Foreign bodies in the ear canal cause irritation and, later, infection. Most are grass seeds and awns that first cling to hair surrounding the ear opening and then drop down into the canal. Always examine the ears after a dog has been running in tall grass, weeds, and brush.
Foreign bodies near the opening can be removed with blunt-nosed tweezers, taking care not to push them deeper into the ear canal. Foreign bodies in the deep recesses of the ear generally go undetected until they produce external otitis and are found and removed during veterinary examination.
Ticks may be found on the ear flaps or in the ear canals. When a tick is accessible, remove it as described in Ticks. Recall that ticks carry diseases; they should not be squeezed or crushed with your bare fingers. Ticks deep in the ear canal should be removed by a veterinarian.