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Mometamax warning

I know that Golden Retrievers often experience ear problems, so I thought I would post this account about my recent scary experience with the ear medication, Mometamax.

Fred was on a 10-day course of Mometamax for wax and inflammation in his ears. I never take or administer any medication without first reading all the fine print, so I noted the warning that Mometamax can cause deafness or hearing loss in some dogs. It concerned me, of course, but since Fred’s ears had been examined before we started the drug, I knew that his ear drums were in tact and therefore tried to dismiss my worries. He also had his teeth cleaned 3 days after starting the Mometamax, and while he was anesthetized, they once again examined and cleaned his ears.

I had begun to notice that Fred seemed vaguely disoriented and not quite himself midway through the course of Mometamax, but I thought he might be reacting to the trauma of the teeth-cleaning, so I just watched him carefully. In most ways, he seemed fine. I couldn’t put my finger on what seemed wrong about him.

Three days after the final Mometamax treatment, we called Fred’s name to head up to the house from the barn after feeding the horses. Fred was, as usual, waiting in his dog bed in the tack room. He didn’t react at all to his name. We started calling him louder and louder, and he still didn’t react. For a very bad moment, we thought he was dead. When I touched him, however, he jumped up, ready to return to the house with us. Instantly, I remembered the warning on the Mometamax and realized that he was totally deaf.

I ran to the house and reread the Mometamax fine print to see whether there was any protocol for treating hearing loss, caused by the drug. It was past midnight, so I was on my own. The fine print recommended flushing the ears with nonotoxic ear wash, so I did that twice with Epi-Otic, although I worried that so much time had elapsed since his last Mometamax dose it might be hopeless. We tried various tests (saying Fred’s name without moving or giving him any other cue and calling him from other rooms), and he seemed to be able to hear if we spoke loudly enough.

In the morning, I called the vet to report what had happened and find out whether there was anything further I could do. His recommendation was that we wait several days before flushing Fred’s ears again or putting anything at all in them. Meanwhile, Fred has shown convincing signs that he can hear, although I’m not sure whether he’s got the stellar hearing he had before this happened. He does seem to be improving, though.

Sooooooo . . . here’s my 2 cents: watch out for Mometamax and take that warning about hearing loss very seriously. It’s one thing to have a dog lose its hearing due to old age, but quite another to believe you have done something to CAUSE the hearing loss. I’m tremendously relieved that Fred appears to be recovering.

448 comments

1 Hillis ray moore { 05.10.17 at 12:44 am }

Hello ray again I wrote the above and just wanted to say that my dogs hearing began to reappear . I am so happy to report this. I hope it will be ok now.

2 pat { 05.10.17 at 7:42 pm }

YAH Ray! So glad for you and your pup.

3 SHARON { 06.06.17 at 3:09 pm }

my dog went deaf from Mometamax

4 Karen M { 06.13.17 at 12:25 am }

Our dog became totally deaf after 3 days of using Surolan ear drops. I looked it up online, and that is listed as a possible side effect. He is a Chihuahua, and it is making him very nervous not to be able to hear anything. We have been flushing out his ears since we realized that he was deaf yesterday. I will file a complaint about this medicine with FDA. He was such a happy dog previously! And understood so much of what we say. This has been heartbreaking.

5 pat { 06.16.17 at 6:01 pm }

I’m sorry Karen.

