Veterinarians will gather skin samples acquired by using a scalpel to scrape different areas of the animal in an attempt to diagnose which if any mites are causing the problem. This test is not always accurate since in many cases the animal has already scratched the affected area and removed the mites causing it. The mites are so tiny that they are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. So they are not always found this way sometimes a blood test is used since certain chemicals will be changed in the blood during a mites’ infestation.
One very easy way of determining if a dog has mange is if it displays what is called the Pedal-Pinna reflex. If you manipulate or rub the dogs ears especially toward the edge the dog may move one of its hind legs in a scratching motion as the ear is being manipulated and scratched gently. The mites grow rapidly on the ear margins and for some reason the dog will move its hind leg as a sympathetic movement when it is rubbed this way. Pedal-Pinna Reflex method works over 95% of the time and is a great home test to see if that is what is causing the dog to loose hair. Other parasites can cause similar problems so it is important to know what is causing it. It is not uncommon however to do a mange mite treatment just in case and see if it helps anyway.
Affected dogs need to be isolated from other dogs and their bedding, and places they have occupied must be thoroughly cleaned. Other dogs in contact with a diagnosed case should be evaluated and treated.
There are a number of parricidal treatments useful in treating canine scabies. Sulfurated lime rinses applied weekly or bi-weekly are effective.