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Home > Dogs > 10 Best Dog Ear Infection Medications in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Dog Ear Infection Medications in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

cleaning dog's ears with a solution

Ear infections are among the most common reasons that owners bring their dogs to the veterinarian. They are painful for dogs and can lead to chronic ear disease and deafness if they are not treated. Certain breeds, like Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Pit Bulls, and Shar-Peis, are prone to ear infections. If your dog has chronic ear infections, keeping ear medication on hand can help them get fast relief.

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cure your dog without the need for antibiotics. Of course, always check with your vet before administering any medication to your dog. If the over-the-counter product doesn’t work, your dog may need a prescription medication.

We rounded up our favorite ear infection medications, both OTC and prescription, to help you get familiar with the options. Browse the reviews to decide which will would work best for your pup.

divider-paw A Glimpse at Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone
  • Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties
  • Contains hydrocortisone
  • Convenient to keep on hand
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Animax Ointment for Dogs & Cats Animax Ointment for Dogs & Cats
  • Antifungal properties
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Inexpensive
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Osurnia Otic Gel for Dogs Osurnia Otic Gel for Dogs
  • Coats the ear canal for fast relief May only require two doses
  • May only require two doses
  • Tresaderm Topical Solution for Dogs Tresaderm Topical Solution for Dogs
  • Contains an antibiotic and corticosteroid
  • Treats ear mites
  • Provides fast relief
  • NaturPet Ear Drops NaturPet Ear Drops
  • Homeopathic formula
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • The 10 Best Dog Ear Infection Medications

    1. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone — Best Overall

    Product Form: Liquid
    Size: 37 ml
    Prescription required: No

    The Zymox Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone is our choice for the best overall dog ear infection medication. It doesn’t require a prescription, so it is easy to keep on hand. It works to treat acute and chronic bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections in the ears. This liquid contains active enzymes with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. These enzymes eliminate antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

    In addition to its healing power, it contains hydrocortisone for instant relief. It stops the itch, pain, and inflammation of infected ears. This ear treatment should be massaged into the ears for 7–14 days, depending on the severity of the infection. During the treatment period, dogs shouldn’t be bathed or go swimming. It’s suitable for cats too, which is helpful if you live in a multi-pet household.

    This medication may be too weak to treat severe infections. If there is no improvement after a few days, contact your veterinarian because a stronger medication may be necessary.

    Pros
    • Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties
    • Contains hydrocortisone
    • Convenient to keep on hand
    • Can be used on cats
    Cons
    • Pets can’t get their ears wet during the treatment course
    • May not treat severe infections

    2. Animax Ointment for Dogs & Cats — Best Value

    Product Form: Ointment
    Size: 7.5 ml
    Prescription required: Yes

    Our choice for the best dog ear infection medication for the money is Animax Ointment for Dogs & Cats. This FDA-approved medication requires a prescription, but it’s effective at treating ear infections and skin and fungal infections. It contains four active ingredients with therapeutic effects, reducing inflammation, itchiness, and antibacterial. It also has antifungal properties.

    Your veterinarian will advise you on the amount and frequency of use of this product. It will vary from case to case, with the proper amount depending on the severity of the infection.

    While dog owners seem to like this product, they don’t care for the packaging. The ointment is thin and can leak out of the tube, creating a mess. The packaging often breaks and is difficult to use. Some dog owners would prefer a bottle.

    Pros
    • Antifungal properties
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Thin consistency
    • Difficult packaging

    3. Osurnia Otic Gel for Dogs — Premium Choice

    Product Form: Gel
    Size: Two single-use tubes
    Prescription required: Yes

    The first dose of Osurnia Otic Gel for Dogs should be administered in your veterinarian’s clinic. Each dose is one full tube per affected ear. After 7 days, the product will need to be re-applied. This product requires a prescription and can come in a package of two or 20 tubes.

    This gel penetrates deep, coating the entire ear canal. Over time, your dog’s natural ear-cleaning process will remove it from the ear. You should not clean your dog’s ears for 45 days after the first dose.

    While this medication may be expensive for two small tubes, dog owners report that only two doses are necessary to clear up even chronic ear infections.

    Pros
    • Coats the ear canal for fast relief
    • May only require two doses
    Cons
    • Dogs’ ears cannot be cleaned for 45 days
    • Should be applied at the clinic

    4. Tresaderm Topical Solution for Dogs — Best for Puppies

    Product Form: Solution
    Size: 7.5 ml
    Prescription required: Yes

    The Tresaderm Topical Solution is used to treat ear and skin infections in dogs and cats. It’s a medication that can be used on both bacterial and fungal infections. It also includes a corticosteroid for relief from inflammation and irritation.

