Animal Care – Eye and Ear Medications

Published by Julie Madison on

Eye and Ear Medication and Your First Aid Kit

Eye injuries one usually wants to treat as soon as possible so having something on hand is ideal. Birds can also get ear infections that can be of bacterial or fungal origin, you will have smelly discharge, usually a pale yellow color, crusty or cheesy material in and around the ear and sticking to the feathers that cover the ear. The ophthalmic medications are we have are also safe for otic application. For ear infections where the area of the ear is warm to the touch I recommend combining treatment with an oral antibiotic.

Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment:

This is the old stand by, its a combination of Oxytetracyline HCL and Polymixin B Sulfate. Oxytetracycline is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic and Polymixin B sulfate is an antibiotic that is effective against Gram negative infections. In addition to being used on birds it is used for many species off livestock, cats and dogs. It is an extremely useful product to have on hand if you have any breeding programs for mammals. If meconium comes in contact with the animals eye during the birthing process it is recommended to apply Terramycin to the newborn animals eyes. 

To apply Terramycin to any species use a small ribbon applied to the eye, do not touch the tip of the applicator to the eye as it will contaminate the tube, sterility is important in ophthalmic medications. 

This product is available 3.5 gram tube.

DAC Eye Drops:

This is my personal favorite for eyes as I find it easier to apply drops on small animals eyes vs a ribbon of ointment. This product contains Neomycin Sulfate and Prednisolone Sodium Phosphate. 

Neomycin is the antibiotic which is in the same class of drugs as Polymixin B Sulfate found in the Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment. Prednisolone is a steroid which is commonly used in eye preparations for its anti-inflammatory properties. Having an anti-inflammatory directly applied to the ophthalmic injury can help speed healing, reduce the pain of the injury which in turn will create less risk of the bird scratching its already injured eye(s) out of irritation. Being a drop you know its made contact with the entire surface of the eye.

To apply the product to your birds eye(s) use 1-2 drops, do not touch the eye dropper tip to your bird to maintain product sterility. This product can also be used for the ear.

This product is available in a 10ml bottle with dropper top.

DAC Eye and Ear Cream (Ointment):

First off I will clarify, this is an ointment and not a cream, that seemed to be lost in translation when labeled for the US market. DAC products are imported from Holland. This ophthalmic and otic ointment contains Oxytetracyline HCL, Polymixin B Sulfate and Hydrocortisone. 

Oxytetracycline is a broad-spectrum tetracycline antibiotic and Polymixin B sulfate is an antibiotic that is effective against Gram negative infections. This is the same combo that is in Terramycin Ophthalmic Ointment, where this product differs is it also contains Hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid which has anti-inflammatory properties and is very good at reducing itching. Some of you might be familiar with hydrocortisone cream as it’s a common item in the human first aid kit for treatment of skin irritations such as rashes or insect bites. I find with the addition of the hydrocortisone cream your bird has much more relief, especially when treating otic (ear) issues. This is my go to product for ear concerns, of course it is also excellent for eyes. 

To apply DAC Eye and Ear Cream to the eye(s) use a small ribbon applied to the eye, do not touch the tip of the applicator to the eye as it will contaminate the tube, sterility is important in ophthalmic medications. To apply to the ear(s), also use a small ribbon, applied to the ear canal, dispensed without touching the applicator to the animal to maintain product sterility.

This product is available in a 5 gram tube.

Conclusion:

All three of these products have situations where one shines over the other but most importantly is to have at least one on hand at all times in your first aid kit as you never know when you will be dealing with an eye injury or ear infection where immediate treatment is desirable if possible. Ideally these products are applied every 12 hours while healing. All three of these products should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Julie

Springwater Avian Health


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