Best Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners
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Top 10 Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleaners

Cocker Spaniels are known for their beautiful, long, floppy ears, which means Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners are a must-have. Cleaning a Cocker Spaniel’s ears means decreasing the likelihood of an ear infection. Since a Cocker’s ears hang low and cover the opening leading to the ear canal, air doesn’t get to circulate in the same way it does in dogs with erect ears like German Shepherds or Great Danes.

At least once or twice a week, I am asked for advice on the best Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners available. A good ear cleaner for pendulous Cocker ears keeps debris, bacteria, or yeast from forming in the ear but over-cleaning can also lead to ear infections. Using the wrong type of ear cleaner can cause a Cocker’s inner ear skin to become soft and weak, which you never want to happen. Cleaning the ears also lessens the amount of wax in the ear and makes it easier to smell or see an infection brewing. There are many Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners available for purchase, but they aren’t all created equally.

Over close to 30 years’ time of being a Cocker Spaniel parent, dog writer, Cocker Spaniel expert, and talking to experts and fellow Cocker parents, I found the top 10 best Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners. Always check with your dog’s veterinarian before starting any type of cleaning regimen, as putting ear cleaner in an infected ear can lead to more harm than good. We’ll explore the do’s and dont’s of proper Cocker Spaniel ear cleaning and maintenance and reveal our top 10 list of the best ear cleaners for Cocker ears.

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Reasons Cocker Spaniels Need Their Ears Cleaned

If Cockers don’t have regular ear cleanings and maintenance to their ears, an ear infection is often the result. Sometimes ear infections start as an occasional problem, but I know hundreds of Cocker parents who deal with ongoing ear issues. One of the most basic ways to stop an ear infection in its tracks is to prevent it from happening in the first place. It sounds like common sense and its, but there’s also a wrong way and a right way to clean the Cocker ear.

An ear cleaner isn’t a cure-all and complete solution to keeping ear infections away. With my first Cocker Spaniel, I did everything right to maintain a proper balance in her ears and avoid infection. I kept her ears clean, had the hair at the outside of the canal trimmed, and regularly took her to the vet for checkups, but she still managed to get the occasional ear infection.

Cocker Spaniels need their ears cleaned because anatomically they are prone to ear issues. The Cocker’s inner ear is very deep and far down into the ear structure. A dog’s ear is composed of three areas: the outer, middle, and inner ear. While humans have a shorter ear canal, dogs have a long narrow canal that starts to bend as it gets deeper and closer to the inner ear. Now imagine that ear is covered by a thick blanket and you’ve got the Cocker Spaniel ear.

Read more about the Cocker Spaniel ear anatomy and the best way to cure a Cocker Spaniel ear infection here.

Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleaners: What To Look For

We recommend the ear cleaners for Cocker Spaniel ears on this list due to their high ratings, success among Cocker Spaniel parents I interviewed, personal experience, veterinarian recommendations, and ease of use.

Talk to your dog’s vet about a good ear cleaner and show the vet what you plan to use first. As we said before, Cockers, like people, are unique and what may work for one dog may not work for another. Dogs with an ear infection, perforated eardrum, or other severe ear issues will not be helped by an ear cleaner.

How To Flush And Clean A Cocker Spaniel’s Ears

Humans have a very short ear canal, but dogs have a long and narrow ear canal. As the canal gets deeper, it bends at almost a 90-degree angle. On top of that, the Cocker ear is long and floppy, most often touching the ground as they sniff around, gunky and funky stuff can easily make its way into the ear canal and cause infections.

  1. Wash and clean your hands thoroughly before cleaning your Cocker Spaniel’s ears.
  2. Warm the ear solution by rubbing the bottle in your hands (you wouldn’t want a cold solution in your ear and neither does your dog).
  3. There are two schools of thought when it comes to using ear cleaner on a Cocker’s ears. The first is my preferred method. I prefer to insert the tilt the tip of the ear cleaning solution into the outer portion of my Cocker’s ear and squeeze gently so the solution goes into the canal. Massage the base of the ear so the solution gets into the base and allow your dog to shake his head. I then blot the outside area of the ear from any debris that may have been loosened. Repeat on the other ear.
  4. The other method of cleaning a Cocker’s ears involves the use of cotton balls. Pour the ear cleaning solution onto a cotton ball and squeeze the cotton ball into the outer canal so the cleaner gets down into the inner canal. Blot the outside area of the ear from any debris that may have been loosened. Repeat on the other ear.
  5. Use a cotton swab or cotton ball on the outer portion of the ear to clean out the folds. You wouldn’t believe how dirt and exudate or wax can build up in those folds.
  6. Remove any residue from the cleaner. I also use a cotton ball on both ears about five or ten minutes later to wipe out excess solution and clean out any debris that came out from the cleaning process.

