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Melanoma Problems - Photos of before, after surgery and today, July 26

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  • Melanoma Problems - Photos of before, after surgery and today, July 26

    Sport has had a melanoma on his hock for probably the last 6 years. Started out small and we put him on cimitidine. This seemed to delay the growth, about a year ago it was slightly larger than a golf ball, but in the last year the cimitidine hasn't really helped and it is now close to the size of a tennis ball.

    His vet hadn't wanted to remove it as it is right on the joint and he felt that there could be complications in healing. It was largely a case of it isn't bothering him, so lets not do this for cosmetic purposes.

    About 2 weeks ago he knocked it and had a small scratch on it. I cleaned it up and monitored it, but didn't think much about it when it first happened. In a weeks time the wound grew steadily bigger, so I had his vet out last Thursday. Since then I have been following his recommendations to try to get it to dry up. We also figure that we are at a point that we will need to remove it. I am an accountant and was hoping to delay that until after tax time ends, which is April 30th here in Canada.

    When I went to the barn this morning it was looking a lot worse than last night and now his lower leg is all swollen. (Over the weekend it seemed to actually be drying out and healing.)
    At this point he doesn't have a temperature.
    He is on the vets list to visit today, but he said it sounded like the core of the melanoma has died and the tissue is rotting from the inside out.

    Has anyone experienced anything like this?
    Last edited by Sport; Jul. 26, 2011, 01:28 PM. Reason: changing title

  • #2
    No, I haven't, it sounds awful and I just wanted to say my thoughts are with you as you figure this out. I have two horses with significant melanomas and I suspect some day I'll be in your shoes, when "watching and waiting" isn't enough any longer.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks besyk. I have been having a hard time working today, waiting on the vet. I hope he is here soon. The waiting is always the worst. Once you know what needs doing I always find it much easier.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        The vet made it out this evening. The swelling has gone right up the leg. We have hit him hard with antibiotics and will continue treatment for the next 5 days. Once the infection is clearthen he will have the melanoma removed.
        My vet is consulting with the University of Guelph to determine the best way to go about removing it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sport View Post
          Sport has had a melanoma on his hock for probably the last 6 years. Started out small and we put him on cimitidine. This seemed to delay the growth, about a year ago it was slightly larger than a golf ball, but in the last year the cimitidine hasn't really helped and it is now close to the size of a tennis ball.

          His vet hadn't wanted to remove it as it is right on the joint and he felt that there could be complications in healing. It was largely a case of it isn't bothering him, so lets not do this for cosmetic purposes.

          About 2 weeks ago he knocked it and had a small scratch on it. I cleaned it up and monitored it, but didn't think much about it when it first happened. In a weeks time the wound grew steadily bigger, so I had his vet out last Thursday. Since then I have been following his recommendations to try to get it to dry up. We also figure that we are at a point that we will need to remove it. I am an accountant and was hoping to delay that until after tax time ends, which is April 30th here in Canada.

          When I went to the barn this morning it was looking a lot worse than last night and now his lower leg is all swollen. (Over the weekend it seemed to actually be drying out and healing.)
          At this point he doesn't have a temperature.
          He is on the vets list to visit today, but he said it sounded like the core of the melanoma has died and the tissue is rotting from the inside out.

          Has anyone experienced anything like this?
          try this - www.camrosa.co.uk click side bar horses you will see big one like your on there under fleashy growths - might work might not remember sarcoids are semi maglinant
          andf very unpredictable

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks goeslikestink. That looks like a very interesting product.
            It is amazing what it was able to do with that growth.

            A bit of an update. We seem to have the infection under control. All swelling has gone down and the melanoma itself is looking much better. ie not weeping as much or looking so angry for lack of a better word.

            I will check in with the vet again on Monday and see how we proceed from here.

            Sport is a good sport, but he is a very picky eater and I think he has discovered that the yummy mash he has been getting is really the hider of the nasty pills that he has been taking for the infection. He refused to eat this mornings, but not eating his grain for breakfast is not completely unusual. He sometimes leaves it for a lunch time snack when he comes back in from turnout.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I met with the vet yesterday to determine our next course of action. After his consult with Guelph, they determined the best course of action is to do chemotherapy on the melanoma and try to shrink it, so that the wound from removal would be less.
              They are really concerned about the location and that there isn't really a way to close it. They can do skin grafts, but they won't hold well on the joint.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Sport goes to the vet clinic for the week starting tomorrow. Other than a very short period where he was with a trainer at their facility Sport hasn't been out of my care in the 10 years I have had him. He is quirky and doesn't appreciate change. I am having a hard time dealing with him being away for a week even knowing it is at a vet clinic and he will be in very good hands.

                I think I am less worried about the treatment and removal of his lump than I am about him being away. Does that make sense?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It does. I hope everything goes well for Sport and you during this week. Keep us informed. Melanomas can be very difficult to deal with, and this one seems particularly bad due to its location. They are very unpredictable. I hope this one decides to just go away!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Sport went to the clinic yesterday. They did his treatment of chemo last night. They said he was really good and they were able to treat him standing. (they didn't need to put him fully under. ) Which was good.

                    He is doing well this morning and has some swelling from the chemo, but nothing more than expected. They are also applying partial pressure around the melanoma (limiting it's blood supply) to kill part of it off that way.

                    There is only 2 stalls at the clinic and they figure there isn't enough going on to entertain him as he thinks the staff should come visit him as soon as they enter his area. He is a talkative fellow, not loud, but lots of nickering and such.

