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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28270
Experience:  25 years of experience in treating horses.
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We have an Andalusian mare who has developed some type of

Customer Question

We have an Andalusian mare who has developed some type of external and internal ear infections. Both of her ears are swollen with some open sores on the outside and on the inside of her ears. they appear to have abscesses that have not yet ruptured. The skin on the outside of her ears have a "mange like" appearance.
I cleaned the surface of the external ears with Vetericyn gel and used Vetericyn soaked gauze to manually clean out the inside of her ears. Cleaned out some nasty looking but odorless material. Despite the appearance of her ears, there isn't an odor emanating from these areas.
Her ears are very swollen, misshapen and heavy when handled. The swelling within her ears is interesting, although it is easy to see inside, She is clearly uncomfortable. I am concerned that the severe edema manifested in both ears may also be to some degree within both ear canals not visible with casual examination.
Since I have not been able to get her to the hospital, I initiated these interventions attempting to get a handle of what she may actually have. She liked it when I cleaned out her ears, even leaning in to my cleaning the ear canal as if she wanted an itch to be scratched. I stopped cleaning the ear canal when she started to do that.
If she has mange (ears) or some other similar infestation, how can this be treated?
She has never had anything like this in all the years we have had her. None of our other horses have this condition.
I haven't used anything else topically to treat this infection.
I am leaning towards giving her a tetanus toxoid injection due to the appearance of the wound/infection.
I'm hoping she doesn't develop tetanus.
I use Vetericyn routinely for any wounds on horses or our dogs successfully. My equine vet does not recommend using commercial antibiotic ointments or creams on equine wounds as they do worsen the overall appearance of the injury being treated leaving a slimy mess behind. Been there and done that.
The best treatment for Florida sores or wounds has consistently been Vetericyn followed with good bandaging techniques, nothing else has (other products) proven to be as effective in treating Florida sores.
As a "human" critical care RN I'm looking at this thinking that maybe wound cultures would be indicated along with whatever antibiotic would be appropriate to treat this condition. A clear diagnosis of the skin disease of the outside/inside of both ears would be helpful.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is your horse bleeding a lot?
Customer: Actually no. The small open sores have minimal bleeding, primarily the problem seems to be the swelling.
JA: Phew. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about your horse?
Customer: She has always enjoyed EXCELLENT health! Not sure what's up.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 6 months ago.

Welcome to Justanswer. I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian, and would like to assist you. I will respond quickly after reviewing your question.

Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 6 months ago.

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

It appears that your mare has developed a staph infection. The staph bacteria is normal flora on the skin and when there is moisture such as humidity and warmth, this can overgrow causing these lesions that you describe. The swelling is secondary to the infection which is most likely scar tissue and/or edema. It will help to continue with the treatments that you are giving along with either Butazoldin or Banamine to decrease the swelling on the ears. Also, since this may be staph, SMZ antibiotic would eb helpful or Cephalexin orally for 1 week to 10 days. You are correct that culturing this area would be helpful but your vet will have to get this done. If you have these medications at your disposal, it will not hurt to start treatment until your vet can examine your mare.

Since there is a minor possibility of a form of mange, worm her with an Ivermectine wormer which would knock this out. Staph infections have been linked to mange disease as a secondary component. As an RN, I hope this make sense to you. Your mare may be somewhat immune suppressed which has allowed this infection. a Complete blood work with a thyroid panel would be useful in determining a cause for your mares condition.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****