Pro Tip: Don’t freak your Cocker Spaniel out or “hold him down” to clean or treat ears. You want the ear cleaning process to be a positive one. I keep the cleaner on my desk on ear cleaning days and reward my dog with a treat before and after cleaning. Good boy, praise, happy dance, etc!

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleaner: Overall Winner

Our pick: Zymox LP3 Enzyme System Ear Cleanser

The hydrocortisone in the Zymox ear cleanser helps relieve minor itching and irritation. When my Cocker Spaniel had an ear infection a few years ago, his internal medicine veterinarian recommended the Zymox ear products to me. For deeper wax or dirt, the Zymox ear cleanser is a good choice.

ZYMOX ear cleaner for dog ears

Highlights

  • Gently soothes and cleans dirty ears
  • The patented LP3 enzyme system is potent but gentle and enzymatic for delicate Cocker ears
  • Perfect for long-term cleaning of non-infected ears
  • Non-toxic, non-stinging
  • Contains no detergents or harsh ingredients
  • Contains hydrocortisone, which helps provide relief from inflammation and itching

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“I like to be proactive trying to prevent before it happens. Everyone knows how bad spaniels ears can be and this helps tremendously!”

Purchase Zymox Ear Cleanser through an authorized seller by visiting Zymox.com.

ZYMOX ear cleaner

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleaner Without Hydrocortisone

Our pick: Zymox Ear Solution Hydrocortisone Free

For Cockers who cannot use products with hydrocortisone, Zymox offers this product for removal of ear exudate and general overall ear health. Great for Cockers who swim and those who live in hot or moist environments.

Highlights

  • Contains no steroids or antibiotics
  • Easy once-daily application
  • No pre-cleaning of the ear
  • Soothing and nontoxic
  • Made in the USA and contains the Zymox patented LP3 enzymatic system

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“Almost immediately Milo felt relief! He didn’t run when he saw the bottle, he didn’t fight me. He just laid there. Halfway thru the treatment and his ears are clear!”

Purchase Zymox ear solution hydrocortisone free through an authorized seller by visiting Zymox.com.

Best Herbal Cocker Spaniel Ear Wash

Our pick: Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Ear Wash

This is a go-to in our household and I am never without it. Dr. Harvey’s herbal ear wash is unlike any other because it contains no chemicals and is made in a base of witch hazel. Growing up, I recall my grandmother using witch hazel for a variety of things with success. As a proud Dr. Harvey’s brand ambassador, I am thrilled to stand behind and use their products on my Cocker Spaniels for over 20 years.

Highlights

  • The formula is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral
  • Gently cleans Cocker ears without drying chemicals
  • Soothing and healing herbal extracts that are gentle on ears and smell good
  • Based in witch hazel with organize aloe vera gel, golden seal extract, organic calendula extract, and more.
  • Helps promote healing of surface irritations in the Cocker ear flap

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“This is a mild wash and our dogs tolerate it. They even like the smell and it soothes and cleans their ears very well. I am buying it again. “

Purchase Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Ear Wash through Amazon.com or directly from Dr. Harvey’s.

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleanser With Acetic and Boric Acids

Several times in my lifetime of owning Cocker Spaniels, the veterinarian has sent us home with Dechra’s MalAcetic Otic Cleanser for regular aural care. The all-natural formula is patented to clean ears and skin as well as keeping yeast, bacteria, and microbes away.

cocker spaniel ear cleaner product

Highlights

  • Pleasant apple scent
  • Works as a drying agent
  • Helps keep malassezia and pseudomonas staph at bay
  • Great for dogs with a chronic history of yeast infections in the ear
  • Cleansing and degreasing for dog with bacterial and/or fungal skin infections
  • Helps balance skin surface pH to prevent fungus or yeast overgrowth

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“My wife’s cocker spaniel has had chronic and acute problems with ear infections. A constant battle and very costly trips to the vets to no avail. The meds and preparations provided by the vet did little to clear this problem up. Bought a bottle of this stuff. What a huge difference.”

Purchase Dechra MalAcetic Otic Cleanser on Amazon.com. Be certain to purchase from an authorized, reputable seller.

