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It might start with some extra scratching.

You and your dog are unwinding after a long day, and out of the corner of your eye you catch your dog scratching at her ears a little more than usual. Maybe she just can’t get comfortable in her bed, maybe she’s bored…. but she keeps getting up to scratch.

Maybe you notice that she is obsessively licking her paws or nipping at her hind legs or belly.

You treat for fleas, you give her regular baths, and you check for ticks. But the itching, licking, and nipping continues. And there’s that smell. That “wet dog” or “old beer” smell that just won’t go away.

What is going on?

You bring your itchy dog to the vet who gives her antibiotics or steroids for an infection or allergy. The discomfort seems to get better, but then it comes back or even gets worse. Your vet recommends a prescription allergy food, as a food allergy is diagnosed as the culprit. You switch her food to the one that your vet recommends, but her symptoms do not abate, in fact they get worse.

As time wears on, despite a change in food, prescribed antibiotics or steroids, and lots of topical ointments and sprays, your dog could possibly start losing her fur. In severe cases, her skin darkens and you might see scabs, sores, or dandruff-like flakes falling from her itchy skin.

You’re really concerned now. Your poor dog is so unhappy. Really, what is going on?

Your dog may have a yeast problem. But what exactly does that mean?

According to Nzymes, a product that we at Calvin & Susie use, and have seen do remarkable things in helping yeast issues in pets:

With this illness, the Candida Albican form of Yeast (a powerful & evasive pathogen) has taken control of the Gut, via infections growing on intestinal tissues.


…this illness is a result of damage to the protective FLORA, or beneficial bacteria colonies that normally coat the internal walls of the intestines. The most prevalent causes for the Flora damage are Antibiotic use, and modern day vaccination protocols. Once good-guy bacteria colonies have been damaged, destroyed, or stripped away by whatever means, TWO things begin to happen. FIRST, a Leaky-Gut syndrome will occur; wherein, food proteins or other cells or tiny particles can leak through surface tissues and enter the BODY CAVITY (starting skin problems). SECOND the Yeast Candida pathogen (intermixed within the Flora) will seize the opportunity to attach to the bare intestinal walls, creating infection areas that show up white against the pinkish tissues. With the resulting infections on intestinal tissues, the yeast is able to feed and grow – worsening infections and subsequent external symptoms. The main feeding element for the Yeast is sugar, which enters the body mostly from High Glycemic Foods, such as corn, wheat flour or gluten, potatoes, isolated white rice, etc.

Source: “Yeast Candida & Leaky Gut” on

(NOTE: Many vaccines are necessary and must be administered. The good news is that many vets have adopted tests to check antibodies to avoid over-vaccinating. Always consult your vet first with medical questions or concerns.)

Basically, what this means is that the “good bacteria” in your dog’s gut is out of balance. While there is normally a good population of beneficial bacteria that helps your dog properly process proteins and other nutrients, something has damaged the good bacteria colonies and the bad bacteria has taken hold, damaging the gut.

But I thought my dog had an allergy?

Allergies and yeast issues are often confused. The initial symptoms can be very similar, and even mild yeast issues can sometimes be remedied by changing to a low glycemic index food and/or adding a probiotic to their diet (changing your dog’s food can also remedy food allergies). But if your dog’s symptoms worsen or don’t improve, you could very well be dealing with a significant yeast problem — not an uncommon problem amongst dogs.

Here is an assessment chart from Nzymes that can help you discern if your dog is suffering from a yeast problem. (NOTE: This is a tool to help you. Always consult a vet when you are unsure of your pet’s condition.)


Most common canine symptoms of a yeast problem include:

  • rash-like outbreaks on the “paws, face/muzzle, ears, under arms, underbelly or genital areas.”

  • “recurring ear infections, eye infections, and bladder or urinary tract infections.”

  • “severe itching…endless biting, chewing and hair loss”

  • in more severe or advanced cases, “blackening, dry flaky skin or a greasy grit on the skin” and/or “a bad yeasty smell or odor”

Hmmm, so I think my dog is suffering from a yeast problem. What is Nzymes?

