Types of antibiotics for dog ear infections

An ear infections (otitis) can be caused by bacteria, fungi, yeast and ear mites. Depending on the underlying cause and depending on the nature of the infection, being short lived or chronic, different types of antibiotic may be used.


Antibiotics for dogs suffering from ear infections may present either as oral tablets to ingest or as topical ointments or otic solutions to instil directly into the affected ears with a dropper. Sometimes, both oral and topical therapies are combined to treat severe middle or inner ear infections.


Gentamicin is a broad spectrum antibiotic often used to treat ear infections. Mometamax Otic solution and Otomax ointment contain gentamicin along with antifungal agents and steroids. Gentamicin may cause ototoxicity (loss of hearing).


Neomycin is a broad spectrum antibiotic that may be prescribed as well for ear infections. Neomycin can be found in several topical ear formulations such as Tresaderm (also effective against ear mites), Tritop, Animax and Panalog.


Enroflaxacin is a broad spectrum antibiotic effective against a variety of bacteria including Pseudomonas. It is combined with the antibiotic silver sulfadiazine in the ear formulation Baytril Otic.


All ear antibiotics should always be given under the guidance of a veterinarian following the instructions carefully. Several topical ear antibiotics should not be used in dogs with ruptured ear canals, drug label warnings should be read carefully.

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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.