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleaner With Gentian Violet

Gentian violet is often called “the purple stuff” by Cocker parents, as it has been used for decades as a remedy for yeast infections. Gentian violet also works as an anti-infection agent, so coupled with other ingredients, it can works wonders in cleaning the Cocker ear. Liquid Health Pets makes the K9 Ear Solutions ear cleaner, and I’ve talked with dozens of Cocker moms and dads who swear by this stuff. It can stain slightly, so it’s best used outside as your Cocker shakes his head after application.

cocker spaniel ear cleaner

Highlights

  • Formulated with gentian violet to clean, dry, and deodorize the dog’s ears
  • Helps dry the ear canal and reduce ear odors
  • Will stain but does come off the ears; use outside or in a room where staining isn’t an issue
  • Some folks swear by it for hot spots on their dog – check with your vet to be sure

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“It has now been 4 weeks since I started using this AMAZING product on my Cocker Spaniel, and his ear infection is gone. After one week of use the foul smell was gone, and the brown discharge significant less. After two weeks the redness was all gone, no visible discharge.”

Purchase Liquid Health Pets K9 Ear Solutions ear cleaner on Amazon. Be certain to purchase from an authorized, reputable seller.

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleanser with Salicylic Acid

Sometimes you need a bit more to an ear cleanser depending on the nature of your Cocker Spaniel’s ear structure, anatomy, and issues. Dexter’s internal medicine vet sent us home with VetOne Aurocin Ear Cleanser, and it has been a dogsend for us, honestly. My Cocker likes to roll on his back and side, especially at the park and outside on the grass. He tends to pick up grass pieces and dirt, and I occasionally use the Aurocin when I need a bit more than a basic ear cleanser.

how to clean cocker spaniel ears

Highlights

  • Pleasant smell that is not bothersome
  • Good for debris management and removal of exudate
  • Contains salicylic acid to act as a drying agent
  • Contains aloe vera
  • Acidifies the ear to keep it clean and dry

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“I have English Springer Spaniels. One is well known by our Emergency pet clinic! He has always been the king of ear infections. The ER Vet told me to use this product and he has been infection free for about a year. It smells good, too.”

Purchase VetOne Aurocin Ear Cleanser on Amazon.com. Be certain to purchase from an authorized, reputable seller.

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Cleanser Advanced Formula

Some canine ear cleansers are recommended for dogs with chronic otitis externa, which is the chronic inflammation of a dog’s external ear canal. When I polled members of my Club Cocker Facebook group, dozens of pet parents recommended Virbac’s Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser. To be fair, I’ve not tried it on my Cockers, but the reviews and feedback are extraordinary.

cocker spaniel ear flush

Highlights

  • Non-irritating to prevent microbial issues
  • Good for sensitive ears
  • Helps remove excessive wax while drying the ear canal
  • Low pH so should not interfere with other ear medications (check with your vet)
  • Gentle for frequent cleansing use
  • Neutralizes bad ear odors

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“A must for floppy ear dogs. Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser is a gentle but effective ear cleaner. I have used this for years on my dogs and am quite happy with it.”

Purchase Virbac’s Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser on Amazon.com. Be certain to purchase from an authorized, reputable seller.

Best Cocker Spaniel Ear Flush with Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole is an anti-fungal, so Dechra combined it with their TrizULTRA formula to cleanse and target fungus. As directed by your dog’s vet, it can be used in most cases as a pre-treatment before applying a topical antibiotic. The non-stinging formula is safe for long-term use and is veterinarian recommended. Again, members of my Club Cocker Facebook group recommended this formula for yeasty Cocker ears with success.

ear flush for cocker spaniel ears

Highlights

  • Dechra touts it as an “ideal cleansing solution for use with infections responsive to Ketoconazole and Chlorhexidene, such as ringworm and bacterial and Malassezia infections.”
  • Fragrance and dye-free
  • Contains chlorhexidine which Dechra says is synergized in their formula

What Dog Parents Are Saying

“Guys, this stuff is liquid gold if your dog has allergies especially in the ears of yeast infections in the ears.”

Purchase TrizEDTA + Keto Flush on Amazon.com. Be certain to purchase from an authorized, reputable seller.

Bonus Cocker Spaniel Tip

Keep track of the days and times you clean your Cocker Spaniel’s ears with our handy DogMinder Canine Health and Wellness Journal available for under $10 on Amazon.

prize holiday dog photo contest prize

Learn More About Cocker Spaniel Ears

Don’t stop now. Keep reading and learn more about the beautiful but delicate Cocker Spaniel ear in these articles:

The Best Way to Cure a Cocker Spaniel Ear Infection

Cocker Spaniel First Aid Kit 21 Emergency Items

We promised you 10 ear cleaners, provided eight above, and have two bonus products below, but they are ear wipes. Ear wipes are good for in- between cleanings and for dogs who might not be the best candidates for ear flushes. As always, talk to your veterinarian first.

PetMD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

VetWELL Dog Ear Wipes

Best Cocker Spaniel ear cleaners

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