Otic Pharma’s vice president for research and development, Dr. Rodrigo Yelin, heard about the tiger’s predicament and offered the experimental treatment to the Safari’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Igal Horowitz, who welcomed the chance to use it on Pedang.
On Thursday he was put under general anesthesia, while Safari staff – under the guidance of Horowitz and Dr. Gila Zur of Hebrew University’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine – carefully inserted the foam inside his ear canal.
The foam solves the problem of ear drops, as it expands in the ear canal to provide complete and even coverage of the infected area.
In three weeks, Pegang will undergo general anesthesia again to examine his ear more closely, perform tests and determine whether he is indeed rid of the infection.
Otic Pharma staffers prepared a special concoction of antibiotics, steroids and anti-fungal ingredients for the tiger, to be given as a single treatment in an attempt to eradicate the pathogens causing the disease and reduce the underlying inflammation – the likely cause of the tiger’s recurrent ear infections.
The bacterial species plaguing the tiger’s ears is Pseudomonas, a species that was successfully eradicated by FoamOtic preparations in clinical studies in human patients diagnosed with acute otitis externa (known as “swimmer’s ear”).
Horowitz said the tiger has been suffering from a chronic ear infection for several years, but that recently his condition deteriorated and the frequency of the recurrent infection increased.
“One of its main strengths is that, in contrast to ear drops, it does not spill out of the ear, despite the head-shaking that follows application of ear medications to animals. Our preliminary studies show that FoamOtic is well tolerated by dogs, and we are optimistic that our innovative treatment will be able to alleviate Pedang’s recurrent infections.”
Since the concentration of the active ingredients is more than 100-fold higher than the concentration required to kill the microbes, the long-lasting effect of the foam means that a single application is enough to kill off all the pathogens, whether they are bacteria or yeast.
FoamOtic for the veterinary market is currently at an initial stage of development with initial encouraging results, and the company is seeking a partner to further develop its pet product.