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Need Help to address Tick Larvae Infestation in my Cats

FarahM

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My four cats are indoor/outdoor. Inside at night. We live at the edge of a forest.

I discovered a week ago that one of my cats (Sumo) got infested with what I identify as tick eggs and larvae, and was starting to get bit all over. I don't know if a tick laid eggs on his coat or he ran into a tick infection outside. I combed and picked through his coat for over an hour followed by combing of my other three cats who showed only between 1 and 3 each.

I typically groom them every evening. Now the infestation has spread to Simba, and i suspect slowly to the others.

When I comb them, I find engorged little red ticks, whitish small ticks in the skin or on the hair.

TICK MANAGEMENT:
I apply essential oil Flea Flicker Tick Kicker 1-2 times a week. The product recommendation is once a week. I check them for ticks every night. Use witch hazel to soothe bite areas.

We have applied Nematodes to our large yard which have helped thus far with fleas.

FOOD: Stella & Chewy's Raw Freeze Dried Chicken or Duck/Goose
SUPPLEMENT: Life Extension Cat Mix

QUESTION: Please advise on how to manage the situation. The cats are starting to get bit up.

(One of my cats Taichi has been shaking his head since yesterday and licking his lips. The shaking of head could be related. Vet did not find anything in his ear. Licking lips is probably unrelated. I have scheduled a call with Dr. Christine to discuss his issue.)

Thank you for your help.
 
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Dr. Jeff

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Thanks for making your first post Farah and so sorry to hear about this bug infestation.

Ticks don't commonly behave this way so I'd ordinarily say these were other bugs. However you are seeing engorged ones, so I'm not quite sure what's going on. Could you possibly share a pic or two?

Will your cats tolerate being bathed?

@Dr. Christina or @Dr. Jean do you have any ideas?
 

FarahM

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Thanks for making your first post Farah and so sorry to hear about this bug infestation.

Ticks don't commonly behave this way so I'd ordinarily say these were other bugs. However you are seeing engorged ones, so I'm not quite sure what's going on. Could you possibly share a pic or two?

Will your cats tolerate being bathed?

@Dr. Christina or @Dr. Jean do you have any ideas?

Dear Dr. Jeff,

Thank you. I don't have pictures at the moment but will get some for you today or tomorrow. I can see at least one of my cats, if not two, trying to jump out of the bath water, but I sure can try. Should I just bathe them with a natural soap like Fragrance free Healing Earth Castille Soap?
 

Dr. Jeff

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YW! ?

Yes, those soaps are OK to use as would be the Dr. Bronner's lavender soap.


No matter what, use them diluted (not straight). And you can even try submerging them in tepid water for a few minutes to help work off any bugs.

Let's see what the others say. I look forward to seeing your pics.
 

FarahM

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Attached are is a photo of the ticks that are more tan/beige in color. You will need to zoom in to see them.

I wonder if they become dark once they begin to feed or there are different types of ticks on the cats. I will be posting some additional short videos with ticks that are darker in color.
 

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  • small_beige_tick_reduced_size.pdf
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Dr. Jeff

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Thanks Farah.

Maybe you'd also like t share some tick/bug samples that you collect, with your local health district or nature center.

They may be able to help you identify and learn more about these little critters.
 

FarahM

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Greetings! Attached is a picture of a few little engorged ticks ( or some kind of arachnid) from this morning.

About bathing, I did not realize that bathing the cats works for ticks too! Will the ones affixed to the body drown as well?
 

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Dr. Jeff

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Yech!:eek:

Yes, it can work well but the ticks may not detach or drown in the time that your kitties allow submersion.

Dr. Shelton at animaleo.com has some great essential oils to add to the bath water which may help. Like Evict:

 

FarahM

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Greetings everyone!

Another of my cats, Layli, has a small infestation of tiny ticks around her neck and outer parts of her ear lobe. Actually, another cat, Taichi, had some in the outer parts of his ear and ear lobe that I was able to tweeze out, but I wasn't able to get to the ones in Layli in time.

Layli was scratching a lot all night. Unfortunately I came down with a terrible sinus infection and could not help her. This morning, her neck felt like it is full of lumps. Her fur is dense and hard to separate to look at the lumps on her skin to see if they are old wounds or there is a tick present. I saw one area that may indicate the tick is lodged there.

*These ticks are even smaller than the previous ones I wrote about in this post.

---I applied WItchHazel this morning and it does seem to curb the itching.

---I have tried Away and Extract from Animal IEO which unfortunately has not helped the cats preventatively.

QUESTION: I was wondering if I could apply some Diatomaceous Earth to her neck area to dry out and kill the ticks lodged there. Any concerns about this approach?

Thank you
Farah
 

Dr. Jeff

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Yes, food grade DE around their neck area is safe and can help.
 

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