About Yeast and Acidophilus

Photo of Rally



I know it isn’t Rally’s fault. After all, she didn’t ask to be moved from Canada, the land of clean water, fresh cool breezes, and pristine snow to Florida, the land of mold, yeast infections, and fleas that attack in swarms like army ants. But, hey, them’s the breaks, you go where your god takes you. So, like the fact that Tess only has two brain cells, I guess there is a small possibility that I could be slightly responsible for Rally’s skin conditions. But, that’s just a little secret between the few of us.

The fact is….she stinks. And I don’t mean she’s a little bit smelly because she rolled in something that was dead longer than it was alive, I mean SHE STINKS! Her skin stinks; her body stinks; her breath….please, let’s just not go there because I may get sick.

AND….she scratches. Not just once in a while when she gets a flea, not just in one spot like a mosquito bite, oh no, I can’t even take her for a walk because she can’t take more than three steps before stopping to scratch.

But wait, before I get too far into this and you get the wrong idea, let me describe Rally to you. She is the sweetest dog ever and loves meeting people, she’s gentle with kids, puts up with other people’s rambunctious puppies, and doesn’t bark. She’s a mixed breed dog but looks like a large sheltie and has soulful brown eyes and a tongue that lolls happily out the side of her mouth most of the time. That was in Canada three years ago.

Today, in Florida, the land of sun and fun and retirement communities, she’s miserable. She’s still sweet and rarely barks, but she has an unhappy look in her eyes and she is constantly either scratching or chewing on herself to the point of having sores. And now all her lovely thick hair is shaved off. She looked at first like a scalped rat, but the shave meant I could finally get to the fungus and yeast infections that had been hiding under all that hair.

But, this rant is really not about my dog, she is still the sweetest dog anyone could ever want. This rant is about the vets she has been to. The ones who said things like: ‘She has every sign of having fleas, give her more flea stuff’ and ‘Put her on antibiotics, it’s definitely some kind of bacteriological infection’. These are Florida vets and should know what kind of molds, fungus’ and yeasts attack animals from the north who have not built up a resistance……..instead, they give me antibiotics that make my dog throw up and kill all the protective bacteria in the body, leaving it open to malicious yeasts that were eating her alive; they poke and prod and give me little tubs of wipes to keep the infected areas clean. I wonder if they even see poor, miserable Rally through their pharmaceutically rose tinted glasses.

When I arrived in Florida with Rally three years ago, one of the first things I noticed was that even the flea stuff the vet gives you doesn’t work. It slows the fleas down and makes them dopey so you can catch them, but it doesn’t kill them. The only stuff that kills them is good for just 24 hours and then you have to give them another pill. These pills are $5.00 each. ARGH!!

The second thing I noticed was that it rains a lot here. And when it’s not raining, it’s extraordinarily humid. Rally was getting a bath every three days to prevent flea infestations and her very heavy Canadian undercoat was never completely drying out–a perfect breeding ground for yeasts and molds. Did any of the vets mention this? Not a single one!

Finally, after three years of misery, a friend who has a collection of assorted breeds and sizes of canine looked at the gooey drooling sores around her mouth and said, ‘Are you giving your dog acidophilus?’ In my extreme innocence I responded with, ‘Uh….no. What is it?’ And from there I got the whole lecture about yeast infections and acidophilus. You see, yeast causes stink, drooley mouths with sores, black goo on the insides of the ears, constant licking of the forelegs, and a whole host of other even less savory things. However, yeast CAN NOT survive in the presence of acidophilus, which happens to be one of the digestive bacteria that lives in the stomach. It is a friendly bacteria, it’s inexpensive compared to antibiotics and, as any woman who ever got a yeast infection while on antibiotics will tell you, antibiotics do not kill yeast. In fact, antibiotics kill the friendly acidophilus bacteria that normally inhabits the stomach leaving the way wide open for yeast to grow rampant throughout the system.

AND NOT ONE VET TOLD ME THIS! Not even after I pointed out the gooey  stuff under Rally’s forelegs, the drooley stuff around her mouth, the black stuff in her ears, and mentioned that she seems to find eating painful. Instead, they gave me even more antibiotics!

So, now what do I do? I avoid vets like the plague. I buy my flea control and wormers in WalMart and in farm feed stores. And when I have a dog related question, I seek out someone who owns a lot of dogs because they are more concerned about my dog than a vet is. I don’t really think the vets look at the patients we take in to them any more.

Now, as you may have guessed, there is a caveat to that general statement: my cat just had kittens, so unless there is a crash course in spay/neuter I will have to take the kittens to the vet at some point in the next three or four months. BUT, not to worry because I have stocked up on acidophilus capsules and there will be a nice, friendly bit of bacteria for every evil antibiotic they get along the way.

By the way, Rally is doing just fine now, sans vets.