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How to Treat a Dog's Ear Infection Without Vet Help

Updated on June 11, 2017
LesleesBits profile image

My retrievers had ear infections that I effectively treated with the remedies in this article. I hope they will help your dogs as well.

Sweet Marvin
Sweet Marvin

The Dreaded Ear Infection

I was pretty lucky with my previous dogs because they never had any issues with their ears. This all changed when I bought my golden retriever Marvin and my Labrador retriever Cooper. They both have those cute floppy ears. Little did I know that having floppy ears predisposes them to ear infections. The floppy ear doesn't allow air to circulate, so moisture increases and, therefore, bacterial and yeast infections are common.

When I saw Marvin and Cooper excessively scratching their heads and discovered that there was an odor and black wax in their ear canal, I went online in search of an effective home remedy.

Warning:

This should not be applied when the eardrum is ruptured or if there are any open wounds, sores, scratches, or punctures,. The alcohol can sting, and you don't want the boric acid to get into the dog's system. If you have any doubts, please go to the vet and have them look at the infection.

Homemade DIY Treatment for Dog Ear Infection

It was a weekend, and I honestly didn't want to pay the "emergency room fee" to get my pup's ear checked. My research brought me to a homemade recipe from Zim Family Cockers. They have used this on their cocker spaniel's ears and have had great success.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
  • Boric acid powder. I found this in a pharmacy. A prescription is not needed, but they sometimes keep it behind the counter, so try asking the pharmacist.
  • White vinegar
  • Betadine antiseptic solution
  • A bottle with an applicator at the end (these can be found in beauty supply stores)

Recipe Instructions

  1. Pour 6 oz. (180 mL) of rubbing alcohol directly into the bottle.
  2. Add 1 ½ tsp. (7.5 ml) of boric acid powder. (Do not get any boric acid on your skin or clothing, and if you do, wash immediately). Shake well.
  3. Then, add 2 oz. (60 mL) of white vinegar and shake again.
  4. Lastly, add 1 tsp. (5 ml) of Betadine solution. Shake again.
  5. You can warm the solution slightly. This may help some dogs who don't like cold liquids in their ear.

Results

I used this solution and got the ear infection nipped in the bud in just a few days. I really was impressed with this, and thanks to Zim Family Cockers, I found a terrific remedy.

How to Treat a Dog's Ear Infection

 
Directions
Step 1
Wipe the ear with a cotton bud to remove loose wax, dirt, and/or gunk.
Step 2
Pour in enough solution to fill the infected ear. You may need someone to hold the dog while you do this.
Step 3
After putting the solution in, massage the ear. You will know that you've applied enough solution when you can hear a swishing sound. If not, add a few more drops. Note: Betadine stains, so make sure you're doing it in a place where stains won't matter.
Step 4
Use a cotton ball to clean out the ear and soak up the excess solution. The dog will also shake his head, so be ready for the fluid to come out.
Step 5
Apply daily until symptoms clear. Then, do it once a week and then once every two weeks to maintain the ear.

Another Option for Home Treatment of Ear Infection

As good as the homemade solution was, I did find it a bit messy. The betadine solution stains, and I wanted an at-home way to treat my dog's ear infection without the mess.

I came across a product that I am absolutely THRILLED with. It is called Zymox, and it is honestly one of the best products I have used.

Zymox is made for acute and chronic inflammation of the external ear caused by bacterial, viral, and yeast infections. It contains antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral agents. This is an antibiotic-free treatment. Zymox comes either with or without 1% hydrocortisone. You can choose whether you need the cortisone to address the dog's discomfort.

Instructions

  • No need to clean the ear before treatment; in fact, it is discouraged.
  • Treat once a day for seven days (or up to 14 days if the infection is chronic).

Does It Work?

Yes!!! When my lab Cooper got another one of his ear infections, I went with Zymox instead of the homemade solution. My dog had been in extreme discomfort, and his ear was scarlet red and had a bad odor. I regret not taking pictures of it before and after the treatment because the difference was remarkable.

How Long Does It Take?

Using only this solution, Cooper's ear was almost back to its normal pink color within three days! He was no longer scratching or shaking his head, and the black gunk was almost gone. I was really impressed with this product.

