of the condition, with applications 1-3 times weekly being common. Description
The yeast Malassezia pachydermatis commonly lives on the skin Selenium sulfide 1% ( Selsun Blue ) is recommended if the skin of dogs but may grow excessively and cause a skin infection. is greasy, waxy, and scaly, but it is irritating to some animals Breeds that are predisposed to the condition, possibly because they have significantly more yeast on their skin, include the basset • Certain shampoos kill or reduce the number of yeast on the hound, West Highland white terrier, dachshund, American cocker skin, including ketoconazole ( Nizoral, KetoChlor ), 3-4% chlor- spaniel, English springer spaniel, and German shepherd dog. hexidine shampoo, 2% chlorhexidine with 1% miconazole ( Malaseb ), and 1% miconazole ( Miconazole, Resizole ). Certain conditions encourage the overgrowth of this yeast in • Rinses composed of vinegar and water (1:5 or 1:10 dilution) are inexpensive and effective long-term treatments that help Seborrhea and disorders that cause dandruff prevent relapses in some dogs (such as swimmers). Hormonal diseases such as hypothyroidism and canine • Lime sulfur dips (2%) can be used to relieve the itching and have mild antiyeast properties. Lime sulfur can be very dry- ing to the skin and hair coat and temporarily stains light-col- Generalized Malassezia dermatitis in cats is usually associated ored coats. It also has a fairly strong sulfur odor when applied, with some sort of underlying (systemic) disease, such as metabolic which remains (to a degree) once the pet is dry. diseases or cancer, but may also occur in cats with allergies. Systemic therapy involves giving antifungal medications orally, usually for 4 weeks: Clinical Signs
• Ketoconazole is helpful in dogs but can cause nausea, vomit- Itchiness is a major and consistent sign. Face-rubbing, head-shak- ing, decreased appetite, and liver problems. It is avoided in cats ing, foot-licking and chewing, and scooting may occur in dogs. because it causes vomiting and loss of appetite. The affected areas may be localized (ears, around the anus, muz- • Itraconazole is effective but often more expensive. zle, around the eyes, feet) or generalized. • Fluconazole can be used when concerns exist about liver tox- Cats may have waxy ears, chin acne, dark debris on their claws, icity. It can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and/or generalized dandruff. Common skin changes include red- decreased appetite, and liver problems, however. ness, thickening, increased pigmentation (darkening), dandruff, • Terbinafine may be considered but has the same potential side and greasiness. Hair loss is common in both dogs and cats. A strong, rancid odor may be detected on the skin, particularly in Often topical therapy helps speed the resolution of Malassezia dermatitis and is used in conjunction with systemic therapy. The underlying disease or allergy must also be managed to prevent or Diagnostic Tests
Material is collected from the pet’s skin, ears, and/or claws with a cotton swab, special tape, or scalpel blade and then applied to a Follow-up Care
glass slide. The material is treated with a special stain that allows Clinical signs can take 3-4 weeks to improve. Recheck visits and the yeast to be seen under the microscope. This is the easiest way re-examination of skin samples are important to assess the amount to make the diagnosis. Occasionally, skin biopsies are helpful. of yeast present prior to finishing or stopping the therapy.
The chances of clearing the yeast infection are good, but man-aging the underlying causative condition requires adequate treat- Treatment Options
ment as well. Some animals need long-term topical therapy a few Topical therapy involves the application of substances directly to times a month and/or intermittent systemic therapy to keep the the pet. Frequency of application varies depending on the severity IF SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ADDED, THEY WILL APPEAR ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE PRINTOUT.
Copyright 2011 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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