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Ear mites in kittens
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Ear mites in kittens

We have 2 male 4-5 month old kittens. They were strays when we found them 2 months ago, and had many problems including eye infection, fleas, and ear mites. They went to the Vet twice in the first month, and most of their problems have been resolved, except for the ear mites. The vet gave them 2 doses of Revolution, which got rid of the fleas but did not help the ear mites. The vet did not do anything to physically clean out the ears, though, like a previous vet had with another stray. This week we started using the Hartz Ultraguard Ear Mite treatment, but if anything, they seem to have more brown ear grunge (we followed the instructions and even wiped out the ears each day before applying). They started reacting very badly (howling, etc.) when we applied it, and tonight one of them has very pink inner ear lobes, so I looked up this stuff and saw that it can be irritating and even toxic and deadly. Thankfully, they seem fine except their ears are irritated and they still have mites. So, what can we do to get rid of the ear mites? Taking them to the vet is too expensive (we already spent over $600 and they haven't even been neutered yet) and the vet didn't really do anything, anyway. We have some Frontline Plus, would that help the ear mites? Would just manually cleaning the ears with something work? Thanks.
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The ears need to be cleaned out to remove eggs and mite dropping.  You can do this with moistened swabs.  The various treatments available only kill live mites (after biting) and if the eggs are not removed the cycle will just continue repeating itself.  It sounds like this has been a long standing problem so it could take some time to get all of the live mites, eggs and droppings removed.  Most likely the irritation is from mite bites and you are seeing more "dirt" because the medication is bringing it to the surface.  I would suggest reversing the process.  Use the medication first, wait a few minutes, and then clean the ears.   That way the medication brings the eggs more to the surface and you can remove more of the eggs and the dead mites.
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