The Cons

  • I cannot buy this product locally and must order it over the internet. I believe some vets carry this product now, but, honestly, it would be much cheaper to get this product elsewhere. It is not a prescription, so you don't need to pay prescription prices.
  • The product leaves a bit of an oily residue, so the hair on the doggie's ear will look dirty. This would also be the case if you were using an antibiotic solution.

The Pros

  • It's effective.
  • The best part for me (besides not having to drag my dog to the vet) is the money I am saving. This sure beats the cost of antibiotics.

Update

When I wrote this article back in 2011, I absolutely loved this product. It is 2016, and I must say, this is a product that no pet owner should be without. I have used it many many times, and it has saved me hundreds of dollars on vet visits. The product is outstanding!

Note: There are times when a vet visit is wise and prudent. Sometimes ear pain is not due to fungal, viral, or bacterial infections. A trip to the vet would be wise if you have any doubts. However, if you are sure this is just a run-of-the-mill ear infection, then you should try the solutions above. It is great to have them at your disposal, and it really is cost-saving. Many people have spent hundreds of dollars trying to treat chronic ear infections in their animals. Using cleaners plus the above solutions may be the answer you are looking for. In this economy, they were the answer for me.

Cooper my crazy sweet lab
Cooper my crazy sweet lab

How to Prevent Dog Ear Infection

After doing research about treating ear infection in dogs, I realized that I should have been preventing the infection from occurring in the first place with a weekly cleansing. The following tips will go a long way in keeping infections at bay.

  • Dry your dog's ears thoroughly after a swim or a bath.
  • If you dog has excessive hair around or inside the ear canal, it should be removed. If you are not experienced with grooming ear hair, have a professional groomer do it.
  • Regularly clean your dog's ear with a cleaning solution. Soak a cotton ball with the solution and swipe around the inside of the ear. Remember to dry the ear afterwards.

Important Note

Many cases of middle ear infection go unrecognized. It is important to regularly clean your dog's ears and keep them dry.

Homemade Ear Cleanser for Dogs

There are many commercial dog ear cleaners that you can buy at the pet store, but you can also just use white vinegar.

Instructions:

  1. Dilute one part vinegar to one part water.
  2. Place it in a squeeze bottle.
  3. Pour it into the dog's ear until the ear canal is filled.
  4. Massage the ear after the fluid is in, and then gently wipe off any excess solution.

The dog will shake its head, and the solution will come flying out. Be prepared!

Fact

It is estimated that about 20% of dogs have some form of ear disease.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection

scratching of the affected area
redness and swelling
excessive head shaking or tilting
yellow, brown, or bloody discharge
itchiness
hearing loss
odor
scaly skin
loss of balance
black ear wax
rubbing the ear on floor or furniture
pain when opening the mouth or reluctance to chew

Fact

The three most common causes of ear infection include getting water trapped in the ear canal, allergies, and ear mites.

Brothers from different mothers. Our ears feel better!
Brothers from different mothers. Our ears feel better!

Causes of Dog Ear Infection

There are a myriad of reasons why a dog might get an ear infection, and these reasons fall under three broad categories: lifestyle, allergies, and genetics.

Lifestyle: Dogs that are frequently exposed to water are more prone to developing ear infections. If the ear is not dried after swimming and bathing, the trapped moisture can foster bacteria and lead to yeast growth.

Allergies: Sometimes there are underlying causes that are not so noticeable. Your pooch could be allergic to environmental factors, such as pollens, grass, or dust mites, or he/she may be allergic to food. Most food-allergic dogs are allergic to the primary protein source in their food (fish, beef, chicken, or soy).

Genetics: Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to ear infection because their ear flap restricts air flow and creates a dark and moist environment that is a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Likewise, breeds with hairy ears are more likely to be affected because the hair in their ear canal traps moisture and debris. Additionally, dogs that are born with or that later develop thyroid or endocrine disorders, autoimmune diseases (pemphigus), or meningitis could be affected.

