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Clinical management of feline otodectosis--a study of 11 patients.


Feline otodectosis is a common disease, characterized by otitis externa associated with Otodectes cynotis infestation. This mite is an obligate parasite which inhabits the vertical and horizontal ear canals of dogs and cats. Animals infested with O.cynotis most commonly develop otitis externa characterized by vertical and horizontal canal erythema and a dark brown, ceruminous otic exudates (Curtis, 2004). Management by mechanical cleaning of debris from the ear canal, instillation of an acaricide into the ear canal and application of a wholebody miticidal treatment to prevent reinfestation (Nixon et al, 1997).

Materials and Method

Felines presented during the period Jan. to Dec. 2011 with history and clinical signs of pruritus and skin lesion were taken up for the study. A detailed physical and dermatological examination was carried out in those selected cases. In all the animals, ear debris was taken and spread on liquid paraffin over a glass slide. The slide was examined under low power microscope. The presence of even single mite Otodectes sp. adult or egg was taken as positive case. Cats with mite were treated with either parentral ivermectin or fipronil spot on depending on the age/weight of the animal. The response to treatment was assessed on 7th and 14th day of treatment. The data obtained was critically analyzed.

Results and Discussion

Out of 47 cats presented during the year 2011, 11 cats (23.40%) were found to be positive for Otodectes cynotis infection (Fig. 1). This parasite has tarsal suckers with unjointed pedicels on the first and second pairs of legs in the females and on all four pairs in the male (Soulsby, 2005). The breeds of cat affected were domestic short hair (n=6, 54.54%) and Persian (n=5, 45.45%). The age wise distribution, less than one year were (n=6, 54.54%) and one to six years were (n=5, 45.45%). Kittens appear to be most susceptible to otocarialis, as older animals may acquire immunity (Curtis, 2004). The dermatological findings observed were pruritus in all the cases, crusty lesion on the face, body and extremities in 5 cases (45.45%) and erythema in ear canal in 8 cases (72.72%) and brownish waxy otic discharge in all the cases (Fig. 2).

Kitten were treated with fipronil spot-on and adult cat were treated with parentral ivermectin @ 200 [micro]g/kg subcutaneously weekly once for two weeks. Mechanical cleaning of ear canal was done all cases. Treatment of the ear mite includes mechanical cleaning of the ear canal followed by topical or systemic drug administration with such drugs as selamectin, ivermectin and fipronil. Several authors conducted efficacy trial with above drugs. (Blot et al., 2003, Roy et al., 2012, Nixon et al., 1997 and Ahn et al., 2013).

The response to treatment was assessed based on absence of live mite or eggs on microscopical examination of ear debris at weekly interval. After two weeks of treatment, complete remission of dermatologiocal signs and absence of ear mite was observed. It was concluded that treatment of feline otoacariasis by routine ear cleaning and parentral ivermectin injection SC or topical spoton fipronil treatment to be effective.


Ahn, A., Oh, D., Kyu-Sung Ahn, and Shin, S. (2013). First Feline Case of Otodectosis in the Republic of Korea and Successful Treatment with Imidacloprid/Moxidectin Topical Solution. K. J. Para. 51:125-28.

Blot, C., Kodjo, A., Reynaud. M.C. and Bourdoiseau, G. (2003). Efficacy of selamectin administered topically in the treatment of feline otoacariasis. Vet. Parasitol. 112: 241-47.

Curtis, C.F. (2004). Current trends in the treatment of Sarcoptes, Cheyletiella and Otodectes mite infestations in dogs and cats. Vet. Derm. 15: 108-14.

Roy, J., Bedard, C., Moreau, M. and Sauve, F. (2012). Comparative short-term efficacy of Oridermyl auricular ointment and Revolution selamectin spot-on against feline Otodectes cynotis and its associated secondary otitis externa. Can. Vet. J. 53:762-66.

Scherk-Nixon, M., Baker, B., Pauling, G.E. and Hare, J.E. (1997). Treatment of feline otoacariasis with 2 oticpreparations not containing miticidal active ingredients. Can. Vet. J. 38; 229-30.

Soulsby, E.J.L. (2005). Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domestic Animals, 7th Edn., Reed Elsevier Pvt. Ltd, India, p. 491.

S. Kavitha (1), M. Venkatesan, B. Nagarajan, P.S. Thirunavukkarasu and A.P. Nambi

Department Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Ethics and Jurisprudence Madras Veterinary College

Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Vepery

Chennai--600007 (Tamil Nadu)

(1.) Associate Professor and Corresponding author E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Kavitha, S.; Venkatesan, M.; Nagarajan, B.; Thirunavukkarasu, P.S.; Nambi, A.P.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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