Q:

Why does my dog keep scratching its ears?

A:

Quick Answer

A dog's ear scratching may be caused by an ear infection, wounds or lesions, allergies or parasites. While some ear scratching is normal, persistent or heavy ear scratching should be evaluated by a vet.

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Full Answer

Dogs that exhibit signs of imbalance or clumsiness may be suffering from ear infections. A dog that is not asymmetrically aligning its head as it walks may be responding to an ear infection that causes it to tilt its head at an angle or move its ears and head at an angle. Some ear infections may clear up on their own, while others may need treatment by a vet who can prescribe antibiotics for the animal.

Dogs may scratch their ears due to lesions or wounds on the ears. Minor wounds can be treated using antibiotic creams. The use of an Elizabethan collar, along with first aid for the scratches, can help relieve irritation and keep the dog from further harming itself.

Allergies can also be a source of scratching. The introduction of new cleaning products, foods, air fresheners, perfumes or fabrics near the dog may trigger allergic reactions. Itching that occurs after new products are introduced may indicate allergies.

Parasitic infections is also a source for scratching of the ears. This includes fleas, ticks, or little red or black spots that are likely mites. Treating the parasitic infection controls the scratching behavior.

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