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Treating horse ear mites

ArticleHow To - HealthMonday 08 February 2010
How to Treat a Horse with Ear Mites
There are a number of horse health issues that are important to spot and treat early. Here at Horsemart we have a large number of advice articles and pages, which offer you plenty of information on a number of severe and not so severe conditions. And, in this article, we are going to tell you all about the problem of ear mites in horses. 
These little critters won’t threaten the life of your horse, or anything that serious, but they will cause the animal plenty of annoyance and can be very uncomfortable. However, it is always worth bearing in mind that your horse most probably won’t take kindly to having its ears poked and prodded, so when checking for ear mites be very cautious and do so with care. 
As I previously mentioned, though these mites won’t harm your horse too badly, it is always wise to ensure you get them treated quickly. If you don’t then your horse will be uncomfortable for an unfair amount of time. 
There are a number of remedies that are available over-the-counter and are effective in clearing up equine ear mites. Once you have spoken to an expert and found the perfect remedy for your horse, you will want to go about administering the treatment. If this is something that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, then you can always speak to a vet or get a more experienced horse owner to help you out - maybe someone at your livery yard or a friend. If you are going to take on the role of administering the remedy yourself, then here is a step-by-step guide on how to do so safely. 
How to treat equine ear mites
  • The medication that you will need to use in order to treat ear mites in horses is essentially any flea treatment that is intended for domestic animals, such as cats or dogs. These are readily available over the counter and aren’t too expensive. You must ensure that you purchase a remedy that is in liquid form and is the type that you would usually drip onto the animal’s back. 
  • Once you have bought the flea treatment, you will need to mix it up into a solution that is suitable for the horse’s ears. You should mix the flea treatment with mineral oil and then find yourself a syringe or an ear dropper to use for administering the substance. 
  • Remember that the horse will not enjoy having the solution in its ears, so you will need to persevere and not give up until you are confident you have administered enough of the substance. You should hold the base of the horse’s ear when applying the remedy as this will ensure that the horse keeps its head still. 
  • You will want to use half of the solution on each ear. You will want to begin at the very tip of the ear and continue administering the solution until you have covered the entire ear. Covering all of the interior of your horse’s ears will work towards a more effective treatment. 
  • You will then want to release a bit of the pressure on the bottom of the horse’s ears in order to allow the solution to penetrate down into the ear and begin working. It is important not to let go of the ears completely as the horse will shake his head and spill the solution everywhere. If this does happen then you will have to start the whole process all over again. 
  • Obviously, how often you administer the solution will depend on the severity of your horse’s condition. However, on average, you will want to apply the remedy once a month, until the ear mites have disappeared. 
Extra tips and advice
Here are a few other tips that might help you when it comes to the administering of the solution. Follow the step-by-step guide above closely and keep these points below in the back of your mind and you will have no problems treating your horse’s ear mites. 
  • When it comes to letting go of the horse’s ear, after the administering of the remedy, you will want to move away from the animal quickly. The horse will most probably shake its head, and you won’t want to get any of the solution on you. There is also a possibility that the horse’s head could hit you, which will, obviously, hurt. 
  • If your horse has a large amount of aggressive ear mites, then you can always tackle this by replacing the flea solution with a deworming product that contains ivermectin. This should be more powerful and effective on worse infestations. 
  • It is vital that you always ask your vet before administering a solution to your horse’s ears. Never just go straight ahead and start work, some substances could be detrimental to the health of the horse. 
So, there you have it, our complete guide to treating equine ear mites. Do you have any other tips or advice that might come in useful for your fellow horse lovers? Why not let us know in the comments section below?
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