The yeast infection known as Malassezia dermatitis is responsible for many dogs ending up euthanized or surrendered to shelters or rescue groups. While this yeast is found naturally on the skin of most dogs and causes no issues, changes in the skin due to allergies or the environment cause extreme yeast proliferation.
Affected canines are often allergic to the actual yeast. The owner often makes the decision to get rid of the dog after spending large amounts of time and money on treatments that don’t work. If your dog is diagnosed with Malassezia dermatitis, you might have a long road ahead of you. Symptoms of this yeast infection include hair loss, extreme itchiness, foul odor and skin darkening and crustiness. Malassezia dermatitis often affects the ears. Untreated, the dog’s skin soon develops thickening, resembling that of an elephant.
“Untreated, the dog’s skin soon develops thickening, resembling that of an elephant.”
Affected Breeds. West Highland white terriers are especially prone to the condition. Other dogs that may have a genetic predisposition to Malassezia include:
- Bassett hounds
Malassezia Dermatitis Treatment. Your vet diagnoses Malassezia dermatitis via a skin scraping or biopsy. She’ll prescribe special shampoos with yeast-killing ingredients for your dog. You might have to bathe your dog a few times a week for up to three months. Your vet will also prescribe oral anti-fungal medications, which your pet must take for the long-term — possibly for life. These drugs can affect the liver, so your vet will monitor your dog regularly.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “How And When To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth” here.
Has your pup ever had a yeast infection? How did you treat it? Share below!