Common problems with dogs' ears include infections, parasites and allergic reactions. Dogs' allergies to ingredients in their diets or to environmental triggers often make their ears itchy and uncomfortable.
Allergies are the most common cause of problems. Dogs with this problem may also develop issues with their paws, including itching and swelling. The easiest way to treat this problem is to find out what the dog is reacting to and remove that trigger.
Parasitic infections usually come in the form of ear mites. Ticks and fleas may also feed on the ears. Mites and fleas are contagious, so dogs with these problems need to be treated quickly and quarantined from other animals.
Infections are often caused by wetness in the ears, so owners can help prevent them by avoiding getting water in the ear during bathing and gently wiping the ear out with a towel after swimming. Some groomers remove hair from inside the ear on certain breeds, which can create an excessive amount of oil and lead to infections.
Dogs' ears are also somewhat fragile and susceptible to injury. They can get debris lodged in them, including some plants. Their ears are often injured after fighting with another dog, and they can even injure their own ears by scratching too hard.