There are more 250 species of mites and ticks that infest to reptiles. The more common species can be found in clinical cases are Ophionyssus natricis to snakes, Hirstiella trombidiiformis to lizards in mites cases and Amblyoma sp. as ticks. Today, there is not any special product to reptiles.
This study wants to contribute on knowledge about fipronil 0.25% spray (Front Line, Merial, Inc. MR) used on mites and ticks treatment on different reptile species. 10 cases in Green iguanas (Iguana iguana), three in Ball pythons (Phyton regius) and one case in a cornsnake (Elaphe guttata) received treatment.
Reptiles received a fipronil 0.25% dosage by spray method. It has to have a distance of 20 cm between animal and product (spray) to put it on. Reptiles received fipronil in all body except on head. Animals were exposed to fipronil for 1 or 2 minutes. One minute for small reptiles (to 25 cm corporal length) and two minutes for others. After this time animals were washed with warm water to eliminate excessive fipronil. This treatment had to repeat once a week by three weeks. Mites or ticks were eliminated after treatment in 90%. Fipronil was used in cages. Cleaning cages is necessary to eliminate adults and eggs.
A green iguana died (small reptile) with only one application because he was exposed 10 minutes to fipronil by the owner. We did not give more information about two ball pythons anymore. They received only one treatment
Conclusions: in this study, the fipronil has been classified as 78% successful and it suggests fipronil could be used on reptiles with an acceptable safety level with this technique. The mites and ticks treatment has to be in both, animals and cages.
1. Anderson, NL and Raymund, FW. Tratamiento y medicina básicos en reptiles domésticos. In: Manual clínico de procedimientos en pequeñas especies. Birchard-Sherding. 2a.edición. Vol. II. 2000. pp1827
2. Curtis, CF. Use of 0.25 per cent Fipronil spray to treat sarcoptic mange in a litter of five-week-old puppies. Veterinary Record (1996) 139, July 13, pp 43-44
3. Delgadillo,A y Camacho,C. Biologists from Chapultepec Zoo. Personal communication. México. 2001
4. Klingenberg, RJ. Understanding Reptile Parasites. The Herpetocultural Library Special Edition. 1993. pp 44-50
5. Postal, JM, Jeannin,P and Consalvi,PJ. Field efficacy of mechanical pump spray formulation containing 0.25% fipronil in the treatment and control of flea infestation and associated dermatological signs in dogs and cats. Veterinary Dermatology, Vol 6, No 3, pp 153-158, 1995
6. Rossi,J. What´s wrong with my snake? The Herpetocultural Library. 1996 pp 79-88