    The nozzle on this medication is shaped to fit partially into the ear canal for precise application. It should be applied twice a day. The number of drops needed will depend on your dog’s infection type and severity. This medication is also an effective ear mite treatment, which is helpful if your dog’s ear infection is caused by them. Most dog owners saw relief in their dogs after 2 hours of application. Many infections were completely gone in 1 week.

    The biggest issue seen with this medication is how long it takes to coordinate the prescription. Some medications didn’t arrive with dosage instructions, so check with your vet to make sure you know how much to use.

    Pros
    • Contains an antibiotic and corticosteroid
    • Treats ear mites
    • Provides fast relief
    Cons
    • The prescription may take a while to receive
    • Dosage instructions may not be included

    5. NaturPet Ear Drops

    NaturPet Ear Drops

    Product Form: Liquid
    Size: 10 ml
    Prescription required: No

    Safe for use on dogs and cats, the homeopathic NaturPet Ear Drops claim to work to support ear health. They can be used for cleaning the ears and treating infections. Made with aloe vera, olive oil, vitamin E, calendula, basil, and bergamot oil, these drops can be used on sensitive skin. They loosen waxy buildup without the use of harsh chemicals.

    The drops contain antibacterial herbs that clear infections and work to reduce pain and inflammation. They soothe and soften dry skin without stripping it of natural oils. It works for both inner and outer ear infections. While dog owners have seen results, some have reported that they take time to come.

    Pros
    • Homeopathic formula
    • Safe for sensitive skin
    • Reduces pain and inflammation
    Cons
    • May work slower than some other products

    6. Easotic Otic Suspension for Dogs

    Product Form: Suspension
    Size: 10 ml
    Prescription required: Yes

    This Easotic Otic Suspension for Dogs is a mix of antibiotic and antifungal in a convenient pump form. You can deliver a dose of potent, active ingredients in just one pump per ear once a day for 5 days. It contains anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone to give your dog relief.

    The biggest issue with this product is with the design of the bottle. The pump is supposed to make administering the medicine easier than using a tube with a pointed tip. The dog doesn’t feel anything going into the ear, so they are likely able to hold still longer. The problem is that the pump needs priming for the first dose. Some users were not aware of this and found that one pump may not produce any product. Several pumps may be necessary to bring out the medicine, and by then, the dog is no longer sitting still or tolerating medication applications. To avoid this, on the first time you use the product, pump it several times until you see the fluid appear in the nozzle. You are now ready to use the product and it will not need further priming.

    Pros
    • Applied once per day
    • Short treatment duration
    Cons
    • May need several pumps to extract product

    7. Baytril Otic Solution for Dogs

    Product Form: Solution
    Size: 15 ml
    Prescription required: Yes

    The first FDA-approved topical solution medication to treat ear infections, Baytril Otic Solution for Dogs can also soothe and relieve painful ears. This solution is used to treat bacterial and fungal infections. It should be applied for 14 days. Even if the infection clears up before then, the entire course of treatment should be completed.

    The two main ingredients in this medication, enrofloxacin and silver sulfadiazine, work to stop the infection from spreading by killing the organisms that cause it. Dog owners have noticed a reduction in discharge and inflammation soon after starting this medication.

    The bottle is small and should not be used longer than the prescribed period. If your dog’s ear infection recurs, you may need a new bottle. Any unused portion should be discarded after 90 days.

    Pros
    • First FDA-approved topical solution ear infection medication
    • Works quickly
    Cons
    • Small bottle
    • Can’t be used past 90 days of opening

    8. Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner

    Product Form: Cleansing solution
    Size: 237 ml
    Prescription required: No

    The Vet Organics EcoEars Dog Ear Cleaner can provide relief to dogs suffering from ear infections. This is a natural alternative to prescription medicine, and results can be seen in as little as 24–48 hours in many cases.

    This product is made of all-natural ingredients, including witch hazel, rosemary extract, tea tree oil, and vegetable glycerin. Without any harsh chemicals, the cleanser can make the ear uninhabitable for organisms that cause infections. It also treats mites, odor, itching, and discharge.

    With a proven 93.7% success rate, this product can be used regularly to clean your dog’s ears and prevent future infections. While many dog owners have positive things to say about this cleaner, there are a few negatives.

    This solution should be poured into your dog’s ear canal until it’s full. Then the base of the ear should be massaged for 60–90 seconds, which is a long time for dogs to hold still when something is in their ear. Then the excess liquid should be wiped away. The process should be repeated twice a day for 10 days, which can be daunting.

