Effect of ivermectin on the control of ear mites (Psoroptes cuniculi) in naturally infested rabbits

Dwight D. Bowman From the Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology (Bowman. Fogelson) and the Center for Research Animal Resources (Carbone), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401.

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Melissa L. Fogelson From the Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology (Bowman. Fogelson) and the Center for Research Animal Resources (Carbone), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401.

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Lawrence G. Carbone From the Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology (Bowman. Fogelson) and the Center for Research Animal Resources (Carbone), New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6401.

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Summary

We examined the efficacy of ivermectin in the control of ear mites (Psoroptes cuniculi) in rabbits. The study involved 40 female and 35 male rabbits that were known to be naturally infested with ear mites. After a period of acclimation to the animal care facilities, the rabbits were ranked on the visual appearance of any ear lesion and the number of mites on glycerin-dipped ear swabs. The rabbits were then randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups; vehicle only (group 1), 50 µg of ivermectin/kg of body weight (group 2), 100 µg of ivermectin/kg (group 3) and 200 µg of ivermectin/kg (group 4). The rabbits were treated by SC injections on day 0 and day 14 of the trial; thus, the total dose of ivermectin given to groups 1 through 4, was 0, 100, 200, or 400 µg/kg, respectively. The study ended 2 weeks after the last treatment. Ear lesions of the treated rabbits improved significantly (P<0.001). By 28 days after the first treatment, the mean number of mites on the ear swabs (both ears) was 57.5 for untreated rabbits and 9.1, 0.5, and 2.5, respectively, for rabbits in groups 2, 3, and 4. The mean number of mites recovered from the ears of the untreated rabbits at necropsy was 24,297. For groups 2, 3, and 4, the mean number of mites recovered from the ears was 5,352, 96, and 96, respectively. The efficacy of treatment with a total dose of 100 µg/kg was 77.96%, with 200 µg/kg was 99.61%, and for 400 µg/ kg was 99.61%.

Summary

We examined the efficacy of ivermectin in the control of ear mites (Psoroptes cuniculi) in rabbits. The study involved 40 female and 35 male rabbits that were known to be naturally infested with ear mites. After a period of acclimation to the animal care facilities, the rabbits were ranked on the visual appearance of any ear lesion and the number of mites on glycerin-dipped ear swabs. The rabbits were then randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups; vehicle only (group 1), 50 µg of ivermectin/kg of body weight (group 2), 100 µg of ivermectin/kg (group 3) and 200 µg of ivermectin/kg (group 4). The rabbits were treated by SC injections on day 0 and day 14 of the trial; thus, the total dose of ivermectin given to groups 1 through 4, was 0, 100, 200, or 400 µg/kg, respectively. The study ended 2 weeks after the last treatment. Ear lesions of the treated rabbits improved significantly (P<0.001). By 28 days after the first treatment, the mean number of mites on the ear swabs (both ears) was 57.5 for untreated rabbits and 9.1, 0.5, and 2.5, respectively, for rabbits in groups 2, 3, and 4. The mean number of mites recovered from the ears of the untreated rabbits at necropsy was 24,297. For groups 2, 3, and 4, the mean number of mites recovered from the ears was 5,352, 96, and 96, respectively. The efficacy of treatment with a total dose of 100 µg/kg was 77.96%, with 200 µg/kg was 99.61%, and for 400 µg/ kg was 99.61%.

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