How to Cope with Dogs Suffering with Malassezia Dermatitis

How to Cope with Dogs Suffering with Malassezia Dermatitis

Dogs with Malassezia dermatitis are in fact suffering from a fungal or yeast infection that affects their skin. The condition causes their skin to become discoloured and flaky. You may also notice a strange smell and your dog is continually scratching themselves because of the irritation. It is really important to take your pet to the vet if you notice any sort of sore appearing on your dog's skin because the sooner the problem is diagnosed, the earlier a treatment can begin making life a lot more comfortable for you pet.

However, other questions many dog owners ask their vets include the following:

Can I Use Shampoo on a Dog that Suffers From Malassezia Dermatitis?

If you notice that your dog has very oily and greasy skin, the chances are they may well be prone to develop the condition. You would need to talk to your vet and then use a specifically formulated degreasing shampoo that is normally prescribed by your vet. The most effective shampoos contain certain active ingredients which includes the following:

  • Selenium sulphide
  • Benzoyl peroxide

This type of specially formulated shampoo will certainly help deal with the oiliness and greasiness which offers the perfect environment for Malassezia pachydermatis to thrive in. Using the shampoo regularly will help keep the yeast infection in check but it will not kill off any fungus that may be present. On the up side, the shampoos would alleviated the itchiness and reduce the scaliness as well as the strange smell associated with this type of skin condition making life a lot more comfortable for your pet.

Should I Use an Anti-fungal Shampoo on my Dog?

Vets typically recommend using a degreasing shampoo on dogs before using any anti fungal shampoo which they would have specifically prescribed for your pet. These anti fungal shampoos would normally contain any of the four active ingredient listed below:

  • Chlorhexidine
  • Miconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Itraconazole

Sometimes a prescribed anti-fungal shampoo may well contain a combination of any two of these active ingredients because it is the most effective way of killing off the fungus that's present in your pet's skin and which is causing the irritation.

How Often Should I Shampoo My Dog?

You would need to discuss how often you'd need to shampoo your pet and then get very clear instructions on how to do this from them. It is also very important to read the manufacturer's instructions and precautions when it comes to side effects. Once you are happy you have fully understood how to use the degreasing shampoo, the next step is to get your pooch into the tub and then soak them in warmish water before applying the shampoo and lathering it up. You need to be careful not to get any of the shampoo in their eyes, ears, nose or mouth.

Normally you would need to leave the shampoo on your pet for at least ten minutes which can prove hard if you have an energetic pet or one that objects to bath time""! After the ten minutes is up, you then need to thoroughly rinse off the shampoo.

When rinsed off, you would then apply the anti-fungal shampoo and repeat the process paying particular attention to the areas of skin that are most affected. This time you would normally have to leave the shampoo on for at least 15 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it off. Vets typically tell owners to apply the shampoos every three to five days for up to 2 to 12 weeks but this does rather depend on how severe the infection actually is.

Are There Any Other Treatments?

Dogs suffering with a more serious Malassezia pachydermatis fungal infection would be prescribed anti-fungal shampoos by vets to get the condition under control. However, if your pet has a more localised skin problem, then your vet may well recommend a spot treatment in the first instance to see if that will do the trick before going down a more complicated route. The spot treatments vets normally recommend involve using medicated ointments, creams and wipes on the areas of skin are most affected.

A vet may also suggest an oral anti-fungal medication which they would prescribe for you pet to be used in conjunction with other topical treatments and which have proved to be effective when treating nastier skin infections. The thing to bear in mind is that Malassezia dermatitis is a recurring condition which means you may have to keep an eye on your pet's skin and use a specifically formulated shampoo on a regular basis to manage the condition and keep it under control.


Malassezia dermatitis is a nasty condition that many dogs do suffer from. However, with the proper care your pet's condition can be kept under control so they don't have to cope with the constant irritation. If you notice your pet has greasy or oily skin, they could be prone to developing the Malassezia dermatitis and the sooner a diagnosis is made, the earlier a treatment can start to alleviate your pet's discomfort.


Newsletter icon
Get free tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.


Pets for StudWanted Pets

Accessories & services


Knowledge Hub


Support & Safety Portal
All Pets for Sale