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Old 05-18-2009, 03:12 PM  
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My horse has crusty looking warty stuff in his ears?

My horse has what looks like warts but when I TRY (he doesnt like his ears messed with) its crusty and comes off? Should this be a vet call?
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:49 PM  
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Can you show us a picture?
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:33 PM  
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It's probably aural plaque. You can find lots of information on the internet and images to see if that's what it is.

I had a horse with it and from what I learned, you can't get rid of it. You can try to get as much of it out of there as possible if your horse will let you. If it's thick it can crack and bleed, though. I've heard of people colouring it for showing because it's usually white.
I hope it's something else that is treatable, though.
J
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:28 AM  
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I discovered gnats (little black guys, that like ears) these past 6 months since moving to SC. I didn't notice them in FL.

Basically, they are tiny black flying bugs that get in the ears - THROUGH the hair - and wreck havoc. They can be hard to see too. First one I saw, I thought it was a louse (lice).

I used Swat every 2 or 3 days and put on a fly mask with ears. Took 2 months for my colt's ears to fully heal. BTW - use the clear Swat versus the pink.....pink makes it look like their ears are bleeding. It can be quite alarming to an unsuspecting onlooker.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:38 AM  
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Yes, it sounds like aural plaques, a chronic inflammatory response to midge bites. We have a gelding with those. When you peel off the waxy/flaky (hyperkeratotic) build up, the skin is usually pink underneath. They can be painful and were in our gelding, making it difficult to treat as he didn't want anything done with his ears. Keeping flies from biting is one of the best things you can do. We got a Cashel fly mask with ears and that has made a world of difference. We put him in before dusk and let him out after dawn (dusk and dawn is when the black flies are out that cause the problem) as he also seems to have a bit of sweet itch from their bites as well.

We also give him grape seed extract to boost his immune system.

ETA: Usually, by this time of year, he has the white bumps already. This year, nothing. AND he enjoys having us rub the insides of his ears, something he has never much cared for.
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Last edited by fishing_trex : 05-19-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:16 AM  
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I had a beautiful buckskin mare with plaques. She was very dangerous to handle with her ears. The University of MN did a study on aural plaques
This is in part of what they found Many treatments have been tried to remove the aural plaques but none have been shown consistently effective. Recent research at the UMN suggests imiquimod (Aldara™) can help clear the aural plaques and lessen the ear sensitivity
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:58 AM  
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Thank you!

Thank you for your information, well appreciated!
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:53 PM  
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I should have added that my horse that had it was- and still is, he's my friend's horse now- terrible with his ears. The previous owner worked on his ears until they were bleeding one day and now he panics if we even go near them. He has to be sedated to work on them properly. And the bridle has to be undone on one side to get it over his head. A real pain in the behind.
I spent countless hours and different methods working on him to get him to let me touch them. Nothing worked.
J
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:16 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernHorseGirl View Post
I spent countless hours and different methods working on him to get him to let me touch them. Nothing worked.
J
We had this problem with this gelding too. Forget about putting on a fly mask or bridle! It took us a long time, but we finally got him to where he loves his ears messed with. It helped to wait until fall when the bugs were all gone and the plaques basically went away. Then we spent hours, feeding him, touching his ear and retreating before he could retreat, scratching his neck, and sneaking our hand up to his ear and retreating before he could jerk his head up. The key is not to move too fast; and to always be the one to retreat before the horse does. If he does move his head, it's important to try to keep your hand near or on his ear until he brings his head back down -- then take your hand away (release the pressure for doing the right thing). We've owned this gelding a year last February and it has just been in the past couple months he is letting us handle his ears -- even asking for us to rub them. If the plaques get worse, we may go through the whole thing again.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:27 PM  
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Thanks FT but I honestly tried everything. Lots of slow attempts, rewards for letting me get near them, tying his head down, using a fly mask to get him used to his ears being touched (which he ripped off within minutes), clicker training or a mounting block, doing it from the saddle, cross-tying, I spent hours getting closer and closer and sometimes he'd let me touch them but the next time he'd be just the same.
I started undoing the bridle at the side thinking that maybe if he had bridling experiences that weren't painful he'd get used to that but he never has. I also had two different trainers try to fix it but neither was able to.
Anyway, he's my friend's horse now and she knew he was like that and she deals with it. He's a great horse otherwise and is very tolerant.
Also, he's not head shy. You can scratch the top of his head and brush his forelock, etc. but if you so much as brush past an ear by mistake he comes unglued. He actually knocked my daughter flying about 10 feet when she tried to get him to let her touch them.
Jan
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:36 PM  
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What you describe sounds like what my horse had. The vet prescribed a medication called Xtera which I apply to the "things". This has helped tremendously. He also suggested covering his ears (fly mask with ear covers) as the bugs aggravate the condition.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:42 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernHorseGirl View Post
Thanks FT but I honestly tried everything.... He actually knocked my daughter flying about 10 feet when she tried to get him to let her touch them.
Jan
Wow, sounds like a hard case... good luck to your friend.
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