Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hair Loss on Ear

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If a skin lesion is larger, growing or causing pain or itchiness.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.

Hair loss on the ear can be caused by tumors and growths, traumatic injury, contact dermatitis (thermal or chemical burns) and infections, as well as less common conditions. Aural plaques are white warty growths on the inside surface of the ear. Sarcoids are common skin growths which often affect the ear.

Ear growths can be difficult to remove surgically because there is very little extra skin for repair. The supporting cartilage can also be damaged by overzealous use of anti-tumor therapies like cryotherapy.

WHAT TO DO

Examine the area closely to see if hair is returning to the area. Assess the area for other signs of a problem- skin peeling or flaking or raised areas. Does the skin appear thickened and of a different color than normal skin? Take note of whether the horse appears bothered by the condition, or is rubbing or scratching the area. Look carefully over the rest of the horse’s body for other lesions. Take a photo of the problem and share it with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Following a general physical exam, your vet will carefully assess the ear and surrounding areas. Sedation for a proper ear examination may be necessary. In some cases, a cause is not found. In that case, symptomatic treatment might be needed for a time before more aggressive and expensive diagnostics like skin biopsy are employed.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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