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Squamous cell carcinoma

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  • Squamous cell carcinoma

    Can anyone give advise on how to treat this? I would also like to know what the out come was of this cancer. My horse just got diagnosed with this cancer and I'm not sure where to go form here . I have been talking to my vet about putting him on anti cancer meds i would just like to control this before it gets worse. Any help would be great!!!!!

  • #2

    My horse developed SCC and had two surgeries to amputate his penis. (The first surgery amputated about four inches but had complications due to his Cushings, and the sutures would not hold. The second surgery removed the rest of hs penis and most of his sheath.) He still urinates like a boy, but has no penis to drop, so he sprays a bit. The surgical site has about healed but we are now dealing with the laminitis caused by the two surgeries so close together. He is on Pergolide for the Cushings and has special shoes, pads, and gel to support his front hooves while the laminae heal. He has about 10-12 degrees of rotation, and we won't know the final prognosis for many months.
    stained glass groupie


    • #3
      You want to be aggressive in treating this cancer as it can spread all too quickly. I had a pinto mare develop a SCC under her tail 3 years ago which my vet removed and followed up with five chemo treatments. I was devastated when it returned in the same place this spring and grew to the size of a basketball within a week! There was no way to remove it as it had already invaded her internal organs and I was forced to put her down.

      I highly recommend total removal immediately of your horse's SCC, follow-up chemo and monitor the site frequently. After 3 years I had let my guard down with my mare who was a pastured broodmare. I did not check her for a few weeks while we had bad weather and that is when the SCC returned with a vengeance.
      Susan N.

      Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


      • #4
        My 21 y/o gray Andalusian/QH gelding has it in his penis also, like EventGroupie's boy Willie.

        Cody's wasn't too bad when we found it and we decided to do the chemo treatments as I really didn't want him to go under anesthesia and all the other risks.

        The chemo was working pretty well when I was doing it all the time (every 3-5 days). The growths slowed down and then we eased up on the treatments because he really hates it and it was getting difficult for both of us. Been doing it apx every 2 weeks but I have a feeling it's getting worse and I need to do it today or at least get a look in there.

        He is starting to show some "symptoms" that made me check out his bean area (the urethra) in the first place. He will pee on the rubber mats, not a lot but he NEVER did this until last year, always on shavings or in the sand. He will also drop and kick at his penis. And when I turn him out in the yard for a change of scenery, he goes immediately to what was a nice stand of brush and he rubs and rubs his sheath for 30-45 minutes. I have tried regular cortizone and also a percription from the vet but nothing eases the itching.

        Today he nearly fell over trying to scratch himself under there (not on the bushes) and so I went to help out (he likes when I scratch his sheath) and discovered 2 decent sized open sores that needed cleaning up - I am guessing he did it on the bushes or something in the pasture. Obviously I haven't given him a thorough grooming in a while since I missed this...but I got him out and cleaned him up. Have to sedate him take a look soon but sometimes I am scared of what I'll find. Or it may have spread up and we can't tell without a scope, which we did a year ago and was clean.

        He appears healthy otherwise but not sure where I go from here.

        Sorry for anyone going through this...and sorry I haven't sent you a PM EventGroupie! crazy week...
        Ready ~ 1999-2009 ~ you were bigger than life!
        Stickers ~ 1985-2011 ~ Cody's BFF
        I miss you both very much!


        • #5
          AltitudeRider - So sorry that Cody seems bothered by the darn SCC again! Hope it hasn't spread, and that you get the symptoms under control again. OP- sorry you are going through this. Where is the SCC located on your horse? Our surgeon told us that it usually occurs in three places - the vulva on mares, penis on stallions and geldings, and in the eye.
          I am hoping that Willie's does not return. Our surgeon did not mention chemo, as I am pretty sure he thought he had clean margins in the first surgery with the partial amputation, and then with removal of even more in the second surgery, I am pretty sure he got it all.
          stained glass groupie


          • #6
            I am dealing with it right now on my mustang - he has SCC on his eyelids. They are small and the vet says they are precancerous now but we have to treat them aggressively because when they go cancerous they are aggressive. We are using a drug called Aldara on it - pretty new and untested treatement for SCC but used for other things regularly. He's responded very well to it, and we thought the tumors were all gone but one just popped up again so we just started another round of treatment.

            We chose Aldara because we are very limited in his options. He is fully blind in his other eye and about 70-80% blind in this eye. The tumor that has returned is the biggest one and my vets do not think they can get clean margins on it if they do surgery. There's a risk he would lose that eye completely, making him fully blind.

            My vet seems optimistic about Pi's chances with the way he responds to treatment ... but I have to admit I have a hard time staying positive with what I've read about SCC. It sucks. I've lost three animals this year - 20+ year old cat and 13 yr old Siberian Husky to old age, 24 yr old TB to melanomas, and my 13 yr old German Shepherd is showing signs that he doesn't have much time left either. Losing my mustang would probably kill me. Sorry you are dealing with it too.
            If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
            ~ Maya Angelou


            • #7
              Tif Ann - you are right- SCC sucks!!! The day before we found the growth on Willie, we had our best dressage lesson ever. Now I have a perfectly healthy looking, darling, sweet little Arab man that I love more than almost anything (after DH who was instrumental in saving him) , standing in a stall wondering why he can't go out with his buddies.
              Hugs from VA and jingles that the treatment works for your mustang.
              stained glass groupie


              • #8
                My mare had SCC on her 3rd eyelid. She did not fall in the category for a horse who normally develops these according to my vet. I saw small white bumps on her lid and the biopsy showed they were SCC. The opthamologist recommended the 3rd eyelid be removed because they said they can be locally aggressive.

                That was done in July. My mare severely tied up after surgery, she was down for a long time and had some difficulty and I have been putting her back together since then.

                The eye is fine, the least of my problems. I keep a fly mask on her for turnout to protect the eye.


                • #9
                  Thanks eventgroupie ... and right back at you! It truly does suck - my boy has been working hard all summer, and we were planning on going to our first dressage show in October. He's in top physical form, all lean muscle and gorgeous ... doing full collected work - walk, trot and canter - working on counter canter and rein back ... and now at least two weeks to a month off for treatment and no shows. It literally HURTS to see him looks so amazing and muscled ... and know we're done for the season. But his health and conserving what vision he has left is way more important than some dressage score.
                  If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                  ~ Maya Angelou