Frontline is a commercially produced insecticide often prescribed by veterinarians to kill ear mites in dogs and cats. Frontline contains the insecticide commonly known as fipronil, which affects the mites's nervous system and eventually kills them. When treating your pet for ear mites you should be aware that although the treatment can be effective for some animals, in others it can cause severe reactions.
The article "Ear Mites" by Mike Richards, DVM, states that ear mites are tiny, parasitic insects that infect the ears and skin of cats, dogs and rabbits. The most prominent symptoms of ear-mite infestation is shaking of the head or scratching at the ears. Animals infected with ear mites will rub their heads against the ground or furniture or scratch themselves until they start bleeding. Ear mites can be an extremely painful experience as the parasites trigger in some animals an allergic reaction that causes severe itching. Ear mites that infect an animal's skin also results in scratching until bleeding and can lead to additional infections that require immediate treatment. If you're pet is exhibiting the symptoms of ear mites, you should take them to your vet immediately. In addition, you should also check the insides of your pet's ears to make sure no ear mites are present. They look like dark grains that are stuck to the inner tissue of your pet's ears. Again, if you see these parasites, consult your pet's health care provider.
Treatment in Dogs and Cats
According to the articles "Ear Mites in Dogs" and "Ear Mites in Cats" by Race Foster, DVM, ear mite infections are commonly treated with Frontline or fipronil. Other treatments include the usage of pyrethrin and invermectin for cats and pyrethrin and selamectin for dogs. Application is topical, so you only need apply the treatment onto the dog or cat's skin, usually on the back of the center of the neck. This way, your pet cannot lick the medication off or get sick from ingesting the treatment. Follow the dosage instructions closely as it can take up to two days for the mites to die off. According to the article "Fipronil" on PetPlace.com, fipronil is commonly used to treat fleas and ticks, but it can also treat ear mites. Don't shampoo or submerge your dog or cat for two days after applying the treatment, and be sure to keep an eye on your pet when using the treatment as severe allergic reactions can occur.
Make sure your pet has had a recent check-up before administering fipronil. Dogs and cats that are under 8 weeks old, that are ailing from other conditions, that are pregnant or that have known allergies to fipronil, should not use Frontline. Consult your pet's veterinarian for additional treatments for ear mites. In some cases, your pet may develop redness, swelling or other signs of irritation at the site where you've applied to fipronil. If the irritation continues and is followed by drooling, seizures or problems with walking or coordination, contact your veterinarian immediately.
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Ashley 'Ash' Brooks is a writer living in the Midwest. She has worked in the writing industry for over five years as a writer, editor and teacher. Brooks enjoys writing about animals (preferably cats), mental health, spirituality and computers. She has been published on Ehow.com. Brooks has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a Master' of Arts in composition and rhetoric,