Posted by Nimueh (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) on 04/22/2007
Hi! Checking back in, after a few more weeks of trying remedies!
As of when I wrote last, I tried Diatomaceous Earth (DE) with pyretherins (chrysanthemum extract). I used it dry, applying with a cotton ball, like I had the plain DE. The plain DE worked nicely to provide the cats immediate relief from the mites sensations. But it needed re-application daily or so.
Trying the DE + pyretherins, the result stirred up sensation and symptoms at first for a couple hours, but then seemed to last longer - I was able to go up to 3-4 days without the cats scratching, shaking heads and so on. But over a couple weeks, the relief lasted shorter and shorter for the cats.
All this, plus I have still been using the vet's Revolution for them, now about every two weeks (which I read online somewhere). I think it helped, as one cat with very long hair apparently hadn't really been getting the Revolution on her skin and she had the worst case. Finally I realized this and was very careful to apply it to her skin, and immediately her condition came "up" to the level that the other 5 cats were at. So, all 6 have very little "coffee grounds" stuff and wax in their ears, yet displayed itching and head-shaking after some time with the topically applied products used, as said above.
I was discouraged and alarmed after 3 months of this - trying something which seems to give relief, then finding the relief waning in effectiveness. I had this "waning" result with alkaline mineralized water, and with the DE with pyretherins. This was while using Revolution at 4-week intervals, then at 2-week intervals. The mineral oil didn't work for us at all. The plain DE didn't have a "waning" effect but it just never got the job all done. I came back to this site and somehow read what I missed before - about Ted's Borax, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide formula. I almost went out at midnight to get the stuff but decided to wait till the next day.
The next evening after work, I was too tired to . (as I understood the procedure) clean the house with a borax/ water solution and leave it on the floors, etc.; do laundry with borax of all 6 cats' beddings; and give a Ted's borax solution bath to each of the 6 cats. (His stories and the testimonials talked about dogs and baths; I didn't find any about cats but I was prepared to bathe the cats, though I haven't ever before bathed all the cats at once.) So, tired, instead, I made up a small glass bottle of Ted's borax solution to apply to ears, paws, privates and tail's ends, just to see if I could see the effect for the cats.
Reading Ted's approach, I had begun to understand the importance of getting the biologically active material into a solution that penetrates skin somewhat. Another person had talked to me also about putting the DE into solution; when I had tried that person's suggestion which had not been tried on a pet's body but only in the garden, it clearly made their situation worse over a couple of hours, and I reversed tacts. Using Ted's formula the night before last and yesterday, I also found that it didn't do the job. Here in the Arizona desert, we may have some truly genetically deviant mites, very hardy.
However, this morning, before I could do all the cleaning steps that Ted's approach asks (not that my house wouldn't benefit from that, anyway!), I thought about what had worked the best. The best remedy was the plain DE - available at HomeDepot here, or where swimming pool supplies are sold, for use in pool filters. But DE didn't last, didn't quite get the job done. DE is known to be an effective natural pesticide, as it is fossilized, ground seashells, inert calcium carbonate, etc., and its pieces are very sharp microscopically, so it cuts the micro-bugs; it is also very drying, so it lethally dehydrates the micro-critters too. It is used here by savvy natural gardeners to get rid of garden pests. As I wrote earlier, if you use it, you'll find it is very drying to your hands and nails, so wash your hands well after touching it. (And, again, avoid the expensive brand that states it is "Flour Grade," as I found that it gets into the air and is breathed - very damaging if anyone has respiratory conditions - and is quite difficult to clean up as it only floats in air and doesn't stay on surfaces to get wiped up easily. I had to clean and clean again. One of the most challenging and dangerous experiences in this whole tough time, as one here has a respiratory problem.)
So, this morning, I added DE to my bottle of Ted's formula and again drenched my 6 cats' ears, paws, privates and tails' ends. This provides an active solution and a hopefully effective biologically active agent - DE. And the Borax is there too. I am currently delighted that I have seen no more head shaking, itching, etc., for hours. I will report in a couple days if the effect continues, and I will take steps to apply it very thoroughly to all the cats and the environment too.
Thank you for this site. It has helped me and my beloved felines. Hopefully some of this experience will help others.