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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.

364 comments

1 Lisa S. Lawrence { 03.17.16 at 1:36 am }

I have had black labs for years and they never had any ear infections but now I to put some Posatex in both of Flicka’s ears. Not having a clue how to do this, I went online and, luckily saw your story!! I’m going online and research Posatex before a drop goes in her ear. I’m glad Fred got some of his hearing back and, by the way, thank you, Fred, for your input.

2 pat { 03.23.16 at 6:09 pm }

Posatex also can cause hearing loss.

3 Erica { 04.09.16 at 11:14 pm }

I found this blog in my frantic searching online and wanted to share my story to warn others. My 13 yr old black lab Zoe was taken in for her annual physical recently. Unbeknownst to me, she has an ear infection and was given Posatex to take. After 6 doses of this drug, Zoe is completely deaf. She’s in great spirits (still eating, going on walks, interacting with our family, wanting to play). Her hearing was fine before I started
the treatment. I’m so frustrated, angry and heartbroken. I’m going to call my vet Mon morning. I’m also going to call Merek and the FDA. In the meantime if there’s any home remedies I can do or give her that you think would make her feel better, please share. Praying that my girl can recover at least some of her hearing.

4 Dana { 04.10.16 at 11:27 pm }

I have just read all this blog since 2010 and 353 people commenting on losing the dogs hearing because of this awful medication Why in gods name has nothing been done in all this time? It just happened today to Our 11 year old boxer named Bailey. It’s Sunday so I’m calling my Vet tomorrow. I am just dumbfounded and astonished that this drug is still on the market. My wife and I have been crying all day. Is there no place to turn? We are just lost. Thanks everyone for your comments and advice in this blog. Please email me if anyone can give me any more advice please.
Dana

5 Erica { 04.11.16 at 2:45 pm }

Dana- what did your vet say and do when you called them today? I called Merek (maker of the drug)and now I have a Merek Vet that’s talking to my vet. Just waiting to hear back from my vet on what course of action is next.

6 pat { 04.12.16 at 6:42 pm }

Flushing your pups ears repeatedly has helped some Erica and Dana.

7 Jennifer Kalt { 04.13.16 at 2:54 am }

First I noticed my dog seemed to hear from the wrong direction, like her hearing was bad in one ear. Then her hearing came back – weird. Now she has gone so deaf I thought she was dead after 3 days of Mometamax in both ears. She’s geriatric and when I dug the paper with the fine print out of the package I’ve had since it was prescribed in 2013, I read the warning: has been associated with deafness or partial hearing loss in a small number of sensitive dogs (e.g geriatric). The hearing loss is usually temporary. If hearing loss or vestibular dysfunction is noted, discontinue use immediately and flush with nonototoxic solution. Then the warnings about renal toxicity, skin irritation, and a bunch of things I don’t know what they are. I hope her hearing comes back again!! But what to do about the occasional ear infections?

8 pat { 04.13.16 at 8:05 am }

Zymox which is over the counter, available easily from Amazon and most pet stores, and a better quality food.

9 Sandra { 04.20.16 at 11:29 pm }

My beloved rescued Shih Tzu was given Mometamax on Saturday, 4/16/16 for an ear yeast infection. She seemed to act a little different on Monday. By Tuesday, I was thinking she could not hear me, but it wasn’t completely clear. Today she didn’t respond to me again and she would not go down the steps on the deck. She is a senior, but hs not had any problem with either one in the past. My husband and I discussed it this evening and we realized that she in fact, can no longer hear. I began to look up the information on the Mometamax, since the package gave no information. If there is anything written on the box, the vet’s office covered it with the label. Of course I discovered the horrifying news. I immediately flushed out her ears and will do so again in the morning. In the meantime, I will pray that her hearing will return. This is truly heartbreaking. Not one word from the vet about potential side effects. I will be calling them tomorrow and requesting help for my girl in addition to requesting a refund of the $53+ I was charged for this medication that has left my precious baby deaf. I will definitely be reporting to Merk and to FDA. This drug needs to be discontinued and those responsible need to be fined heavily!!

10 pat { 04.21.16 at 6:08 pm }

So sorry Sandra. Hope your girl’s hearing returns.

11 Jen { 04.26.16 at 10:51 pm }

Our Westie had a vet checkup yesterday for a small bacterial and yeast infection in her left ear (right ear was perfect). She also had her booster shot and was prescribed Tri Otic which is a generic version of Ottomax. They put one dose in both ears (don’t know why it had to be both) at 3:30pm PST and I haven’t put anything in since. Last night she couldn’t hear us at all. Today she seems like she can hear us but sometimes has trouble knowing where then sound is coming from. Should I do an ear flush to get the medicine out? She can hear squeaky toys very well but when we talk she still can’t hear us. Any help is greatly appreciated!

12 pat { 04.28.16 at 8:39 am }

Jen, she probably still has an ear infection. Try Zymox 1% available on Amazon or at specialty pet stores. It is doubtful that just one dose would cause hearing loss, but yes, flush her ears.

13 Jen { 04.28.16 at 11:27 am }

Thanks Pat for responding. I got a check up with our vet and he did a saline flush after verifying there was some medication goop left on the eardrum from application. After the flush, my dog’s hearing was much better! Still recovering though, as she is not 100% in her left ear (mild infection) but the vet said it would be cleared up within a few weeks. Hoping this helps others who went through what I did!

14 Jen { 04.30.16 at 11:07 pm }

Just updating: it seems like she was progressively getting better (right ear but left ear isn’t hearing much because it was the one that was infected) but then today she seems worse. Should I be flushing her ears out more often? My vet said no and to wait until next Wednesday and then call back. I’m afraid there’s a window where if I don’t do anything then it’ll be worse than it should. I can’t believe one dose did this to her and want to do anything to help her recover faster and get as much of her hearing back as possible.

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