Pinnal-Pedal Reflex – Diagnosing Scarcoptic Mange

Has anyone heard of the Pinnal-Pedal reflex before? I hadn’t heard about it until just recently when our staff veterinarian was talking about diagnosing Scarcoptic mange. Scarcoptic mange is hard to diagnose with traditional testing because as the dog scratches, the tunnels that mange mites make are broken open and the mites die, leaving no trace of them on skin scrapings.

However, using the Pinnal-Pedal Reflex, veterinarians can more accurately diagnose cases of Scarcoptic mange. In recent studies done by the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic in Victoria, Australia, 82% of the dogs in the study who had mange were diagnosed using this technique. This reflex is assessed by vigorously rubbing the tip of the earflap to the base of the ear between the thumb and forefinger for five seconds. The dog is considered positive for mange if its hind leg makes a scratching movement.


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