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Buy a horse w melanoma? Would you?

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    Buy a horse w melanoma? Would you?

    Would you buy a horse with a melanoma (next to butt if it matters?)
    Yes, no problem
    Yes, but discounted (how much?)
    No, no, no. NO.

    Well is it a grey horse with a melanoma or a chestnut or bay? Don't laugh - it makes a difference. Melanomas on chestnut or bay horses are a lot more deadly/ progress more rapidly than on greys. If it is a grey horse i might but I would want to have a vet look carefully to see if there were signs of more. And I would expect to pay less than the similar horse without it ( as if there are any perfectly similar horses for sale).


      I have had 3 grey horses with melanoma and no issues. Thankfully!


        Honestly - it's so freaking hard to find a sound horse of good quality to do the job I want. Do I love the idea, no. But if it checks all the other boxes, I'm not walking away over a small melanoma (assuming the horse is grey).


          Original Poster

          It’s a gray, 9 yrs old. One melanoma by the tail. Otherwise awesome. How much would people discount?


            Most grey horses end up with melanomas. I doubt there's much discount available. It goes with the territory with grey horses.


              No •
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                As above, goes with the territory of grays. Be thinking about lost ride time due to possible melanomas on the mouth and long term costs of multiple removals over time.

                A close friend lost her gray mare at 20 due to melanoma and had been dealing with them off and on for over 10 years.

                If a horse was ideal in every other way and significantly discounted (30%+ below market) I might consider with a very clear idea of the likely maintenance. That said, there are similar long term risks with horses in general. BUT, melanoma is on top of those same risks!


                  Agree that its something you deal with owning a grey horse. I have a grey TB and he has a few small melanoma sites on his tail. He's 13 now, the locations havent grown though he has gotten more over time. No vets have been concerned so long as they dont start growing in size. I had one vet say shes never seen a grey horse over 10 without any sign of melanoma.

                  I owned a grey arab cross in the past also with small melanoma sites on his tail and sold him with no issues and no discount, buyer was aware.

                  It's worth noting that these horses arent/werent high dollar to start but I'd never expect a discount for melanoma unless the horse had a more severe case (large in size) or difficult location or previous issues with melanoma needing to be removed.

                  I'd say buy the horse if you want it or dont and avoid grey horses while shopping but I dont think that melanoma warrants a steep discount.


                    Original Poster

                    Hm, with about 10% of the general horse population being gray, and 80% of those having melanoma at some time, I guess in my 35 years around horses I can't understand why it hasn't been brought to my attention earlier that melanoma is a hard no (well, 79% of current poll respondents say no)

                    Perhaps it's like PSSM - once you have had a horse with a case that was unmanageable and career ending, you'll never go near another. But some horses can be managed with it, to a degree?

                    Well this certainly warrants more thought, research and discussion with the vet.


                      I had a gray mixed breed pony with several melanomas around his anus and under his tail. My vet told me that he would be very surprised if melanoma ended up being the cause of death of this pony. He said he'd seen it happen only a handful of times in his 40+ years of practice. The pony lived well into his 30s and as far as I could tell, the melanomas had no bearing on his death.



                        I would buy a grey with a melanoma and certainly wouldn't expect a discount. It's expected that greys get melanomas. My grey boy had a few, including one in his sheath, and died at 29 from old age.
                        Proud member of Appendix QH clique


                          I had a friend with a grey half Arab mare with melanomas under her tail.I don't think they ever got really big but one might have been messy. She died of something else in her 20's ( she had foundered badly a few years before). They never really affected her that much.


                            I imported an ISH grey at age 4, had a melanoma on his tail which we discovered soon after his arrival. It has not grown much over the years. At some point around age 6 or 7 the dentist/vet discovered a melanoma in his mouth. At some point he started getting a few more under his tail. So far none of them have affected his performance, his weight or anything. He's been a wonderful horse. I've seen a few greys with melanomas on their necks - and didn't bother them in the least. I think the jury is still out about whether to treat them or not.

