Sarcoids – your experiences, and would they put you off buying?

Feawen

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Jan 12, 2012
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I viewed a horse on Saturday who I really liked the look of. For genuine reasons I only saw him in the stable and free-schooled with the idea that I would come back to ride on another day if I liked. And I do like! However, he has a scar from where a sarcoid was removed a few weeks ago. I’m not bothered by the scar, but I am somewhat concerned about the risk that he will develop more sarcoids in future.

Does anyone have experience of sarcoids? Would a history of sarcoids put you off buying a horse altogether, or do you see it as a calculated risk?

Obviously I still need to try him, and if I don't enjoy riding him for any reason then all bets are off anyway. But if I like him as much as I think I will then I have a tough decision to make.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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had them twice, once they were fixed and didn't come back, on another one they did. We used the Liverpool treatment which is expensive as the vets have to come out every day and put on the cream, this was the one that didn't work and returned. the first one we had another cream which another vet let me administer myself and it worked. You won't be able to insure for them so if they do come back you would be up for the cost of treatment. And of course they can be fatal.
 

Huggy

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Have no experience of sarcoids, personally, but agree with d&t - they can be no trouble at all, or very expensive to deal with. Could a vet advise you if you had the horse vetted? I don't know if they can tell how troublesome they'd be.
 

Trewsers

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I have no personal experience but a fellow livery had them on her horse a long time ago. They didn't cause trouble once the Liverpool cream had been applied. However I lost touch when I moved mine home so have no idea what happened in the long term. If I liked the horse a lot - and we clicked then personally no, the sarcoid issue would not put me off. But then again I am low key and not wanting a lot out of horse keeping - (that's probably the wrong way to phrase it) in that if I click with a horse and take them on - then if stuff happens it happens and we deal with as and when. Plus having lost one to a fatal tendon injury and now another with a long term disability / limited life with it, I wouldn't let sarcoids bother me - I think there are far worse things to deal with.
However I doubt if others would agree - because most people will not buy a horse with problems - because there are lots out there that don't have medical issues. But personal preference and all that.
 

carthorse

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No first hand experience, but I have seen them & seen them treated in various ways. I'm afraid that for me it would be something I wouldn't touch, I wouldn't be prepared to take the gamble that they wouldn't come back &, as Trewsers said there are plenty of horses out there without known health problems. I'm a worry guts and I'd always be fretting that they'd come back. The other thing to consider is even if it doesn't bother you it may be a problem if you need to sell on in the future. I just have the view that enough can go wrong without buying a known problem.
 

Feawen

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Thanks all. I would definitely have a vetting and I’d be present to discuss the sarcoid issue with the vet. I understand that the horse would have an insurance exclusion and I would put money aside to pay for any further treatment he might need. I am more concerned about potential impacts on his ridden career and quality of life, really.

Hopefully the vet would be able to comment on the site of the scar and whether they think the treatment of this sarcoid has been successful. I realise the vet won’t be able to tell me for sure if he will or won’t get more sarcoids, but hopefully they will be able to give me an idea of the rate of recurrence generally.

I am sure that he is a much more talented horse than I could afford if he didn’t have a sarcoid. I thought my budget was a healthy one, but I don’t have a bottomless money pit and, to be honest, from browsing adverts I’m a bit disappointed by what my budget will buy me.

I was lucky enough to get a real rough diamond in my first horse. I love him and have always felt lucky to have him, of course, but my new horse hunt is making me appreciate just how lucky I’ve been!
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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What colour is he, how old is he, where was it?

Ziggy was prone as a grey and he had a nasty sarcoid on his front leg which was treated with Newmarket cream. Cream was horrible but it worked; post cream treatment of essential oils meant it healed without a scar, and it didn't recur. He had loads around his bum and sheath which were melanomas, nothing to be done, not malignant, and just something that happens to old grey horses.

I'd be concerned if the horse is young, or if it's not an isolated occurrence, or if it's near a place which would be affected by tack.
 

Kite_Rider

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What colour is he, how old is he, where was it?

Ziggy was prone as a grey and he had a nasty sarcoid on his front leg which was treated with Newmarket cream. Cream was horrible but it worked; post cream treatment of essential oils meant it healed without a scar, and it didn't recur. He had loads around his bum and sheath which were melanomas, nothing to be done, not malignant, and just something that happens to old grey horses.

