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.