Training a Mite-Responsive Team

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The veterinary team plays an important role in providing effective and successful mite treatment. Determining how each team member can support the treatment plan is key to your team’s effectiveness and, ultimately, success. Training should be reviewed with the entire team periodically.

Basic Training

This is an opportunity for the practice manager to team with the veterinarian to provide training and clarify every team member’s role, and for the team to review educational materials (eg, handouts, websites) to ensure they are current and accurate.

Training should include information about effective client communication regarding mite infestation and treatments, human and animal risks, and clients’ financial concerns. It should also include a presentation from a veterinarian on the common types of mites and potential infestation sites, typical treatments, and follow-up care. Use role-play activities to practice asking clients open-ended questions to assess observations and behavior that may indicate a patient’s possible mite infection.

Suggested content for the practice manager’s presentation:

  • Challenges when communicating with clients who may not comply with recommended treatment plans
  • Communicating with clients concerned about the cost of care
  • Educating clients about at-home care
  • Policy and procedures for following-up with clients after a mite infestation diagnosis.

Suggested content for the veterinarian’s presentation:

  • At-home care and preventive options
  • Diagnosis and treatment of mite infestation
  • Mite transmission (if transmission is possible)
  • Signs of primary infestation and potential secondary infections
  • Types of mites and potential infestation sites
  • Typical treatments and associated costs
  • Zoonotic concerns.
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.

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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.