Over the counter (OTC) medications for ear mites in cats are available in a range of products, with varying levels of success. The benefits in these are that you can avoid costly veterinary visits and expensive prescriptions. On the other hand, using chemicals and drugs on your cat without fully understanding how the drug may affect your specific feline can be a gamble at best. There are also some home remedies that have proved very effective in killing ear mites, without severe side effects.
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If you suspect that your cat has ear mites, there is a way to check for yourself. Remove a piece of wax from the ear of the cat that is suspected of having ear mites and hold it against a dark background. Ear mites will show as white specks no bigger than the head of a pin. Use a magnifying glass to get a clearer image. To obtain a complete and accurate diagnosis, however, it is always best to see a professional veterinarian. The vet will probably look into your cats ears through an otoscope to determine if ear mites are present. If more proof is required, a sample of ear wax may be taken and examined under a microscope.
Giving ear medication to a cat can often be the hardest part in eliminating ear mites. Wrapping a towel around the cat's body should minimise scratches. When applying drops, cream or cleaning solution, never insert the applicator farther than the edge of the ear canal. Massage the outside of the cat's ear to get the medication down into the ear canal.
Sentry HC Earmite Free for Cats
Sentry HC Earmite Free for Cats can be purchased at most pet stores without a prescription. It is made to kill ticks and ear mites in cats, although the instructions on how long this may take are a little vague. The main active ingredients in this medication are pyrethrins, an insecticide, and piperonyl, which has the properties of a pesticide. Many cats can tolerate low doses of these chemicals in their ears but there are some who are sensitive to them and can have adverse reactions.
Mita-Clear is another OTC medication that uses insecticides to kill ear mites. This product is also available without a prescription at most pet stores. Since it has similar ingredients to Sentry HC Earmite Free for Cats, it works in much the same way. Both products have varying degrees of success, depending on each particular case of infestation.
There are a number of home remedies that claim to cure cats of ear mites. Some of these remedies involve vegetable oil or olive oil in the ear, while others combine water, almond oil, vitamin E and yellow dock root extract. Another home remedy is mineral oil. A small amount of mineral oil into the infested ear every two to three days for over a month has been shown to kill ear mites, and will help clean the ear as well. It does this by first loosening the war and debris in the feline's ear. Then it essentially drowns the ear mites in the mineral oil as it coats the sides of the ear canal. These homemade medicines should only be attempted with a veterinarian's approval.
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