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ear mites and treatment

Discussion in 'Health & Illness' started by danone, Jul 12, 2011.

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  1. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    hi, i think one of my boys may have ear mites.he has a waxy/crusty build up in his ears,one more than the other and a thinning hair/dry skin over his eyes which I'm told can indicate ear mites. i have surolan and wanted to know the treatment for ear mites,
    thanks
     
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  2. Pebble

    Pebble Adult Guinea Pig

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    Surolan contains polymyxin B (an antibiotic against bacteria) and miconazole (an anti-fungal). It is not therefore used to treat ear mites which can be quite difficult to shift.

    First you need to get a proper veterinary diagnosis as to what the problem actually is.

    If it is ear mites then ivermectin injections (three spaced 10-14 days apart) rather than ear drops are best to actually kill the mites....but you also will probably need some type of drops to clear the waxy buildup in the ears which could otherwise protect the mites from the effects of the ivermectin. Different vets have different favourites...depending upon whether there is inflammation/possible other infection going in the ear at the time.

    Do you have a good guinea pig vet near you? If you let us know where you are, then we can perhaps point you in the right direction.

    HTH
    x
     
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  3. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    oh ok. i was advised and read that surolan can be used for ear mites,think was on the peter gurney site ?
     
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  4. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    ps I'm in harlow essex
    thanks
     
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  5. sunnypig

    sunnypig New Member

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    My vet perscribed me surolan and said it was for ear mites. It ended up killing my piggy. ):
     
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  6. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    whats weird is that if you google ear mites/guinea pigs lots of people say surolan can be used . even if you do a search on here its comes up ?
     
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  7. Pebble

    Pebble Adult Guinea Pig

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    I can assure you that surolan is completely ineffective against a mite infection as mites are insects and antibiotics/antifungals don;t work against them. Ivermectin (or others in the same faily such as doramectin) is the only vet-/authorised treatment for any type of mite infestation in guinea pigs.

    I've just searched the forum and I think you'll find that your search terms "SUROLAN EAR MITES" are throwing up all types of mite infestation/ear problems in connection with surolan rather than just specifically ear mites which are a different type of mite.

    Surolan is often quoted as being used in connection with mange (skin) mites when the skin has also got possible fungal infection.....this is often the case in rescues where piggies coming in need both ivermectin for the mites and surolan for fungal...or have developed subsequent bacterial/fungal infection as a result of the scratching originally caused by the mites...again they need both ivermectin and surolan.

    Surolan is also quoted in cases where guinea pigs are showing head tilt which could either be from an ear infection (treated by surolan) or ear mites (treated with ivermectin), both of which need to be seen promptly by a vet....and (if the vet isn;t sure)....both medications may be prescribed.

    I have checked and the Peter gurney site suggests Otodex for ear mites...but this is a cat/dog medication and their ear mites are different from piggie mites. It is not licensed for guinea pigs.

    It is important you take your piggies to the vet to check what is going on in their ears and determine if it is mites or an infection before any treatment is given. This is not a situation where you should try to self treat as there are laws about self treating animals without veterinary authorisation/intervention. Neither condition should be left for too long without vet treatment as both can cause permanent head tilt and worse.

    Hope I have managed to clear up any confusion.

    HTH
    x
     
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  8. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    hi thanks,
    i have booked the vets for tomorrow and will see what they say. i want to add that my pig has not been scratching his ear an abnormal amount or shaking his head and does not have a big build up of crust in his ears,he has a little waxy discharge in his ears and a slight dry skin over his eye, both which can indicate ear mites so I'm told.
    the link about using drops for canker in dogs and cats which surolan is used for i believe on ear mites in guinea pigs is on the jackiesguineapiggies site and links to a peter gurney site(or so it says) here is what it says

    "EARS
    There are two common ailments that guinea pigs ears are prone to. One is ear mites and the other is excessive waxing. The symptoms are head shaking and increased scratching of the ear. The treatment for both conditions is with Tea Tree eardrops or conventional eardrops formulated to treat canker in dogs and cats."

    also i have in front of me the surolan packet and information sheet and it says for use on ear mite infections on both.granted this is for dogs and cats but it must have some effect on mites ? which as you say are insects ?

    thnaks dan.x
     
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  9. Poppy'sMum

    Poppy'sMum Adult Guinea Pig

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    Peter Gurney recommends Otodex which although not licensed for piggies is safe for them, I've used it on mine occasionally. However it's best to get the vet to tell you what's wrong & what treatment to give, I would not use something you aren't sure of, it isn't worth the risk. Good luck tomorrow! :)
     
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  10. Pebble

    Pebble Adult Guinea Pig

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    Hi Danone, you raise several good points and I can understand why.

    I will try and answer them as best I can.

