Sarcoid and Melanoma Management

While there is nothing new about sarcoids in horses, we have been seeing an ever increasing number of them recently and certainly our approach as to how to manage them has changed over the years.

Sarcoids become more of a problem depending on the locality on the horse i.e around the eye, points of contact with equipment; rugs, saddles, girths, halters, reins etc. When they are in a position where they can be easily traumatised by rubbing, contact etc they can become very ‘angry’ and behave like an ants nest that has been kicked and grow rapidly.

In the past one commonly used protocol was to debride them, then use a freeze/thaw technique with liquid nitrogen and then treat them with a topical preparations such as efudex.  While this treatment was relatively satisfying, we have been getting far better results by debriding and injecting them ‘Cisplatin’.  This is a chemotherapy agent and a number of sarcoids treated this way have totally cleared up for several years and counting.  Initially ‘cisplatin beads’ were used but more recently ‘cistplatin polymer’ has become available allowing for better penetration, surface contact and absorption.


Sacrcoid removal around the eye before and after

So if you have any concerns regarding sarcoids please do not hesitate to contact the clinic.

While on the subject of skin growths it is worth noting that like sarcoids the approach to melanomas (the curse of grey horses) has also changed recently. While in the past we would tend to leave these alone we are now far more vigorous and remove these as they develop and again are having far better results.  This way we can avoid scenarios like this.


Melanomas under the tail (curse of the grey)

So again, like sarcoids, if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the clinic.

Belvoir Clinic Email: Phone: (08) 9296 6666

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