Pet ear antibiotic Otomax

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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  1. WillowMorningskyJuly 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Dr. Dyn, I pretty much think that all these people, Heather, Russ, Eve, and now Joe, are all the same person just posting multiple times under different names to try to appear like they have a stronger case. The low level of education and lack of presented intelligence is consistent throughout each of the posts. Is there any way you can block or report these rude people so that the rest of us don’t have to be exposed to their mindless quests for combat? The spelling errors and grammatical syntax errors are the same in each of the posts which is why I am sure they are all the same person, Dr. Dyn.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I agree Willow. Person to contact at 1800petmeds is Vanessa, who can take care of this issue. Truly unfortunate for such emotional, uninformed comments and critiques, without any “objective” basis, and with no experience in what they are complaining about…..

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Joe….FYI….. papers-and-related-material I supposed this organization is full of formerly mentally competent veterinarians who went off the deep end…. See this website for documented papers…. as well as

  4. One good place to look for medical literature is PubMed (

  5. David Max…you’re the quack. Unltesz you have tried homeopathy, you have no voice on this matter,in spite of your education. I have experienced the positive results of homeopathy. It is appalling that you and your Ph.D. credentials are so very closed minded. I’m impressed and refreshed that a doctor who practices traditional vet medicine is unselfish enough to make such a recommendation. It is a reflection of his character and passion for animal health and well-being.

  6. David Max…you’re the quack. Unless you have tried homeopathy, you have no voice on this matter, in spite of your education. I have experienced the positive results of homeopathy. It is appalling that you and your Ph.D. credentials are so very closed minded. I’m impressed and refreshed that a doctor who practices traditional vet medicine is unselfish enough to make such a recommendation. It is a reflection of his character and passion for animal health and well-being.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Debbie. Thank you for the kind compliments. My teacher on this regard, and country’s leading expert on veterinary homeopathy, Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd actually has a phd in immunology!!! I have found that trying to argue with people set in their rejection of homeopathy not very helpful, and never helps advance the discussion.

  8. I’m so glad I read these comments. In Aug 2011, my then 7.5 year old English bulldog was shaking his head, etc. Took him to the vet, was given Mometamax, which I administered as prescribed. I have a busy house with pets and kids, and at some point I realized my dog couldn’t hear very well anymore, had to say his name very loudly. I thought that I had somehow neglected him and not gotten him treatment in time because I hadn’t noticed a problem or something, and that an ear infection had damaged his hearing. Have felt very guilty about that ever since. Fast forward 3 years to last week, when bulldog is shaking head, panting, red ears, etc. It’s Friday night, so I go looking in our medicine cabinet for help. Find the Mometamax prescribed Aug 2011, administer drops. For some reason, I decide to look up the medicine online, which leads me here. I see all of these comments about deafness in older dogs, and I suddenly realize what happened! Not my fault after all!! Luckily my dog still has some hearing, but he developed cataracts at about the same time, so he really seemed to age overnight, poor thing. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. I’m glad to know this and to keep away from this medicine. Mometamax surely does work for some dogs or it wouldn’t still be around, but I’ll be steering clear of it in the future. Aside from the homeopathic drops mentioned, I’m wondering if there are other remedies for ear trouble, like maybe hydrogen peroxide?

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water is also affective for some of ear issues in dogs….

  10. I took my Scottie in for routine exam, I asked the Dr to check his ears because he had been shaking his head more than usual. He told me he \probably\ had a mild ear infection and cause me an ointment to put in his ears, otibiotic ointment, after a couple of times use I noticed that he wasn’t hearing us and at first assumed that it was due to the thickness of the ointment. Then I started looking at the insert and saw where under warnings it stated that it could cause temporary or permanent deafness. I pray this is temporary, I discontinued the medication immediately, it has been two days and no change (I did wash his ears out with a clean ear solution hoping to get the ointment out,. Is there anything else I should do? And do I need to look into any other medication for the \possible\ mild ear infection? How long should it take for hearing to get better if it is temporary????

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 24, 2014 at 10:32 am

    HI Teresa. Sorry to hear about your dog’s adverse reaction. Usually the hearing returns over a few weeks in most cases.

  12. Thanks for your response. I will keep my fingers crossed that he will be better in a few weeks! Should I continue to wash out ears or leave him alone, he doesn’t want me to touch his ears right now and I hate to bother him if it is not necessary.

