If you have an older dog with floppy ears, chances are you’ve already had experience with an ear infection. Certain breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, are at high risk for developing this problem, simply because of their body type. Their ear canal is not exposed to air and light, conditions that allow bad organisms to flourish.
It’s often easy to tell when your dog is suffering from an overgrowth of yeast or something else. He may rub his head along the floor or along the carpet, in hopes of relieving his discomfort. You’ll also probably be able to smell the infection.
These infections must be treated, as they can lead to deafness. You also don’t want it to spread beyond the outer ear.
With our own dog we used natural remedies to maintain his ear health. He’s very elderly, and, if we didn’t, we’d be spending a lot of time at the vet’s office, fighting chronically inflamed ears. I will admit I have a difficult time staying on top of the chronic infections. It’s something I need to get better at. But I do prefer a natural solution, as opposed to a drug.
A lot of good natural products also exist, designed to naturally reduce the likelihood of ear problems.
Side Effects of Otomax for Dogs
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First of all, I need to state up front that I’m not an animal healthcare expert. Everything here is presented for information only. I urge you to discuss all decisions with a vet.
For outer ear infections, topical creams such as Otomax are typically prescribed. This drug contains an antibiotic, an antifungal and a steroid. The latter ingredient, betamethasone, is designed to reduce redness and irritation. However, as a steroid, it also has potentially serious side effects, especially if it’s used over a long period of time. This can include a serious condition known as Cushing’s disease, or adrenal gland failure. Although it’s rare, cases have been reported following topical use.
Betamethasone when used on pregnant females may also cause birth defects in their offspring. Gentamicin, the antibiotic in Otomax, is also problematic. According to one study, this drug is absorbed into the bloodstream, and could potentially cause “cellular changes” that can create conditions leading to antibiotic resistance.
Natural Remedy for Dog Ear Infections
Many dog owners now insist on a more natural approach, in an effort to keep ears healthy. (In this case, an ounce of prevention is really worth a pound of cure. I know it’s a tired old cliche, but it applies.) Vet’s Best Ear Wash Relief contains natural ingredients such as yucca, echinacea and clove oil, an aromatic known for its potential antimicrobial action.
Otomax and Deafness
There are troubling reports of deafness after the use of Otomax, especially in older dogs. This is a well-known problem. Although it is supposed to be rare, a quick Google search turns up numerous reports of dog owners complaining that their pets can no longer hear, sometimes following just one round of this drug.
At the very least, this possibility is something pet owners should be aware of. The mainstream veterinary industry prescribes a lot of Otomax. This is yet another reason why you should consider finding a holistic vet, who can give you tips on yeast infection prevention. Even with medication, ear infections in older dogs tend to recur.
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