Scotch Tape Impression Smears to Diagnose Skin Diseases
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. Why is scotch tape used to check for mites and yeast infections?
A. Performing a tape impression smear on a dogWhen you see your veterinarian place a piece of scotch tape on your pet's skin, press on it, remove it, and place it sticky-side down on a microscope slide, sometimes with a stain, you are seeing a 'tape impression smear,' or 'scotch tape prep.' Your veterinarian may perform this procedure on several areas of your pet's skin. Your veterinarian will then stain the tape, place it on a slide, and look at it under the microscope. Performing a tape impression smear on a cat

In this procedure, disease-causing organisms often stick to the tape and then can be seen microscopically. This is an excellent way to look for yeast, other fungi, and some parasites such as lice.

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