?

Colitis has various causes but sometimes responds to good quality fibre. If fibre is added, there is the concern re yeast so it is a problem. There is a thread on the Dog Food Advisor about dietary management of colitis - the reply by Hound Dog Mom seems interesting and there is mention of psyllium to increase fibre. I was looking at the AniForte website the other day and they sell this as a weight control aid. I don’t know if that would be helpful. This poster seems to know quite a lot about colitis and she feels that a home cooked diet would be appropriate.

You asked about Natures Menu food and their products attain good scores on the Dog Food Directory. However, with problems like this it is sometimes best to stick to a single type of protein for a little while so that you can properly evaluate the dog’s response. The lady in that thread also mentions this and the fact that sometimes dogs with colitis do better with a lower fat. I don’t know if there is scientific proof of this but I do recall my vet giving the same advice. Lamb has a higher level of fat and I have found that it is the only meat that has caused two of my dogs to vomit so I now avoid it. If you haven’t already done so, maybe contact the NM customer service department as they might be able to advise.

If it wasn’t for their high carbohydrate content I would suggest a trial of one of the cold pressed foods because the reviews are so good, particularly for dogs with digestive problems. They contain ingredients specifically to improve digestive health and also have a lower fat content. However, they might not fit in with the yeast problem. The food has been good for my dog’s skin problems but every dog is different and afaik her issue is not due to yeast.

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Thank you again Dottie and Meg.

He has always done well on Tripe, so I will try the next few weeks giving him solely this.

I found the probiotic you referred to and a supplement without any added yeast so will slowly introduce these too.

I made the sock harness last night and it stayed on remarkably, unfortunately it made his feet hot so I will have to be careful how long I leave it on for.

Lots of great info and advice, I’m so very grateful. I’ll let you know how we get on with the one type of protein in his diet.