PetMeds® Helping Pets with Chronic Ear Infections

chronic-ear-infections-petsZymox Otic is one of my favorite nonprescription ear topical medications that works wonderfully for many acute and chronic ear problems in dogs and cats. This product contains natural enzymes that help inhibit bacterial growth often involved in ear infections.  Most commonly bacterial ear infections are secondary to underlying allergies in affected pets.

Ear problems are amongst the most frustrating problems to clear up and often recur in many pets.  This often leads to production of excessive amount of wax and discharge. It’s important for clients to recognize not to use other prescription topical bacterial products or ear washes, as Zymox Otic is most effective when used alone on such ears. Clients have reported wonderful results when using this product, as I have also seen many chronic ear infections that have pestered dogs for months clear up when using this product.

Unlike some other prescription topical ear medications which can occasionally cause deafness, I have not seen any side effects when using Zymox Otic. For pets with allergies, the Zymox Otic with Hydrocortisone is my preferred choice, as the additional cortisone can help lessen ear inflammation and pain.

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  4. My dog is 10 years old he has had infection in his ear for 9 years I have tried many things like steroids zymox and prescriptions everything works for about 2 weeks and then stops. he has a lot of pain in his ear and holds his head sideways all the time, I feel so sorry for him. Is there anything that might help him, he has floppy ears and I used the zymox and it helped a little can you help me thanks sincerely pauline

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 19, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Chronic ear issues are not easy to cure but you should be looking at underlying diseases with your vet i.e inhalent/contact allergies, food allergies, etc A low grain natural diet may be worthwhile trying like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. Zymox otic is good to try and maintain your dog on. Also an ear culture done at your vet to make sure no resistant bacteria in ear.


  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 9, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Ear mites can cause this but in an indoor adult cat, ear mites are much less likely to cause this. Inhalent/contact allergies and/or food allergies may be involved. You could try antihistamine like chlorphenirimine at dose of 2 mg twice daily and adding fatty acid like be well to meals from 1800petmeds. Also DMG liquid may help as well. Yucca intensive is also an excellent supplement. If signs persist or worsen, see vet for full allergy workup.

  8. Dr. Dym.

    My Weimariner has had ear problems for about two years. At first she flopped her ears so much that it caused constant bleeding at the tip of her ear. Our vet finally resolved that problem by cutting out a small wedge and sealing up the opening. About 18 months later she developed a pocket of red liquid under the skin of her ear due to some condition that the vet said she has. I forgot the name. The vet drained the pocket two or three times then operated on the ear. The vet put a bandage around her heat and a cone for about three weeks. The ear kept forming these small pocket s of liquid so the vet put a tube under the skin of her ear two or three times and put her on Predisone 20 MG 1/day for the last month or so along with a special $100 a bag dog food. The pill caused her to drink a lot of water and urinate very often, sometimes on our carpet and all hours during the night as she stays inside at night.The vet said to squeeze her ear twice daily which caused the liquid to drain out and after two weeks the liquid seemed to have gone away. Then the next day another large bubble of liquid showed up so back to the vet for another drain and more Prednisone pills. This morning she had whelps all over her body and face, small bumps, so I called the vet and they said to triple the Prednisone and give her Two Bandryl pills a day. We have well passed the $2500 mark but even more so we are totally frustrated that this situation has gone on for two years.
    What do you recommend that we do.

    Thank you,
    Joe Garrison

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Joe: Chronic ear problems in dogs are typically due to allergies in most cases, either inhalent/contact allergies and/or food allergies most commonly. Sometimes low thyroid can cause ear problems as well. Unless these potential underlying causes addressed by your vet, then problems will recur. Consider asking for referral to vet dermatologist in your area who can perhaps allergy test your dog to see what and if she has these type of allergies. Zymox otic HC is an excellent topical product that may help secondary yeast or bacterial infections from 1800petmeds.

  10. My cocker spaniel has the ear infection going on. We went down the allegry testing route last year with injections. Pretty costly. She came up allergic to honest, about 20 things, inside and outside as well as every single dog food on the market but 2 bags made by 2 different companies both across the counter as well as by RX/. She has been on ear drops of every sort. But to see her you fall in love with her. Any suggestions will be appreciated. My vet is the best there is.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I am sure your vet has cultured the ears, but if not I would recommend that to rule out pseudomonas infection in this breed. In this breed, chronic ear infections very tough to control. The Zymox otic company makes a great drop called Zymox otic Advanced which can help with pseudomonas and many other resistant infections. You also could try a different approach all together rather than traditional allergy injections, etc. As a traditional vet and homeopathic vet of over 22 years experience sometimes cases like this can respond to chronic constitutional homeopathy, but it takes patience and time. To learn more about homeopathy, see as well as my website Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations if there are none in your area. Also changing diet to home made or raw meat diet is also something to consider.

  12. My outdoors cat appears to have mosquito bites on the outside of her ears. I heard that eucalyptus may be a remedy. Is that true?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Diluted eucalyptus can sometimes be a repellant for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, however it probably wont help the current lesions. Consider topical 1% hydrocortisone cream to the ears a few times daily. See vet if signs persist or worsen.

  14. I have a English terrior pitbull he is 7 yrs. old .we have had him sence he was 4weeks old. his mother, & sister has the same thing. we were told by his mothers owners that it is inherited from his mother. so anyway we have spent hundreds of dollars on vet visits to get the same opinions and same meds every time we take him to the vets office. but his ear gets so bad he cant stop shakeing his head , and he walks side ways. he will fight with us to put liquid medicine in his ear because it hurts him so much. what do I need for his ear problem ? and I would perffer not a liquid form I have to put in his ear. please I need help with this emediatley. thanks, Lynda olson

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 28, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Try zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds which may help. Ask your vets for culture of ear to make sure no resistant bacteria or yeast in ears. HAve them address the underlying potential allergies by having allergy workup to prevent chronic ear infections.

