FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Yeast Ear Infections in Dogs

FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Yeast Ear Infections in Dogs
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Key Takeaways

  • A new drug can treat yeast ear infections in dogs

  • DuOtic does not contain an antibiotic, but instead combines an antifungal and a steroid

  • The drug will help vets avoid using unnecessary antibiotics 

TUESDAY, March 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to treat yeast ear infections in dogs.

DuOtic is also the first ear infection medication that does not contain an antibiotic, the FDA said in its approval announcement.

The drug will allow veterinarians to avoid using antibiotics when treating dogs with yeast-only ear infections, the agency said.

DuOtic is a combination of an antifungal drug, terbinafine, and an anti-inflammatory steroid called betamethasone.

The drug works by dissolving into earwax, acting to fight yeast infections for up to 45 days, the FDA said. It is slowly eliminated from the ear.

Canine ear infections are typically caused by bacteria, yeast or a combination of the two, the American Kennel Club (AKC) explained.

Ear infections are especially common in floppy-eared breeds like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, the AKC said. In puppies, ear mites also can be a source of infection.

Dogs also are more prone to ear infections if they suffer allergies, the AKC noted. Ear diseases occur in about 50% of dogs with skin allergies and 80% of dogs with food allergies.

Symptoms of ear infections include head shaking, scratching at the affected ear, dark discharge or odor from the ear, and redness, swelling or crusty scabs in the ears and ear canal, the AKC said.

The ear canal of dogs is more vertical than that of a human, forming an L-shape that tends to hold fluid, the AKC noted. That makes dogs more prone to ear infections.

DuOtic is only available by prescription from a licensed vet, and should be administered by a veterinary professional, the FDA says. It’s applied in two doses about a week apart.

Owners should not clean their dog’s ear canal for 45 days after the drug is administered, to allow the gel to fully melt into earwax and interact with the ear canal, the FDA said.

DuOtic is manufactured by the U.K. firm Dechra Ltd.

More information

The American Kennel Club has more on dog ear infections.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, March 15, 2024

What This Means For You

Dog owners should respond promptly to signs of an ear infection, to prevent the infection from spreading deeper into their pet’s ear.

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