6 Stacey Hill { 07.13.17 at 8:12 pm }

I havent seen a post in a while, but my Boo is going through this now. American Eskimos dont usually get ear infections, but lately she has gotten a couple due to a bath getting water in there or whatever. My 13.5 yr old pup has always relied on my voice, she knows many, many words and has always looked at me, while I was talking, as if I was saying the most amazing things (as she turned her head back and forth). A week ago she was shaking and scratching her head so I thought well, she probably has an infection again so I will put some drops in. Im bad about following through on medications, even my own, but I thought, ok, shes getting older, lets do this right. SO I read the label and it said once a day for 7 days, ok got it. Interestingly enough, before I did the drops, I was looking on line to see the anatomy of a dogs ear and while I was looking at the pics, in the corner of the screen there was an ad that said “Could those drops be making your dog deaf” and I ignored it….. Well, day one and two we did drops, skipped 3 did 4 and on 5 she was deaf as a door knob!!! Went to the vet on day 6 and started a cleanse; every other day for 4 days then go back to the vet in a week after the 4th cleanse. After the 2nd cleanse, I had almost given up because she absolutely hates me messing with her ears at this point. However, last night there was a glimpse of a response and just now as I LOUDLY called her, she came. One more cleanse tomorrow and hopefully start the steroids and we will wait. The thing that bothered me most was that for her, this was/is terrifying!!! She could not understand why my mouth was moving and no words were coming out, it was like I was playing a bad joke on her. She knew things like, “Wheres Dad” or “Wheres your Grandmother” she would go on an all out search to the front door back door and around again looking for whomever I asked her about. She knew when I was talking about her to someone else, would come and stare at the phone so she could hear the other person talking about her and would end the conversation with a kiss to the phone and then run off. She even know when I am calling the food delivery guy, waits at the door and knows he is here before I do! SO when she was shivering in fear on the second day of no hearing, I could hardly take the lack of control I had at that point to fix this for her. An acquaintance of mine, who happens to be a vet didnt really like that I posted this article on Face book to be spread, but I told her if I hadn’t researched it, I wouldn’t know that there is a possibility to reverse it with a cleanse and a few steroids. So now I am sharing this story hear and telling anybody I know, don’t use Mometamax because these “rare” occurrences sure are adding up here!

7 JCG { 07.16.17 at 12:03 am }

Please read this before you give these ear drops to your animal. Our little Jack Russell terrier was prescribed this medication June 7, 2017 from Banfield in Hermitage, they said she had a yeast infection in her ears. We returned home and proceeded to instill 8 drops every 12 hours for 10 days. We STOPPED after about 2 or 3 after Daisy was not hearing nothing!
We’re filling an FDA Report Form FDA 1932 (7/16) come Monday morning.

8 pat { 07.16.17 at 9:50 am }

Flush her ears a lot and we’ll all pray her hearing comes back.

9 TJ { 07.21.17 at 1:49 am }

My 13 yr old Schipperke Zoe is now deaf as well. I noticed something wasn’t right on the 3rd day. She wasn’t responding to me even when I said the word treats. By day 5 she was totally deaf. I looked up this Mometamax and seen where it said on rare occasions can cause deafness! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Called my vet right away to let them know and I also made it know how upset I was that they did not warn me about this SEVERE SIDE EFFECT. Her response was ” We can’t go over all the side effects of all the medications, that would take to long” My response was ” You could at least GO OVER the SEVERS side effects, we’re not talking about an upset stomach or diarrhea here!” She said “But it’s really rare” I said “But it does happen so why wouldn’t you no matter how rare?” Seriously how long does it take to spit out a few words of warning! Then at this point it it up to us, the owner, to decide if this is a chance we want to take. And they just blow it off like it’s no big deal. Where’s the empathy? I wanted to ask her that if her Dr. prescribed her a medication for ear a problem and she went deaf from it if that would just be OK that he didn’t tell her that it was a possible side effect since it was really rare! I am really starting to wonder if these vets nowadays even really care for the animals or are they just in it for the money too like the drug companies. They both like to charge a lot for sure. I will be following up on this more too. From what I have read, if Zoe doesn’t start to get better soon, the chances are slim. Even at her age her hearing was excellent before this. Good luck to all of you and I hope all your fur babies get better.

10 pat { 07.22.17 at 11:13 am }

Hope Miss Zoe’s hearing returns soon.

11 Sandy { 07.28.17 at 1:16 pm }

I have an 8 month old Chow Chow who is just a fantastic little girl.
She started shaking her head about a week or so ago and scratching at her ears. I made an appointment with the vet thinking she could possibly have an ear infection. The vet didn’t see an infection however; she prescribed Mometamax, saying she could be starting with one and thought we would get a jump on it. After being on the medication for 4 days, I noticed she could not hear me. I called the vet, but she did not return my call until the following afternoon. In the meantime, I had given her another dose of the medicine. By day 5 she was completely deaf. The vet made an appointment for me to bring her in a few days. She acted like this is not a big deal. What is she thinking? I am now trying to reach another vet to get her in sooner.
In the meantime, I started looking online for anything I could find regarding Mometamax when I came across this site.
I am beyond angry and feel absolutely awful for my pup. I can only hope that she regains her hearing over time however; I feel this product should be taken off the market. Why are vets still prescribing it?

