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Ear Wicks™

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Ear Wicks
For the Management of Ear Conditions in Dogs & Cats.


Ear Wicks are made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) which is processed in the form of a three-­dimensional interconnected porous sponge.

PVA sponge does not disintegrate or tear, is biocompatible and is easy to cut and shape. Unless it is contaminated it will not sustain microbial growth. It is highly absorbent but fibre-free and contains fine pores which minimises the risk of tissue adhesion. PVA sponge also has an ultra­soft surface which gives the dog or cat maximum comfort.

When it is soaked it expands in a slow and controlled way which optimises positioning of the wick in the ear canal. A wick is easy to insert and will maintain moderate and constant pressure in the ear. Each wick will conform to the shape of the canal and therefore can be used in a variety of different breeds.


  • Where the owner is unable to apply drops to the animal’s ear.
  • Where the dog will not tolerate drops.
  • Where culture and sensitivity shows no licensed product is appropriate.

How to use

  • Cytology of ear discharge plus culture and sensitivity. Once the bacterial flora and sensitivity are known, the animal should be sedated/anaesthetised for flushing of the ear prior to wick application. The ear must be thoroughly cleaned before insertion of the wick.
  • Flush the ear with OtoProf® to remove debris*.
    Then flush the ear with saline solution to remove any remaining OtoProf®.
  • After cleaning, a sterilising flush such as Otodine® should be used. This flush solution should be left in the ear for at least ten minutes. This allows adequate contact time and allows the cleansing activity of Otodine to be used to its full potential.
  • A small amount of sterile glucocorticoid solution (0.25 - 0.5ml of aqueous dexamethasone solution) may then be instilled into the ear to decrease erythema and hyperplasia.
  • Apply Dry Wick via an auroscope into the junction between the vertical and horizontal canal. An appropriate antibiotic solution based on sensitivity should then be added to the canal. 1-2ml of solution should be added to the canal to allow the ear wick to swell. The ear should be checked after five minutes and  a small amount of fluid on the top of the wick will suggest that  it is fully saturated. If not, a further amount of fluid may be added.
  • Glucocorticoid administration. It is recommended (providing there is no contraindication) that the dog is given an anti-inflammatory dose of dexamethasone intravenously after the ear has been flushed and the Ear Wick has been placed. This ensures that the dog will not shake its head on recovery.
  • Ear Wick Removal is best performed after 3-5 days (although they may be left in place for up to 2 weeks). Owners where possible should apply more solution after 2-3 days to keep the wick hydrated. Wicks should be removed under sedation/anaesthetic. To ensure easy removal of the wick it should be rehydrated with sterile water. Repeat ear cytology should be performed. Step 1-5 may then be repeated or a commercial ear drop applied if the animal will allow this.
    * ensure tympanic membrane is intact.


Ear Wicks™ are not substitutes for licensed veterinary ear drops.