Otto von Fürth was the son of Josef Ritter von Fürth (1822–1892), a factory owner and member of the Reichsrat and the Bohemian Landtag, and Wilhelmine (1832–1904), née Forchheimer. Fürth studied natural sciences and medicine in Vienna, Prague and Berlin and was awarded his doctorate in medicine in 1894 by the Institute of Pharmacology of the University of Vienna. He then worked from 1894 to 1896 as an assistant in the Institute of Pharmacology in Prague under Franz Hofmeister, whom he followed in 1896 as assistant at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry of the University of Strasbourg. He habilitated there in 1899 in applied physiological chemistry. In 1900, he married Margarethe Grünbaum, with whom he had two children, Josef Egon and Wilhelmine. In 1905 he returned with his family to Vienna and worked as a lecturer in the Physiological Chemistry Department of the University of Vienna Institute of Physiology. In 1906 he was appointed extraordinary professor of applied medical chemistry and in May 1917 obtained the title and status of an ordinary professor. In 1929 he was made an ordinary professor and appointed to the board of the Institute of Medical Chemistry. Otto Fürth and his family were persecuted by the Nazis on account of their Jewish origins. He was suspended from office in the University of Vienna after the annexation on 18 March 1938 and was forced to retire at the end of May that year. He died in Vienna on 7 June 1938. His son Josef Egon Fürth was transported on 16 November 1938 from a collective apartment at Herminengasse 32 in the 2nd district to Dachau and murdered there on 15 March 1939. His wife Margarethe and daughter Wilhelmine lived in a collective apartment at Herminengasse 16/7 in the 2nd district until their deportation on 9 June 1942, where they were murdered on 15 June of that year.
The systematic provenance research of the former inventory of the library of the 1st Surgical Clinic, now the Universitätsbibliothek der Medizinischen Universität Wien (University Library of the Medical University of Vienna), brought to light sixty-eight books and offprints with his bookplate, handwritten name or dedications to him. Two offprints and a book by him were published as late as 1937 and 1938, respectively. The heirs of Otto Fürth are currently being sought so that the items can be restituted.