Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Malassezia pachydermatis

Contributor(s): Aidan Raftery, Sarah Pellett




  • Kingdom: Fungi - a zoophilic yeast.
  • Order: Malasseziales.
  • Family: Malasseziaceae.
  • Genus:Malassezia.
  • Species:pachydermatis.


  • Gk: thick skin.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects



  • Commensal on skin and within ear canal in dogs.
  • Very rarely isolated from the rabbit.


  • Yeasts multiply by budding to produce blastoconidia.
  • Under reduced oxygen conditions the balstoconidia can form pseudohyphae.


  • Infection is probably endogenous and has been found with concurrent sarcoptic mange   Sarcoptic mange  infection in the rabbit.

Pathological effects

  • Predisposing conditions in other species include breed, foreign bodies within the ear, ear conformation (floppy ears more susceptible, parasites and repeated use of antibiotics.
  • Commonly associated with otitis externa and inflammatory skin disease in dogs.
  • Has been found in association with sarcoptic mange in the rabbit. Clinical signs include marked multifocal area of alopecia, crusting, dermatitis on the face, neck, abdomen, feet and external genitalia.

Other Host Effects

  • Usually commensal.


Control via animal

  • Treat underlying conditions and parasites.
  • Aeration of the area.
  • Malasseziaare lipid dependent yeasts, the use of ceruminolytics to remove wax and debris will decrease the risk ofMalasseziaovergrowth.


  • Treat the underlying cause, eg are parasitic conditions and abnormal anatomy.
  • Clean the area with ceruminolytics to remove wax and debris.
  • Topical antifungal agents effective againstMalasseziainclude clotrimazole, miconazole, thiabendazole and nystatin.
  • Systemic antifungals may be given in severe cases; itraconazole 10 mg/kg SID PO for 15 days. Inappetance has been described with this medication.

Rabbits often find bathing very stressful so focal topical treatment is recommended.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Cabañes F J, Vega S & Castellá G (2011) Malassezia cuniculi sp. nov., a novel yeast species isolated from rabbit skin. Med Mycol 49 (1), 40-48 PubMed.
  • Radi Z A (2004) Outbreak of sarcoptic mange and malasseziasis in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Comp Med 54 (4), 434-437 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Vella D (2013) Dermatophilosis. In:Clinical Veterinary Advisor. Birds and Exotic Pets.Eds: Mayer J & Donnelly T M. Elsevier, USA. pp 360-364.