12 pat { 07.29.17 at 11:48 am }

Hopefully with thorough ear rinses your pup will regain hearing.

13 Meg { 09.15.17 at 6:29 pm }

My 11 year old pug had exceptional hearing and was prescribed this medicine. After 2 days she was nearly completely deaf – she could only hear high pitch, very loud noises. It’s been almost 2 months since this and her hearing has improved slightly…it improved a couple weeks after it happened but I haven’t noticed continued improvement since. She still can’t hear unless I speak very loudly and even then, I’m not certain how much she can really understand. Pugs are famous for tilting their heads and I get very few head tilts these days. 🙁 The vet called Merck and they said the same thing I’ve read..in the rare case this happens, 85% get their hearing back (though I’m not sure if this means fully or not…). I wish I had been warned or that doctors wouldn’t prescribe this to senior dogs. If anyone has any recommendations or good news, let me know.

14 Meg { 09.15.17 at 6:56 pm }

I haven’t seen anyone say they had full recovery from hearing loss due to Momentamax, though Merck says of those that experience hearing loss, 85% get their hearing back. Does anyone have any info about this or has experienced full recovery? Thank you!

15 Linda weilert { 09.18.17 at 1:31 am }

I’m so upset! I couldn’t understand why my 12 year old healthy lab Riley suddenly went deaf.. now I do! It’s called mometamax. I can’t believe this drug is on the market. The vet says this “is rare” however after reading this and other sites, it isnt! I’m praying that my girl will regain her hearing. She has never had a hearing issue in her life and now my husband and I feel so responsible for her complete deafness. Anyone our there have this situation when their dog did regain their hearing? How long did it take? Thank you , linda

16 Linda weilert { 09.18.17 at 1:35 am }

Btw, I will also be filing a report with the FDA tomorrow. I took Riley into vet on Friday and they flushed her ears.. they said I can flush her ears again but I don’t want to irritate or make it worse. I just want her to hear again !!

17 pat { 09.19.17 at 4:42 pm }

I’d flush more.

18 Julee { 10.22.17 at 11:48 pm }

Our family member Benji was prescribed Mometamax for an ear infection for both ears. He is 12 yrs old day 6 of the medicine he went totally deaf. I found a website and called Merck who called our vet. It will be 2 weeks on Monday and he still hasn’t heard anything. I feel horrible . I hope he regains some of his hearing and pray they take this drug off the market

19 pat { 10.23.17 at 3:53 pm }

I’m sorry for your poor pup. Teach hand signals so you can communicate with him.

20 Jody { 10.29.17 at 10:07 pm }

I can not believe what I’m reading on here. I have a little different situation, but I’m extremely worried. I have a 14 year old Lhasa. I noticed in the past couple weeks that she was not responding to my verbal commands. She could not hear me. I took her to her vet and they said she had a lot of yeast growing and actually pulled some out. After testing, they said she also had bacteria growing. She was prescribed wide spectrum oral antibiotics, steroids for swelling and mometamax. I put one gooey drop in each ear as prescribed. After two days I found this sight. I put panicked. Although she already could not her. Her hearing loss came on quickly. I stopped her oral steroids yesterday because of her profuse water drinking and urinating. The poor little thing was up and out every 20 minutes all night. What a disaster! I will be calling her vet in the morning. Im not sure of what to do about her yeast and bacteria in her ears. As I said above, her hearing is the reason I took her in. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

21 pat { 10.30.17 at 8:32 am }

Over the counter Zymox treats yeast and bacterial ear infections and costs about $20 a bottle. Tresaderm is a prescription for yeast and baytril for bacterial infections

22 Ricky { 10.30.17 at 3:03 pm }

This is so sad for me to read that this medication has been in the market for years and causing such pain to our pets. It’s 10/3017 and i just experienced the same story as others. I am currently in the waiting period to see if my Louie can regain his audio back. What I am learning is that the Mometamax is a standard cookie cutter medication that is given to any dog.

