small cockers

How I Cured 4 Common Dog Health Problems

I’ve got a few strikes against me by being the proud parent of a Cocker Spaniel. I know that dog health problems are inevitable, but since my dog has floppy ears, thick jowls, more sebaceous oil in his skin than most breeds, is more prone to skin itchiness, and tends to have lumps and bumps, doing frequent touches and once overs is crucial in keeping him healthy.

Dog health issues solved

As the dog mom my whole adult life, I’ve learned there are a few health issues that seem to plague most dog parents:

  • Ear infections
  • Waxy ears/swimmer’s ear/gunk in or around the ear
  • Hot spots or boo boos on the dog’s skin
  • Smelly mouth

One of the coolest parts about being a dog writer is that I get to talk to hundreds of companies every year. Since I work for myself, my BS-meter is used daily. I don’t believe what the labels on products say; I believe what happens when promises are backed up by results. So after using the line of ZYMOX® products since the early 2000’s, I came to trust the brand. They are made in the USA and is a family run small business founded by a woman. This was my reaction when they asked if my dog, Dexter, the floppy eared Cocker Spaniel, wanted to try some of their offerings:

Fidose of Reality dog

Over the past 2-1/2 months, Dexter and his best fur friend, Zola, a 14-years-young female mixed breed, gave some of the ZYMOX products a trial run. Since I won’t recommend anything I don’t try on my dog and his buddies, Dexter and Zola were willing participants.

Dexter and Zola bonded #ShedHappens

Here’s how I solved four common dog problems and you can, too. Always remember to check with your dog’s veterinarian for any sudden medical issues, changes in health, and to be sure anything new you add to their regimen is safe. If you stick around to the end of this helpful health article, we’re giving away three prize packs so you can try the line out, too.  ZYMOX is safe for dogs of all ages.

This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn a small income if you click through and purchase something on the links. Please see my disclosure policy for details. 

Disclaimer ZYMOX

Ear Wax and Ear Debris Control

My Cocker Spaniel has ears that are ripe for infection, but we’ve managed to keep them at bay and virtually non-existent over his nine years on this planet. One of the main products I am never without that we used for general ear maintenance is the ZYMOX ear cleanser, which is one of the first ones that actually doesn’t give me a headache from the scent and has no chemicals in it to irritate sensitive dog ears.

Dog ears are unlike human ears in that they are shaped differently on both inside and out. A dog’s ear consists of an outer, middle, and inner ear canal. Dog parents need to be extremely careful when cleaning a dog’s ear because the eardrum is extremely fragile. Any sort of trauma to it or untreated issues can cause major issues. People 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.

Prevent dog ear infection

Putting this solution in my dog’s ears once a week has pretty much kept ear infections away. The inside of the ear should look healthy, not filled with debris or dirt. The photo above on the left is my dog’s clean ear and the photo on the right is that of a dirty ear that has been diagnosed with ear infection (not my dog). Keep ick away.

SHOP HERE: === > Get a bottle of Zymox ear cleaner

ZYMOX ear cleaner for dog ears

Ear Infection

A whopping 20 percent of dogs suffer from ear infections! This is yet another reason to know what a normal ear looks and smells (yes, smells) like in your dog. Make a point of it to gently massage your dog’s ears regularly (as long as they enjoy it). When you want to examine your dog’s ears, he or she won’t put up a fuss if they are used to the handling. When you know what a clean ear smells like, you can then be on guard for a stinky ear. Healthy ears do not have an odor. Smelly ears tend to have a yeasty, not so pleasant stench about them. A vet visit is in order.

Never ever stick anything into a dog’s ear to try to clean it out. You risk damaging the delicate structures of the ear and/or causing the dog to be afraid and uncooperative for future monitoring. Ask your veterinarian to show you in person how to clean the dog’s ears. Here we are using ZYMOX ear cleanser:

ZYMOX ear cleaner

My dog’s bestie happened to get an ear infection recently, as she had one a few months prior and it reared its ugly head after a bath. We gifted Zola’s mom with ZYMOX Ear Solution with hydrocortiosone. Thankfully, this non-invasive solution attacks pus and debris to destroy antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. It covers a whole range of nasties in a dog’s ears including the treatment of bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections, including Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Proteus, and Malassezia. Those are big words the veterinarian uses in conjunction with ear infections. She used it for 14 days and had a followup vet visit last month for a separate issue. We are happy to report the infection is gone. Happy puppy face!

Cute mutt closeup
Zola is ready for the challenge.

This is the one product you need to have on hand. You’ll thank us for it when an ear issue arises, it’s the weekend, or you’ve got a dog that has battled ear issues. You don’t need to clean the ear first: You use this alone on an infected ear once you are certain it is an ear infection. The reviews on Amazon are insanely positive, and I only wish this product was around for my last Cocker who battled chronic ear infections despite so many different approaches.

SHOP HERE: === > Get a bottle of ZYMOX ear solution

keep dog ear infection away

Lip Fold Dermatitis aka Smelly Mouth

When my sweet Cocker Spaniel developed what appeared to be a smelly mouth that would not go away despite twice daily brushing, off to the vet we went. The vet later told me that he knew what Dexter’s diagnosis was the moment we entered the exam room. Lip fold dermatitis has a very distinct stink. It will quite literally knock you over.

dog jowl

We keep it at bay with cleaning the thick folds of his jowls and keeping the hair trimmed around that area, but occasionally that smell will rear its ugly head. I asked the folks at ZYMOX if I could use their topical cream on his fold, using caution not to get it in his mouth. It is a bitter taste, they shared, but it is safe to use on folds. Since it is recommended for hot spots, wounds, and skin infections, it makes sense that folds are included, too. Boom, within two days that scent was gone and the inflammation disappeared.

