It is crucial to know the list of risks associated with certain drugs prescribed by your veterinarians to treat infections in your dog. Here at Deaf Dogs Rock we are advocates and we feel it is important for dog owners to do their own research when teaming up with your vet to come up with a health plan to fight certain K-9 infections. With our own deaf and hearing dogs we are 100% their advocates so we ask our veterinarians very specific questions about the side effects of each medication they recommend. We also do a lot of Googling to see what other owners in similar situations have gone through when treating their furry loved ones with the same treatment protocol.
We recently heard from a nice lady named Mary Ostrowski the other day and I want to share her story with all of you who have hearing and deaf dogs. Those of us white unpigmented deaf dogs already know how much more sensitive our dogs can be to chemicals, drugs, flea preventatives, and even the ingredients in some dog foods. With that being said, here is Mary’s story of how her hearing dog Madison went deaf from a prescription of Mometamax Otic Suspension ear drops to fight off a potential ear infections in her dog. Thanks for taking the time to read Mary and Madison’s story! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock
Be Aware of The Risks When treating your Dog With Mometamax
by Mary Ostrowski
Madison is a our twelve year old Boxer/Standard poodle mix baby. Just a few weeks ago on January 6, 2016 we noticed Madison had some tan goop on her ear. I told my husband Chris to mention it to the vet tomorrow at Madison’s annual check up. On January 8, 2016 Chris asked our veterinarian to check her ears. The vet tech took a swab of both of her ears and all of a sudden Madison jerked her head. The vet looked in both of her ears and said that both of her ears looked good, but she also noticed one of Madison’s ears was a little pinker than normal.
My husband told the vet the pink ear was the same ear that Madison jerked away earlier in the appointment when the vet tech was taking a swab sample. In all of Madison’s twelve years she has never had an ear infection not even once. Her ears have always been healthy without any issues whatsoever. We were fortunate because our Madison could hear perfectly. Most of the time we call Madison to us by simply making a psst noise. When my husband Chris was paying the vet bill the vet tech approached him and handed him a box of Mometamax ear drops for Madison’s ears. My husband looked a little confused so he asked if it was deemed Madison had an ear infection after all. The intern stated “no not really, these drops are for you to give to her just to be safe side”. The intern vet tech told him to use 8 drops in each ear, once a day, for 1 week so on 1/9/16 we started the Mometamax ear drops as directed.
On Friday January, 16, 2016 Madison was asleep by the door and didn’t hear us come home. We thought she was just sleeping soundly. Saturday she seemed lethargic. By Sunday January 17, 2016 she wasn’t listening or hearing us when we called her. We realized right at that moment our Madison had gone completely deaf. Madison was sitting between my feet and I tried screaming her name as loud as I could but she didn’t respond in any way. I decided to go to my computer and go online to do my own research. What I found was absolutely shocking. I found stories written by families just like ours about their beloved animals going through the same thing as Madison by using Mometamax.
I called Merck Pharmaceuticals the maker of Mometamax but they were closed for the weekend. They were also closed the following Monday for Martin Luther King Holiday. My husband and I read the warning paper in the Mometamax prescription box. It said to flush her ears out immediately. We went to the pet store and bought Nutri pet ear wash. We flushed Madison’s ears for two minutes on each ear. We also administered two 25mg. of Benedril and rushed to Emergency Veterinary Clinic . The emergency vet on call checked Madison’s ears. She said this is a known rare side effect of Merck Mometamax. The emergency vet prescribed Prednisone steroid twice a day for three days, then once a day for three days, then half pill for three days then half every other day for the rest of the four week period to slowly ween her off the Prednisone. She also recommended to us to hold off using any more ear wash on Madison’s ears but instead to give her ears time to heal. She said it could take a few months before she can hear again. The EM promised us she would be sure to fax a report to our regular veterinarian and for us to be sure to call our vet for a follow up.
My husband Chris and I called out regular veterinarian the following Monday, she stated their clinic prescribes Mometamax on a regular basis, and she has only heard of two known cases of animals going deaf from Mometamax. We told her we would call Merck the following day which was Tuesday. She said to let her know how Madison is doing by Wednesday. She said she may want to change the course of the medication.
On January 19, 2016, I called Merck and spoke to Dr. Sylvester and she gave us a case number for our file. During our discussion with Dr. Sylvester we gave her our permission to talk to Madison’s regular vet. Dr. Sylvester said that 80 percent of animals who suffer deafness as the result of being prescribed Mometamax do fully recover. After inquiring about possible remedies for Madison, I was very upset to learn that no one is actually keeping track of the remedies or solutions that worked in favor of each deaf dog gaining back the dog’s hearing again. (out of the 80 % of animals who did recover fully).
On January 20, 2016, I spoke to our regular vet’s office and they said after speaking to Merck, our vet agreed that Madison should be on the five day cycle of Prednisone instead of the three day cycle she had initially prescribed. I also called the FDA (U. S. Food and Drug Administration) and left them a detailed message about or concerns. I read online that people have been reporting since 2010 their hearing animals going deaf from being prescribed Mometamax.
I really want to know what is being done to stop this practice or at the very least make the risks of Mometamax known in every single decision making process when looking at possible ear infection treatments. Maybe vets need training on what animals are at a greater risk for loosing their hearing. I personally think someone at Merck should be keeping a database of successful treatments to help more animals make a full recovery.
On January 21, 2015 I called Merck again because I read online that another case in 2011 also said that 80% of animals recover. I wanted to know if this “80% of animals recover” quote is the stock answer or if more research has been done since 2011 to increase the odds that Madison will hear again. I also wanted to make sure I was not missing out on a critical window of opportunity to expedite Madisons recovery.
January 23, 2016 – Dr Sylvester was out today so I spoke to another doctor. I explained that I did not want to wait six weeks and then find out that I could have, or should have done something differently in our window of opportunity. She assured me we were doing everything right and unfortunately we can only follow the vets instructions and wait. I called the FDA again and left another message.
I strongly encourage anyone affected by Mometamax to contact Merck Pharmaceuticals at 800-224-5318. Be sure to get your case of Mometamax related deafness fully documented and recorded. Next, go to the FDA Adverse Event Reporting – Reginfo.gov (you will need to Google it because it just pops up as a PDF) The form has to be sent in the mail. You can also call the FDA and leave a message 888-463-6332 or you can email them AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov.
I want everyone in the world to be aware of the devastating effects we experienced from this medication that caused our Madison to go profoundly deaf. I would like some assistance on the collected data to give Madison the most successful chance of recovery.
We are praying that she will recover. Thank you for reading our story and please leave a comment if this has ever happened to your dog while being prescribed Mometamax.
For more comments from dog owners about the adverse side effects of Mometamax please click here to go to the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland.