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Author Topic: feline ear mites  (Read 1277 times)

holt

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feline ear mites
« on: February 27, 2016, 04:22:03 PM »
My kitty's round hair brush seems to be a vector for ear mites. Will dipping or soaking it in rubbing alcohol kill feline ear mites and ear mite eggs? Or what's a good safe brush treatment?
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 07:36:32 AM by holt »

app103

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2016, 07:38:04 PM »
Seal the brush in a ziploc bag for about 2 months (or just throw it away and replace it later), and switch to using a metal comb that can be boiled after each use.

You might also want to take a look here for info on the various mite species that can affect cats, and what can and can't effectively control them.

http://parasitipedia...2542&Itemid=2818

holt

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2016, 08:27:56 AM »
What if I steam the brushes in a double boiler?
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)

Stoic Joker

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 11:29:31 AM »
What if I steam the brushes in a double boiler?

Chances are it will damage the brush during boiling, and the left over moisture will cause other problems to grow in/on the brush.

Go with the metal comb App suggested above.. :)

holt

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 06:03:46 AM »
Possible answers if I want to save my expensive hair brushes; (steel or metal combs would be difficult to use on a longhair tabby with matted or tangled fur):
How to Sterilize a Hairbrush: immerse brush in solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach per 1 gallon or sinkful of water for 5 minutes, then rinse.

How to Sterilize Bottles: in a double boiler, allow the bottles or brushes to steam for 5 minutes.

If I had to guess, I would think hardy feline ear mite eggs might take more time, just not sure how much more time. I wonder if a steam treatment with water that has the proper proportion of 1 tbl chlorine bleach to 1 gal water in it (with adequate ventilation of the kitchen or mad scientist's laboratory) might be even more effective.

I am very annoyed at the cat forum I posted this same question at, in their cat health subforum, for mindlessly deleting my post; my sincere appreciation to Donation Coder forum, which has no such problem.
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 12:17:25 PM by holt »

holt

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 07:41:04 AM »
I put my two round brushes (mine have plastic handles) in the double boiler and steamed them for 10 minutes. The brushes were not damaged. I brushed the kitty yesterday with one of the brushes, and today, she did not come down with an aggravated case of ear mite infection, as has invariably happened before. So my new method of sterilizing the brushes from ear mites and ear mite eggs is a success; 10 minutes of steam in a double boiler.
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)

IainB

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Re: feline ear mites - try derris dust.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2016, 05:53:19 PM »
Sorry, I only just got around to reading this now, otherwise I would have commented sooner.
For several years, until I went away to college, one of my jobs on the farm as a boy was to muck out (clean up) the dog kennels (we typically might have about 20 dogs at any given time) and the cattery (we typically might have about 15 cats at any given time), I also had to exercise, feed and groom them (where grooming was necessary) and check for transmittable diseases and parasites  e.g., including ear canker, lice, mites, fleas, worms in their stool, etc.) and treat them accordingly.

The tools you might use for grooming don't need to be sterilised in an autoclave (as used for sterilising surgical instruments) - that is, boiling water or steam. That really would seem to be "going over the top".
My childhood research on entomology (the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects, in which I have always been interested) indicated that very hot tap water - about 60°C - will do the trick, as insects and their eggs (including insects that are arthropods - i.e., having an articulated exoskeleton) cannot sustain life after being exposed for about a minute at that temp. You can scientifically prove this simply by immersing insects in the very hot water for a timed period and observing what happens - and this is repeatable.

By grooming your cat's ears, you will be collecting the mites (and anything else) from the cat's fur, onto the grooming instrument. So it is the mites that are in the ears that are the root cause, and this should be treated at the same time as you immerse the grooming instrument in very hot water to clean it. The primary vector (the thing that transmits) for the mites is another cat, not the grooming instrument - the latter being something that effectively just compounds the infestation already on the cat. Your cat will have contracted mites from another cat, and so will be likely to be re-exposed to mites/fleas etc. in its normal social activity with other cats, or off its bedding, etc.

The best approach is thus to treat the cat's fur, ears and bedding with an insecticide that kills fleas/mites - and one that comes to mind that I successfully used on dogs and cats as kennel-boy was derris powder - also freely available for use as an insecticide on food and other plants. It was very effective and relatively harmless - e.g., not as toxic as some of the insecticides animals are treated with today, and which can really knock their livers for six, leading to a premature death (liver failure or liver cancer).

The thing is that derris dust tend to be not promoted/marketed for this purpose today, because it is dirt cheap and the pharmaceutical companies don't have a patent on it for which they can charge a high price. The other stuff they do have a patent on is the only stuff they will offer. Vets seem to be in on this game as well, and only sell the expensive stuff. I have even heard some claim absurdly that derris dust is "highly toxic" to put customers off the idea and buy the expensive stuff which is highly toxic.
So, love your pets and don't treat them with stuff that potentially shortens their life expectancy.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 05:01:50 AM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections.. »

holt

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 07:17:02 PM »
Sorry, I only just got around to reading this now, otherwise I would have commented sooner.
The best approach is thus to treat the cat's fur and ears with an insecticide that kills fleas/mites - and one that comes to mind that I successfully used on dogs and cats as kennel-boy was derris powder - also freely available for use as an insecticide on food and other plants. It was very effective and relatively harmless - e.g., not as toxic as some of the insecticides animals are treated with today, and which can really knock their livers for six, leading to a premature death (liver failure or cancer).
I found this on ebay; and this at amazon. Where can I get it, or what do I look for precisely, please?
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)

IainB

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Re: feline ear mites - derris dust or rotenone.
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 04:55:25 AM »
@holt: Ah, sorry, I should have added that:
  • Derris dust was now better known as "Rotenone", and was originally synthesised from plants by Japanese scientists.
  • Rotenone is produced by extraction from the roots and stems of several tropical and subtropical plant species, especially those belonging to the genera Lonchocarpus and Derris.
  • It passes environmental standards - being bio-degradable, and when used as an insecticide on food plants does not get into the food chain.
  • It has been widely researched (e.g., see search, below) and found to be relatively harmless - Rotenone is classified by the World Health Organization as moderately hazardous. So don't eat/ingest it.
  • Some of the more recent research into rotenone has looked at, for example, potential health effects on agricultural workers (who would presumably have been exposed to rotenone when they used it as a crop insecticide). I would recommend that you remain skeptical, as I suspect that if you looked for the named sponsors of this research, the majority of it will have been funded as a scare tactic by large pharmaceuticals and ag-chemical giants - e.g., Monsanto. There's no money to be made in rotenone, but rotenone sure as heck could be stopping you making money selling some patented and inferior or more toxic product to rotenone.

Put this search into your URL bar: https://duckduckgo.c...nimal+fur&t=ffab
("derris dust for de-lousing animal fur").
Amongst the links will be:

Since cats wash themselves, they will tend to ingest anything you apply to their fur. Fortunately, they'd have to ingest a helluva lot of rotenone for it to become toxic, but you could avoid even that by virtue of fitting a protective cowl.

holt

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Re: feline ear mites
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 09:38:33 PM »
Amazing. I must definitely look into this, and thank you!
"This is the best bad idea we have, sir. By far," (cf. 'Argo'.)