23 pat { 10.31.17 at 8:22 am }

It is a standardly prescribed med. You have to ask for something that does not cause hearing loss.

24 Cole { 11.15.17 at 11:55 pm }

I’m one of those pet owners people call paranoid because i research EVERYTHING before giving it to my dogs. Well, this time I decided to “stop being paranoid,” and gave my girl, a Siberian Husky, mometamax (She had an infection in both ears). She is now completely deaf!! I did nothing different but administer this drug, so using my logic, I decided to google “mometamax deafness dogs” and found this page.

Based on what I have read, I flushed her ears with epi-otic and will be calling the vet tomorrow.

25 Che Harris { 11.20.17 at 10:00 pm }

Our vet gave Mometamax to treat our 12 year old boston terriers yeast infection in her ears. After about five days we noticed she wasn’t hearing very well. We thought maybe here ears were just healing. After the 7th day of taking the medicine and her hearing getting worse we stopped the 14 day treatment that the vet put her on. We went to another vet and he told us that this medication could cause deafness in dogs. He also told us that there’s a good possibility she could get her hearing back in a couple weeks. It’s been 2 weeks and she still can’t hear. This infuriates me why a vet would give this to an animal knowing it could cause deafness. This is ridiculous. Our family is devastated.

26 Sheryl Davis { 12.12.17 at 11:18 am }

I just found this site and am heartbroken. My very healthy but diabetic and blind Westie had an ear infection, after 2 applications of Posatex she became totally deaf, the doc said this is rare, changed the meds. and here it is a month and she can hear a bit better but has all the signs of vestibular syndrome. She walks around bumping into everything where before she was blind but could navigate our home without any problems. Someone needs to file a class action against Merck, I am in on that. Has anyone ever been able to conquer this vestibular problem?

27 Scott { 12.13.17 at 1:57 pm }

Sorry a bit late to the party, this just happend to my 13 Yr old Yellow Lab .– I am utterly gutted. She could literally hear a pin drop (yes @ 13), key jingle, treat bag rustling from 3 rooms away, my car pulling around the corner, the clicking of my freewheel on my bicycle, on and on … Morgan had stellar hearing for an elderly Lab & after 5 doses she was 100% deaf – presently on day 2 post suspension on the treatment & she seems to be coming around but only very slightly and only to very very loud sounds – certainly nothing else & I am not sure if that is merely her sensing the vibration – I am hopeful, but I am so upset that I was not warned of the potential (however rare) side effect – I am work in health care in my space a “BLACK BOX” warning and for that matter any known side effect is almost always communicated to the patient or health care proxy. I in no way believe Veterinarians should be exempt from properly informing pet owners of – nor should they be excused for failing to do so – I am scheduled to follow up with her at the same Vet this coming Saturday I only pray I can keep my cool – unreal.

28 Brute Gains { 12.29.17 at 1:11 am }

You got a very good website, Glad I observed it through yahoo.

29 Deidre { 01.03.18 at 10:55 pm }

Hi Joanne,
Thank you for sharing this story. Recently, my dog had a very bad ear infection & the vet prescribed MotaZol for seven days, which I believe is the same medication that has been used on Fred. After a few days, we noticed Tiffany had been acting out of the ordinary but we weren’t too sure. Now, we’ve noticed that she is about 90% deaf. We’re so heartbroken because we don’t know what to do. I can’t believe the vet prescribed something that causes loss of hearing. This was prescribed to us on 11-25-2017, so trying to flush it out is out of the question at this point. What do we do now? I’m devastated to know that us trying to help her only created further damage. Please help.

30 Deidre { 01.03.18 at 10:56 pm }

Our dog Tiffany is a 12 year old Papillon too.

31 Deidre { 01.03.18 at 11:31 pm }

For anyone who noticed their dog’s hearing come back, how long did it take? The vet also told us two weeks.

