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Squeeze Tape Impressions: An Alternative Diagnostic Test for Demodex


I suspect I am not the first veterinarian to declare that I loathe performing deep skin scrapings. To take an already inflamed area of skin, and scrape it repeatedly with a scalpel until the point of capillary oozing, is not typically a comfortable experience for the animal, and is therefore one of the more unpleasant procedures to perform on a patient without anaesthesia. So to discover the Squeeze Tape Impression is an alternative,  sensitive and reliable method for diagnosis of demodex[1], which may be performed with little or no discomfort to the patient, is a revelation.

While surgery and E/CC medicine tend to steal the limelight when it comes to lifesaving procedures, the value of being able to accurately diagnose insidious skin diseases like demodex cannot be underestimated, given the dramatic consequences for the animal’s health and quality of life. Consequently, the Squeeze Tape Impression is a wonderful technique for vets in general practice to learn and apply, particularly as a simple, non-invasive ‘rule-out’ test – when the index of suspicion is low – so that these cases are not mis-diagnosed.

About the Presenter

This video is presented by Dr Linda Vogelnest BVSc (Hons) MACVSC FACVSC, of SASH Small Animal Specialist Hospital in North Ryde, Sydney. Linda has worked in dermatology referral practice in Sydney for over 10 years, and has a passion for teaching dermatology, both at an undergraduate and post-graduate level. I have been taught by Linda myself, and referred many a case to her over the years, particularly frustrating allergic skin disease cases, which are one of her special interests, with wonderful results.

Need to know more?

Dr Linda Vogelnest is tutoring the Dermatology TimeOnline course, via The University of Sydney’s Centre for Veterinary Education, in March 2019.

Dr Linda Vogelnest and the SASH team welcome referrals from general practitioners for dermatology cases, including for acute or chronic, mild or extensive, and unusual or non-specific skin problems.


[1] Pereira, D.T, Castro, L.J.M., Centenaro, V.B., Amaral, A.S., Krause, A. and Schmidt, C. Skin Impression with acetate tape in Demodex canis and Sarcoptes scabeie var. vulpes diagnosis, Arq. Bras.Med.Vet.Zootec. vol. 67 no. 1, 2015

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