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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182 Comments

  1. My yorkie’s vet prescribed mometamax because I told her that he was scratching and shaking his head a lot. I gave him ONE treatment when we got home, and within a few minutes his ears were bright red and swollen. His ears looked fine before I put those drops in. Had to get an ointment to help with the side affects of mometamax. I threw the bottle in the garbage…$40.00 wasted, and several trips back to the vet because of this med. THIS MEDICATION SHOULD BE BANNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Yes this can rarely happen in sensitive dogs. I am sorry. Lucky that your yorkie did not go deaf which is even more serious reaction.

  3. If deafness is one of the reactions to this medication, why is it still used???? I guess a lawsuit would make them look at this medication!

  4. Pingback: DO NOT USE MOMETAMAX!!!!! Read entire blog first! - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Good question but the warning is in the drug insert sold with the medication.

  6. My Blue Pit Bull has chronic yeast and ear infections. Mometemax always fixes the issue and can also be used on hot spots he bites with outstanding results. I am trying Zymox though because it is a lot cheaper. My PIt can still hear just fine.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Zymox is excellent product to try.

  8. I went to the vet last week b/c my cat had diarrhea, and along with meds for that, was prescribed Metamax for an ear infection. I was told just to “give a good squirt” in her ear (no measurement or # of drops). Her ear cleared up within just a few days, so I stopped administering it. The next day, she started sneezing violently whenever she stood up, her right eye watery, and exp’ced discomfort in her right nasal passage. I thought something might be lodged up there, but b/c it’s on the same side of the ear infection, I thought these new symptoms c/b related. I looked at the RX and saw I was supposed to give this to her for 10 days, so I gave her another dose even though I’d stopped 2 days before. Then I looked at the box. When I saw it was “for dogs only,” I immediately called the vet very concerned. It’s been 3 hrs and no return call so I did this search. Now I’m even more concerned. She’s 14, indoors, and never had anything stuck up her nose. I don’t know what to do.

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I would not worry. Mometomax is not dangerous to cats. As for your kitty’s sneezing, if symptoms persist, see your vet for possible antibiotic injection.

  10. Thank you. After further research and seeing warnings about getting the drug in the pet’s eyes, nose or mouth, I realized that might be the cause. When she cleans herself, she’s spreading the ointment from her ear across her face, so I think it got into those areas, causing her new symptoms. I cleaned the area with soap and water so hopefully that’ll help (along with discontinued use of the meds).

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Cleaning the area should help.

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  13. My sweet yorkie who is 13 is deaf thanks to 4 applications of Mometamax. She had adjusted to cataracts and was a happy dog…now its difficult. She sleeps way too much. I am devastated. No warning from Vet. I researched meds and found many people and pets affected by this drug. I cannot believe you would say “in rare instances”. Well I am just beginning and when I am done the makers of the drug and the FDA approval will be gone!!!

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I am sorry to hear of the deafness of your little yorkie from mometamax. Fortunately I have not seen this much at all in veterinary practice but of course if your pet is one of the few, then that is of course too much.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    More reasons why I got into homeopathic and/or holistic vet medicine.

  16. Why do you keep saying this is rare. Rare should be 1 in 1,000,000, not 1 in 10. Give me a break. 1 dog going deaf is too many, find a new drug. This is horrible. The vet should be responsible for warning that older dogs commonly go deaf with this medicine. Pathetic…

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Hi Julie. I certainly understand your sentiments. Even if one animal has a side effect to a medicine, that is too many.

  18. I’m sorry about everyone’s negative experience with this drug. I just bought it today to treat my cat’s ears and after seeing the “only for dogs” label decided to do my own research.
    But here’s the thing, many prescription drugs have nasty side effects anyway, even death, and that includes drugs made for humans too.
    When you put a man made chemical into your system, or your pet’s system, you should at least anticipate negative side effects. Do not assume that it is 100% safe, even when told it is.
    And for anyone that wants to sue the company, you can’t. They warned you of deafness on the bottle. It isn’t their fault you didn’t read the warning label. The only thing you can do is sue the vet for not giving you that kind of information.
    You want to keep yourself and your pet safe? Do your own research, look at other’s experience, and make your own decision. Ask your doctor or vet to refrain from giving you or the animal the medication UNTIL you decided it sounds like something you want you or your pet to receive, you have the right to say no.

  19. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for your comments.

  20. I was prescribed Mometamax for my dog’s ear infection. I started applying it last Thursday and by Tuesday she was totally deaf. She is a 12 yr old lab mix. I flushed the ears with a cleaning solution but she appears still deaf. I called the vet and they told me to discontinue the med. What great advice. They said they will investigate further when I bring her in for a follow up in a week or so. My fingers are crossed that her hearing will return. I am super upset that this med is not illegal. It obviously is making thousands of dogs deaf. I wonder how the CEO of the company that makes this poison would feel if his dog was made deaf from it.

  21. John, Our dog got his hearing back, we cleaned his ears twice with a cleaning/drying solution within a weeks time. If it does come back it may take a few weeks as it did with us. This drug should not be given to older dogs especially without the vet warning of the side effect. Candra, a lot of people trust the dr that they are not putting our loved ones at risk when we go in for help. It is not the patients fault because they did not read the warning label, dont minimize the travesty of thousands of animals going deaf because their owners thought they were doing the right thing in helping them based on trust given to the dr they paid to help them. Never in a million years would I have thought a cream to help my dogs ear infection would make him go deaf.

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Sorry to hear of your experience with this product. This side effect, although rare is quite serious.

  23. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing Julie. I wholeheartedly agree.

  24. Doc, thank you for providing this forum. However, you seem a bit like broken record when you repeatedly respond that this is rare side effect. You seem to be in denial that the product is unsafe. Or possibly you profit personally from its common use? What don’t you get about 1000s of dogs going deaf from it??????? If you are sincerely concerned, you should be leading an effort to ban or restrict it.

  25. Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s good to know it may be temporary.

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