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Would you buy a horse with a Sarcoid Tumor?

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  • Would you buy a horse with a Sarcoid Tumor?

    I have a 9yo BWB/TB x gelding on trial.
    I have not had a pre-purchase done yet but I did have the vet out today for another reason. Before she left I asked about an odd raised quarter sized lesion on his groin. She said that is was a sarcoid tumor. The girls at the barn think that is a deal breaker and should send him back now. They fear the possibility of it spreading to their horses - which the vet didn't disagree was a possibility. I would like to hear from others. Is this a deal breaker for you? Horse is priced at $5k

    --He is very green for his age, hasn't been off the breeders farm until the last 30 days with minimal riding. He was crazy with anxiety when he came to our farm and it took a week to settle. He doesn't seem to have much interest in human contact /affection, preferring equine companionship. he was He also has less than perfect conformation on left rear and right front feet. He is in my very low price point so I was considering him despite the "problems". I was thinking we could work through these issues until I was made aware of the potential nightmare this sarcoid could become.


  • #2
    Sarcoids can spread to other parts of the horse that has one; I do not think the scientific literature supports the idea that they were contagious between horses. FWIW, my (retired) horse has had one on his sheath for many, many years. It has never been a problem.


    • #3
      Not a Deal breaker! A surgeon can remove it for about $150. if it were a gray horse the story would be different. Sarcoids are NOT contagious (or its not a sarcoid)!

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Sarcoids aren't contagious.

        A sarcoid would not be a deal breaker for me. However, there's a risk it's squamous cell carcinoma or a melanoma-- both which are malignant and will likely spread and/or need treatment down the road. Just something to consider... and definitely point it out to the vet if you do a PPE.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


        • #5
          Gwen had a half-dollar-sized sarcoid on her jaw when I bought her. It had been there for years before and was the same for years after.

          Given the opportunity, I'd buy her again and 20 more like her.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            The lesion wouldn't be the issue for me - the other things you mentioned would. I'm not sure where you are located but a 9 year old who is very green, isn't social/adjusted and has poor conformation priced at 5K? I would think you could find a horse who is better in any of those categories for 5K. Just a thought.


            • #7
              Really? The vet didn't step up and say it wasn't contagious? Is the vet a recent grad or something!

              Certainly not a deal breaker. Only time I get concerned much are if they are in the saddle/girth areas.


              • #8
                sarcoids are not contagious. alot of people have had great success in treating them with a topical called xterra or something like that. many people believe if the sarcoid is not growing or causing the horse discomfort then just leave it alone - sometimes messing with them causes them to grow and spread.

                good luck


                • #9
                  Sarcoid = not a deal breaker. Poor corformation, lack of training & personality...those are deal breakers, no matter how cheap he is.


                  • #10
                    Really? A sarcoid? The worst thing about them is if they are in a spot that can get rubbed....then you just get them removed! No a dealbreaker at all.

                    He doesn't sound like a terribly pleasant horse, otherwise, cheap or not, but I guess that's up to you to decide. If you like him, don't let the sarcoid stop you.


                    • #11
                      I'd pass on the horse for *every* other reason in your

                      I've known a couple horses with sarcoids. One Clyde gelding gets one around his eye and in two other spots on his face. It is a recurring thing and they have to get lasered off every few years. He's an otherwise fantastic carriage horse though, so the company owner is willing to deal with it.

                      My mare had one on her flank and one on her ear removed before I even met her. She's 20-25yo now and I've seen no further sign of them.


                      • #12
                        Sonny had one on his face. After treatment he was left with a bald spot slightly larger than a nickle. Unless it was under the saddle or girth I would not worry about it.
                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                        • #13
                          For me, if you're even questioning the medical/functional condition of the animal, he needs to go back. When you find the right one, there aren't any "issues" to work through. These are problems you see BEFORE the vet even dives in. Just send him home and find another to try.
                          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the input

                            Thanks for all the responses. I am relieved to hear these experiences. Unfortunately my barn owner had a very negative experience with them being expensive to treat and painful for her mare.

                            The vet that came out explained that it may never change but naturally had to explain how bad it could get (sounded terrible). The vet did say that they are not contagious - however, when the barn owner started sharing her experience it was very alarming. The barn owner explained that her vet said that the virus associated with the tumors was also linked to barn flies and that under the right conditions it could be transmitted. She believed that it was transmitted this way from another horse at the barn to her old mare. (neither of these horses at the barn now). My vet yesterday clarified that it was not contagious in the sense that you have barns with break outs of sarcoids, but that she understood the barn owner's concern. She said that they don't know enough about the tumors at this time to say with 100% certainty that it cannot be transmitted. Well, that was different!

                            Between the responses on this post and additional research I did last night I am less concerned about the sarcoid. Of course that doesn't mean that my barn owner feels the same way. I will keep the horse through the trial period to see how the other issues pan out. He may be too big of a project for me but he is naturally a very nice mover and has settled down a lot, he is respectful and polite but not a love bug. It's a shame this one didn't start his career sooner. In my area of SC Adult Ammy friendly horses that are green are $5k-$10k and if it's going already will be $10k-$15k minimally - often $20k and over. It won't be easy, but if he doesn't work out I need to go off the beaten path and find a nice match for me within my budget.


                            • #15
                              I agree with everyone else... in this economy you can get much more for that price. The tumor wouldn't bother me, but the rest of the "issues" mentioned would. If you really like him, offer way less (think $2k) or keep looking.

                              Don't let distance stop you either as shipping a horse most places across the US can be done for under $1k. Of course the plane ticket to go see the horse isn't free...


                              • #16
                                My dearly departed gelding had a sacroid on his neck for 15 years it slowly grew from the size of a dime to the size of my hand. It never caused any issues and never transfered to other horses he was boarded with. We never did any treatments because at that time it would have involved surgery and cryotherapy which would have left a significant scar.
                                This horses other issues far outweigh a small sarcoid!


                                • #17
                                  Sarcoids are NOT contagious. They can spread to various parts of the body in that horse, but not transmitted to others. I have two horses that have been turned out together, trailered together, and stalled next to each other for six years. One pops up a sarcoid occasionally, the other one never has in his 24 years.

                                  There ARE sarcoids that are a big issue -- the variety that can become football-sized and require surgical removal. However, the sarcoids that are very common tend to be the flat, wart-like clusters. Generally it's a small spot, roughly quarter-sized or smaller. Easily treated with Xterra; apply 2x a day until the sarcoid falls off...not expensive, not invasive, not complicated.


                                  • #18
                                    Get some new girl friends at the barn as this group is pretty ignorant about sarcoids. As others have said, not contagious, treatable, and depending on the location, not a deal breaker.

                                    The deal breaker is the barely handled, barely trained, poorly conformed animal that you are considering. $5K will get you something without any of these issues. The breeders are not giving you a deal. Return him without spending any money on a PPE. You already see the dealbreaker problems. This horse is someone else's project.
                                    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                    • #19
                                      No. Well, maybe.

                                      Start out with a horse with no illnesses or issues. You have to expect that things will happen, but you don't need to start out with issues. Now if the horse is perfect in all other ways? Maybe buy him.


                                      • #20
                                        We have a horse with a major sarcoid problem. I wouldn't touch that horse with that and all its other problems. Just send it back and save more money.