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    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 13 days ago from State College Pa

      No I didn't immediately use an ear cleaner after zymox. I waited about a week after and then cleaned my dog's ear once a week to prevent any further infection. I don't think it would hurt your cats to use the zymox. I have only used it on my dogs but it has enzymes that are useful to both cats and dogs. FYI. Zymox also makes an ear cleaner that is great to use once the ear is looking better to keep it infection free. Keep me posted and let me know how things go . L

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      mistyshade 2 weeks ago

      My cat had an ear infection which I had been trying to clean his ears but he would not let me leave the cleaner in long enough to do an effective cleaning by shaking his head too soon. I ended up going to the vet. He said it was bacteria, they cleaned his ears and a lot of black looking debris came out and told me to wait a couple of hours before putting in the drops. Gave me some drops that treat both bacterial and fungal infections. A week of drops I was told to re clean both ears.( I tried as stated above.) Went back to vet for a recheck and was told that one ear looked good and the other was still inflamed and he had me look through the scope to see it. Vet said he would give me a stronger drop. I asked if I should use it in both ears he said that it would be ok. Another week of drops another attempted cleaning. Back to the vet. He said inflammation was gone but the one ear still had a lot of debris. He did not give any further instructions. So I had the zymox on hand and decided to try it. I also bought an otoscope so I could (attempt) to look into the ear better. I noticed one of my other cats had a build up too in one ear. Both cats are being treated so I am hoping this will help. Doesn't look like any inflammation is going on. So hope it's ok to use this to help break down the excess build up. Did you use an ear cleaner after you were done with the solution to wash out any remaining debris that might be left behind?

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 6 weeks ago from State College Pa

      Steve, I see an improvement in about two to three days depending on how bad the infection is I use it for two weeks if it is a bad infection. Some infections are a bit more stubborn. If you see improvement don't stop using it but continue for a bit longer or the infection will come back. Let me know how it works for you. Leslie

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      steve 6 weeks ago

      I have a collie/sheperd mix.she's 15 yrs old and recenly went blind she was going in circles constantly running into things and her head tilted took her to the vet and he said ear infection he sent home 3 days of two shots and antbiotics.she started improving then after the shots she got bad again.if i get the zymox how long does it take before showing improvement?we had since she was a pup and we want to baby her with comfort.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 7 weeks ago from State College Pa

      Des.. that is something you need to call your vet about. They may be able to answer that quickly for you. Since I am not a vet and do not know exactly what is going on with your dogs ear, I really cannot comment or give advice.

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      Des 7 weeks ago

      My dog has crusty earwax pus looking gook in his ear. Can i use my ear drops i got from my doctor for an ear infection?

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      Paul V 2 months ago

      Zymox is not available here in the philippines?

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 2 months ago from State College Pa

      Susanne. Boric acid is low toxicity. When it is not mixed with anything, if it gets on your skin it may cause a slight irritation. Thus the heads up in the article to wash if that happens. Boric acid has a history of being used as an antiseptic agent. It is very useful and when mixed with other items really helps.

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      Susanne 2 months ago

      I absolutely hate seeing articles that say, "put this in your dog or on your dog but if it gets on your skin WASH IT OFF IMMEDIATELY!"

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 3 months ago from State College Pa

      Kim- the product works better if the ear has not been cleaned. However if the dog is pretty uncomfortable I'd use it as soon as possible with the understanding that I will probably have to use it a bit longer due to the fact it works better in an uncleaned ear. I'd hate to have the dog wait and be in a lot of discomfort.

      L

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      Kim 3 months ago

      Thanks for answering my question :). Just one more question.....how long should you wait to use the zymox otic if you have cleaned the dog ears?

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 3 months ago from State College Pa

      Kim~ Yes I try then to prevent the infections. Ear cleaners used weekly are great! Sometimes if I think that is not enough I use the zymox one time weekly to maintain. I really love it! Best of luck and don't clean the ear prior to using it. If it is a bad infection you may have to use it at least a week maybe longer.

      L

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      Kim 3 months ago

      Love that i came arcross this article!!! I'm going to be buying it for my dogs ear infections. After the ear infection seems to be gone do you use this as a preventative for future infections as well? If so how often do you use it for your dog's ears?

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      Zedlick 3 months ago

      Never put alcohol in a dog's ear

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 4 months ago from State College Pa

      Camille. You put enough solution to fill the canal. Be aware betadine will stain so maybe applying it in a tub? Also once it is in, fold the ear over and kind of rub it in. I also want to add you do not want to use this solution if your dog has any cuts etc in the ear. Isopropyl alcohol will sting if any cuts. The alcohol is first, then the boric acid( if it gets on your skin wash it off) . Mix well. Add the vinegar shake again and last the betadine. If you warm the mixture( like putting the container in warm water kind of like warming a baby bottle) , the dog may not object as much. Cold solution they don't like so much. Hope this helps and best of luck!