32 Michelle { 01.25.18 at 11:47 am }

We now have had the horrible experience with Mometemax. January 5th our dog was diagnosed with an ear infection, it was the first he’s had in a few years. They first prescribed Baytril Otic and after about 5 days we were seeing no improvement whatsoever. We took him in for another look and it actually got worse so they prescribed the Mometemax. I always look up medication when given to us or our Harley and I read about the deafness. I immediately called our vet and voiced our concerns. She assured us that it is very rare and that she had never seen it and it was only if their ear drum was ruptured and she assured us that Harley’s was not although we were not in the room when they looked at his ear canal. So after about 7 days of being on it we could tell something wasn’t right with him, he just wasn’t acting the same and were concern his ear was still not healing so we took him back to the vet, she checked his ear and said it had cleared up nicely no more bacteria just a little red still. So she said to continue the Mometemax until his next appointment for the recheck which would have put him on the medication 14 days. However Friday Saturday we just felt something wasn’t right with him, we couldn’t really put a finger on what was going on but he just didn’t seem like our Harley. Sunday we finally realized that he wasn’t hearing us, and that’s why he wasn’t coming when we were in the kitchen, so we started testing different things that we knew he would come to and knew he wasn’t hearing the same (not totally deaf but definitely loss of). At the same time on Sunday we noticed he was slipping a lot on our kitchen floor just turning around and he has never done that before, he would get up after lying down and he was walking funny like he was dizzy. So concerned that maybe his ear drum was ruptured we took him to the er vet. They checked his ears and said that they were intact although there was still a little fluid in his ear that had the infection so she couldn’t see if there was any perforation. She did test his hearing and said he didn’t seem to respond like he should so she told us to stop the Mometemax. I just called Merck and reported this. It breaks my heart to know that a he was perfectly fine until this. I’m so sad, I’m scared for him, I’m angry with myself that I listened to the doctor. I now have read that maybe other things should have been done to clean the medicine from his ears but no one said anything about this although we did clean his ears as we were instructed to do with this medicine my only hope is his hearing will return, and how long does it take for that to happen if it will? Hopefully today our vet will have some answers for us. Merck said they will be contacting our vet and we should hear back what will happen ect by the end of today.

33 pat { 01.25.18 at 3:37 pm }

From the posts it looks like if hearing is going to return it does so in a couple of weeks. Remember, vets are PEOPLE, who make mistakes. It’s okay to questions them and disagree with them. YOU know your dog better than anyone else.

34 Ryan { 01.27.18 at 1:35 am }

I can’t believe it’s 2018 and the exact same things that I’m reading here have happened to my chihuahua. According to the label, I started using Mometamax 4/7/2017, getting close to a year ago.

Today, I was yelling her name behind her, and noticed she just couldn’t hear me.

We did notice that she wasn’t responding to her name being called, but like others said, we attributed it to her infection or old age. We didn’t realize it could have been this bad because of the medication.

There needs to be something done about this horrible medicine (I don’t even want to call it medicine…it’s the opposite)

35 Fed Coin Cryptocurrency { 01.31.18 at 4:21 pm }

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36 Barbara { 02.02.18 at 8:07 pm }

Just came across this website. My 12 year old dachshund, Jager was scratching his ears and shaking his head 2 weeks ago. Cleaned his ears and noticed both ears very very gunky . Took him to the vet, had to see the new vet as my regular one was on vacation. He said Jager had infections in both ears prescribed Mometavet 4 drops each ear for 10 days. 7 days into treatment I noticed he was not coming when I opened the food bag, something new. This evening when I came home from work he never barked or noticed I was here until I stood in front of him. I rang the doorbell, nothing, clapped while standing behind him, nothing. He appears to be completely deaf. I called the vet but the office is closed until the morning. I didn’t find the prescribing info in the box with the medication so I went online and stated seeing numerous articles on deafness in geriatric dogs with this medication, I flushed his ears as recommended and gave him a 25 mg. benadryl . I am beyond furious that the vet could prescribe this medication, knowing there was an increased chance of the supposedly “RARE” side effect of deafness in geriatric dogs. I have left a message with Merck and am in the process of filing out the form for the FDA. I have been rather disappointed in the Veterinary Hospital that I have been using for all of my dogs over the past 25 years. They recently sold out to a “corporate vet company” since, every time I go it is a different vet, my regular vet is only there 1 day a week. I would hate to be the new vet that prescribed this horrible medication to my Jagie, he is going to get blasted to the moon.