                            I don't know that I'd expect too much of a discount, if any, as they normally don't affect the horse's performance at all - depending on location. Like I said mine has had one in his mouth since age 6 and he's 21 now and still going.


                              Originally posted by peedin View Post
                              I would buy a grey with a melanoma and certainly wouldn't expect a discount. It's expected that greys get melanomas. My grey boy had a few, including one in his sheath, and died at 29 from old age.
                              Yes, and, I've had 5 gray horses in 25 years. All have, or had, melanomas. One's death was directly related to the melanomas and they did cause problems for him under saddle; they were the bulky type, in his gutteral pouches and a whole bunch of other places. They were identified at the vet school when he was about 10 and we were told they would probably be the cause of his demise, sooner or later (it was later, at least 10 years later).

                              I would not buy a horse who had melanomas that were visible and bulky. I wouldn't be too terribly concerned about small ones under the tail if the horse was older than 10 or 12. I wouldn't expect a reduction in price unless the owner was telling you up front, "this horse has significant melanomas and the vet has told me they are very likely to cause problems for him soon. I need to rehome him now and I think he can do the job you want him to do for a while, but not forever." I would also be cautious if it was a mare you intended for breeding and the melanomas were visible and bulky around her vulva, tail, etc.


                                Bah. No.

                                I have a 10 year old with several melanomas at this point. Oncept is $$.

                                I live in fear of that obstructive colic that will kill her.


                                  I might if the horse was exceptional in other ways, just like I might buy a horse with a lot of white on thin-haired areas or a horse that needs special shoes or other "maintenance" issue. But I'd probably pass unless at least some other things were really above and beyond. I'd pass on most greys without a history of melanoma, too, since it's pretty much just a matter of time.


                                    Not only voted yes but have bought some. But it depends and you did not offer that choice.

                                    Will buy with small ones under the tail in mature horses- usually buy bought broke and going at least age 7. Only time there was ever any issues was with one that, after 10 years of ownership, developed a lump at the base of an ear. Unattractive but didn't bother it and horse was in retirement by then (from unrelated causes).. After 7 years in retirement horse did develop more lumps around the face the last few years and no doubt some internally but it was just short of 30 years old when we let them go so cant say it shortened their useful career at all.

                                    Theres a big difference between weepy melanomas around the face of a younger horse and small bumps under the tail of a mature horse that may or may not ever spread or cause trouble.

                                    I think Dr Google uses fuzzy math sometimes or those of us who have been around for decades would have seen a whole lot more dead or dying grey horses. Like my PPE vet said, something else usually kills them before melanomas will.

                                    And, no, never got a discount for small, dry ones under the tail.

                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                      It's a "No" for me, but I've had one too many friends lose their greys from complications associated with melanomas.

                                      And I agree, you used to hardly ever hear of a horse dying due to melanomas, however I think two things have changed - one, horses are living longer so we may be seeing the long term effects come into play more often. Two, diagnostics and surgical intervention are significantly advanced so I suspect more grey horse colic caused by internal melanomas are more accurately diagnosed, whereas before it was simply "colic".

                                      But pretty much every horse I own, I plan to own for their life unless it is a serious rider/driver - horse mismatch, then I do both of us a favor and let that horse find a better human partner. But since I'm thinking about the long game, I figure there are enough vet bills in the life of a horse without me voluntarily taking one on. If I knew I was just a way station in that horse's show career, I might think differently.
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.



                                        Years ago I had a lovely gray TB with a few small visible melanomas under his tail. Starting at age 15 over a few months he slowly began losing coordination in his hind end. Very subtle at first--missed lead changes, going short in back. But it progressively got worse, and he was eventually going to go down and not be able to get up. I did the right thing. Had an autopsy done. Melanoma had spread to his spinal cord.

                                        I could never go through that again.