Your veterinarian will want your pet to start on medications that relieve pain and infection right away. Then, in 2-3 days when the culture results have returned from the lab, either your pet will continue on the same medication, or your pet will receive a more effective medication. Medications can include natural remedies, oral antibiotics and antibiotics put directly in the ear.
Natural remedies for ear infections are a safer alternative to many ear medications because some medications may increase the risk of hearing loss in pets. Our veterinarian Dr. Dym recommends Zymox which contains a natural enzyme to help clear up ear infections. Dr. Dym says, "To help prevent ear infections, it's important to clean your pet's ears regularly with an ear cleanser. When your pet has an ear infection that is itchy, treat it with Zymox with Hydocortisone for 7-14 days and then wait 2-3 days before cleaning your pet's ears or using another ear medication. If the condition worsens, see your veterinarian immediately."
The following prescription antibiotics benefit pets with bacterial ear infections (otitis) but are not safe unless the eardrum is intact: gentamycin (Otomax and Mometamax), tobramycin, amikacin, neomycin (Tresaderm) and polymixin B. Some pets are allergic to antibiotics, especially to topical neomycin; if your pet's ear becomes worse with antibiotic treatment, stop the medication and call your veterinarian.
These oral prescription antibiotics are used if the bacteria your pet has in their ears are invading the cells rather than living outside the cells: quinolones, azithromycin, and clindamycin.
If your pet has chronic otitis because they are allergic and have itchy, inflamed ears, we recommend oral Epi Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser
When the eardrum is ruptured—or if you are not sure of its condition because it cannot be seen —avoid alcohol, detergents, aminoglycosides, and polymyxins in medications, flushes, and cleansing agents. Below is a list of several pet medications that are safe to use if your pet's ear drum is ruptured: