Many studies have been reported on the intratympanic ototoxicity of different drugs in animal models. The recovery periods of the animals following intratympanic drug applications varied among these studies. The present study compares the cochlear damage caused by intratympanic kanamycin following short (4 days) and long (30 days) post-injection survival periods, using the guinea pig as the animal model. The degree of cochlear damage 4 days after kanamycin injection was consistent among the tested animals. The degeneration was mainly confined to the outer hair cells and almost all inner hair were spared. The change 30 days after kanamycin injection was more variable among the animals and both inner and outer hair cells were damaged. This shows that, although the damage to the cochlea after intratympanic aminoglycoside injection is progressive, a short post-injection recovery period is suitable for comparative intratympanic ototoxicity studies.