ZYMOX Otic Vs. ZYMOX Plus: Choosing the Right Ear Solution for Your Pet

Ear infections are common in pets, causing irritation, discomfort, and pain. ZYMOX is a popular pet ear care brand with two main formulas – ZYMOX Otic and ZYMOX Plus. While both can treat ear infections, they have key differences in ingredients and intended use.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureZYMOX OticZYMOX Plus
Main IngredientLactoferrinHydrocortisone
UseMild infectionsModerate infections
FormulaAntibiotic-freeContains hydrocortisone
DryingLess dryingMore drying
Frequency1-2 times per day1-2 times per day
OdorLow odorStrong medicinal odor
TextureThin, wateryViscous, gel-like

Overview of ZYMOX Otic


ZYMOX Otic is the core ear solution from ZYMOX. It uses lactoferrin as its main active ingredient. Lactoferrin is a protein that has natural antimicrobial properties to fight infection. The formula is enzymatic and antibiotic-free.

ZYMOX Otic is intended for mild ear infections. Its watery texture allows it to flush out debris, dirt, and wax that can cause irritation. It also reduces swelling and redness. The thin consistency makes it easy to administer the drops into the ear canal.

This formula is gentle enough for maintenance cleansing in healthy ears. It has a mild odor and is less drying than solutions with hydrocortisone. ZYMOX Otic requires application 1-2 times per day. It’s a good first line of defense against minor to moderate ear infections.

Key Features:

  • Lactoferrin as main ingredient
  • Enzymatic and antibiotic-free
  • For mild infections
  • Watery, thin texture
  • Gentle cleansing and maintenance
  • 1-2 applications per day

Overview of ZYMOX Plus

ZYMOX Plus builds upon the original ZYMOX Otic formula by adding 1% hydrocortisone. The hydrocortisone provides anti-inflammatory relief to reduce swelling, discomfort, and itchiness. This makes ZYMOX Plus better suited for more irritated, inflamed ears.

The thicker gel-like texture allows it to adhere and coat the ear canal. It stays in contact with infected tissue longer than thinner solutions. The formula is meant for moderate bacterial and yeast infections causing inflammation and pain.

Since it contains a steroid, ZYMOX Plus is only intended for 7-14 days maximum use. The hydrocortisone gives added relief but makes it more drying than steroid-free options. It also has an intense medicinal odor from the hydrocortisone. ZYMOX Plus requires 1-2 applications daily like the Otic version.

Key Features:

  • 1% hydrocortisone added
  • Anti-inflammatory relief
  • For moderate infections
  • Thicker gel texture
  • Coats and adheres to ear canal
  • Use for 7-14 days maximum

Also Read: Comparison Between BluePearl And Animal Medical Center

Key Differences Between ZYMOX Otic and ZYMOX Plus

When choosing between ZYMOX Otic and ZYMOX Plus, there are a few major differences to consider:

  • Ingredients:

ZYMOX Otic and ZYMOX Plus are both ear treatments designed to address various ear issues in pets, primarily dogs and cats. These products have distinct formulations that make them suitable for specific conditions.

ZYMOX Otic relies solely on antibiotic-free lactoferrin as its active ingredient to treat infections. Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring protein found in milk and other bodily fluids, and it has antimicrobial properties. In ZYMOX Otic, lactoferrin plays a crucial role in combatting ear infections. It helps by targeting harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeast, which can cause discomfort and pain for your pet.

ZYMOX Plus, on the other hand, adds an additional component to its formula: 1% hydrocortisone. Hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid that helps reduce inflammation and itching. This steroid can be particularly effective in soothing irritated and inflamed ears.

  • Intended Use:

Understanding the intended use of these two products is vital for choosing the right one for your pet’s needs.

ZYMOX Otic is best suited for mild infections and general ear cleansing. Its antibiotic-free lactoferrin formula works to eliminate the underlying microbial causes of ear problems. The gentle yet effective nature of ZYMOX Otic makes it suitable for routine ear maintenance and prevention, as well as addressing early-stage infections before they become severe.

ZYMOX Plus, with its added hydrocortisone, is specially formulated to target more severely irritated and inflamed ears. If your pet is experiencing significant discomfort, itching, or inflammation due to an ear issue, ZYMOX Plus can provide added relief. The hydrocortisone helps to reduce inflammation quickly, easing your pet’s discomfort.