    Firstly you need to be aware that surolan is a prescription-only medication. That means it cannot be obtained/given to an animal unless authorised and prescribed by a vet. If you have a bottle I suspect that is because your vet has prescribed it for you in the past for a different condition or even for a different animal? If you now give it to your piggie without vet approval you will be breaking the law. It is a very powerful medication that not only contains antifungal and antibacterial antibiotics but also steroids to control inflammation and that is why it should only be given to an animal under the direction of a vet....and that is why no-one on the forum would tell you it is Ok to use in your current situation (because then the forum (and thus its owners) would be deemed as complicit in encouraging someone to break the law) and why you will be told instead to seek veterinary advice.

    Second: The Peter Gurney site, for the same reason, only recommends "over-the-counter" products, many of which are natural products such as tea tree drops or hwat he quotes as "conventional" ear drops for canker ie otodex. A prescription isn't needed to buy "conventional" (over the counter) goods. Surolan is not in this category - you need a prescription to get it..and nowhere on his site does he mention this product by name as a treatment for ear mites.

    In respect of the manufacturers claims for Surolan.....Looking at the manufacturers literature as you rightly point out, their pack insert states "for treatment of ear and skin infections caused by yeasts, bacteria and ear mites". However if you look at their technical literature, it is clear that the product is designed to treat THE EFFECTS of ear mite infection (ie swelling, inflammation and possibly secondary infection with bacteria or yeast that all accompany an ear mite infection). In one clinical test it cured 90% of dogs and 80% of cats after 21 days (but NOT all of them) and therefore one could assume the ear mites were killed in those animals. BUT...as the manufacturers themselves state:
    "The results of this study indicate both products were
    effective in the treatment of canine and feline otoacariasis.
    The mode of action remains unclear, because none of the
    active ingredients of either product has a known acaricidal
    activity. One hypothesis is that the vehicle of the products
    (liquid paraffin, Surolan or sesame oil, Canaural) may alter
    the habitat of the ear canal in such a way that it becomes
    biologically unsuitable for the mites. Another hypothesis is
    that the mites are simply drowned, suffocated or immobilised
    by the vehicleâ€."

    Link to technical literature is below
    http://www.ausrichter.com/files/newsletters/Newsletter 15.pdf

    Finally you also need to bear in mind that the cat/dog ear mite is Otodectis cynotis. This is not the same mite that infects guinea pigs which is larger and called Psoroptes cuniculi. There is no data to show the liquid paraffin in surolan has the same effect on Psoroptes as was seen on Otodectis.

    Hence, the only veterinary-recognised treatment for actually killing guinea pig ear mites at the moment is ivermectin ( a vet may prescribe surolan in addition to ivermectin, to treat the inflammation or a secondary infection)

    I hope I have managed to address your remaining questions and that you get a suitable treatment for your piggies tomorrow from the vet. I'm bowing out of this thread now as I think the original issue (ie what to do about your piggies ears) has been addressed.

    x
     
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  11. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    thanks,sometimes googling things can be a bad idea eh,I'm off to the vets soon anyway.
    thanks dan.x
     
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  12. Suzygpr

    Suzygpr Senior Guinea Pig

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    Thank you Pebble for taking the time to research and explain the effects of these ear treatments. Having someone who has such a depth of understanding of sometimes complex techinical jargon and then able to explain it in layman's terms is enormously helpful. Although I am very experienced in a hands on way with piggies having the back up of a true scientist benfits my pigs too - I learn something nearly everytime you post one of your detailed answers on a H&I thread.

    I appreciate the length of time taken to research and then compose a reply that explains the info in a clear, concise way that all members will find useful, not just the OP.

    Sorry to hijack this thread with my gushing admiration, I just felt that a simple 'thanks' wasn't quite enough.

    Suzy x
     
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  13. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    i hope the simple thanks line was not aimed at a bad way towards me ?
     
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  14. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    i am very grateful for the information shared and i dont want for one minute any one to think i was just going to pour bottles of surolan into my pigs ears!
    i was going to take the pig to the vets before doing anything but thought i would also get info on here first. !


    thanks a lot with sugar on top.x.x.x.x.x.x
     
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  15. Suzygpr

    Suzygpr Senior Guinea Pig

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    Actually I was refering to the 'Thanks' button at the bottom of posts.

    Suzy
     
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  16. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    ok I'm sorry,ive had some bad news about a family member today and am not thinking straight.
    looking at my pigglers and playing with them makes things seem better though,

    sorry and thanks all
    dan x
     
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  17. danone

    danone Junior Guinea Pig

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    been to the vets and he has a small case of mites over his eyes,and not ear mites as the ears are clean and looking good I'm told.
    i have been given a course of xeno 450 as he is now over 800g. 3 pipettes spaced 10 to 14 days apart. and i have to keep an eye on the other pig and if need be get a course of xeno 450 for him .
    thanks for the info and sorry for the confusion everyone.x
     
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