Pet ear antibiotic Mometamax

Most dogs with ear infections often have a combination of bacteria and/or yeast

In this post I will address some of the common questions asked about using the commonly prescribed topical ear antibiotic and antifungal product, Mometamax. Given that most dogs with ear infections often have a combination of bacteria and/or yeast, this product is one of the most versatile products available in the veterinary pharmacy and available by prescription from 1800PetMeds. The combination of ingredients not only decreases the underlying allergic reaction, but the overgrowth of various bacteria and yeast involved in the majority of canine or feline ear infections.

Although it is not labeled for use in cats, many veterinarians have prescribed this product widely to cats without any ill side effects. While it won’t kill ear mites, this product can also be used topically for yeast, local ringworm or bacterial infections. One of the biggest advantages over its nearly identical sister product Otomax, is that Mometamax can be used only once daily, thus increasing client compliance. My two favorite topical ear medicines in our pets include Mometamax and Zymox.

When used appropriately this product can be used for most common ear infections in our pets, and its long shelf life of at least a year in most cases, makes it a valuable part of the medicine cabinet in those pets with recurrent ear inflammations or infections.While Mometamax is a prescription topical antifungal and antibacterial, Zymox is a nonprescription topical which in my experience and opinion is as equally effective through a different mechanism in killing yeast and bacteria in the canine or feline ear canal. Side effects of Mometamax are rare, with the most serious being rare deafness in pets whose ear drum is not intact (this is best determined by veterinary exam of the ear canal before starting this medication), allergic reaction consisting of increased redness, discomfort and ear itching, and even more rare facial swelling.

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184 Comments

  1. HI Simone. Im so sorry for your experience with the product. Hearing may indeed come back on stopping the medication. That time will vary. Certainly report the reaction to the local vet and/or drug company for further support

  2. Just got off the phone with Merck. It’s amazing how they try to dismiss this as simply a ‘rare’ side effect. I’ve read countless comments on dogs going deaf from using this drug. And they wouldn’t give me any info or stats as to how many dogs are affected stating it’s ‘proprietary information’. My 12 year old GSD (German Shepherd) went deaf after being on Mometamax for 10 days. His hearing was fine before using this drug. My vet prescribed it for a yeast infection in his left ear and said to use a few drops in his right as a preventative. He can’t hear out of either ear now. I was not warned of the loss of hearing side effect otherwise I would have never used it. I am very upset that he may never regain his hearing. This product should be taken off the market. If there is a class action suit I’d love to know about it as well.

  3. I agree with this totally .If we where talking people / children this would be taken off the market I to have a yellow lab who lost most of his hearing due to these stupid drops and no one ever told us of the risk.

  4. This post indicates that “Side effects of Mometamax are rare, with the most serious being rare deafness in pets whose ear drum is not intact.” Actually, side effects are not all that rare, with sudden onset deafness occurring in dogs whose ear drum IS intact. Google “Mometamax deaf dog” and you’ll find hundreds of accounts. My 11 year old dog went completely deaf after several days of being treated with Mometamax for a a yeast infection. The prescribing vet did not caution me about the risk of hearing loss. I wish I had read the fine print in the package insert, which states that hearing loss occurs – most often with older dogs. A Merck rep states that no treatment is known and that improvement is made in only 50% of cases. The warning for hearing loss should be in LARGE PRINT on the package so that people can make an educated choice and monitor daily for signs of hearing loss.

  5. My 11 yr old Aussie/Golden mix lost all hearing while a yeast infection was treated with Mometamax. I spoke with Danielle at Merck to file an adverse reaction report. (Call 800-224-5318 to make the report, which will be forwarded, presumably, to the FDA.) Danielle would not provide answers to most of my questions, stating that because no “patient-client relationship” exists with a dog owner, Merck is able to provide only limited information. Danielle stated that additional information could be provided to the prescribing vet. Here’s a summary of statements Danielle made in response to my questions:
    1. Approximately 85% of dogs regain some degree of hearing. (Note that after the prescribing vet spoke with Merck, she said that Merck had placed the chance of regaining some degree of hearing at 50:50.)
    2. Various treatments have been attempted, but the clinical responses are not well documented. Merck will provide no information regarding treatment options or results to dog owners – only to the prescribing vet. (Note that the prescribing vet said that Merck stated that no treatment options were recommended.)
    3. Merck does not cover expenses for treatment of hearing loss. My case will be referred to a Dr. Nelson, who will not speak to me – only to the prescribing vet.
    4. Merck has performed research studies on side effects of Mometamax. These results will be made available only via requests made through the Freedom of Information Act.
    5. Merck cannot place a warning regarding the risk of deafness on the packaging – stating that decisions regarding the info placed on packaging made by the FDA.
    I will be going to a vet who said that she has had some positive results treating deafness caused by Mometamax with acupuncture and laser therapy. I would appreciate any info from others who have tried this or other treatments.

  6. My 11 yr old Aussie/Golden mix lost all hearing while a yeast infection was treated with Mometamax. I spoke with Danielle at Merck to file an adverse reaction report. (Call 800-224-5318 to make the report, which will be forwarded to the FDA.) Danielle would not provide answers to most of my questions, stating that because no “patient-client relationship” exists with a dog owner, Merck is able to provide only limited information. Danielle stated that additional information could be provided to the prescribing vet. Here’s a summary of statements Danielle made in response to my questions:

    1. Approximately 85% of dogs regain some degree of hearing. (Note that after the prescribing vet/clinic spoke with Merck, she said that Merck had placed the chance of regaining some degree of hearing at 50:50.)
    2. Various treatments have been attempted, but the clinical responses are not well documented. Merck will provide no information regarding treatment options or results to dog owners – only to the prescribing vet. (Note that the prescribing vet/clinic said that Merck stated that no treatment options were recommended.)
    3. Merck does not cover expenses for treatment of hearing loss. My case will be referred to a Dr. Nelson, who will not speak to me – only to the prescribing vet.
    4. Merck has performed research studies on side effects of Mometamax. These results will be made available only via requests made through the Freedom of Information Act.
    5. Merck cannot place a warning regarding the risk of deafness on the packaging – stating that decisions regarding the info placed on packaging made by the FDA.

    I will be going to a vet who said that she has had some positive results treating deafness caused by Mometamax with acupuncture and laser therapy. I would appreciate any info from others who have tried this or other treatments.

  7. It would be great if a link to this extensive blog post about the dangers of Mometamex were to be added to the website where 1-800 PetMeds sells Mometamex at https://www.1800petmeds.com/Mometamax+Otic+Suspension-prod10821.html

  8. If I use it in my cat’s ears should I use less than four drops per day as she is less than 30 lbs. ?

  9. Hi Karen, and thanks for your question. For non-emergency pet health questions, please submit on our Ask the Vet form. We hope your kitty is feeling better soon!
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

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