    Pros
    • Works quickly
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Not a prescription medicine
    Cons
    • Lengthy application process

    9. Bexley Labs Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment

    Product Form: Solution
    Size: 355 ml
    Prescription required: No

    The Bexley Labs Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment is an antiseptic ear flush that treats odor, ear mites, fungal infections, and bacteria overgrowth. It also helps curb inflammation and itchiness. It can be used to gently clean infected ears. It can also clean healthy ears and minimize future infections.

    This veterinary-grade treatment should be applied to infected or dirty ears twice daily or as directed by your vet, using a cotton ball to wipe away debris and excess liquid.

    The main issue that dog owners had with this product was the strong scent. It also isn’t strong enough to fully treat severe ear infections. If your dog’s ears don’t clear up, you’ll need to contact your vet for prescription medication.

    Pros
    • Veterinary-grade antiseptic cleaner
    • Can be used as a routine ear cleaner
    • Treats various issues
    Cons
    • May not work for all infections
    • Strong scent

    10. Posatex Otic Suspension for Dogs

    Product Form: Suspension
    Size: 15 g
    Prescription required: Yes

    The Posatex Otic Suspension for Dogs is prescribed to your dog based on their weight. Dogs under 30 pounds get four drops in their infected ears once a day. For dogs over 30 pounds, they get eight drops once a day. The bottle is designed for easy administration. This medication works to fight infections and reduce inflammation.

    Dog owners like that this product is fast acting with no harsh odor to it. It works to break up and clear any debris stuck in the ear. The biggest issue is the price of the medication, which is more expensive than most other choices.

    Pros
    • Applied only once per day
    • Works quickly
    • No strong scent
    Cons
    • Expensive

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Ear Infection Medications

    When choosing an ear medication for your dog, your vet is the best guide you have to find the right one. However, if you like a product on this list, you can ask your vet if it would be acceptable for your dog’s condition. If approved, it can be purchased.

    Prescription medications tend to be stronger and work faster than over-the-counter medications, but both can be useful depending on what sort of infection your dog has. Here are a few things to consider.

    Person putting ear cleaner in dog's ear
    Image Credit: 135pixels, Shutterstock

    Frequency of Use

    If your dog doesn’t like their ears touched and won’t hold still for long, you’ll want a medication that you won’t have to use multiple times a day. Some dogs won’t tolerate multiple doses, and if you can’t get the medication into their ears properly, the infection won’t be treated correctly and can become worse.

    Price

    Some of the inexpensive medications on the list can work just as effectively as pricier options. If your vet recommends a medication that is out of your price range, you can ask about a cheaper option instead. It may simply take longer to work and require more doses.

    Type of Infection

    Not every medication will work to treat every infection. If you’re using a product that doesn’t seem to be working, you may need a different medication. If you’re using an over-the-counter product that isn’t working, you may need a prescription-strength medicine instead. If you’re using a prescription medicine that isn’t working, you may need a different one or an additional round of treatment.

    pitbull dog check by vet
    Image Credit: Andy Gin, Shutterstock

    Risk Factors

    Your dog’s ear infection can have various causes. A buildup of bacteria or yeast or both can quickly lead to an infection of the ear. If you have a breed prone to ear infections, they could get them regularly, so having medication on hand that you know works effectively can be helpful. Other risk factors for ear infections include:

    • Allergies
    • Moisture
    • Wax buildup
    • Ear canal injuries
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Debris in the ear

    Ear Infection Symptoms

    If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vet for the best course of treatment.

    • Discharge in the ear canal
    • Itchiness
    • Excessive head shaking
    • Foul odor in the ear
    • Swelling or redness in the ear
    • Scabs or crusting in the ear
    • Pain when touched

    Usually, your dog will act in a way that lets you know that there’s an issue with their ear, like constant scratching or head shaking. Sometimes, though, there are no symptoms. It’s best to check your dog’s ears once a week to make sure there are no signs of infection.

    dog scratching
    Image Credit: schubbel, Shutterstock

    How to Prevent Ear Infections

    Drying your dog’s ear thoroughly after a bath, swimming, or a walk in the rain will help prevent ear infections. If your dog has allergies, be aware of any foods that may trigger an ear infection for them. Cleaning their ears regularly will help remove any bacteria, yeast, or debris that will eventually cause infections over time.

    divider-paw Conclusion

    Our best overall choice of dog ear infection medication is Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment With Hydrocortisone. In addition to treating the infection, the added hydrocortisone works to give your dog instant relief from pain and itchiness. For the best value, we like Animax Ointment for Dogs & Cats. It requires a prescription but it works well and is budget-friendly. Treating ear infections completely the first time is the best for your pet and so we recommend you visit your vet at the first sign of ear infections.

    We hope that you’ve found a medication on this list of reviews that can help give your dog fast relief. When in doubt, always ask your veterinarian for their opinion and advice.


    Featured Image Credit: Chewy

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