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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.

477 comments

1 pat { 07.02.18 at 8:33 am }

Flush her ears out really well.

2 Betsy { 07.17.18 at 5:58 pm }

Why hasn’t Mometamex been suspended from giving to pets for “ear” infections?

3 Nina Daum { 08.08.18 at 1:01 pm }

I just rescued an 8 yr Golden Retriever two weeks ago and had to take her to the vet for eye infection in both eyes and clean out both her ears. They prescribed Mometamax 5-6 drops in both ears once a day for 7 days. My girlfriend mention this causes deafness in dogs. I read your article and the comments and will NOT use this med on Lily. Thanks for sharing your info.

4 Elizabeth { 08.11.18 at 11:05 pm }

This medication caused my standard poodle to lose her hearing. So far, she does not seem to hear anything. While this known issue only happens rarely, but who wants their baby to win this lottery??

5 Doreen { 08.12.18 at 4:07 pm }

Here it is 2018 and my 12 y.o. German Shepherd has gone completely deaf from the drug mometavet! I will be contacting Merck tomorrow after reading this column! I was not given any verbal warning from my vet! It has been 3 days since I stopped giving him the medicine. I flushed his ears once but don’t know if I should keep flushing as I don’t want to do anymore damage. It is so sad to see his personality change due to this sudden change. I feel awful I allowed this to happen. Please if anyone has any updates on their dogs, please share. I am so scared he will never get his hearing back!

6 Wendy { 09.04.18 at 3:39 pm }

My 11 yr old Aussie/Golden mix lost 100% of her hearing while a yeast infection was “treated” with Mometamax. The vet did not mention deafness as a potential side effect, and it took me a couple of days to recognize the hearing loss as it progressed during the course of treatment. Had I been cautioned, I would have declined the drug and sought an alternative. I’m now kicking myself for not having read the package insert until it was too late. The vet called Merck to file a report, with the Merck rep reporting that 50% of dogs recover some hearing within 4-8 weeks. The Merck rep also told the vet that there was no known intervention to assist with recovery and that no financial compensation would be provided to help with vet bills. Merck has my $32 and I have a dog with complete hearing loss. I guess that’s a fair trade from the point of view of a pharmaceutical company.

7 Wendy { 09.06.18 at 1:21 pm }

My 11 yr old Aussie/Golden mix lost all hearing while a yeast infection was treated with Mometamax. I spoke with Danielle at Merck to file an adverse reaction report. (Call 800-224-5318 to make the report, which will be forwarded to the FDA.) Danielle would not provide answers to most of my questions, stating that because no “patient-client relationship” exists with a dog owner, Merck is able to provide only limited information. Danielle stated that additional information could be provided to the prescribing vet. Here’s a summary of statements Danielle made in response to my questions:
1. Approximately 85% of dogs regain some degree of hearing. (Note that after the prescribing vet spoke with Merck, she said that Merck had placed the chance of regaining some degree of hearing at 50:50.)
2. Various treatments have been attempted, but the clinical responses are not well documented. Merck will provide no information regarding treatment options or results to dog owners – only to the prescribing vet. (Note that the prescribing vet said that Merck stated that no treatment options were recommended.)
3. Merck does not cover expenses for treatment of hearing loss. My case will be referred to a Dr. Nelson, who will not speak to me – only to the prescribing vet.
4. Merck has performed research studies on side effects of Mometamax. These results will be made available only via requests made through the Freedom of Information Act.
5. Merck cannot place a warning regarding the risk of deafness on the packaging – stating that decisions regarding the info placed on packaging made by the FDA.
I will be going to a vet who said that she has had some positive results treating deafness caused by Mometamax with acupuncture and laser therapy. I would appreciate any info from others who have tried this or other treatments.

8 Debi { 10.06.18 at 12:17 pm }

My heart is broken. My American Bull dog is completely deaf after 10 days of Momrtamax. I called my vet after googling “my dog is suddenly deaf” and found that this ear medicine causes deafness. She said she was sorry and there was nothing that could be done?? I have an appointment with a neurologist this week and hoping something can be done for him, he’s only 3.5 years old.

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11 mark grodecki { 11.05.18 at 1:51 pm }

My dog lost hearing because Mometamax, its a shame that this product is on the market. The company should be taken to court and pay for damages. My dog is my family and Mometamax took away his hearing- SHAME ON THEM!!!

12 pat { 11.09.18 at 6:52 pm }

I’m sorry Mark. Hopefully your pup’s hearing will return.

13 Lisa { 11.10.18 at 11:44 pm }

I just realized there hours ago my 11 y/o golden retriever Banner is the next victim of mometamax… Ear infection 7 day course of this drug. I am an RN and trusted my vet clinic his whole life. Does anyone have any recommendations what I can do to help my beloved dog. I’m heartbroken and praying this isn’t permanent. Thank you. Lisa

14 pat { 11.12.18 at 4:25 pm }

Have your vet do a deep ear flush. Sometimes that works

15 Corrinna Booton { 11.30.18 at 10:25 am }

I now believe the reason for my dog’s deafness, he was fine 2yrs ago, he is totally deaf now, he was prescribed this Mometamax over a year ago, twice for yeast in ears a bad ear infection, I am so angry now, that between myself trusting the vet and the vet herself for prescribing this medication, my poor little dog is totally deaf, what an awful life he has now, never hearing his name being called, not hearing any noise outside or in the home.

