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Sarcoids in 3 year old - reason to reject in PPE?

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    Sarcoids in 3 year old - reason to reject in PPE?

    I'm interested in a 3 year old dun Connemara/Dutch warmblood filly and am doing the purchase long distance, although I have an agent who has been able to go look at her and there are tons of videos. She's a beautiful mover, incredible jump, and very well-bred on both sides, and both parents had very successful long careers as upper level show jumpers with both pros and amateurs, and retired sound. I'm looking for a Connemara cross to event at prelim-intermediate level, which is not the easiest to find. I have a very nice one that I've had for 13 years, but she is 18 and can't do it forever, and she's not easy to replace. I already vetted one young one that failed because of stifle and other issues, and I'm picky about wanting a really nice mover as well as jumping talent. The dun filly is very nice but one catch is that she has two smallish sarcoid nodules, one on her chest and one on her upper hind thigh, and then a couple of what look like rubs near her main but could also be potentiallyl flat small sarcoids. My regular vet isn't worried about them and thinks they could easily be removed with a topical treatment or laser removal, but I contacted the vet that I've used for laser removal of my older grey mare's melanomas and she's concerned that she already has two at a young age and that she could sprout more. My trainer says a couple of her horses have them and thinks they are no big deal. She really likes the filly, more than anything else I've looked at, but I'm wondering what the collective hive mind of the COTH thinks? I have a vet check scheduled for Friday (scheduled before I knew about the sarcoids), and I'm trying to figure out if I should go ahead and see what the vet on the ground thinks or if this is a dealbreaker?

    So long as they dont' interfere with tack placement or aids, I'd say go for it.

    I've known a few where the sarcoids spontaneously disappear with no treatment. I've known some who've been treated with some Australian turmeric (?) medication and they've gone down.. others it does nothing. I've also known some that have had their sarcoids surgically removed only to come back again and again.

    How do you feel about the sarcoids? Do you feel they detract from the horse's appearance? Would you be ok if the horse lived with these sarcoids their whole life? I'd say there's your answer.

    Are you going to insure this horse?


      This is a really tough question. I have had one sarcoid issue that we could never fix (it eventually became huge and weepy - not under tack but very nasty), acquired by horse in middle age, and one little flat thing on my current horse that hasn’t changed since I bought him at 6, 7 years ago.
      But I have a friend who has battled sarcoids on her horse that are nodules that have spread all over - he is an upper level dressage horse and they do not currently interfere with tack, but she has tried everything everything everything from specialists etc etc to no avail.
      i absolutely would not assume these will go away or indeed not multiply..but if they aren’t anywhere that would interfere with under saddle work it might be an acceptable risk for you. One thing I would NOT do is intervene in any way with the sarcoids unless you have to. Many times this only seems to make them return more aggressively. I’d live with them until you couldn’t any more and if you are lucky they may just sit there.
      Any way to reliably find out whether they are growing? What did they look like a year ago?
      The big man -- my lost prince

      The little brother, now my main man


        Would not be a deal breaker for me as long as they didn't interfere with tack placement. The one's I've dealt with have been easily removed/healed.


          Been there, done that, bought the horse.

          Also a 3 year old but the sarcoid was noted on PPE. I did not notice it on visits due to it's location, high up on the inside thigh. PPE vet and I chatted by phone and agreed due to location and size (about a quarter) it was a non-issue. I did not ask for reduction in price as it did not affect use of the horse.

          I've had three of my home vets (main vet, vet I use for chiro and vet that specializes in dentistry) look at it and all three agreed to leave it be. Treatment is crapshoot at best and typically very painful for the horse. I figured three separate vets agreeing on something was a sign!! Low and behold 2 years later and it appears to be self healing. I've taken status photos of it now and then just to keep track of it as recommended and as of a couple weeks ago it is flat and growing peach fuzz.


            We’ve had 3 horses with sarcoids. The first, a 5 year old imported English TB, had several sarcoids that disappeared without treatment a few years after he was imported. The second horse had one on his face which we treated with two weeks of imiquimod cream. The third, a Connemara cross, had a probable (inconclusive pathology) large sarcoid which we treated with imiquimod cream, followed by removal of the small bump that remained, and two cisplatin in sesame oil injections. We just treated him this year, and hopefully it won’t come back.

            I would not consider sarcoids to be a deal breaker as most seem to be manageable.


              We had a young horse with a huge sarcoid on his elbow, had it laser removed, never grew back. He does have sarcoids in his ears, we just left them alone. He's 14 now and it's never bothered him and we don't ever trim his ears out.
              The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton


                My neighbors down the street had some very old arabians. Two had sarcoids on their ears that resulted in amputation. Not sure I would want to risk that. Some horses just don't seem to get them, or at least not like that.


                  Original Poster

                  Well the vet just finished the exam and X-rays, and one small sarcoid has somehow mysteriously disappeared, and the other is about 1/4 inch and in a non-obtrusive area. None in the ears. The rest of the clinical vet check was fairly perfect, and he thought the xrays looked good, although he’s emailing them to my vet. The other prospects I’ve looked at are all grey, the most common Connemara color, and that carries its own set of issues since 80% of greys get melanomas. I’ve had to have two rounds of melanoma surgery on my grey Connemara cross, so by comparison maybe a small sarcoid isn’t that bad. The vet who did the exam used to be the Irish team vet and really liked her, both for her temperment abd movement. She also has incredible jumping form.


                    If you purchase, go in with the idea you may be dealing with the sarcoid problem in various ways over the years. They may be small, come and go like this one, or turn into terrible things.

                    Grey horses we have known come with issues, some stay small, others go right into melanomas at young ages. We do not even look at grey horses because of these issues and the resulting heartbreak. Yeah, could have been a wonderful horse, but we are not willing to take the chance. And there are some greys who appear to never have a problem. You just never know these days.

                    Good luck if you purchase her, hope she is wonderful for you!


                      FWIW, one of mine popped with a sarcoidy looking thing this spring. High up on the inside of the hind leg. Vet looked at it when she was out for spring vaccines and confirmed that yup, looks like a sarcoid.

                      I started spraying it every day with triamcinolone and after a couple weeks, it's gone. It was probably a big reaction to a bug bite or something, and not a sarcoid at all.

                      This horse maybe has some of the same sort of "looks like a sarcoid but not a sarcoid" deal going on, especially since one is already gone?


                        A few years ago I would have said " No way". I knew of a horse many years ago with them on his ears and eyelids and it was a mess. However when my mare was three years old a flat one popped up on her head where I guess the halter rubbed. My vet gave me some immunogobulin cream which I rubbed on the spot and it went away. I don't know if it was the cream or it just spontaneously disappeared. Then years later when the neighbors had some cows she got a big one in one ear. It wasn't bleeding or bothering her at all and the vets decided the best course of action was to leave it alone. They were afraid messing with it could stimulate it to grow bigger. She had it for a year or so and one day it was gone! It has not come back either.

                        So if the horse checks all the other boxes, especially since none of these sarcoids are around his eyes, I would not let them let a good horse get away!


                          Check out the Facebook page Sarcoid Trial group. Lots of good info. My 5 year old had on pop over the winter. Using the Turmeric/DMSO as directed it went away in a week! I now use a table spooful in all my horses daily feed —it is inexpensive and easy to use. Oh I do have a grey horse with melanomas — the paste didn’t help and he he seemed to object to the spots I used it. The 5 year old is bay he didn’t object.