Thought 4the day: Sometimes in life after we have had a fall we might turn around and be more nervous or if things have gone wrong on the ground we are more hesitatant. Perhaps we should stop and think what it was and why and how can we correct this before things are made worse? Its never wrong to ask for help if you feel you need it. It shows you understand sometimes we all need a little extra and its not a bad thing or to be made you to feel bad it shows you love your horse that much that you can ask for it :o)
Quote 4the day: Judge not others how you would want to be judged horses judge noone......
Fact 4the day Skin tumours
A sarcoid is a skin tumor found on the skin of horses, donkeys, and mules. It is is generally non-cancerous (benign) and non-life-threatening and looks like a thickened and bleeding area (ulceration) that may crust over as it heals. Other skin lesions, such as the equine papilloma, can be confused for sarcoids. However, the papilloma will go away on its ow...n over time, while the sarcoid will rarely regress.
Symptoms and Types
Sarcoids can come in many different varieties -- from a small singular growth to a large wart-like grouping (pedunculated) to a more firm, moveable lump under the skin (nodule). They are often located on the tail, underside of the back legs, along the belly, and/or chest and head.
An occult sarcoid is a flat, hairless dark patch that may crust over. Verrucose sarcoids are raised dark areas that tend to spread and bleed. Nodular sarcoids are firm lumps under the skin that may have normal-appearing skin over the top. Fibroblastic sarcoids tend to bleed and ooze and have a raised, cauliflower-like appearance. Mixed sarcoids, on the other hand, are a combination of two or more of the other forms of sarcoids. And malevolent sarcoids are more rare and tend to invade into deeper tissues under the skin.
It has been suggested that a genetic predisposition to sarcoids exists for Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Arabians, while Standardbreds are at lower risk for developing the skin tumors. However, no particular gender or color of horse is more afflicted with sarcoids than another.
In addition, there has been no specific cause identified for sarcoids, but the bovine papilloma virus (BPV) is thought to be a potential contributor. Both BPV types 1 and 2 have been associated with the formation of sarcoid disease in horses. Research has yet to determine the method in which the disease is transmitted, but several theories exist.
One theory is that skin that has been wounded previously is more prone to development of sarcoid. Another is that flies act as a source of transmission (vector) of the virus, as they land on wound sites on various animals. And still others believe that sharing contaminated tack or equipment between infected horses and other animals will transmit the virus.
A veterinarian may be able to diagnose the lesions by appearance and location of the tumors only; however, a positive diagnosis can only be made using a biopsy of the skin. In some cases, a veterinarian may not wish to take a skin biopsy, as it may make a slow-growing skin lesion worsen.
Other potential skin lesions should be ruled out, and your veterinarian will check for other skin conditions such as fungal infections (dermatophytosis) and warts (papillomas).
Sarcoids are difficult to treat and there is no single best therapy to use. Some methods involve surgical removal (excision), freezing therapy (cryotherapy), laser treatments, topical chemotherapeutic drugs, injection of a chemotherapeutic drug into the tumor, radiowave therapy, and heat treatment. Immunotherapy has also been used.
Recurrence of the tumors is common after removal, but they do not tend to spread through the rest of the body like other cancers (metastasize). The recurrence has caused some to consider that the surgical removal activates a resting (latent) viral component within the apparently normal skin around the edges of the tumor.
Living and Management
Some research suggests that a vaccine or anti-viral treatment might be a possibility for this condition. Further study is needed to determine if this will be effective in the future. Removal of sarcoids may help to control the disease, but will not completely cure the condition.
As no vaccine currently exists, there is no commercial preventative available for sarcoids. However, wound management is critical for horses, especially during fly season.