AURAL PLAQUES (PAPILLARY ACANTHOMA, EAR PAPILLOMAS):
Appearance: flat, crusty, raised white lesions inside the ears; underneath, the skin may be pink and sensitive. Aural plaques usually cause no pain and are considered to be just a cosmetic problem. But biting flies may irritate the lesions, and some horses may begin to resist bridling or having their ears handled. Both ears are likely to be affected. They are not likely to shrink or go away on their own.
Causes: Aural plaques are caused by an equine papilloma virus that is thought to be spread by biting flies, such as the black fly, that target the ears. The plaques may appear in horses of any age or breed.
Do I need to treat it? No, unless the plaques are bothering the horse.
Protocol: Most horses resent having the plaques physically pulled off, and doing so can inflame the ears and make the problem worse. If the plaques are causing ear sensitivity, the use of Low Level Blue Light Therapy is recommended.
Prevention: Take precautions to protect your horse against biting flies, especially black flies. Use fly spray, and outfit your horse with a fly mask that includes ear coverings. Also use ear covers that can be worn with a bridle, especially if you ride in wooded areas near water. Stable your horse at dawn and dusk, when black flies are most active.
Continued use through application to the affected area will help to both sooth, soften, and repair any damage that has been done to the layers of the skin.
Any thoughts or experiences?.....
Until Next Time …. “Ride for the Brand”