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Problems with Itching and a Nasty Smell?

Posted on May 17 2024

If you’re a dog owner and you’ve been pulling your hair out trying to figure out why you can’t get any real solutions to your dog’s constant scratching and awful smell, this blog is for you!  Chances are your dog has developed an internal systemic fungal overgrowth.  Let’s get into what that means for your dog (and for you).

A fungal overgrowth (or yeast infection) is a common issue for our dogs.  It is caused by yeast, which is a normal inhabitant of the digestive tract, getting into a state of ‘overgrowth’.  When this happens your dog develops an itch and, depending on how severe and widespread the overgrowth is, can also develop a terrible smell – a bit like cheesy corn chips.  Often there are ear issues to contend with too.  These are the most common signs to watch out for that should make you realize you need to treat this now before it gets worse.  Due to a compromised immune system and often heavy metals (primarily from vaccines), the fungi and yeast become untouchable by the immune cells the body can raise.  This makes it a hungrier, more difficult monster to handle.

Tick three of these and you can pretty much assume your dog has the symptoms of a fungal overgrowth:

  • Nasty smell (like cheesy corn chips)
  • Itching/scratching
  • Chewing or licking feet
  • Hair loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Blackened skin
  • Rusty-coloured hair between the toes
  • Ear infections

How does the overgrowth happen?

The gut has good bacteria, fungi and protozoa whose job it is to keep the ‘bad’ bacteria, fungi and protozoa under control.  As long as there is a healthy balance all is well, but when the yeast outnumbers the good bacteria, your dogs defence systems (immune cells) can no longer cope and begins to lose the fight.

The causes of an overgrowth in yeast can be:

Heavy Metals (in large amounts), highest source being vaccinations that contain aluminium and mercury.

While there are beneficial ‘metals’ that have important functions in the body, any level of mercury, aluminium, arsenic or cadmium can be toxic.  The heavy metals build up like rust and your dog’s body is not equipped to get rid of these heavy metals so they build up over time, eventually causing health problems. 

Other ways these heavy metals can find their way into your dog’s body are through pesticides (sprayed on grains and kibble ingredients), fish and poor-quality drinking water.  Detoxing your dog from heavy metals can help to prevent diseases such as kidney disease, heart disease and neurological diseases to name a few.  Where humans now understand how toxic our world has become and know a once or twice a year detox is indicated – it is now also necessary for our pooches.

What happens next?

With the yeast outnumbering the good bacteria it now begins to irritate the cell lining in your dog’s gut.  These normally strong linings are what stop any food or nasty microbes slipping through into the bloodstream, so when they become compromised, so does your dog’s health.  What has happened is that this leaking of toxins into the bloodstream has resulted in allergies, a weakened immune system and high inflammation.  Heal the gut BEFORE auto-immune disease occurs so bone broth would be the first measure on this front. 

Stopping the spread

This first and most important thing to do with a Leaky Gut is to heal it and thereby stop the high level of inflammation disrupting the gut function and weakening and clogging liver function.  The main culprit in our dog’s diet is the sugar found in kibble diets.  Removing kibble diets (and any carbohydrates/sugars) will begin the process of starving the yeast.  Take a look at your dog’s diet and identify where there may be sugars sneaking in, such as: potatoes, rice, oats, corn, millet and peas.

A raw diet is always the best way to go for our dogs, so consider changing over to a PMR diet to get your dog back on track.

Killing off the Yeast

Yeast can develop a protective layer called a biofilm.  This layer is what makes it difficult to kill but when the yeast is starved, and heavy metal detoxification is implemented (always use a binder for this process), this layer is stripped off and it no longer has the protection against the immune system so can be annihilated.  Digestive enzymes also help with this because they can digest the yeast’s biofilm. 

It’s important to use digestive enzymes that break down fiber, fats and protein because this is what the biofilm is made up of.  These enzymes should be given between meals because otherwise they will digest the food instead of the biofilm. 

What Yeast Die Off looks like

Here are some things to be aware of when you start the detoxification process.  When the yeast begins to die off it releases a toxic substance called acetaldehyde.  This toxin causes hangover-like symptoms in your dog, something to be aware of, but not to be concerned about. 

When starving the yeast, it’s important to know that this process cannot be rushed.  If the yeast is killed too quickly the heavy metals will be released into your dog’s blood stream too fast AND the toxins from the yeast die-off.  This can result in nausea, flu-like symptoms, vomiting or joint pain.  This is all a result of the detoxification process and can last anywhere from a few days to a few months (for really chronic fungal overgrowth it may take months) before your dog begins to look and feel better.  To help with these symptoms you can give your dog digestive enzymes, humic and fulvic acid, chlorella and bentonite clay, which reduce the symptoms of yeast die-off.

Ok, the Biofilm is Broken Down

Once we’ve managed to break down the biofilm you want to add anti-fungal foods (like adding the herbs, oregano, rosemary and thyme along with one clove of garlic) and supplements to the diet.  Remember to go slowly by adding one at a time into the diet.

Some anti-fungal herbs that can be used at this stage are:

  • Olive leaf which breaks down the cell membrane of the yeast.
  • Goldenseal (and echinacea tincture) is an anti-fungal and has a compound called berberine which acts as a defense against bacteria and fungus.

If there is inflammation that ramps up in this process you can

  • Give bromelain and Quercitin as an anti-inflammatory every six hours with just a few mouthfuls of food
  • Sponge down the inflamed areas with HyperCal Homeopathic lotion diluted
  • Pop a pilule of Belladonna homeopathic remedy into your dogs water bowl daily

Last Step

We’ve put in all the work to starve the yeast and break down the biofilm, now we need to make sure we keep the environment inside the gut healthy moving forward.  For this we need to make sure we do the following things:


  • Overvaccinate
  • Expose your dog to toxic chemicals
  • Use chemical flea and tick treatments but natural instead such as one clove of garlic per day
  • Follow a diet high in carbohydrates (sugars)


  • Stick to a raw food diet namely PMR (and avoid beef and chicken if you can)
  • Keep stress low
  • Exercise regularly
  • Add MicroMed Probiotics with their commensal soil and water based microbes

With these measures in place you are on your way to getting on top of those awful scratchy, smelly symptoms once and for all.