Quite simply, the Nzymes Healthy-Skin Program is a system of natural products that gently rebalance your dog’s intestinal flora, bolster their immune system, and heals the damage done to your dog’s gut. It is a system that uses antioxidants to eliminate toxins and probiotics to repopulate the good bacteria.

The primary ingredients of the program include sprouted soy granules (a live enzyme that works to purge a compromised system and help maintain a healthy digestive tract), naturally occurring live “friendly bacteria cultures” (probiotic microorganisms), and “Black Leaf Tincture” — an immune system bolstering blend of black walnut, olive leaf, and organic cayenne.

The program also includes a product called Ox-E-Drops, a 5% sodium chlorite solution that bolsters the immune system, increases the purgative properties of active enzymes, and has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. It is a favorite of ours, whether used in the Healthy-Skin Program or not.

Forgive me if we sound a little too enthusiastic about the Nzymes Healthy-Skin Program, but as our customers like to say, “You can’t argue with results!”

While not every dog reacts the same way, we’ve seen a remarkable number of dogs (and even a cat or two!) heal and recuperate from itchy, unhealthy skin after going on a combination of Nzymes and appropriate food.

A great example of this winning combination of Nzymes and good food is Kililah.

Kililah, after treatment with Nzymes and on a diet of raw Primal Pet Food.

Meet Kililah.

A Hawai’i gal born on the Big Island, Kililah is a six year-old English Cocker Spaniel. Last year, Kililah’s mom (Kililah is Hebrew for “night”) noticed, “She seemed to be limping on her front paw. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Her paw seemed to have a little cut on it, just a speckle of open sore.”

Soon Kililah’s symptoms got worse. She started getting very itchy, her skin turned black/gray, she lost most of her fur, and her skin was covered in flakes and scabs.

Kililah, “before”. Lilah suffered severe hair loss due to her yeast issues.

Nothing seemed to help poor Kililah. “We took her to the vet but after several weeks of visits and tests along with almost $1000 worth of vet bills [and no answers], I decided to do my own research,” said Kililah’s mom.

After much reading, Kililah’s mom realized that she probably had a yeast problem. She quickly put Kililah on Nzymes, as well as diligently cleaned her body and ears. In addition to the Nzymes Healthy-Skin Program, Kililah’s mom started feeding her Primal Pet Food‘s raw frozen Beef Formula. (More on food in a moment!)

Within 10 months, Kililah went from an itchy, uncomfortable dog with little to no hair, to a happy, bright-eyed dog with shiny hair and healthy skin.

And she is not alone. Though the severity of conditions and speed of recovery vary widely, Kililah is just one of many local dogs we’ve seen over the years to benefit from Nzymes and wholesome food. In fact, our very own Emma shared her story here a few years ago.

Kililah Before

(picture to be updated)

Kililah After

(picture to be updated)

Kililah, after treatment with Nzymes and on a diet of raw Primal Pet Food. Look at that shiny coat!

In the case of Kililah, Nzymes supplements and the appropriate food really worked for her.

Nzymes has a list of foods they recommend to work in tandem with their program of supplements. We carry many of the foods recommendedby Nzymes. Kililah did great on Primal but other customers have found success with different types of raw or dry food. The important thing is that you choose a food with whole ingredients that do not break down to excess sugar. Sugar feeds yeast, and in an unhealthy gut, it can proliferate out of control.

Again, foods that have a low glycemic index are good for dogs with yeast issues. While an ingredient like potatoes can be perfectly fine for a dog with a healthy gut, potatoes can exacerbate a yeast problem in a dog suffering from such an issue. Starchy carbohydrates and low quality “fillers” should be avoided at all costs. Corn in lower quality dog foods is a specific offender. Nzymes recommends sticking with grain free foods or foods with whole grain to battle yeast issues.

Yeast problems can be a daunting issue to face with your dog, but with the right nutrition, it is a problem that does not have to compromise your dog’s health.

We highly recommend visiting the Nzymes website ( for further information. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff.

Give your four-legged family members a scratch for us!

~Your Loyal Calvin & Susie Blogger

As always, check with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or body care. The Calvin & Susie Blogger always researches to the best of her ability, but she is not a vet. This blog is not in any way meant to replace veterinary advice or care. When in doubt always ask a vet.

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