Treating Malassezia Dermatitis in Dogs With Ketaconazole

With Malassezia Dermatitis, dogs respond well to prescription medications like Ketaconazole. The troublesome yeast infection is usually located in the ears and causes extreme itching that resists many common medications. In a smaller percentage of cases of this troublesome dermatitis, dogs develop the rash near their eyes, vaginal area, lips or anus.

This variety of dermatitis is a leading dog skin infection and one that frequently leads to raw, oozing skin from the excessive itching.

Learn About Malassezia Dermatitis

With Malassezia Dermatitis, dogs develop a red, itchy dog rash. Over time, the skin thickens and resembles elephant hide. The yeast-based dermatitis loves warm, moist areas like the ears, vaginal area, anus and lips. Oils naturally found on the skin’s surface feed the yeast allowing them to multiply.

Inflamed skin is one sign of this dog rash, but usually there is a yellowish scale present in cases of this dermatitis. Dogs generally itch obsessively, even to the point at which they begin bleeding from the raw skin.

Diagnosing Techniques for Malassezia Dermatitis

Your veterinarian will take a swab or scraping of the rash and smear it on a slide. Under a high-powered microscope, the veterinarian looks for traces of the specific yeast fungus that causes this dermatitis. Dogs are not stressed during this pain-free test.

Dogs Susceptible to Malassezia Dermatitis

Specific breeds are more likely to develop yeast infections including Malassezia Dermatitis. The breeds include:

  • Australian Terrier
  • Basset Hound
  • Chihuahua
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Jack Russell
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Sheepdog
  • Silky Terrier
  • Springer Spaniel
  • West Highland Terrier

While research is ongoing, medical professionals discovered dogs with Malassezia Dermatitis frequently have corneal ulcers. Twenty-two dogs diagnosed with corneal ulcers underwent testing for Malassezia Dermatitis and 23 percent of those dogs tested positive. Sixty healthy dogs were tested and only three percent tested positive for this dog skin infection.

How Ketaconazole Works

With cases of Malassezia Dermatitis, dogs respond well to ketaconazole. The antifungal agent comes in a shampoo, tablets or cream and effectively treats yeast infections.

Ketaconazole affects the cell membranes causing them to stop multiplying. Eventually, they die off and the dog skin infection clears up.

When treating this dog rash, veterinarians prefer the oral tablets. Your dog takes one pill every twelve hours for a few weeks.

Make sure your pet takes the entire prescription. By stopping treatment early, a couple problems can occur. First, the yeast infection may return because the medication did not have enough time to kill all of the yeast cells. In addition, with Malassezia Dermatitis, dogs taking their full prescription may build up immunities to this rash. By continuing the dose after the dog’s rash clears up, your pet’s immune system helps prevent the rash from returning.