Aural Plaques

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

What is it?

Aural Plaques are whitish, flaky lesions on the inside of the ear. They are thought to be the body's chronic, inflammatory response to a papilloma viral infection (similar to warts) spread by biting insects. Aural Plaques can be a purely cosmetic problem or cause severe ear sensitivity. However, it is not exactly known what aspect of this condition specifically makes the ears sensitive to grooming, haltering, bridling and other common handling procedures.

What can be done about it?

Generally veterinarians recommend no treatment for Aural Plaques since repeated handling of the ears seems to inflame the area and sensitize the horse. Despite this, some owners have reported success with various ointments, especially those containing steroids or other anti-inflammatory agents. Scrubbing or scraping should be avoided, however. A fly mask with ears is the best protection against new fly bites or irritation from flies. Horses that have become "ear shy" due to Aural Plaques may need specific training to condition them to accept head and ear handling.

What else do I need to know?

A study has recently been completed on a new ointment that appears to resolve the plaques inside the ear. Unfortunately, the treatment is expensive and painful but for horses and owners that have been dealing with Aural Plaques for a long time, it may provide relief. Any skin condition should be examined by a veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis and rule out a more serious problem such as sarcoids or sarcoma.

About Dr. Lydia Gray

Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Mollie and Eden
I started riding when I was 9 years old and quickly got swept up into the competitive hunter/jumper world. I showed my first pony, Chloe, in the Small Pony Hunter divisions were we competed at shows like Fairfield Hunt Club, Old Salem, HITS, and West...

Learn more »

SmartPak Barn Field Trip, Part 2: Decoding hay and grain for horses
Download the worksheet to test your knowledge! How much hay and grain does your horse get every day? How much SHOULD your horse be getting each day? Many horses may not be getting what your feed bag recommends, so we’re

Read More »

Download our mobile apps

Put SmartPak in your pocket with these awesome apps!

Check It Out »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-800-461-8898.

SmartPak Equine™ is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
© Copyright by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.