The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a horse at the track with extremely floppy ears, but I couldn't find a whole lot of information about it online. I read somewhere that it can be caused by a deaf horse not swiveling their ears to listen to things, and therefore losing muscle mass. Is that true? Does it usually make them flop this much?







It looked like he could move them a little bit from side to side, but I don't think he could pick them up at all.

I've heard of horses having floppy ears after an injury destroyed the nerves in the ear, but what are the chances that both ears would be injured in the same way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
i've never heard of it but its actualy kinda cute ^.^ (not that i would ever want a horse like that though)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,635 Posts
The first theory about deaf horses makes sense.

As for the injury, I'm sure it's possible for one blow/trauma to a certain place would affect the nerves for both ears.

I'm really curious about this, I hope someone has a better/real answer for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,160 Posts
I read an article in a magazine once about a Mustang they named Eeyore, who had floppy ears similar to this. It was a deformity that he was born with, and because he couldn't communicate with other horses, or rather the other horses couldn't read his body language, he became very aggressive towards them.

I think he even got shot by someone (he had bullet fragments in his tongue) because he attacked the horse they were riding. Eeyore ended up getting rounded up and getting a good home and training though, so all ended well.

It does look kind of cute!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,635 Posts
Aww, it makes him look so sad. I don't know what could cause it, but he is really cute!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
I would guess that it was either some kind of genetic deformity or a birth defect. It is also possible that it was an injury suffered as a foal. I can't really see them letting a deaf horse run but IDK, they might.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
I think it is a deformity like Eeyore. But darn is he ever a cutie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,747 Posts
awww the poor horse!!! he looks so different from any others with normal ears! the deaf thing makes sense, or just born with it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
I would guess that it was either some kind of genetic deformity or a birth defect. It is also possible that it was an injury suffered as a foal. I can't really see them letting a deaf horse run but IDK, they might.
They would let a deaf horse run. Some wear ear plugs that block almost all sound as a way to keep them calmer. There is a Standardbred stallion(Oaklea Julian) that raced most of his career with only one eye. He had a great career.
I agree that it looks like a birth defect. Looks like he might even have a lack of cartillage inthe ears? I think he's adorable! He has a sweet face!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,245 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

I found this information from The Horse | The Anatomy of the Ear

I'll paste it here, since not everybody can read their articles.


"Neonatal Ears

The ear can be very useful in the evaluation of a newborn foal. If the ear is extremely floppy and has poor development of the cartilage at its base, prematurity or dysmaturity might be a factor. If the foal seems sick or depressed, the presence of small hemorrhages surrounding the blood vessels on the inner surface of the ear (the pinna) might be an indication of neonatal septicemia. As with any sick foal, veterinary attention should be sought immediately, given the fragile nature of foals and the speed with which their illnesses can progress.

The Droopy Ear

As with most things about the body, the ears should be symmetrical. If one ear is droopy (usually flopped to the side), it is an indication of paralysis of the seventh cranial nerve (the facial nerve). The damage that caused the paralysis can occur in the brain itself or anywhere on the nerve between the brain and the ear. Diseases such as equine protozoal myeloenecephalitis (EPM) can affect the area of the brain where the seventh cranial nerve originates, but the horse generally has other neurologic signs—EPM is not that specific. These horses also generally have signs of ataxia (incoordination).

Damage to the facial nerve can occur at the base of the ear. More typically, however, the facial nerve is damaged as it passes over the side of the head (halter buckles are a common cause of this) and the muzzle is primarily affected and is pulled away from the damaged side. These horses will not have any ataxia as the lesion is "outside" of the brain."


That still kind of makes it sound like only one ear should be affected, or there should be other symptoms (in the case of EPM).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
either some kind of genetic deformity or a birth defect.
these are the same thing.

it is possible that it is a paralysis of the branch of the facial nerve and the reason that it is bilateral is that there was some sort of trauma involving a halter (I'm thinking some sort of a hang back incident). I bet he has a hard time getting on with his herd mates for sure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
The deaf thing really makes sense.
An old friend rescued an old mare and she discovered that she was deaf in one ear. That ear flopped like that TB but the other one was alright.

I just want to hug that poor sad looking ponie! He looks freakishly cute :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
Go over to chronicle of the horse forum and do a search for floppy ears. There's actually some people who covet these horses and their are bloodlines known to carry the gene. They are not usually deaf. It's a defect in the ear cartilidge.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top