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      Camille 4 months ago

      Hi I want to try the home remedy on my dog, but I'm not clear on how many drops I should put in the ear.

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      Tali 4 months ago

      My dog has yeast in her ears and on her body now. She is a one year old Lhasa Apso. We have been dealing with this since she was 9 weeks old. The vet prescribed ointment in the beginning, which helped a little, but didn't cure it. What we have discovered is she has an allergy to something in her food, because we cured the yeast, only to have it come back immediately when she ate the old food for two days. So this is how we cured it: bathed dog in dish soap to remove the oil the yeast feeds on, sprayed straight white vinegar on the yeast spots, once a day for three days, then let everything dry out for four days, then sprayed again one last time. She hated having her ears sprayed, and wasn't crazy about having vinegar rubbed on her face, so expect some resistance. We switched her food to Pure Balance 95%, so she is eating a single ingredient food with vitamins and minerals added, but nothing else. By the third day of treatment her face was no longer red and weeping, her body was no longer red with the crusty yellow wet hair, and her ears went from black to pink and sweet smelling for the first time since we got her. I would say though, if the dog has open wounds, to dilute the vinegar, but she didn't have any because we are so on top of it after having dealt with it for so long. Also, make sure to get the soap into the ears and rinse until the suds are gone, seems counter productive, but the yeast will live longer if you don't eliminate the food source, which is your dogs natural skin oil. The vinegar doesn't stain anything, but it will make your dog smell like a salad...compared to the stink of yeast though its a huge improvement!

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 4 months ago from State College Pa

      Lisa..The twice monthly cleaning solution is great to try to prevent infections but once an infection is there then it does nothing. I don't think zymox has any alcohol.As I said my one dog's ears were bright red and irritated and the zymox helped a lot. Since you have a bottle double-check but I feel pretty confident in saying it won't sting the dog. It's just better and more effective using it in a dirty ear. Don't be afraid to use it for more than a week since the ear is looking rough. Let me know how it goes...L

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      Lisa 5 months ago

      Thanks for the response Leslie. She has the black looking stuff but she's scratched/rubbed her ear so much that now it's very red and irritated. I have a bottle of Zymox but was hesitant to use it for fear that it would cause the ear to itch/burn even more. The stuff from the vet is a twice monthly cleanser but it doesn't help with the itching or discharge.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 5 months ago from State College Pa

      What did your vet give the dog? I know some meds cannot be used together or close to one another. The ear is not to be cleaned before zymox use either. My one dog had bright red ears and I used the zymox with hydrocortisone in it. It did not bother him and was a life savior for us. I definitely would not use the homemade solution I discussed in this article because it has alcohol and burns. Did the vet diagnose a bacterial or Yeast infection?

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      Lisa 5 months ago

      Is it OK to use zymox on ears that are dry & raw looking or will it burn? The stuff the vet gave us for ear infections doesn't seem to help.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 5 months ago from State College Pa

      John...zymox Otic. Let me know if it helps!

      Take care ..L

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      John D 5 months ago

      I'm dealing with the same issue and trying to avoid the vet visit if possible. Can you tell me if the product was zymox or zymox otic?

      Thanks!

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 5 months ago from State College Pa

      Travis. Do the ears look dry? Does your dog Have allergies? The itching can be from that. food allergies? My one dog is so allergic he can only eat foods without grains. His skin and itching was a mess but he's good now. If not allergies then ha ve you considered using an ear cleaner? I'm not talking about for an infection but for keeping the ear healthy. That may help the itching as well. There are a ton of cleaners out there. Zymox makes one as well. I use my cleaner as a maintenance to keep the dogs ear healthy. Otherwise my dog tends to slip back to an ear that isn't healthy. I use the ear cleaner once a week. Not sure about the baby oil. I haven't really known zymox to dry out the ear.

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      Travis 5 months ago

      Baby oil perhaps?

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      Travis 5 months ago

      The zymox might have dried out my pupps ears since he healed from the minor infection now he scratches at them every night and morning and sometimes at random. they look very clean and its been over two months since I went thru two bottles of zymox. At times they look a little pink. He doesnt seem to be in much pain as through the day he plays and is normal except when he lays around sometimes scratching and at night.I was thinking of some kind of drops that add moisture?