37 Molly Adams { 02.18.18 at 12:02 am }

A couple weeks ago I took my healthy 10-year old Yorkiepoo to the groomer. I received a call his ears looked suspect and asked me if I would like the vet to look at them. Of course, I said yes. Upon picking our dog up we received two medications One was an oral antibiotic and the other one was Mometavet Otis suspension. We administered medications according to the directions. A couple of days into it we noticed our Ziggy was not hearing us. We assumed it was a build up of the drops we was putting in. After a couple more days he seemed very disoriented. I called our vet and took him in that evening. The vet said he thought it was possibly old age. He did not even look in Ziggy’s ears. I explained to him that Ziggy has never ever before had any hearing issues and that I found it odd and strangely coincidental that he would virtually lose it overnight while on this medication. He brushed off the idea that it was the medication and said that it would be very rare. At that point I realized this vet was useless to me. I went home and did my my own research and within two minutes found that this has happened to so many dogs. I called the vet the next morning to let them know what I found and told them they should educate themselves on this drug and also educate pet owners when they prescribe it. I had no idea and continued to put this poison in my dog’s ears. Had I known I would have discontinued use immediately. Unfortunately I am afraid now it maybe too late for Ziggys hearing to repair itself

38 pat johnson { 02.20.18 at 12:25 pm }

I’m sorry. I hope Ziggy’s hearing returns. I think I’d find a new vet

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41 Tiffany Shade { 03.14.18 at 7:03 pm }

Hello all. Please help. I was going to adopt a newly blind dog this week. They said she has ear infections in both ears. She could hear fine 3 weeks ago when I was going to see her. She can hear some now. I asked the meds she was given for the ears long and behold I look it up and it’s mometaxam. I saw all the reviews saying about deafness in older dogs. The shelter told me she might be deaf in a few months because it’s so rapidly decreasing with her hearing. I want to help this dog. I now can not adopt her. Can I call the shelters vet? I told the shelter about the side affect they brushed it off. I don’t know what to do and I want to help.

42 pat { 03.21.18 at 6:57 pm }

Adopt her and hope some of her hearing returns; otherwise she will be killed.

43 Andro TS { 03.27.18 at 12:52 pm }

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44 Dru { 04.09.18 at 3:47 am }

Why isn’t anyone suing these veterinarians for not informing pet owners about this horrible side effect prior to administering the drops & proscribing the medication to be continued at home?

45 Joyce Buchanan { 04.25.18 at 11:28 am }

My story is the same! My lab was treated with gentamicin drops for “ slightly pink” ears the vet saw at his yearly exam. No warning given on the side effect of deafness. Was not an acute problem. Vet did not even examine his ears with an otoscope! Two days later Buddy was deaf. The vet is defensive, said to inform owners of side effects would be too time consuming and no one would treat their dogs with “ anything”. I am furious! This decision HE made was without an INFORMED consent by me! I called after the two days, his tech denied it would cause deafness, would not let me talk to the vet and she did not either. She insisted I continue the full regime! I am going to court!

46 pat johnson { 04.30.18 at 9:58 am }

I would definitely find another vet!

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48 Sandy { 06.15.18 at 4:29 pm }

Joshua, my 12 year old GSD, has gone deaf because of this drug, Mometamax, after being on it for 10 days. His hearing was fine before using it. My vet prescribed it for a yeast infection in his left ear and said to also 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. Called Merck, the manufacturer. They are fully aware of the hearing loss in some dogs. It’s amazing how they try to dismiss it as simply a ‘rare’ side effect yet I’ve found countless websites and read countless comments from people whose dogs went deaf from using this drug. It seems to happen to people who use this drug as well. Merck wouldn’t give me any info or stats as to how many dogs are affected stating it’s ‘proprietary information’. I am beyond pissed and very upset that Josh may never regain his hearing. He had his ears flushed on Wednesday to remove any residual drops in his ears. Keeping my fingers crossed he regains his hearing. This product should be taken off the market. PLEASE, for the sake of your dog’s hearing, DO NOT use it. Ever.

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