Ear Cleaners: A Rational Choice

The veterinary practice dispensary can be a myriad of bottles, tablets, drops and creams. Looking on the shelves of many dispensaries it is fairly common to see quite a few variants of the same type of product. Often too, this duplication can creep into the waiting room and it is not uncommon to see two or three brands of similar types of products sitting on the display shelf for clients to choose from.

Perhaps the most common type of product where this occurs is the ear cleaner. There are undoubtedly many ear cleaners to choose from and one of the biggest obstacles to trying a new product is the fact that the practice already has too many of that type of product on the shelf. As a company bringing new products onto the market, this begs the question, “Why do you have so many on the shelf already?”

The reasons are numerous. “Different vets have personal favourites”, “Clients have arrived at the practice on a certain brand and it is ordered in for them” or perhaps “A rep came in and offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse”. All legitimate reasons, but reasons which when combined, can create issues of either overstocking, or underused stock going out of date, both of which can cause problems for the practice.

With the Vetruus ear cleaning range of Otoprof ™, Otodine™ and Clorexyderm Oto™ however, the choice of which ear cleaner to use can be rationalised and problems of duplication can be solved without detriment in terms of quality and cost to the practice, the client or the patient.

There are potentially three stages of an ear cleaning protocol:

  • The initial ear flush procedure done in-clinic before the onset of treatment, when ears are thick with wax and debris.
  • The cleaning of ears as a stand-alone measure for:
    • managing early stage ear problems where antibiotic drops are unnecessary, or
    • as additional support to antibiotic drops.
  • The use of an ear cleaner as maintenance to manage and help prevent relapse.

Vetruus has a product for each of these stages.

Stage 1.

Otoprof™ is designed as an in-clinic ear cleaner, ideal for use on dogs that have been anaesthetized or sedated for ear flushing procedures. Otoprof contains DSS and Propylene Glycol but is unique in that it contains Carbamide Peroxide. The peroxide base creates a foaming effect that very quickly helps remove and lift to the surface wax broken down by the softening action of the other actives. A small amount of Otoprof™ should be applied into the ear, followed by massaging the base of the ear until a foam is visible in the ear canal. Continue massaging for 60-90 seconds and then wipe away the excess exudate. Once removed, rinse the ear well with saline or water to remove any excess exudate and product still in the ear.

Otoprof™ is a very powerful wax softening ear cleaner and can be used to significantly reduce the amount of time spent flushing with saline as well as reducing the likelihood of traumatizing the ear canal with catheter flushes. However, it is important to ensure as far as possible that the tympanic membrane is intact before using Otoprof™

Stage 2.

Otodine™ contains the patented formulation of Chlorhexidine and Tris EDTA in combination with Lactic Acid and Propylene Glycol. This combination gives Otodine™ excellent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. As such Otodine™ can be used where poly-pharmacy medications may be viewed as unnecessary or used where a practice may have concerns about bacterial resistance. If culture and sensitivity has been done, Otodine™ can be used whilst waiting for the lab results.  Clients like to have something to take away and use in the meantime and practices are then able to select an antibiotic drop precisely once the results are back from the lab. 

Otodine also works as an excellent cleanser before the application of other topical medication. Apply into the ear canal 30-60 minutes before the application of topical therapy. As well as cleaning the ear, the presence of Tris EDTA  will have a potentiating effect on the antibiotic being used.

With a pH of 8, Otodine™ will not affect the efficacy of fluroquinolones or aminoglycocides and is very gentle so is suitable for use in sensitive ears. The chlorhexidine in Otodine™ is also not inactivated by pus so is suitable in ears where this is a problem.

Stage 3.

Clorexyderm Oto™ contains Chlorhexidine, Propylene Gycol, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. This formulation creates an acidifying cleanser with excellent anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and ceruminolytic qualities. These qualities make Clorexyderm Oto™ an excellent choice as a maintenance cleanser for dogs prone to bacterial and fungal ear problems or the over production of wax which can be a precursor to these problems.

Clorexyderm Oto™ is presented as a water based solution which travels well into the ear canal and causes minimal irritation and so is well tolerated. As a maintenance cleaner it is recommended to use Clorexyderm Oto™ once or twice a week in order to maintain healthy ears and help reduce the potential for relapse.


Choosing the right ear cleaner is of paramount importance if you are to achieve the greatest degree of success in managing difficult ears where ear cleaning forms part of the management. 

The Vetruus ear cleaning range is here to help you rationalize the range you stock and to ensure you make the right choice.  Although each product is categorized as an ear cleaner, each one is unique in its formulation and indication.

For further advice, you can call us on 0844 330 0026 or visit use our dermatology helpline.