SHOP HERE: ==== > Get ZYMOX topical cream with hydrocortisone 0.5%

topical skin cream dog


Hot Spots and Irritated Skin

Lumps and bumps on the skin are something that Cocker Spaniels and millions of dogs struggle with and are a major reason for vet visits. We recommend that you don’t wait, aspirate: Seek veterinary care for all new lumps and bumps and monitor them at home. You cannot tell what a lump or bump is by simply ‘looking’ at it and neither can a veterinarian. An aspiration or tissue sample must be obtained. Dexter has had his share of warty growths, and my last Cocker Spaniel had a mast cell cancerous tumor that was cured with surgical removal.

dog hot spot

Zola, the dog we talked above above, had a recent vet visit for lesion assessment. Several lesions and bumps have appeared on her skin with time, and her mom has the vet check each one. Knowing that Zola has a benign lesion on her leg, her mom has opted not to have it removed so she does not need to have anesthesia. We noticed that now and then, Zola tries to lick at the spot and was starting to create a reddened area. After applying the ZYMOX topical spray a few times, not only did the licking stop, but Zola’s redness around the lesion is gone.

SHOP HERE: === > Get Zymox topical spray

hot spot spray for dogs

Connect with Zymox and learn more about their lineup of healthcare solutions for dogs at

enter to win


First Place: Cheryl Kameda

Second Place: Robin Holloway Shepard

Third Place: Laurie Emerson

We want your dog to try the ZYMOX line because we love it so much. Sharing is caring. Here’s how to enter and get multiple entries for multiple prizes!


First Prize: ZYMOX $50 value prize pack of one ZYMOX shampoo, one conditioner, one topical cream, and one container of OTIC

Second Prize: ZYMOX $25 prize pack of one topical cream and one container of OTIC

Third Prize: ZYMOX $10 prize pack of one topical cream, 2 shampoo samples, 2 rinse samples

Official Rules Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you battled any canine health issues? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Good luck with the giveaway and best wishes for a happy, healthy dog!

Note:  This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, meaning if you click on a link above and then make a purchase, Fidose of Reality will receive a small commission with no extra cost to you. You help us keep the site up and running and in exchange, you get to shop for items you love. Wags!

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  1. I would love to try the topical spray on Coco’s warts to see if it helps keep her from scratching. She scratches at them a lot!

  2. I would love to try their ear solution and the topical cream.Beauregard came to us with a fungal ear infection and I have had to use much care over the past 5 years with him to keep them at bay.We have also had an issue with a hot spot.

  3. I’m thrilled you introduced us to Zymox. One of my dogs suffers from chronic ear infections. Nothing has been effective long term. I’m so excited to order the Zymox ear cleanser today. I know when you recommend a product, you are always right about how it benefits dogs.

  4. This is such an important post for any dog owner. These are the big 4 of dog health, and every owner WILL have to deal with at least one of these – probably more.

  5. My pug had the worst ear infections! We would have to take her to the vet to get them deep cleaned because of all the gunk. I can’t imagine how awful it must have felt. Definitely going to keep ZYMOX on hand for my puppy.

  6. I love the Zymox ear drops. They have saved multiple vet visits with my bichon. Floppy ear dogs are just bad for ear problems

  7. This is all great information. I don’t have any dogs, but I have plenty of family members and friends that do. I know one dog who always has bad breath. I’m going to let them know about this.

  8. My neighbor’s dog has these issues too! She had to put him on a gluten free diet to help him. These products would probably help too!

  9. i have some of the ear cleaner and it is very good, so i would like to try the zymox skin topical cream.

  10. My three rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds could use ALL these products, with their long, floppy ears. I think I’m most excited about the chance to try the ear cleaner – after all, keeping the ears clean and healthy is the best thing for the dogs.

  11. Clementine has short nose and so has lip fold issues.(Molly has a regular cocker nose and never has lip fold problems.) I would love to try the topical cream. I have been given scrubs by the vet to use-I might as well give her a bath!

  12. ZYMOX topical spray for my Blackie could get the helps to keep hem from scratching so much. Thanks for sharing.

  13. My dog is a Frenchie and has itchy paws. I would like to try the Zymoz topical spray and see how that works.

  14. Variety kinds of dog diseases. Siberian husky or dog suffer of some common diseases. . Although they are health breed but they suffer mainly two kinds of diseases. like Canine Hip Dysplasia and Progressive Rental Atrophy. Also some disease can attack like Hereditary, Corneal dystrophy, Hypothyroidism and Zinc Responsive Dermatosis (Zinc – deficiency). A dog attack by at six diseases. So if you want to know details like diseases, sign & Symptoms and treatment please visit the site get total solution of dogs.

  15. Hello Friends!! I would LOVE to try this product on my dog’s dirty ears please. They get the yellow wax and yeast quite often and I am always looking for new products to try Please enter me in the giveaway also! Thanks and have a great day!!

  16. I’d love to try the topical spray! My older dog has wicked bad allergies that make his skin a constant mess. I have to use medicated shampoo once a week, daily prescription allergy meds, antibiotics, and limited ingredient food and it still gets out of control. Anything that can help him be more comfortable is worth it!

  17. I would most like to try the Zymox ear cleaner. We have two large dogs who have long flappy ears and this would be perfect for them.

  18. These are really things that just about every dog owner I know have come across and this article is so important for all readers to read, I linked your blog in my latest post, it’s actually a post on International Friendship Day today and more but I made mention the the healthy aspect of the piece as well as the others I linked to!

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