Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ear mites treatment for horses

Late last night I blogged about Panama's vet visit on Friday. One of the things the vet did was to recommend a way to treat my horse's ear mites. He gave me a single treatment of Frontline, a product that you put down a dog's back to keep away fleas and ticks. He told me to mix it with 12 CCs of mineral oil, then drip 6 CCs of the mixture into each ear, starting at the tip to make sure it gets throughout the ear.

Today I went out and bought mineral oil, then applied it as the vet told me. Unfortunately, Panama doesn't like his ears being messed with, and he especially doesn't like liquid in them. I took him a bit by surprise when I did the first ear, so I was able to get it done pretty easily. The second ear, however, was more difficult.

Eventually I figured out a method that made getting the mineral oil into the second ear a snap. Here's what I recommend:

1. Grab the horse's ear around the base. He first has to learn to hold his head still for this, if he doesn't already. With Panama, every time he tried to shake me off, I squeezed and pinched his ear shut, then let off as soon as he stopped shaking his head. He figured out pretty quickly that he ought to hold still.

2. Pinch the ear closed at the base. I realized that it was the sensation of the oil dripping into the ear canal that kept him from holding still for me, so I decided to delay that from happening until everything was in.

3. Using the syringe, slowly squirt the 6 CCs of mineral oil/Frontline mixture into the ear. Squirt it at the top so that it runs all the way down the inside surface of the ear.

4. Allow the ear to open, but don't let go completely yet. As soon as you do, the horse is going to shake his head, and you want to give the stuff a chance to penetrate first. Panama held really still for me here, so I took the opportunity to pet and praise him. If your horse starts trying to shake you off, I recommend pinching the base of the ear again, and letting up when he holds still for you, just like I described in step 1.

5. After a few minutes, let go of the ear completely. And get out of the way — fast — unless you want a mineral oil bath!

The nice thing is, this treatment kills the ear mites outright and then lasts for about a month, so you won't have to mess with his ears again for a while. The vet wants me to wait and see if they come back before doing anything else, but I might start back up with the Vaseline in a month and see if I can keep them from coming back at all.

Of course, this ear mites treatment is just my vet's recommendation. You should probably check with your own vet before using it on your horse.



At February 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM, Blogger Oldqueen44 said...

I am going to try this right away. My horses ears itch so much she lets me scratch the inside of them vigorously as she leans into me and contorts her lips. It is amusing but she needs to be treated.


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