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Cats, more than of the other common house-pets, are susceptible to ear mites. Fortunately, when caught early, an ear mite infestation can easily be treated. Knowing the early warning signs makes the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major irritation. If your cat experiences these warning signs, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible:

* Itching
* Scratching the ears and/or head
* Head shaking, as if trying to shake the mites out
* Scabs and/or hair loss on the head or around ears

To completely eradicate the ear mites is, unfortunately, difficult. On the bright side, your cat has a number of treatment options to alleviate the irritation.

As many people know, including practicing veterinarians, the flea treatment called "Frontline Topspot" can also be used for treating ear mites. Frontline has been tested on cats and approved by vets to treat both fleas and ear mites at the same time.

Ear mites can spread! Sometimes, they leave the ears and settle on different parts of your cat's body. Ear mites especially like to settle on the head. This is when flea control products work best. Another option is to use a "once-a-month" topical treatment.

Ear mites can spread! Yes, we say it again, because ear mites are highly contagious and can easily spread from cat to cat. If you have two or more cats in the household and one of them exhibits symptoms, it would be wise to have all your cats examined for ear mites.

Armed with knowledge, and the latest medical products, you can protect your cherished pets from the terror of ear mites.

Even if cats can't talk and tell us about it, we can guess fairly well that mites in their ears are a terrible discomfort for them. Fortunately, there are common cures to alleviate the condition. These are: topical treatments, oral medication and injections.

Topical preparations should be used for about a month, or enough time to cover the life cycle of the ear mite. The reason is that creams and ointments kill only the mites themselves but not the eggs they have laid inside your cat's ear. Hence eradication will be complete only when the mites born out of the hatched eggs are eliminated.

Some topical ointments like Tresaderm contain antibiotics and other ingredients that treat secondary effects, such as inflammation and infection. They are more potent and can be used for as short a period as two weeks. Most of these types of ointments are popular among veterinarians.

Some veterinarians continue to administer medication directed at curing ear mites in cats via injection, without approval of the FDA for mode of drug delivery. Ivermectin is an anti-parasite delivered in shots numbering from two to four in frequency, depending on the severity of the cat's condition. Frontline, a proven eliminator of ear mites, is another veterinary drug known to be dispensed in injectable form. Pet cat owners should proceed with caution if they want to try these injectables, since possible adverse reactions they may cause are not well known.

Remember that build up in the cat's ears, especially those brown crusty debris caused by the mites, should be dislodged thoroughly prior to treatment proper. You can ask for help from the veterinarian if you do not know how to flush feline ears, or are not comfortable with the procedure.

As mentioned earlier, it is indeed fortunate that there are common cures that alleviate the problem of cat ear mites. Perhaps a complete solution or preventive system is just around the corner?

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