Malassezia is a yeast normally present on the skin of dogs and cats that is transmitted to the puppy at the time of birth, frequent in wild and domestic carnivores, including bears, ferrets, and foxes. Both healthy and affected animals develop, in fact, serum IgG antibodies recognizing Malassezia derived proteins can be harmful to man?
in healthy animals, Malassezia is a commensal living in symbiosis for the duration of animal’s life, without necessarily causing illness.
There are several causes of the proliferation of malassezia, which in fact alter the delicate skin ecosystem. The factors predisposing to the multiplication of this yeast and to the related disease are mainly:
Furthermore, as already in other canine pathologies, there are some breeds more predisposed than others, such as, for instance:
• Bulldog • Cane Corso • Maltese • Barboncino • Golden Retriever • Cocker Spaniel
About symptomatology, the first manifestation is dictated by the itching of the animal and bad smell.
Characteristic signs are erythema, exfoliation (dandruff), flaking
Seborrhea and alopecia as side effect.
In chronic cases, thickening and dark skin color may also be observed.
The most affected areas are:
and can also affect the nails: in this case an oily material of dark color can be present at the base of the nails.
The best way to make a diagnosis is a cytological examination, thanks to the ease of identification of yeasts, however, it remains essential to identify the concomitant disease that predisposes to the uncontrolled multiplication of yeasts.
The use of topical and/or systemic antifungal drugs is indicated for at least 3 - 4 weeks in order to eliminate yeast. The combined use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory is recommended.
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