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 5 months ago from State College Pa

      Thanks Connie for your feedback. Never had an issue with the alcohol. Of course if I had seen pus, blood etc I would have known it wasn't a typical yeast infection and perhaps is more serious such as a busted eardrum. . Both methods above have worked wonders for my dogs ( and I have had too many to mention). Do appreciate your tips and great information for the eyes as well.

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      Connie Paris 5 months ago

      You mentioned not to use these concoctions if the eardrum is damaged; You can't know that unless you look deep into the ear with an otoscope. Putting rubbing alcohol in an ear is never a good idea, it wreaks havoc on sensitive, inflamed tissue! Here on the farm, we use "Today", an OTC mastitis medication available at feed stores and online. FYI we also use neosporin (without cortisone) for eye issues. Load it into a 1cc syringe (without needle to apply). It's $5 for a large tube compared to $30 for a tiny tube of Rx eye meds. Worth a try before going to the vet. BTW I was a vet tech for 30 years.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 5 months ago from State College Pa

      Angie. I'm not sure what you mean about the hair falling out? Is it all over the body? That is something a vet can answer. The black in the ear is usually a yeast infection. You can try any of the suggestions above for that. They usually help. Any other questions you need to call your vet. Best of luck

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      Angie 5 months ago

      Hi my name is angie i have a 4yr old poddle and he has a ear infection he keeps scracthing hes ear all the time and now he got like a black wax coming out i keep cleaning every day but is no working he has a really bad ordor coming out and his hair is falling what you recomment please help me?

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 6 months ago from State College Pa

      Ashley.. the black stuff is a yeast infection. Dogs with floppy ears, where air does not circulate, are more prone to them, especially if the ear is warm and moist. Dogs that swim can get these infections a lot. My golden lays on one side of his head all the time so that one ear gets funky with yeast. It's a battle always.. I constantly need to use the remedies above to keep the infections away...best of luck!

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      Ashley 6 months ago

      My dad has a change in demeanor and he's kinda looking grumpy and his ears have that bad odor she's about four year olds pit I got from the shelter six months or more and I clean his ears constantly and I get that black stuff anybody have an opinion of what it could be causing this

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 6 months ago from State College Pa

      You are welcome! I spent tons of money too and most of the time I kept going back because my dog still had an infection. I hate seeing my poor pup miserable.

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      3 Dog owner 6 months ago

      This has saved me literally a thousand dollars over the life of knowing about it. Getting the boric acid can be tricky, but worth the effort. Every time I dig out the bottle, I think 'just saved another 200 bucks'. The first version I found was alcohol, boric acid and gentian violet, Thank you!

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      Jenn 6 months ago

      Travis, you may want to try some ear mite treatment for your dog, since he seems to only scratch in the nighttime and early am, mite activity is supposedly at it's highest at night. Just a thought. Good luck to you and your dog!

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      John 6 months ago

      Thank you for replying. This website and info has been a big help for our chocolate lab. Thank you!!

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      Travis 6 months ago

      Ok Thanks!

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 6 months ago from State College Pa

      Travis.. skipping a day or two probably didn't help. Some of those yeast infections are stubborn. I see no harm in using the one without hydrocortisone. The manufacturer does suggest using the product a bit longer for stubborn infections.

      John, no sorry I have no definite answer for shelf life. I can't imagine it wouldn't be similar to products that were used to make it. Had my solution for quite a while and it seemed to Continue to work. Sorry I can't be more helpful..

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      Travis 6 months ago

      Hi I used the Zymox with 1.0 cortizone a good while back about a month ago and it seems it cleared it up about 99%. All the pink color went away and he started feeling much better after the first couple of days (His was minor). It seemed to be cured but then I noticed at night and sometimes in a.m. he would scratch his ears but not for long and then that was it then he seemed to be fine. He's been doing it ever since every single night or in the morning sometimes both but just for about 30 seconds then he stops and goes to sleep. He seems fine all day..Do you think its good idea to use the Zymox without hydrocortizone this time . Last time I used it for about a week but I may have skipped a day or two at the end. after I noticed him scratching at night a little I conitnued with Zymox till the bottle is just about empty. Not sure if I should order another but with out the Hydrocortizone ? where to find ? Bought my last bottle from amazon. Thanks

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      John 6 months ago

      We made up the home remedy solution but the proportions make a much larger amount than needed. Do you have any sense of shelf life for the betadine, boric acid, vinegar, alcohol solution? Thanks.

