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Ask the Veterinarian/Animax Ointment


Dog Owner wrote at 2012-12-14 17:23:10
We took our 13 yr old Jack Russell Terrier in for a minor ear infection on 10-16-2012. Dr. Jeff Cook was the veterinarian that examined our dog. He prescribed Animax Ointment to put in her ears two times per day. His description of the infection was a "wimpy ear infection". He stated Animax Ointment is a minor antibiotic. Dr. Cook did not disclose any potential side effects of the Animax Ointment during the appointment. Over the next 5 days we noticed that our dog was not hearing any voices or noises. She was deaf. We stopped using the ointment and brought our dog back in to Dr. Cook a day later. When he examined her again, he did in fact say she had lost her hearing. At that time he mentioned that the Animax Ointment does have the potential to create deafness in dogs and that it could be permanant. His suggestion was to buy a dog whistle to possibly get her attention. I was in disbelief when leaving Lookout Mt. Clinic after the appointment. After my own research and speaking to Dechra Veterinary Products regarding side effects of Animax, it is documented that this is a known side effect of this ointment, especially in senior dogs. I consulted Dr. Cook the next morning in person regarding the fact we had not been disclosed of this major potential side effect. He stated statistics of how many dogs are prescribed this medication and the few that incur any side effects. When I inquired if he has had any other dogs in his career experience lose their hearing, he replied 2 dogs. My thoughts and reply were, that this is not a side effect such as vomiting or diarrhea. This is the loss of a major sense for our dog. It's changed her life and ours in the way we have to care for her. A dog's owner deserves to be told of "major" side effects such as possibly losing a sense and it should be up to the owner to decide to go forward with using the medication. Our further research shows that there are several oral medications that could have been prescribed for the same minor ear infection and our dog could still have her hearing. There is no excuse for a 30 yr veterinarian who has had this experience before, to even prescribe Animax for a senior dog for one, and two, to not disclose this major side effect to the pet's owner. This is heart breaking for us to see our dog with no hearing for something that was completely avoidable. We have intentionally waited to write this review to see if her hearing would return. So far it hasn't.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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