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Your Dog's Skin

Fungal & yeast infections

Mastering Malassezia


Malassezia is the name of a type of yeast (fungus) found on the skin and in ears of dogs. An overgrowth of this organism causes skin infections.


A certain amount of yeast is normally found on the skin and ears of dogs.  But an abnormal overgrowth of yeast can cause skin inflammation or dermatitis.

It is often triggered by an underlying disease, such as demodex mites, an endocrine disease or allergies against fleas or food ingredients. Dogs with allergies or oily/flaky skin are particularly prone to yeast overgrowth. 


An overgrowth of yeast can cause skin irritation, hair loss, and reddened, greasy, smelly, skin with affected patches becoming darker (hyperpigmentation).

In chronic cases, the skin will also become thicker. The arm pits, lower neck, ears, feet, and nail beds are most commonly affected. The hair in those areas may become red-stained from chronic infections. This is fairly common between the toes or on the chops.

Some breeds of dogs are particularly susceptible to Malassezia dermatitis, including Poodles, Basset Hounds, and West Highland White Terriers. 

Six tips to help master Malassezia

Disinfecting the skin to help restore its natural population of micro-organisms and soothing the irritation are the main goals of supportive care.

  1. Consult your veterinarian to identify and treat the problem.                                                                                                                                                   
  2. Help control the skin condition by using a high-quality shampoo, mousse or micro-emulsion spray to help soothe the irritation and to restore the skin's ecosystem. If an infection is present, you may need an antiseptic formula.
  3. Regularly groom and brush your dog and clean skin folds, ears and between the toes. Rinse with fresh water after a swim. 
  4. Keep your pet free from external parasites by using a high-quality product such as Vectra 3D® to repel and kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other parasites.  
  5. Feed your pet a high-quality, balanced diet. Supplement with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals if it is recommended by your veterinarian.
  6. Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's skin condition. Use the scorecard below to monitor your dog's improvements. Download the scorecard here!

We recommend:

DOUXO® Chlorhexidine