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      sheppiemom3 7 months ago

      I can't put anything in his ear till the middle of January. Once you use Osurnia you can't put anything in the Ear for 45 days. :( I did buy Zymox but can't use it yet. Thanks for responding back.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 7 months ago from State College Pa

      Sheppiemom... I'm sorry to hear,about your pup and his ear infection I am not a vet so cannot give,any advice for the infection. Have you tried zymox? Since nothing else has worked maybe it is worth a try? BEST OF LUCK.

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      sheppiemom3 7 months ago

      i have a major problem with my dog. he has an ear infection for the last 3 months. we been to the vet several times and nothing has worked. the last ear drops that went in his ear we used osurnia. i think i spelled that right, he's had 2 applications and still he's walking with his head to his side and shaking his head. the vet did a few swabs and he has an inner and middle ear infection. i have spend way over a 100 easy on him and nothing is working. he's been on steroids, antibiotics, ear drops, and back on steroids. i feel so bad for my boy. i try and clean his ear and he screams. plz, if anyone can give me advise it would be much appreciated. i have tried vinegar and water, i have tried may drops. the vet said allergies, but he doesn't bite his paws, he doesn't itch. plz help anyone.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      Aw poor pup. Yes give it a try. Certainly can't hurt. Make sure you use it as directed even when symptoms start to disappear keep using it. Let me know how it goes! I totally get the expense. My golden gets the infections all the time and it's a staple at my house. Once you get ur pups ear better trying keeping it maintained with a once a week ear cleaner. There are tons of them but I use the zymox brand since it works well imo.

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      Travis 8 months ago

      I saw it mentioned earlier I just didn't get a clear understanding of it and wanted to make sure, last night his pain came back so I'm going to give the Zymox a try today Thanks for the much needed help, I just had to spend alot on him at the vet for what they said were "needed" vaccs. and other expenses so really can't spend any more on overcharged meds!

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      No you wouldn't be making things worse. It is just that the zymox works better if the ear has not been cleaned. It may not be as effective with them being cleaner. The black gunk is probably a yeast infection which zymox works great for. You can give it a try but do not use zymox with any other cleaner or alcohol.

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      Travis 8 months ago

      I have a 7 mth old puppy that has the ear infections in both ears (seems kind of minor I guess). Before coming across this I had already cleaned (removed all the black gunk)his ears with a cap of rubbing alcohol and he got relief and went straight to sleep after scratching ears during the night. late the next morning he started scratching every now and then and so I went to petco & bought an ear powder treatment for relief it said so then afterwards he's been alot better but still see some light red and every now and then he'll shake his head and( very rarely) he will scratch his ears so he still has the issue it seems. I just recieved the Zymox 1% hydrocortosone. But as his ears are clean now from me cleaning would I be risking making things worse by using the Zymox. Should Iuse a very little only? Thanks in advance.

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      There are pretty good ideas right here....

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      Sherry 8 months ago

      I have a pug which gets ear infections but really can't afford vet . Need a good home solution that I can use......

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      No worries. You didn't make it worse but the product works best if the ear has not been cleaned. So it may not be as effective until the ear gets dirty again. It does sound from your description that your pup has a yeast infection. Zymox does a great job eliminating it but the ear should not be cleaned prior to using the product. So it can clear it up. Let me know how it works!!

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      Paola 8 months ago

      Hi there.

      Thank you so much for all the helpful advice in your article. I have an 11 year old cocker and he's never had an ear infection before but I notice now that he keeps flapping his ears like he's in discomfort. I checked his ears and they are really red and full of black stuff, which I assumed was wax build up. So I cleaned it out but I keep reading the comments that you mention not to clean the ear prior to the zymox application. Did I mess up!? I hope I didn't make things worse :/

    • LesleesBits profile image
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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      Coco.. when using zymox Ear cleaner ..you can use that to maintain healthy ears. The zymox Otic you use when the dog has an infection. Do not clean the dogs ear prior to using it. I would follow the instructions and use a bit longer if the dog's infection is chronic. The virbac ear cleaner I have never used but I imagine once the ear is healthy you could use this or the zymox ear cleaner to maintain a healthy ear. The zymox otic comes in a few different ways the hydro cortisone for irritation is either .5 or 1 percent. Or you can get without as well. I use the 1 percent for my dog because his ears really bother him. I hope I helped!