16 Heidi Steinhagen { 12.02.18 at 7:04 pm }

My 10 year old Boxer Roxy was prescribed POSATEX for an ear infection on 10/1/18. I started noticing she wasnt hearing me around the 5th so it just hit me to look up the side effects and yep it was deafness. My vet never told me to watch for this so I had no idea. After several checkups, ear flushings here we are 12/02/18 and still no hearing. My vet contacted the Merck company and they suggested no more eardrops of any kind but to just do the flushings. My vet did some cultures to have checked which showed nothing much. He asked the componay to reimburse us for all the tests and today I recived a check from the company for $108.00. No apologies, no pain and suffering just saying the money wasn’t a sign of guilt and when signed and cashed it settles this case and releases them from any liability. I’m just in awe of how this company responded. I hope everyday that she regains her hearing especially since she was just diagnosed with bone cancer and I’m so sad that on top of that our baby can’t even hear us. And side note she could hear a pin drop before the medicine, has had ear infections before and treated with Tresaderm which worked great. Just sad!!

17 Pat { 12.03.18 at 2:18 pm }

Hopefully your pups hearing will return

18 Worriedmum { 12.06.18 at 11:06 pm }

may i know what are the ways to flush the ear effectively? my dog has sudd hearing loss after applying the ear drops. pls advise, thanks.

19 pat Johnson { 12.07.18 at 6:40 pm }

Your vet can do a deep flush

20 Rich { 01.05.19 at 1:43 am }

I bet this has happened to thousands of dogs. Same thing happened to my dog last week. I’m sure the manufacturer and vets know about this

21 pat { 01.06.19 at 7:52 pm }

Manufacturer and vets know this medication can cause hearing loss

22 Jackson Morgan { 01.07.19 at 3:55 pm }

Pretty scary stuff to read. Seems most of these posts are from owners with dogs recently prescribed the medication…

Can any of the previous posters provide an update? Did anyone’s dog ever regain partial or full hearing?

so sorry to those pups and family members affected.

23 Chad { 02.25.19 at 12:21 am }

Hey everyone.. my dog was prescribed Posetax by the Vet for a yeast infection in his ear. 5 days in he has lost his hearing and we are frantically trying to reverse the damage. Can someone please suggest next steps!! Also, with all the posts here, can you please let everyone know if your dog’s hearing is back. Thank you all..

24 Laura { 02.26.19 at 7:11 am }

Just wanted to comment on Mometamax, we took our dog for her yearly back on 10/4/18, which the vet told us all tests were great. She did find a yeast infection though in one ear and gave us the Mometamax, 5 days later our dog lost her hearing. Tess still has not regained her hearing, just lately hears things at times. It has changed her as well, seems insecure and will no longer go in the car and we can’t take her out to run around. The vet did file the claim with Merck. The vet never mentioned a possibility of bear loss nor did we ask since we have taken our animals to the same vet for past 8 years. Merck should be held accountable as well as the vet, they need to let you know if you want to take the chance, due to the hearing loss. Tess is a rescue 10 year old boxer/Mastiff mixed that was only used for breeding, then someone had the heart to confiscate and brought her to the shelter at 60 lbs. We’ve had her for 4 years and did not expect something like this. PLEASE ask your vet of any side effects for any drug before administered. We keep praying Tess will get her hearing back. Also, we are still hesitating to go back to the same vet, there are other doctors there, or go to a totally different one. What would you do?

25 Helen Boundy { 03.30.19 at 5:42 pm }

Thank you so much for all the comments about mometamax. My Lucy is a 6 year old golden retriever. To make it short we find she has a bacterial infection a yeast infection in her left ear doctor gave me well, sold me a tube of pattotic mometamax malmetazone. 6 drops in the left ear once daily for 7 days. I started today. Quite frankly I’m a little worried but I’m still going to take a chance on it. Put Lucy in your prayers please, this ear infection has been driving her nuts. So very uncomfortable. Lucy is already blind from juvenile cataracts. But you’d never know it. As long as I don’t move any furniture she gets around fine plays fetch in the house, uses her doggy door to go outside. And she’s the greatest companion I’ve ever had. At least I’ve been informed about the medication oh, but I do trust my vet. I don’t think she would do anything that might harm my dog.

26 Pat { 04.01.19 at 11:11 pm }

There are other medications for your dogs ear that don’t cause hearing loss. A blind and deaf dog would have no quality of life

27 Bev { 04.13.19 at 9:04 pm }

My small Min Pin is also a victim of this terrible medication. Vet said she had a slight ear infection. Never showed any signs of this with shaking head or anything.
Anyway Vet suggested Mometamax twice a day. Because she also has Congestive Heart Failure Wanted a follow up the next week. Vet said all clear. That same day we noticed changes in her, she was not as alert as she always is. If we had snacks or came home she would normally be right there wagging her tail yet she would continue napping. When I call for her she doesn’t even look up!! I am so upset that the Vet never mentioned this could possibly be a side effect which I would ha e refused 100%. Here it is 2019 and still on the market? I am not done with this! We need to be their advocates. Merck will be contacted and I have all the numbers if anyone would like the data. This needs to stop!

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