PHD Veterinary Service

PHD Veterinary Service
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sarcoids in a Horse

The following images represent 3 different cases of sarcoid tumors in horses. The images in Figure 1 and 2 are that of sarcoid tumors on a horse's hind limb. The tumors had been removed several times before however they continue to re-develop. The sarcoid tumors in this case have been treated by surgical resection and a topical anti-sarcoid medication called Xxterra. This gelding will require additional surgical debulking and more aggressive post-operative treatment with cryotherapy AND chemotherapy agents. Prognosis is guarded due to the large tumor size and the location of the sarcoid tumors.

Figure 1

Figure 2
In Figures 3,4 and 5, the sarcoid tumor in this horse is located along the sheath of the gelding and is flatter compared to the sarcoid tumors in the horse in Figures 1 and 2. This sarcoid was treated with multiple injections of a chemotherapy agent known as cisplatin. There was minimal response to the chemotherapy agent hence this sarcoid tumor will likely require surgical debulking followed by additional chemotherapy treatment.

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5
The gelding in Figure 6 and 7 was suffering from a horrible sarcoid that weighed more than 2 pounds and was dangling from his right ear. The sarcoid was removed by surgical debulking and the ear was treated with both injectable cisplatin and cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen). The image in Figure 7 is several months after the initial surgical debulking. To date, there does NOT appear to be any re-development of the sarcoid tumor.

Figure 6

Figure 7
These 3 cases represent the diversity of the appearance and location of sarcoid tumors in horses!  However, what they have in common is the aggressive and persistent nature of sarcoid tumors in horses. As such, the take home message of these cases is that sarcoid tumors should be identified EARLY and treated as AGGRESSIVELY as possible. There is no ONE treatment that is typically suffice for treatment but rather a combination of surgical debulking, chemotherapy and cryotherapy!

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