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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mare who has always been easy to bridle and has never been touchy about her ears. I've noticed the last few weeks, she has become increasingly ear shy, especially on one side. Today I noticed her rubbing on trees a few times in the pasture. I can't see or feel anything wrong, could have bugs in her ear canal?
I'm waiting for a call back from the vet, but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this?
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I had a gelding that had plaques , he was a paint, and it was a form of cancer, and his ears would get really itchy. I had to keep them clean and sunscreen them.
 

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My gelding had plaque also. Never was told it was cancerous by the vet. I treated his ears 2 - 3 x's a day with cotton and benadine. Cleared up and has never had any further issues in the ensuing 14 years. I was told it was a sort of a reaction to bug bites (their saliva). My friends mare (walka's full sister) also had plaque, but never cleared it up. Was always sensitive to her ears. Not sure if it was because the owner wasn't very conscientious about treating it.
 

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Plaque is similar to the virus that causes warts and as far as I know doesn't bother the horse - it can stay with them forever or just go away. It does seem to attract biting black flies which seem to be a trigger for it to start so using fly masks with ears in the bug season is a good idea
The ear mites you can clear up and they will drive a horse mad as they make them itch - ticks can crawl into the ears too - will also drive a horse mad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info, Jaydee.

We have 7 horses, but Phe is the only one showing signs. Do you know if mites are passed from animal to animal? Wondering if I'll need to treat them all, if it's mites?

Our dogs haven't brought home any ticks yet this year, so I don't think it's ticks.
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Mites will pass from one horse to another - they tend to prefer living in the feather on the legs but the ears are a warm cosy place to burrow into. They live off the horse so treating them all with Ivermectin can get rid of them and that would kill ear ticks as well
You should get the vet to sedate her and check the ear though because it could be something lodged in the ear that's causing an infection that in which case it needs removing and a course of antibiotics
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I am having her checked. Hopefully vet will make it out today. My mare won't let me anywhere near her ear today, so sedation is a must. I'll have vet check the other horses as well. Thank you so much for all of the helpful info.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you to everyone for the tips on Phe's ear problem. Sorry for the delay...it turned out to be ticks in one ear. The vet got them out and treated her ear. I'm now rubbing tea tree oil on all of the horses ears, as a tick repellent.
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