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      Coco the bulldog 8 months ago

      Hi there,

      I would like to really thank you for the great and detailed article about this issue that us as dog owners suffer from a lot, especially bulldog owners i believe hehe.

      My dog had an ear infection and i have taken her to the vet. Classic..... ear swabs $, regular check$, antibiotics(Refused) $ and bad for your dog when you can treat the problem at home and ended up just getting the antibiotic ear drops.

      I have been using it for 5 days and stopped although it was suggested for a full week but im just against the idea of antibiotics in the first place and my dog ear looks just fine now after 5 days.

      In reference to your great article, i have bought these two cleaners:

      1) Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzymes, 4 oz.

      2) Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner, 8 oz

      Could i possibly use (1) as a treatment when my dog ears are infected or in discomfort or its uses are the same as the Virbac cleaner?

      Or would i have to get the other Zymox products for this case?

      I.e.

      1) Zymox Otic with 1% Hydrocortisone

      2)Zymox Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent Hydrocortisone

      3)ZYMOX OTIC with Hydrocortisone 1.0 % Ear Solution Treatment bacterial, viral, and yeast infections

      Thank you for your feedback and assistance.

      Regards,

      Coco

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      Caz5968 8 months ago

      Thanks for the advice.

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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      Black funky stuff is a yeast infection. It can cause a lot of redness and pain. Just make sure you don't clean the ear before you use it. Let me know how it goes. It's been my saving grace! I use it once a week to maintain the ear after infection is gone..

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      Caz5968 8 months ago

      I'm not actually sure if it is yeast or not. One ear is red and inflamed inside and the other has the little black dried stuff that other people have mentioned. Having said that it is the inflamed side (obviously) that is causing her most grief. I'm praying this works for her.

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      Leslie 8 months ago from State College Pa

      Poor thing. Use the zymox every day. The hydrocortisone will help the pain. Since this is a chronic infection I'd use it at least for two weeks. Don't clean the ear out before you use it. Is it a yeast infection?

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      Caz5968 8 months ago

      My poor Lab, Meg, is nearly three years old and has had almost constant ear infections since around a year old. She has been to the vet who took her in and flushed her bad ear out (cost me around 150GBP) but never really cured it. I have used the antibiotic drops provided by the vet every 2nd day and the ear cleanser once a week and it has never really cleared up...even after the ear flush! Currently she seems in a lot of pain...constantly whining and rubbing her ear against any object. It has been so bad recently that I can see her back leg reacting whenever she is walking around. Tonight I washed her ear out with some diluted antiseptic/disinfectant and let it dry which seems to have provided a little relief to her. I have just bought the Zymox Otic .5% and Zymox cleanser after reading some great reviews. Fingers crossed this arrives from the States quickly and actually works. It breaks my heart to see her so uncomfortable and obviously in pain :-(

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      Leslie 9 months ago from State College Pa

      Yes you are absolutely right which is why I mentioned this in my article. If the dog's ear is scratched or has open wounds, sores or punctures it should not be used. The ear drum also must not be ruptured. However if there are no open wounds then you can safely use this. I have and had no issues and it cleaned their ears just fine~ I just switched to zymox because it was less messy. I have edited my article to BOLD the sentence that warns against using this is open sore or punctured eardrums. That way no one will miss it.

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      Melc 9 months ago

      Don't use alcohol on a dog's sore ear, for gawd's sake! IT BURNS!

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      Leslie 9 months ago from State College Pa

      Best of luck! let me know how he does :)

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      Drew 9 months ago

      I have 2 labs with recurring ear infections. Thanks so much for this article. I made the vinegar wash and the antiseptic today for my oldest... George. Crossing my fingers that it helps him.

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      Leslie 9 months ago from State College Pa

      Thanks for that info. I don't have a Hollywood feed where I live. Is the price there as good as Amaxon?

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      belladonna1959 9 months ago

      Just so you know, Zymox can be bought at any Hollywood Feed. I've been using both the spray for hot spots and the ear solution. THE BEST STUFF EVER!

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      Leslie 9 months ago from State College Pa

      I am not sure to be honest. It is basically enzymes. Maybe you can call the company?

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      Vikki 9 months ago

      Can it be used on a pregnant dog?

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      Leslie 9 months ago from State College Pa

      Dipak... I am not a vet so I do not know why your dog's ear is filled with liquid. The solutions above work very well for run of the mill yeast infections as well as some bacterial. If you are getting no solutions from your vet I would recommend getting a second opinion from another vet. Please let me know how it goes. I am so sorry that your doggie is sick!

