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  • Author or Editor: Tom L. McTier x
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Objective—To evaluate the efficacy and safety of topical administration of selamectin in rabbits naturally infested with Psoroptes cuniculi.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—48 mixed-breed domestic rabbits with active P cuniculi mite populations and clinical ear lesions.

Procedures—Rabbits were randomly allocated to 1 of 6 treatment groups. On day 0, rabbits in groups 1 and 2 were given vehicle, rabbits in groups 3 and 4 were given selamectin at a dose of 6 mg/kg (2.7 mg/lb), and rabbits in groups 5 and 6 were given selamectin at a dose of 18 mg/kg (8.2 mg/lb). On day 28, rabbits in groups 2, 4, and 6 were given a second dose of vehicle or selamectin. Otoscopic examinations were performed and ear lesion size was measured weekly for 8 weeks. Quantitative viable mite counts were performed on day 56.

Results—On days 7 through 56, lesion sizes for all selamectin-treated groups were significantly lower than sizes for control groups; there were no significant differences in lesion sizes among selamectintreated groups. All rabbits in the 2 control groups had viable adult P cuniculi mites for the duration of the study, as determined by otoscopic examination, whereas all rabbits in the 4 selamectin-treated groups were free from P cuniculi mites on days 7 through 56. No adverse reactions associated with selamectin treatment were observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that topical application of selamectin at a dose of 6 or 18 mg/kg can completely eliminate mites from rabbits naturally infested with P cuniculi. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:322–324)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine the efficacy of ivermectin (IVM) and milbemycin oxime (MBO) against induced heartworm infection, where monthly treatment is started 3 or 4 months after infection, and to monitor microfilaremia and antigenemia.


21 heartworm-naive Beagles.


Each of 21 dogs was given 50 infective larvae of Dirofilaria immitis by SC inoculation. One group of 5 dogs served as nonmedicated controls, 2 groups of 5 dogs received IVM at 6 μg/kg of body weight or MBO at 500 μg/kg for 12 months beginning at postinfection (PI) month 4, and 2 groups of 3 dogs received IVM or MBO for 13 months beginning at PI month 3. Blood collected at intervals not >1 month beginning at PI month 4 was examined for microfilariae and antigen. Dogs were euthanatized at PI month 16.


Adult worm counts, relative to controls, were reduced in the 4-month treatment groups by 95.1 (P < 0.01) and 41.4% for IVM and MBO, respectively. The difference between the IVM and MBO groups was significant (P < 0.01). Live worms were found in all MBO-treated (range, 8 to 27) and control dogs (range, 12 to 39) and in 3 of 5 IVM-treated dogs (range, 2 to 4). In the 3-month treatment groups, worm counts were reduced by 97.7 (P < 0.01) and 96.8% (P < 0.01) for IVM and MBO, respectively. Microfilariae were seen in all control dogs and in only 2 of the 16 treated dogs. The antigen response of MBO-treated dogs in the 4-month treatment group was only slightly weaker than that for control dogs. In all other treated dogs, this response was delayed and weaker.


Ivermectin is highly (≥ 95%) and significantly more effective than MBO against induced heartworm infection when 1 year of monthly prophylactic dosing is started 4 months after infection.

Clinical Relevance

In some cases of owner compliance failure, monthly administration of IVM gives a high level of protection against young adult heartworms. (Am J Vet Res1996;57:1189-1192)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether treatment with selamectin would reduce clinical signs of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in dogs and cats housed in flea-infested environments.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—22 dogs and 17 cats confirmed to have FAD.

Procedure—Animals were housed in carpeted pens capable of supporting the flea life cycle and infested with 100 fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) on days –13 and –2 and on alternate weeks with 10 to 20 fleas. On day 0, 11 dogs and 8 cats were treated with selamectin (6 mg/kg [2.7 mg/lb]). Dogs were retreated on day 30; cats were retreated on days 30 and 60. All animals were examined periodically for clinical signs of FAD. Flea counts were conducted at weekly intervals.

Results—Throughout the study, geometric mean flea counts exceeded 100 for control animals and were ≤ 11 for selamectin-treated animals. Selamectin-treated cats had significant improvements in the severity of miliary lesions and scaling or crusting on days 42 and 84, compared with conditions on day –8, and in severity of excoriation on day 42. In contrast, control cats did not have any significant improvements in any of the clinical signs of FAD. Selamectin-treated dogs had significant improvements in all clinical signs on days 28 and 61, but in control dogs, severity of clinical signs of FAD was not significantly different from baseline severity at any time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that topical administration of selamectin, even without the use of supplementary environmental control measures and with minimal therapeutic intervention, can reduce the severity of clinical signs of FAD in dogs and cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:639–644)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association