I'd be concerned if the horse is young, or if it's not an isolated occurrence, or if it's near a place which would be affected by tack.

This is pretty much what I was going to ask, my old share was grey though and while he had two removed as a 7 year old by the time I knew him he was 15 and had never had any further sarcoids.
Having said that I did know a beautiful grey PRE mare who developed them as an older horse and she had to be PTS after a couple of years because they had spread so badly and got so large despite treatment.

Its a toughie though, not sure I'd take one on with knows issues though, but that is just my personal thoughts.
 

carthorse

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I knew greys were more prone to melanomas, but I didn't realise there was also a colour link to sarcoids.
 

Mary Poppins

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If I talk with my head, no I wouldn't take on a horse with known problems. Every horse owner will face health problems in their horse during a period of ownership and it is expensive and heart breaking when this happens. If you take on a horse with a known problem, you are increasing the likelihood of them being ill. Sarcoids are a type of cancer. Once they occur, they are very likely to come back and you never know where this will happen. After my horse being off proper work for the last 18 months due to lameness, I wouldn't wish the upset and devastation on anyone else.
 

Feawen

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He is bay, a 5yo, and the sarcoid was on the front of his hind leg below the stifle joint, to answer Jane&Ziggy's questions.

It's nowhere near where is tack would sit, and his owner (who bred him) says he has only ever had the one. She has offered me access to his full vet history so I will be able to check, and obviously I'll be having a good look for any more.

I have time to think things over and I haven't ridden him yet so who knows. Thank you to everyone who has replied so far - you have each given me something to think about.
 

Kite_Rider

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He is bay, a 5yo, and the sarcoid was on the front of his hind leg below the stifle joint, to answer Jane&Ziggy's questions.

It's nowhere near where is tack would sit, and his owner (who bred him) says he has only ever had the one. She has offered me access to his full vet history so I will be able to check, and obviously I'll be having a good look for any more.

I have time to think things over and I haven't ridden him yet so who knows. Thank you to everyone who has replied so far - you have each given me something to think about.

I guess only you can know how much of a gamble you are prepared to take with it and you may find he never has another, or he may develop more and he may get them where his tack would go or he may not, it's one of those questions really of how much of a chance are you prepared to take. No one, not even your vet would be able to tell you for sure one way or another.
 

No_Angel

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Apr 20, 2003
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I always said I would say no to sarcoids, but my mums Connie mare has one on inside her hind leg. The sellers didn't tell us about the sarcoid, and I didn't notice it until we were loading her on the trailer (it's quite high up on the inside of her hind leg), when I mentioned it, they both said 'fly bite' together, so they knew what it was and were trying to fob her off on me :mad: I made a snap decision to take her anyway as she had a lovely temperament and she was what we were looking for.
So far we've had no problems with it, she was 2 when we got her and she's just turned 7. She's got a fab temperament and is a very lovely girl, it would have been really sad to miss out on her because she may or may not have a future heath problem. That said, if I was looking at a horse who had a large problematic sarcoid in a difficult place, I'm not sure what my decision would be :confused:
 
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Trewsers

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I always said I would say no to sarcoids, but my mums Connie mare has one on inside her hind leg. The sellers didn't tell us about the sarcoid, and I didn't notice it until we were loading her on the trailer (it's quite high up on the inside of her hind leg), when I mentioned it, they both said 'fly bite' together, so they knew what it was and were trying to fob her off on me :mad: I made a snap decision to take her anyway as she had a lovely temperament and she was what we were looking for.
So far we've had no problems with it, she was 2 when we got her and she's just turned 7. She's got a fab temperament and is a very lovely girl, it would have been really sad to miss out on her because she may or may not have a future heath problem. That said, if I was looking at a horse who had a large problematic sarcoid in a difficult place, I'm not sure what my decision would be :confused:

That's bad they covered it up - sounds like they knew all about it! But glad you got her and glad she's turned out lovely.
 

Jessey

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As you have access to medical records I would ask the old vet what type of sarcoid it was then talk to your current vet about the chances of recurrence and how bad that type gets etc., and I'd do that before you ride him, so you don't get smitten before you know..... :) generally speaking it would be a no from me on a young horse.
 
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