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      Dipak 9 months ago

      Hello my dog have ear infection

      his left ear is filled with liquid. why its happened?

      what is solution.

      please send me on dipakghag10@gmail.com

      his ear is getting too heavy. we consult doctor but problem is not solve.

      Please Help

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      Leslie 10 months ago from State College Pa

      Awesome! I haven't found anything yet for tick and fleas but I'm always on the lookout :)

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      Jeanette 10 months ago

      Ordered from your link. In 3 days our dogs ears were healthy again. Saved a ton over visiting the vet again and ordering medicine. Thank you so much! Any less expensive options for flea / tick control?

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      Leslie 11 months ago from State College Pa

      I have not used hydrogen peroxide with betadine. I did use it with boric acid and vinegar ( see above article). Does it work well? I found the betadine too messy and it stains. But any new solution is much appreciated!

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      Tom watt 11 months ago

      What about flushing with hydrogen oxide then putting in tincture of iodine

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      suzicriscoe 11 months ago

      lab/beagle mix ears not real bad but printing in case! wonderful having people who care with the vets this day they only want money!! GREEDY. I'm old on s. s. and have to have the dog. The last vet was hooked on DRUGS herself!!!!!!!

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      Leslie 12 months ago from State College Pa

      I love it. It's a staple in my house. Please let me know how it works. Make sure you use it at least a week for an acute infection or if it's chronic a bit longer. Keep me posted :)

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      Lewis 12 months ago

      Thank you,thank you, thank you!. I ordered the Zymox from your link.

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      Leslie 20 months ago from State College Pa

      Oh no! Poor thing. Im not sure what to tell you. My golden has chronic ear onfections and the zymox does the trick. My dog never had mucous though. Just swollen red wet ears. Maybe you can give it a try? Couldnt hurt. Its just enzymes. Best of luck

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      Bethienkaiyah 20 months ago

      My lil 3 year old american bully has had ear infections since she was a pup and around this time last year she had one and i took her to the vet after trying many ear mite and infection remedies. I knew it wasnt exactly mites because i never saw any nor did it get any better. They gave me an antifungal gel and it's worked every time she's had problems, but this time it's making it worse, like its swollen kinda and has runny mucous and when she shakes her poor head i can hear wet suction like there is a lot of mucous built up. I cant really afford to go to the vet at the moment, so if anyone could help with suggestions on home remedies for somewhat bad infections please let me know asap

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      Leslie 24 months ago from State College Pa

      I always bought the one with the hydrocortisone because my dogs ears itched and were very painful. I have also bought the one without which I used for maintenance once a month to keep infections away. It really is your personal preference. They both work just as good for infections. I keep the ear cleaner around to use to prevent infections. Let me know if I'm can be of further help

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      Kris 24 months ago

      Which Zymox did you use??? When I went on Amazon, there were like 3 different ones??

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      Leslie 2 years ago from State College Pa

      Brooke,,, sorry to hear about the allergies. My golden is the same way. I would suggest addressing the allergies to try ( if possible) to prevent the eAr infections. I know that isn't always possible but with my golden I altered his food etc to try to elimante the causes of his issues. The zymox will (in most cases) get rid of the ear infection. If it is chronic and recurrining then I would use it a bit longer. Once it is cleared up I would do what I do with my golden, keep the area clean with zymox cleaner and once a week use the zymox liquid as a preventative. There is no harm in using these as maintenance as described, it wouldn't hurt to try them. As long as the allergies are there the lab will always be prone to the infections until the causes are eliminated.The stuff vets give are expensive and harsh. I just was out of town with my golden and didn't have access to my zymox. I went to a vet who prescribed a $75 bottle of medicine . When I googled the side effects it said possible deafness! It freaked me out so back to zymox I went. His ear is much better. So to make my long story short, it is worth a try. Follow the directions and use it for at least a week. Let me know how it goes!

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      Brooke 2 years ago

      I have a chocolate lab. She is only 1 and a half years old but she has had an ear infection almost every 3 months since I've had her and it's been insanely expensive. I finally did an allergy test and found out she's allergic to A LOT of things. Would these solutions work for a dog with allergies? I am on the cusp of having to spend $300 for vaccinations and then $150/month for meds if I can't find another solution. I'm freaking out just a little bit.

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