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Ear Antibiotics
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Ear & Skin
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Antibiotic ear medications should be used in dogs and cats after a diagnosis of a bacterial infection is made by your veterinarian. Follow treatment instructions carefully; incorrect treatment can result in recurring infections and damage to the ear. The ear should always be clean and dry before applying ear medications.

Brand Names and Generic Names

Single Ingredient Products
Baytril Otic (Enrofloxacin)

Combination Products
Otomax: betamethasone valerate, gentamicin sulfate, and clotrimazole
Tresaderm: thiabendazole, dexamethasone, and neomycin sulfate
Panolog: nystatin, neomycin sulfate, thiostrepton, and triamcinolone acetonide
Gentocin Otic: gentamicin sulfate and betamethasone valerate
Mometamax Otic Suspension: gentamicin sulfate, mometasone, clotrimazole
Neo-Predef with Tetracaine Powder: neomycin sulfate, isoflupredone acetate, tetracaine hydrochloride

Type of Drugs
Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antipruritic

Form and Storage
Drops, creams, ointments and powders
Store at room temperature except for Tresaderm which is stored in the refrigerator.

Indications for Use
Susceptible outer ear infections.

General Information
FDA approved for use in dogs and cats except Otomax and Mometamax are only approved for use in dogs. Available by prescription. Once ear mites have been ruled out, the treatment for the ears usually includes one of these medications. All of the above combination medications have an antibiotic to help with the infection and a steroid component to help decrease the inflammation. Panolog, Tresaderm, Otomax, and Mometamax also contain medications to kill yeast.

The ear drum should be intact before using these products, as use with a ruptured ear drum may cause damage to the inner ear. The key to healthy ears is to keep them clean and dry. Do not use water or hydrogen peroxide to clean the ears, as it leaves the ear wet. The ears may need to be cleaned and treated under anesthesia if the pet is fractious or the ears are painful. Oral medications are sometimes used in addition to the topical ear medication or in place of it in animals who will not allow their ears to be medicated.

Usual Dose and Administration
The ear should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before use of one of these products. Apply the labeled amount of medication to the cleaned ear. Massage in well, then wipe away any excess on the portion of the ear and canal you can see. Enough medication will be down in the canal to keep working and the ear will not be left as wet. Products are used once or twice a day. Some of the products are used for 7 days and other for 14 days or more, depending upon the condition. Follow your veterinarian's recommendations.

Side Effects
Occasionally see redness, irritation, or swelling of the ear from medication. Otomax has been known to cause temporary deafness.

Do not use in patients hypersensitive (allergic) to the individual products.

Make sure the ear drum is intact before use.

Do not allow products to come in contact with the pet's eyes. Flush well if it does and contact your veterinarian.

The ear should look much better within 48-72 hours of starting treatment. If poor response, reevaluate the problem and treatment plan.

Drug or Food Interactions
Do not use with other medications known to cause ear/hearing damage.

No known food interactions.


Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 24-hour service available throughout North America.

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($59.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Updated 6/20/17

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