                    Please jingle that the rest of the process continues on as well as it has started.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      A short update. Sport has responded well to the chemo and the partial pressure on the melanoma. I went to visit him Wednesday night and I was amazed at how much better it looked already.

                      His vet is really impressed with how well it is responding to this treatment. Due to this though, they have delayed removing it and are going with another round of the chemo and then tightening up the pressure a bit more. The smaller we can get the base of the melanoma prior to removal the better the chance of the wound healing properly as that is still the largest concern.
                      He is doing well, but we will take any and all jingles that the treatment continues to go so well.

                      I am going to visit him tomorrow morning, can't wait to see him.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I took more hay to the clinic for Sport and had a short visit with him this morning. He had his second chemo treatment yesterday, so his leg was really swollen today. I didn't see it right after the first injection, so I don't know if it is better or worse today, but you could tell it was bothering him some.
                        His vet was out on calls, so I didn't get to talk to him today. After seeing the swelling, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to talk to him, however I know he is receiving great care and if they were at all concerned they would have contacted me. The vet tech I spoke with said how great he was doing and how good he has been for them.
                        The lump itself is looking about the same as Wednesday.
                        He was a real suck while I visited today.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I just got a call from the vet and the swelling is still up in Sport's leg and they are not as happy with it. They have him on anti inflammatories and are going to try to take him for a walk to help increase circulation.
                          They are not overly concerned, but it is just not as rosy as it has been to this point.
                          Keep us in your thoughts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the updates. I'm jingling like mad for your sweetie. I have a gray mare who developed her 1st melanoma at 6 years old, and I hate it and every new lump gets me worried. Please keep letting us all know how you and he are doing.
                            Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jingles. I have a gray horse with a big melanoma on his side by the girth. Just recently he let us know we couldn't ride him any more
                              He is just going to hang out here as long as he is comfortable. He is only 12.
                              www.ncsporthorse.com

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks for the thoughts and jingles.
                                The swelling stayed up longer than they liked, but was looking much better this morning. I am going up to see him tonight.
                                There is a park behind the clinic and I am able to take him for a walk there.
                                His vet has taken him for a couple of walks now. What an awesome vet to do this.
                                He gets to stay there a while longer, the base of the melanoma has shrunk again after this round of treatment, so they are trying to decide what to do next.
                                Whether to remove it now, or to try one more round of the chemo.

                                Keep us in your thoughts.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Having just lost a horse to metastatic melanoma, I understand completely what you're going through.

                                  I had to really push my vet (initially) to remove the melanoma that my late horse had. Cimetidine helped after the removal, but the tumor was internal as well, and really exploded after we removed him from cimetidine therapy, as he wouldn't eat it. In your shoes, I would ask the vet for a comprehensive exam of your horse, to make sure you're treating the cause of his problem, rather than just a symptom.

                                  Jingling like mad that your situation turns out better than mine did.
                                  In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                  A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                  www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Wow ESG ... I am sorry to hear about your loss. I hadn't looked beyond how we get the wound to heal once we are at a point of removing it. I didn't realize there could be other negative implications. I do know that it can come back and such, but didn't realize that it could take off and spread to other areas.

                                    Would you be able to give me more details, either here or by PM?
                                    Sport has had this melanoma for at least 6 years. Started out very small and only in the last couple of years have we seen it grow more quickly.
                                    He has been on Cimitidine fairly regulary, he is not fussy about eating it, so every now and then he will refuse to eat his food, so we needed to take him off for a bit until we could get him eating regularly again.
                                    When you mention treating the problem versus the symptom, I am not quite following as I thought the melanomas were generally localized.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Happily, 90% of the time, they are localized. But in my horse's case, that didn't matter.

                                      Cliff notes version:

                                      Horse had a tiny (peanut-sized) melanoma on the top of his tail. We go on vacation over the Christmas holidays to Florida. Come back to find melanoma no longer tiny; tangerine-sized, black, oozy and gross. Take him to vet, vet debulks as much as possible, put him on cimetidine. He's on cimetidine until about the 3rd week in February. Still eating, still drinking, everything rosey except this blinking tumor. So, it starts to grow again and we do cryo on it. Three weeks go by in which Mr. ESG (it's his horse) goes out two or three times a week to clean up tumor, make horse as comfortable as possible, and wait for our appointment at TAMU vet hospital. We go to pick horse up to take him to TAMU the morning of 3/23/11. Tumor is 3x its original size and continually dripping blood. Horse has also lost ~200 lbs in the three weeks since I last saw him. Once at TAMU, vets confirm my suspicions that he has internal involvement, and we put him down. Necropsy showed metastasis into every major organ, and all throughout his abdomen.

                                      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                      A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks ESG for your information and sharing your horrible experience.

                                        I had a short visit with Sport last night. We took him up more hay and I was able to take him out for a walk. That was interesting, the clinic is in the middle of a small town. There is a path behind it that will take you to a park. We made it part way to the park and then Sport found a nice patch of grass and decided that was far enough for him. He was really good for the walk considering he has had no turnout and tends to get wired on stall rest. Really quiet in the stall, but full of himself when he comes out.

                                        His back leg is still swollen but looking better. The melanoma looks a lot better, coming down in size nicely and is all dried up.

                                        We are about golf ball size now instead of tennis ball.

                                        Comment

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