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Today, I’m going to introduce you to the ear flush that changed my dog’s life (and mine) after 9 years of trial and error… mostly error. If you don’t care about my story and just want to know the best dog ear wax cleaner…I’ll take no offense. You can jump right to the point by clicking the link below. It will take you to the product I recommend, without the story…
But if you have time to learn about the history of my dog’s chronic waxy ears and the process we went through to overcome them after 9 years of trial and error … this is for you.
My Dog Always Has Waxy Ears
If these words have been spoken in your home, then we have something in common. My floppy eared senior dog has extremely waxy ears….and they can get stinky.
Over the years they’ve been swabbed several times for bacteria and yeast and the culture always came back “just lots of stinky ear wax!” Followed by: “Let’s give him some steroids for the inflammation and some medicated ear ointment to help numb the pain.” Never knowing better, I obliged every time.
So for the first 9 years of his precious life, I can honestly say that we never really had a good handle on my dog’s chronic waxy ears. We would clean his waxy ears with random DIY concoctions. I seem to remember vinegar and hydrogen peroxide?
Anyway, when those didn’t work, we tried some drops you can get online…which as it turns out was the beginning of how we came to win the battle of my dog’s over-active waxy ear problems, unfortunately, not with those drops we bought.
Back in 2016, my dog was having ear issues pretty regularly. Getting tired of the steroids (which made him gain weight and pee all over the house) I heavily researched and ended up buying an over the counter ear cleaner called Zymox Otic cleaner with 1% hydrocortisone. I was excited to try the product and was pretty confident that it was going to be the answer to my dog’s nagging ear wax issue. I applied it to both his ears the same day I received it.
Zymox Ear Solution Side Effects
The following morning, I woke up to a familiar and repetitive, “ding-a-ling-a-ling ching, clink”. That’s the sound of my dog’s collar tags banging together as he relentlessly shakes his head. I got up to look and WOW! One ear was so red and inflamed and he pulled away like never before. I got a glimpse into his other ear (which had been perfect) and it was hot and starting to turn.
I left a message with my vet asking for their earliest appointment and briefly explained what I used and what I was observing. At 9am, my vet’s office called me back to say they didn’t have any appointments for 2 whole days! Now obviously I’m not going to make my dog suffer a red-hot ear for 2 days when we have a walk-in pet clinic just a couple of miles away.
We had always avoided the clinic because we’d heard about the long wait….but all I was thinking in that moment was that we needed same day service and treatment, probably some steroids and medication, pronto!
The Pet Clinic Has Cheeze-Wiz
We got to the pet clinic around 10am and we were inside a room within an hour (not bad). The vet tech asked countless questions, you know, the kind of questions that make you feel like you’re in good hands and I began to relax. She gave Frodo cheeze-whiz to distract him while she took a look inside his ears (turns out he loves it). When she was done she said…Yeah, we’re probably going to have to get in there with some swabs and see what’s going on. She left the room and we patiently waited for the Dr..
About 10 minutes later I could hear the vet tech educating the Dr. on my dog’s ears and moments later she walked in. He got a little more cheeze-wiz while the Dr. looked deep into his ears. She was happy to report that the canal and drum looked normal but there was lots of wax and she wanted to swab and examine to rule out yeast and bacteria.
Unclogging a Dog’s Ear Filled with Wax
Lucky for us: the swab revealed no critters or yeast, just a crazy amount of wax. And the Dr. was certain my dog had an allergic reaction to the Zymox cleaner I had so stupidly squirted into his ears. She suggested we give the ears a good cleaning with a very gentle cleaner and she’d send me home with a bottle to use every 2-3 days until it resolves. Then she wanted me to use the product at least once a month to keep ear debris from traveling into his ear canals and causing future issues.
What? No steroids? No!
No medicated greasy ointment? No!
This Dr. insisted that my dog’s ears required a gentle cleaner and that I needed to stick to a cleaning schedule to keep his ear wax from building to the point of inflammation and irritation. She also asked me to stop putting DIY solutions and other enzymes into his ears and see how it goes with just the gentle cleaner.
She gave me a very thorough demonstration of how to fill my dog’s ear canal and massage for a good 15 seconds. Then my dog shook gook all over the room… I mean it was flying! It was disgusting, but I think he began to feel better rather quickly. His happy, tongue-hanging face returned and I think we smiled at each other in solidarity that we may have finally solved his ear issues.bestear
So What Is The Best Dog Ear Wax Cleaner?
Fast forward several years and I’m happy to report: we did it! Since that day, my dog has never been back on steroids and he hasn’t needed medicated oily ear ointments thanks to the cleaner used and introduced to us by our local pet clinic.
We continue to use the cleaner once (sometimes twice) per month and it has completely resolved my dog’s stinky, waxy, over active ears that have plagued us for his first 9 years of life. I couldn’t be happier to recommend it!
The best dog ear wax cleaner is called: Henry Schien Euclens Otic Cleanser (link to product). Here is a picture:
I was buying it from our pet clinic but I recently ran out on a holiday weekend which prompted me to look online. I was able to find the same exact solution in a larger bottle at what I consider to be an incredible price.
As a reference point, I (happily) paid $9.00 at the clinic for a 4oz, bottle. I say happily because the vet clinic provides discounted services and actually solved my dog’s issues without pills, so I don’t complain when they make a few bucks.
But not everyone has a pet clinic that carries this gentle dog ear cleanser that has changed our lives.
Anyway pictured here side by side is the one I get from the clinic (4oz) and the one I did buy on amazon (16oz):
The one on the left, I bought on amazon and it’s 4 times larger than the one I get at the vet (pictured right) and the online price is frankly…amazing.
I don’t want to quote the price because we all know prices change so please click the link for accurate pricing today. Euclens Dog Ear Cleaner (link to pricing and reviews).
Best Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes?
Now that I’m getting my dog’s ear cleaner at a great price, I started making wipes for freshening in between his full ear cleanings. So in between full cleanings and when I travel with my dog, I will saturate a few cosmetic pads (I like the cheapo square ones) link to square cosmetic pads with the Euclens cleaner and store them inside a hobby sized ziplock bag.
Any quality ziplock or airtight jar (like babyfood) will do. These wipes makes it extremely easy to keep his upper ears fresh and clean on a weekend trip. Here is what my traveling dog ear wipes look like:
My Final Thoughts on Waxy Dog Ears and The Best Cleaner
Obviously, don’t be like me and buy random stuff and squirt it into your dog’s ears. If your vet has never mentioned Henry Schein Euclens Otic Cleanser: ask them! If they think your dog could use this gentle ear cleanser without issue, you now know where to find it at a value. Here is the amazon link one last time: Henry Schein Euclens Dog Ear Cleaner. I encourage you to read what other dog owners are saying about the product too.
Looking back, I’m so grateful that my regular vet was overbooked and didn’t have a slot open for my dog that morning. No doubt, Frodo would have been given more steroids and we’d be in the same cycle today. Now my dog has 2 veterinarians and I actually lean toward the clinic most of the time…it’s proven to be worth the wait.
Life is beautiful that way! If my story sounds anything like what you’re going through, I hope this article helps put an end to your dog’s painful ears and removes you from the heavy dog ear wax cycle.
Thanks for visiting SeniorDogDays!
want to watch me use a waterpik on my dog? Here’s the article and video