Enrofloxacin Otic/Silver Sulfadiazine

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is enrofloxacin otic?

Enrofloxacin otic (brand name Baytril® Otic) is an antibacterial/antifungal agent used in the treatment of ear infections in dogs and cats. Its use in cats is off-label. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off-label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully.

How is enrofloxacin given?

Enrofloxacin is a liquid that comes in a bottle with a dropper tip and is applied topically to the ear canal. Shake the medication well before each use. You may need assistance when administering ear drops to your pet (see handouts “Applying Ear Drops to Cats” and “Applying Ear Drops to Dogs” for tips).

"Shake the medication well before each use."

Tilt your pet’s head so that the affected ear is facing upwards. Use enough drops to ensure that the lesions in the ear and the ear canal are coated. Your veterinarian will recommend the number of drops to be applied. Gently massage the ear to ensure that the medication is evenly distributed.

This medication will take effect quickly, in about one to two hours, but visible effects may take a few days to be noticed.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give the medication at the next scheduled time and continue with the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

It is very important to give the medication for the length of time your veterinarian has recommended, even if your pet appears to feel better.

Are there any potential side effects?

Side effects of ear medications can include hearing loss. Temporary vestibular disorders (balance disorders), especially in cats, can occur with the application of ear medications. If you notice your pet is having difficulties with balance, stop using the medication and contact your veterinarian.

Some dogs are hypersensitive or allergic to enrofloxacin. If your pet’s ears become inflamed and red, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Young animals, especially puppies between 4 and 28 weeks of age, may develop problems with the cartilage in their joints. If you notice signs such as swollen joints and lameness, contact your veterinarian.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours, although effects can be longer in pets with liver or kidney disease.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Enrofloxacin otic should not be used in dogs with hypersensitivities (allergies) to quinolones or sulfonamides. It should not be administered to puppies between the ages of 4 and 28 weeks. It should be used with caution in pets with a history of central nervous system disorders (including seizures), with ruptured eardrums, that are young, or that are pregnant or nursing.

Individuals who are allergic to quinolone compounds should avoid handling this product. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. In case of contact with the skin, wash with soap and water. In case of contact with eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes. Contact your doctor if irritation develops or persists.

"Individuals who are allergic to quinolone compounds should avoid handling this product."

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

Certain drugs may interact with enrofloxacin. It is important to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

Monitor to ensure that the medication is working and for adverse effects, such as problems with balance or hearing loss.

How do I store enrofloxacin otic?

Enrofloxacin otic should be stored in a tightly sealed container, between 40°F and 77°F (4°C-25°C) and protected from direct sunlight. It is important to store the bottle in an upright position.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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