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I would leave him alone, at least for the next several days

  14. My dog and I just returned from the Vet; since using Mometamax she has gone deaf, as well. I am now seeing all of the comments from upset parents who experienced the same tragic and unexpected outcome. I am looking to see if there is a lawsuit against the company because I cannot imagine that with this number of clients suffering such an extreme side effect the company has not been subject to a class action lawsuit for continuing to profit from the sale of the product. If someone is aware of a suit can they please post information on it here? Thank you. In the mean, I will look into the homeopathic suggestion; anything to help! Thank you, doctor, for hosting this discussion.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    You are very welcome….

  16. Pharma QA SpecialistJanuary 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    The only way to change the warnings and indications on the label and on the product insert are to file complaints with the manufacturer (Schering-Plough Animal Health) and the FDA. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU NEEDS TO TAKE THIS ACTION REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF USE. Retain a copy of the paperwork from the pharmacist who provided the medication (prescription), document the lot number and expiration date (printed on the rounded edge of the plastic bottle), and take clear pictures of EVERYTHING- the bottle, the lot/exp, your pet’s visual issues. If Schering Plough asks you to return the product, DO NOT. They will most likely NOT run any analytical tests to help you or your pet. They will most likely just take pictures and log the sample into a documentation system then discard it unless they have been required legally to do more (which as of this message, they have not). If they claim that they WILL run tests, request a list (on Schering Plough letterhead and with a signature of one of their quality assurance managers- no one less than manager will do) of the tests they will perform on an opened, uncontrolled (meaning no legal proof of proper storage once it left the pharmacy) tube of their product. Make certain the letter also states they will provide you with test results including a date by which ALL results will be provided to you. If they will not provide this for you, KEEP THE SAMPLE. I rather suggest that you store the medication refrigerated until someone finally files a class action suit. Last advice, keep a record of EVERY communication you have with Schering-Plough including the date/time/method of contact (email, telephone/USPS/etc.) and then name/title of the person(s) with whom you speak. Keep ALL medical records for you pet. And pray that these actions help remove this medication from the list that your vet is allowed to give. You also might want to say adios to your vet- and tell them exactly why- because they will still provide this medication to other customers. Watch how quickly your vet stops offering the medication…..

  17. There needs to be a class action lawsuit for the deafness caused by Mometamax. They tell you over the phone that deafness is rare. This is because people are not reporting it to Merck or to the FDA. Veterinary clinics are not reporting it to Merck or the FDA. If everyone reported it it would not appear to be so “rare”! If this was happening to human children it would have already been pulled off of the market. Everyone who has experienced deafness due to Mometamax in their dog or animal please contact MERCK. Do a search for Mometamax and you will get the drug website and their contact information. Call them and report it because then they are legally required to report it to the FDA. Tell your vets to report the side effects of deafness to Merck. They will offer to reimburse you for the exam. If you take compensation then more than likely you could not participate in a class action lawsuit.

  18. Deafness from Mometamax is underreported. People need to report it to the company and the FDA. I asked my vet if he had reported the cases of deafness he had and he said “no”. Adverse reactions to drugs are supposed to be reported. Deafness is an adverse reaction. My vet acted like it was no big deal and that it should only last a couple of months. Being there for 2 months would be a big deal to me!

  19. The side effect of deafness from Mometamax is severely underreported by vets who don’t take the time and pet owners who don’t know to report it. It is an adverse reaction and should be reported. Veterinarians are negligent if they do not report an incidence of deafness after using Mometamax.

  20. Been over four months now since my Scottie lost his hearing due to the mometamax and no change, unfortunately I have to accept that he will never get it back (as I was told if he didn’t get it back within three months he never would) I totally agree with the fact that this medication should be removed from the market. It makes no sense to prescribe a medication that causes more harm to an animal. Its Cruel –

  21. Please report this to the manufacturer and thr FDA.

  22. Please report this to the manufacturer and the FDA.

  23. Please EVERYONE who has experienced any deafness with Mometamax whether hearing has returned or not, report this to the manufacturer AND the FDA.

  24. I am just devastated that our 11 year old German Shepard has also experienced loss of his hearing. I have already filed a report with Merck. May or may not get any hearing back is what they said and it can take 2 to 3 months. If this was your baby or child?? Would you find this acceptable. Completely disgusted! I would of never allowed it to be administered if I had any idea of the side effects. Someone should be held accountable and this should be taken off the market.

  25. Has your dog regained any hearing?? I am in the same situation with our dog and just sick about it.

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