Mites: Team Roles

Print/View PDF

Sign in to continue reading this article

Not registered? Create an account for free to read full articles on

To access full articles on, please sign in below.

Busy? Sign in Faster. Sign into with your social media account.

The following outlines roles and responsibilities of each team member when managing mite infestation.


Patient and client bonding expert, client educator

  • Schedule appointments and set proper expectations for the visit.
    • Communicate that skin and ear tests are commonly performed with these cases.  
    • Let clients know that skin and ear disease is common and the veterinary team can help.
  • Convey that the veterinary team is concerned about resolving the patient's condition.


Patient caregiver, client educator

  • Funnel down the information in the examination room. 
    • Start with open-ended questions (eg, Tell me about Rex’s skin problem) and finish with specific questions (eg, On a scale of 1–10, how bad is Rex’s itching today?).
  • Ask about the patient’s age, exposure to other dogs, onset of the condition, duration of clinical signs, and disease progression to form a list of differential diagnoses. 
  • Execute a diagnostic plan (eg, physical examination, skin scrape, otic cytology) per the veterinarian; report findings to the veterinarian and document them in the medical record.


Medical expert, client and team educator

  • Perform a physical examination on areas of concern as determined by the veterinary technician’s initial examination. 
  • Execute a diagnostic plan to achieve a more accurate diagnosis (see Step 2). 

Practice Manager

Workflow facilitator, team and education coordinator

  • Lead team meetings on skin and ear workup protocols. 
  • Make sure all team members know practice protocols for skin and ear cases.
  • Close discussion with clients to make sure all of their questions have been answered.
  • Discuss any financial concerns with the client.
References Show
  1. The ACVD task force on canine atopic dermatitis (I):  incidence and prevalence. Hillier A, Griffin CE. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 81:147-151, 2001.
  2. Prevalence of canine otitis externa in Jammu. Kumar S, Hussain K, Sharma R, et al. J Anim Res 4:121-129, 2014.
  3. Prevalence of respiratory signs and identification of risk factors for respiratory morbibity in Swedish Yorkshire terriers. Madsen MF, Granström S, Toft N, Houe H, et al. Vet Rec 170:565, 2012.
  4. Mites (Acari). Mullen G, O’Connor B. In Mullen GR, Durden LA (eds): Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 2nd ed—Oxford: Elsevier, 2009, pp 433-492.  
  5. Arthropods. Bowman DD. In Bowman DD.  Georgi’s Parasitology for Veterinarians, 9th ed—St. Louis: WB Saunders, 2009, pp 4-82.  
  6. Life-threatening dermatosis in dogs. Lewis D. Comp Cont Educ Pract 20:271-283, 1998.
  7. Demodicosis-A frequent problem in dogs. Mueller RS. World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2008.  
  8. The efficacy of Selamectin in the treatment of naturally acquired aural infestations of Otodectes cynotis on dogs and cats. Shanks DJ, McTier TL, Rowan TG, et al. Vet Parasitol 91:283-290, 2000.
  9. Respiratory Parasites. Ballwebber L. Western Veterinary Conference Proceedings, 2004.
  10. Sneezing and Snorting-What should I do? McKiernan L. World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress, 2001.  
  11. Current trends in the treatment of SarcoptesCheyletiella and Otodectes mite infestations in dogs and cats. Curtis C. Vet Dermatol 15:108-114, 2004.  
  12. An update on therapeutic management of canine demodicosis. Singh SK, Kumar M, Jadhav RK, Saxena SK. Veterinary World 4:41-44, 2011.  
  13. Pharmacokinetic interactions of the antiparasitic agents ivermectin and spinosad in dogs. Dunn ST, Hedges L, Sampson KE, et al. Drug Metab Dispos 39:789-795, 2011.
  14. Efficacy of selamectin in the treatment of nasal mite (Pneumonyssoides caninum) infection in dogs. Gunnarsson L, Zakrisson G, Christensson D, Uggla A.  JAAHA 40:400-404, 2004.
  15. Treatment of canine nasal mite infection. Rehbinder C, Karlsson T. Svensk Veterinartidning 55:19-22, 2003.

Suggested Reading

AAHA’s Complete Guide for the Veterinary Client Service Representative. Renfrew J. AAHA Press, 2013.

AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines. Bartges J, Boynton B, et al. American Animal Hospital Association, 2012.

External Parasites. American Veterinary Medical Association;

The Art of Veterinary Practice Management. Opperman M—Lenexa, Kansas: Veterinary Medicine Publishing Group, 1999.

Material from Veterinary Team Brief may not be reproduced, distributed, or used in whole or in part without prior permission of Educational Concepts, LLC. For questions or inquiries please contact us.

Previous Step
Next Step

Veterinary Team Brief delivers practical skills for team-based medicine—with clinical strategies for team training, peer-reviewed credibility, concise content, essential training modules, and easy-to-implement protocols. From the publisher of Clinician's Brief.