Ear fungus? I need help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Ear fungus? I need help

Anyone know what is this?
I have a mare and she is 1 year old
Her ear is already down and i dont know what to do with her and the city vet said it's probably a fungus but doesn't know what to do either

i will link a uploaded youtube video for better viewing:
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 08:25 PM
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Oh wow. Could be aural plaques, but I've never seen a case this bad. My gelding had a couple of small spots when I got him about a year ago. They are almost gone. Keeping flies off it helped so he wore a fly mask with ear pieces all summer. There are ways to treat aural plaques, but they are painful and not always effective. However, in this case, I'd want to do something.

If your vet doesn't know what to do about this, you should find a new vet. If he really doesn't know what it is or how to treat it, he should take a culture and have it analyzed so you know what you're dealing with.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 08:26 PM
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These are normal examples of aural plaques. My horse's ears weren't even this bad. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/ear-dis...-aural-plaques

And here's a severe case that looks a bit like your horse (scroll down to to ear photo) https://veteriankey.com/papillomavirus-infections/
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for answering! We're using some kind of spray on her ear and it's showing great results. But we fear that her ear can stay permanently damaged. Anyway I will continue the treatment and see the evolution.
With the other horses everything is fine. She is a good girl and I know she will recover well. Was just looking for more opinions. Thank you!
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 09:13 PM
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Edit: Err, did you have a vet out already? I just saw that you were already treating it with good results.

Offering my guess, the outside looks like rain rot/scratches...so, fungus. I've never seen it in the ear, but it makes sense that it could happen. Such infections tend to be systemic - I'd still have a vet out to examine the ear and make sure all of it has been treated. It can be pretty difficult to get rid of, and the vet can likely sedate/numb the ear and to do a major treatment. That way your little gal doesn't remember ear handling in such a painful light. I would not try to remove big chunks of it myself. Fungus tends to root down to the skin - tearing any of it off is excruciatingly painful.

That severe case has to be one of the worst things I've ever seen @Acadianartist . Even if it might not be painful for the horse, it looks awful.
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No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!

Last edited by Feathers7; 01-10-2020 at 09:20 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, we have a vet and at this time we are doing a treatment, but the spray we're using seems to bother her a little. It is heartbreaking to think of the pain she can be feeling, but we will do everything possible to solve it in the best way.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-10-2020, 09:45 PM
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https://wagwalking.com/horse/conditi...-aural-plaques

This was news to me - papilloma virus transmitted by fly bites
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-11-2020, 05:26 AM
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I have an aged gelding I bought years ago with aural plagues like that in both ears. My vet told me if anyone found a cure for aural plaques they'd become wealthy. When I got my gelding he was extremely head shy. I tried the expensive prescription medicine imiquimod sold as Zyclara and Aldara with no results. My thought is that the packets were so small there wasn't enough to adequately cover the entire area. If it came in quart bottles it may have worked. What I did find that helped was a weekly application of Dermafas Veterinary Creme applied to the plaques keeps them under control but does not make them go away. My gelding is a lot less head shy now but I can't say whether it is from the Dermafas or the regular handling of his ears or a combination of both. Aural plaques are largely a cosmetic problem rather than something that harms the horse.
imiquimod

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/horse/conditi...-aural-plaques
imiquimod

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/horse/conditi...-aural-plaques
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-11-2020, 08:46 AM
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Yes, one of the issues around aural plaques is that treatments can be painful and the horse develops a real aversion to having his ears touched so it becomes more and more difficult to treat. Some desensitization can be useful, but given the severity of this case, it is going to be a long road, and this horse is going to have having her ears touched. If I were you, I'd reward the horse each time you treat it by giving a favorite food. Even then, it may become harder and harder to treat.

If the horse is being ridden, you'll find it difficult to get a bridle over the ears. I'd avoid rubbing against the ears at any cost right now since this is going to be painful for quite some time. Halters need to be unbuckled and re-buckled so the poll piece can be gently be placed over the head. I use a bridle that can also be undone so I don't have to pull it over his ears. I put in the bit, and wrap it over his poll, buckling it at the side. The brow band comes off and snaps back on after the headstall piece (the part that attaches to the bit) is on. It looks like this:
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-17-2020, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Just updating on this case:
Her ear has improved a lot this past week, most of that "thing" has already fallen. Her ear is starting to return to normal. I'll try to take pictures as soon as I can, it's not so easy because she still doesn't like someone to touch her head. We hope that in the next few days it will be completely healed. Thank you for your attention!
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