  16. Dr. Dym – I have a cocker spaniel/bichon mixed breed dog who is 14.5 years old. She’s in good shape for her age, but is plagued by chronic ear infections. After four months of various treatments that didn’t work, and a lot of vet visits, her ears were finally cultured and she was diagnosed with two strains of pseudomonas. The vet recommended an ear flush with anesthesia, which I had done. Two days later her ears were inflamed and oozing again. The vet informed me that her ear canals are lined with polyps and recommended major surgery to re-route her ear canals. At 14.5 years of age I don’t feel I can justify either the pain this will cause her or the expense – over $4K. She is on Cipro and seems to be responding well. In addition, I read the reviews and the limited literature on Zymox Otic Plus for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections and started her on that product. The inflammation decreased, and she seems livelier and not in pain. Question: are there any studies that show adverse effects from Zymox? This stuff seems almost too good to be true. My dog is more calm during treatment, doesn’t try to bite me when I put the medicine in her ears, and just generally seems to feel better. Any problems with long term use? Thank you.

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I have not seen long term problems or side effects with either zymox otic

  18. My minature poodle has had an ear infection since he came back from Petsense to get a haircut. He had never had problems before, I have two other dogs who i dont have to have grooomed, and they have never had an ear infection or ear mites? The vet says he has an ear infection and ear mites. This has been going on for about a year. Antibotics and ear drops work at first then it comes right back. He has all the symptoms of ear mite, and an ear infection too!! Help! I feel so sorry for him!!

  19. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I doubt it is ear mites. In this breed, most likely underlying allergies either inhalent/contact allergies and/or food allergies, which should be looked at by your vet or problem will recur. Try zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds. Can also ask your vet about great new allergy drug called apoquel

  20. My cats have a yeast infection in their ears. One of them was diagnosed a year ago via swap and slide at the vet. It had spread to my other cats. I now have ferrets who have the same stinky, dark wax in their ears making them dig dig dig. I have just ordered a large bottle of the Zymox otic hc 1.0% (what my vet prescribed last year). My question is whether this product is safe for my ferrets?

    Two local vets (including my own) have said the product is safe for my ferrets but neither of them specialize in exotics like ferrets.

  21. Barbara StaradumskyMarch 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

    My dog is also a coker spaniel and is constanly having severe ear infections. The only ear drops that help are Baytril (which we have to special order) and giving her Cipro along with it. It has became so many times that the vet is finally saying he’ll give us refilss so all we have to do is call you and get one.
    Her ears get so bad the whole ear is swollen, bright red, and breaks my heart.
    So..are you saying to give them this zmox as a preventive treatment? if so…do you like give them drops everyday?

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 6, 2014 at 12:18 am

    There is extra strength Zymox product that would be good as possible chronic preventative

  23. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 6, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I would think this natural product is fine and safe to use in ferrets. Check with Zymox customer support staff.

  24. Had been using a prescription med on my dogs ear until the stuff was nearly gone & no clear up. The first use of the Zymox Otic I couldn’t believe the difference. The following morning The ear looked all clean, no ear infection residue & he stopped itching & shaking his head all the time. Stuff works great

  25. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing. yes zymox is a great product.

  26. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    THanks for your experience on this very effective topical ear medicine.

  27. Have been using Zymox Otic for a small dog with chronic ear infection, just one ear, and works great as long as I don’t miss may days without treatment, this infection just won’t go away. I have treated the ear for ten days straight, but as soon as I miss a couple of days, bang, its right back, but at least this Zymox Otic keeps it at bay. Unfortunately, not available in Canada so I must order from Pet meds and have shipped to Canada.
    Why not available here in Canada ????

  28. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Not sure why not available in Canada. Likely underlying allergies involved with the recurrent ear issues here and/or resistant bacterial ear infections. Consider asking for ear culture from your vet. Also consider zymox otic plus, which is superior product in tough ear infections.

  29. Thank you very much for the information. As far as trying Zymox Otic Plus, as far as I know, this is a prescription drug and being here in Canada getting a prescription for the U.S. drug ,well lets just say, probably lots of red tape.

  30. erica heatheringtonJune 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Hi I have a 4 year old toy poodle/shit zu mix and he continues to get brown gunk in his one ear and is shaking and itching it. I have taken him to the vet in the past and it was an ear infection and i had to get a $100 prescription. I was wondering if there is anything that is cheaper that would work in preventing these and get rid of the infection. Thank you

  31. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Excellent product called zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds may help.

  32. Hi! I have a Boston Terrier and she has never had any problems with her ears…I noticed last week that she has been scratching and thought it may be ear mites…got some medicine for it but now I’m not so sure that is what it is. It only seems to be one ear that is bothering her. I used a cotton ball to rub the inside of her ear…first I got brown stuff and every now and then I still get some…but there is a touch of blood…I was thinking with her scratching , she may have caused the bleeding…it isn’t excessive. I’m now uncertain what to do for her…do you think I should go ahead and take her to the vet?

  33. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I think a vet exam is best, although you could try great product Zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds.

  34. My 12 yr old dog had ear yeast and was given Mometamax (which has gentamicin) for 21 days. She became deaf after 5 days, but they said probably return afterward. I stopped using it after 11 days anyway and took her back to Vet, who agreed about stopping. She remained deaf for 45 days. Vet said ear drums appear to be intact. When she started scratching ears again, last week, I ordered Zymox with HC, which has so many great reviews and no mention of causing deafness. Helped immediately, but after 2nd dose, she is now deaf again. Help!

  35. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I have seen rare deafness, even from natural products on occasion. I would work with veterinary homeopath for alternative individual approach on this issue

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