Are ear plaques better left alone?

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Allison Price

These wart-like growths can be removed but it is likely that they will cause more harm than good.

You should not pick at or scrape small, white, crusty areas in the ears of your horse. These small, white, crusty growths that look like warts are not to be worried about. Your efforts to get rid of them will likely cause more damage than good.Plaques in horses’ ears can cause pain and make them shy.

Are Ear Plaques Better Left Alone?

These growths are likely to be aural plaques also known as papillary and ear papillomas. These growths are caused by a variety of papilloma viruses spread by flies. The condition affects both ears, but they don’t usually cause discomfort.

However, attempting to remove these crusts can be very painful and could cause your horse to become withdrawn. The plaques will likely return even if you remove them.

However, if the plaques start to crack or bleed, your veterinarian can help you manage the situation. Ear covers can be fitted to horses when they are most active in order to prevent them from spreading and keep them from getting irritated. The discomfort can be reduced by covering the areas with a soothing cream such as zinc oxide. The topical immuno-modulating medication imiquimod may be recommended by your veterinarian. However, this is labor-intensive, expensive and should only be used in extreme cases.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!