  • Texture:

The texture of these products plays a crucial role in their application and effectiveness.

ZYMOX Otic has a thin, watery consistency. This thin liquid is designed for easy application and is particularly effective for flushing out debris and gunk from the ear canal. The watery texture allows it to penetrate deep into the ear, helping to cleanse and address the root causes of mild ear issues.

ZYMOX Plus, in contrast, is a thick gel. This gel-like texture is designed to adhere inside the ear canal, providing a protective barrier and prolonged contact with the ear’s tissues. The thickness of ZYMOX Plus ensures that the hydrocortisone stays in place, allowing it to work more effectively in reducing inflammation and soothing discomfort.

  • Drying Effects:

Understanding the potential drying effects of these products is essential, especially if you plan to use them for an extended period.

ZYMOX Otic, being steroid-free, is gentler on the ear and less likely to cause drying with extended use. This makes it suitable for long-term use in cases where regular ear maintenance or prevention is required.

ZYMOX Plus, on the other hand, contains hydrocortisone, which can be more drying when used over an extended period. Steroids like hydrocortisone can have a drying effect on tissues, and prolonged use can lead to increased dryness and potential discomfort for your pet. As a result, ZYMOX Plus should only be used for a limited duration, typically ranging from 7 to 14 days, as directed by your veterinarian.

  • Odor:

The odor of these products can vary, and it’s worth considering, especially if your pet is sensitive to scents.

ZYMOX Otic has a minimal smell. The absence of strong odors makes it a preferred choice for pets that may be sensitive to fragrances or those with allergies. The focus of this formula is on effectively treating ear issues without overwhelming scents.

ZYMOX Plus, however, has a stronger odor due to the medicinal hydrocortisone it contains. While the odor may not be pleasant, it’s a trade-off for the added benefit of rapid inflammation relief that the hydrocortisone provides. It’s essential to weigh this factor against the potential discomfort your pet is experiencing.

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  • Duration of Use:

The recommended duration of use varies between these two products due to their different formulations.

ZYMOX Plus should only be used for a maximum of 7 to 14 days. This limited duration is primarily because of the presence of hydrocortisone, a steroid. Prolonged use of steroids can lead to side effects and complications, including increased risk of ear infections or worsening of the condition. It’s crucial to follow your veterinarian’s guidance closely when using ZYMOX Plus.

ZYMOX Otic, on the other hand, can be used long-term as part of a regular ear maintenance routine or for preventing recurring ear infections. Its steroid-free formula makes it a safer choice for extended use, provided you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and consult with your veterinarian when necessary.

Overall, ZYMOX Otic is better suited for routine maintenance and mild infections with its gentler antibiotic-free formula. ZYMOX Plus offers more robust anti-inflammatory effects for moderate infections, but its hydrocortisone requires short-term use.

Also Read: Comparison Between PetCareRx And Chewy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between ZYMOX and Zymox Plus?

ZYMOX Otic is the original formula using lactoferrin to treat infections. ZYMOX Plus adds 1% hydrocortisone for added anti-inflammatory power but is only intended for short-term use of 7-14 days maximum.

What is Zymox plus used for?

ZYMOX Plus is best used for moderate bacterial or yeast infections causing significant irritation, swelling, itching, and discomfort. The hydrocortisone provides relief, but should only be used short-term.

Which ZYMOX is best for dog ear infections?

For routine cleansing and mild infections, ZYMOX Otic is generally the best option for dogs. For more painful, inflamed infections causing substantial irritation, ZYMOX Plus may provide added relief but should not be used long-term due to the steroids.

Which is better ZYMOX with or without hydrocortisone?

For maintenance and mild cases, ZYMOX Otic (without hydrocortisone) is preferable. For short-term relief of moderate infections with swelling and itching, ZYMOX Plus (with hydrocortisone) may work better. But extended use of steroids is not recommended.

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Final Thoughts

When your pet is dealing with an irritated, infected ear, ZYMOX formulas can provide relief. While both ZYMOX Otic and ZYMOX Plus have antibacterial properties, the Plus version with hydrocortisone is better suited for infections causing significant inflammation and discomfort.

For milder cases, the gentler Otic is likely the safer choice. Consult your vet to choose the right option and proper dosage based on your pet’s needs.

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