Otitis Externa – Owner Compliance is critical for treatment success.

canine otitis externa

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Elanco.

Ear cases can be frustrating to treat for clinicians, but also frustrating for pet owners, due to the significant commitment needed to apply twice daily treatments commonly for 10 days, which often involves a struggle with a reluctant pet-patient.  This course of OE treatment can come at a significant cost to the owner when the OE recurs, or treatment fails. Highlighting the common pitfalls of OE treatment that we don’t always think of, will help manage and minimise the returning frustrated client.  

A survey completed by Bayer1 in 2019 investigated how pet owners felt about their pet’s OE treatment, highlighting that 1 in 5 pet owners would continue using previously prescribed left-over medication to treat their pet’s recurring ear infection without veterinary guidance. Of these, 80% felt that they encountered no problem with the self-medicating of their pet. What they probably aren’t aware of is that this self-medicating puts their pet at a serious risk of treatment failure and the development of antibacterial resistance. Having left-over medication from previous OE treatments is often a result of clients underdosing, missing doses or incorrectly applying the ear medication. This leads to treatment failure, recurrent infections as well as future indiscriminate treatment applications, and it should be a priority for clinicians to prevent this.

Without the compliance of the owner, there is no hope that the ear medication can be effective in treating the otitis externa. Most clients face a challenge when given a bottle of medication ‘to apply 5 drops twice daily to each ear for 7-10 days’.  Many dogs hide away and some even bite. Most owners can’t see down the ear canal whilst restraining the pet AND counting the drops at the same time.  This usually leads to incorrect dosing and damages the pet-owner relationship, often leaving the pet head shy and more difficult with future treatments. All this leads to the client doubting the clinician’s ability to treat their pet, and often the owner will seek services elsewhere.

Using Neptra, the only vet administered, single dose OE treatment gives you full control over the treatment of your case without at-home applications by the owner and leaves no left-over medication for owners to self-medicate their dogs in the future.  Neptra is a first-line antibiotic choice for the most frequently encountered acute OE pathogens S. pseudintermedius and M. pachydermatis. 

Tips to successful OE treatment2

Always perform cytology to diagnose OE pathogens and help you choose the appropriate medication. Before application, clean the ears well using an ear cleanser or saline flush and dry ears prior to applying Neptra; dirt in the ear canals leads to poor absorption of the medication. Remember to schedule rechecks at the initial contact time with the client and as most OE cases are secondary to other primary causes, it is crucial to investigate and diagnose underlying causes in each patient and formulate a long-term management plan.

To learn more, come visit us at the AVA conference on stands 140 & 141.

Visit Elanco

1. Bayer Market Research Neptra Compliance Survey 2019. Bayer Pet Health was acquired by Elanco Animal Health in August 2020., 

2. Dr. Kwochka:Treatment of Canine Otitis Externa-Challenges and Solutions for Clinical Practice 

Always read and follow label recommendations. Neptra is not recommended in cases with rod-shaped bacteria present on cytology sample, as these may represent Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Culture and sensitivity testing should be performed when appropriate to determine the identity and susceptibility of the causative organism(s). Neptra should not be used in dogs with perforated/ruptured tympanic membranes.  Not for use in cats. © 2023 Elanco or its affiliates. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For further information contact: 1800 995 709 from anywhere in Australia Monday to Friday or email productsupportau@elancoah.com. PM-AU-23-0114

Previous articleIsn’t it time you joined the hundreds of Australian vets opting for Suprelorin as an effective alternative to surgical castration?  
Next articleKeep up with changing technology


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here