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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Sarcoids Diseases

Equine Diseases

Equine Diseases - Sarcoids

Description of Equine Sarcoids Disease

This disease is a very common equine skin cancer. It is not peculiar to any particular breed or age of horse although horses in the 3 – 6 yr age group are more prone to it. Male horses seem to be more vulnerable to sarcoids than female horses. There could also be a genetic link. Sarcoids can tend to look a little like warts..

Causes of Equine Sarcoids:

The Bovine papilloma virus is thought to be the most common cause of sarcoids.

Symptoms of Equine Sarcoids:

Symptoms of sarcoids are single or multiple lesions on the head, legs, genitalia or around a wound.
Surgical biopsy is necessary to definitively diagnose sarcoids, but this carries a risk of making things worse. It is preferable to diagnose based on the above clinical signs, fine needle aspiration or complete excisional biopsy.

Treatment of Equine Sarcoids:

Your vet will prescribe treatment based on the diagnosis as each case is highly individual. Some sarcoids can regress spontaneously regardless of treatment. Options for treatment are surgical removal, topical treatment, freezing sarcoids with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy), injection of small sarcoids (usually around the eyes) with the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin . External beam radiation can also be used on small sarcoids.

Unfortunately there is always a chance of sarcoid recurrence.

Even though sarcoids are not considered fatal, if the tumours are very aggressive, they can destroy surrounding tissue and cause a lot of discomfort for your horse. Sadly, some sarcoids can be the most common skin-related reason for euthanasia.