Zymox Otic Ear Drops for Dogs: Side Effects, Benefits, Coupons, & More

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By: Lezanne Winshaw Updated: June 15, 2020

Zymox Otic Ear Drops for Dogs Zymox Otic is an over the counter (OTC) medication for the treatment of external ear infections in dogs. Otitis externa, or outer ear infection, is caused by a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection in the ears of cats and dogs.

Zymox Otic is a solution containing three enzymes which assist the natural defense system of your pet’s body to combat these pathogenic organisms and the discomfort that they cause.

What is Zymox Otic?

Zymox Otic enzymatic solution in the form of ear drops treat bacterial, viral and yeast infections in the outer ear of dogs and cats. It contains the enzymes Lactoferrin, Lactoperoxidase, and Lysozyme. It is available in the forms of two different preparations. One with hydrocortisone and one without hydrocortisone.

A Close Look at Zymox Otic Ingredients

All three enzymes that make up Zymox ear solution (lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and lysozyme) are naturally occurring. They work together to create an antimicrobial environment in your dog’s ear.

Lactoferrin is a protein that is naturally found in milk and other secretions. It has bactericidal and iron-binding properties. The iron-binding action serves to prevent fungi and bacteria from reproducing.

Lactoperoxidase originates from mammalian mammary, mucous and salivary glands. It is a catalytic enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of organic and inorganic substrates by hydrogen peroxidase. The products of this action are bactericidal.

Lysozyme is found naturally in saliva, tears, breast milk and egg whites. It destroys Gram-positive bacteria by breaking down their cell walls.

Hydrocortisone or Non-Hydrocortisone: Which Zymox is Better for My Dog?

Hydrocortisone is a glucocorticoid steroid with anti-inflammatory actions. It acts on the auto-immune responses of the body to lessen symptoms like swelling, redness, and itchiness.

Zymox Otic with hydrocortisone can be very beneficial if your dog is experiencing discomfort caused by painful swelling and itchiness due to chronic inflammation.

Corticosteroids are very useful in certain circumstances but come with a long list of adverse side effects. Overuse of hydrocortisone can cause excessive thirst, weight gain, liver failure and even behavioral changes. It is best to use with caution.

Zymox with hydrocortisone is also detrimental when used for a fungal infection. So, before administering Zymox Otic HC, be sure that your dog’s outer ear infection is caused by bacteria or virus and not fungi.

Zymox Otic without hydrocortisone is safe to use in most situations. Zymox Otic non-HC is best to use if you are not exactly sure of the type of ear infection that your dog has. It is also recommended for canines with a history of liver and kidney disease. If your dog has open sores in its ear/s, it is better to use Zymox Otic non-HC.

Can I Get it Without a Vet Prescription?

Yes, Zymox ear cleanser is available over the counter.

You do not need a vet’s prescription to buy Zymox Otic HC or non-HC. Yet, it is always advisable to seek your vet’s advice before treating your dog with any medication. There are certain drug-drug interactions that you might not be aware of.

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Benefits of Zymox For Dogs with Itchy, Sore Ears!

Zymox Otic can bring speedy relief to hounds suffering from acute and chronic otitis externa. The solution is easy to administer and has a broad spectrum of activity.

Zymox Otic is an effective treatment against a variety of pathogens. These include Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, Candida albicans, Streptococcus pyogenes and S. intermedius.

Is it Safe for My Dog?

Yes, Zymox Otic is safe for use on your dog for the treatment of acute and chronic ear infections. However, it is always best to check with your veterinarian if there is something that you are unsure of.

Factors such as the age and size of your dog are important to take into consideration. Also, do not forget to mention to your vet any previous or current medical conditions or allergies, as well as medications that your dog is currently taking.

How to Use Zymox to Treat Your Dog’s Ears

Zymox Otic is very easy to use! You don’t even have to clean your dog’s ears before administering it. In fact, it is best not to. To make it more comfortable for your dog, warm the solution up to body temperature before applying.

Apply the Zymox solution to your dog’s un-cleaned ear liberally. Once the ear canal is full, fold the ear over the canal opening to prevent any solution from escaping. Gently massage the ear to ensure that the solution is distributed to the lower ear canal.

zymox ear solution being used on brown dog

After massaging for a few minutes, allow your dog to shake its head to get rid of the excess solution. Repeat this process once a day for 7 days. If your dog has a severe or chronic infection, you might need to continue treatment for a further 7 days.

Potential Side Effects to Look Out for!

As a very safe ear infection treatment, there are no reported side effects of the use of Zymox Otic. Potential side effects to keep an eye out for would be those linked to excessive use of a corticosteroid such as excessive thirst and weight gain.

Know the Dangers of a Zymox Otic Overdose or Allergic Reaction

There have been no reports on an overdose of Zymox Otic ear drops in dogs. As it is administered into your dog’s ear and your dog can shake out the excess, it is very unlikely that your dog will overdose on Zymox solution.

The most likely worst-case scenario is administering Zymox to your dog if it has a perforated eardrum. This will be very painful for your dog.

Do not administer Zymox Otic to pregnant and lactating females. Also, do not use Zymox Otic in conjunction with any other medication unless your vet has given you the go-ahead!

Symptoms of Overdose or Allergic Reactions

The three enzymes present in the ear drops solution are all naturally present in mammalian milk and other secretions. Side effects, overdose, and allergic reaction are not expected as this is a very safe product.

The treated area could become red and swollen in rare cases. If this happens or if there is no improvement in your dog’s condition after 14 days, seek advice from your veterinarian.

Where Can I Buy It?

Zymox Otic Hydrocortisone and Non-hydrocortisone are available online and in some pet stores. You can expect to pay between $ 25 and & $ 50 for a bottle, depending on the size and whether you opt for a solution containing hydrocortisone or not.


Look to Amazon, Goodrx, and Couponology for coupons on anywhere from $5 off to 50% off your entire purchase!

zymox shampoo and ear solution on a cotton swab for yellow dog

Common Questions 

Can I Buy Zymox Otic Enzyme Solution Without a Prescription from My Vet?

How Often Should I Clean My Dog’s Ear While Using Zymox Otic Solution?

How Long Do I Need to Administer Zymox Otic Enzyme Solution to My Dog’s Ear?

Are There Any Side Effects of Using Zymox Otic?

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