Experiences of Granulosa Cell Tumour

sonjafoers

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My horse had surgery yesterday to remove an ovary due to having a GCT, she is still in hospital and I'm hoping to bring her home on Monday. Those of you who have had horses operated on could you give me some info on the recuperation and recovery period please - I think my horse had a reasonably large tumour as the incision is 12cm rather than the keyhole I was expecting so this will have a bearing on recovery.
I'd be grateful for any information at all.
Thank you
 

JanetGeorge

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They can be huge - so keyhole often NOt suitable. (I've seen a picture of one that was the size of a water-melon!) I would hope the vet responsible will give you suitable instructions as he will know how big it is - and the levels of testosterone. The wound size is a small part of it. About 45 days is the likely time for testosterone levels to drop away - until then, if she'd got to the stage of mounting other mares - she'd be 'confused' to say the least. The actual surgery is not too major - not like a twisted gut etc. so 6 weeks should be sufficient to have the wound well healed and mare ready to start light work. But CHECK WITH THE VET!!
 

sonjafoers

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Thank you JanetGeorge I will definitely check everything through with the vet when I pick her up & also with my own vet when he comes to check her but having heard such varying information about the recuperation I was interested in peoples' experiences.
I'm not sure how big her tumour was but this is all information the vet will give me on Monday, it was just that I'd expected a small keyhole type incision. From your experience do mares with these tumours experience discomfort before they are removed? Also in the long term do they return to full work? Do you know roughly how long the actual box rest might be before she is allowed limited turnout? Having had my wooden stable trashed from just one night in I'm slightly concerned she is going to damage herself during box rest.
 

supagran

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My mare had one removed, the size of a football! Surgery involved central belly incision (much like colic surgery). Before the surgery she was evil - extremely stallion like verging on the dangerous. It took only about 6 weeks for the change to become apparent after surgery. Now she's a different horse, however when in season she is a red devil (yes she's a chestnut mare!). I seem to remember that she had about a month's box rest and then 3 or 4 months in the field. This all happened about 7 or 8 years ago.
 

Gorseyhorsey

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My friend has a mare that had a huge one removed recently - keyhole through her flank to free it and then removed through the midline. She had six weeks box rest but did this with a small pen in the field during the day, the vets said the second three weeks is the most important to keep her quiet as the stitches would be dissolving and the muscles would still be very weak. Hormonally she was pretty much back to normal as soon as she came home, I suppose the tumour was producing the testosterone and once that was gone so was the testosterone. She went back into work pretty much straight afterwards. Hope that helps.
 

sonjafoers

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Yes thank you gorseyhorsey that does help - and it was what I was dreading! Due to yard facilities my mare will be in her stable and will then have to be moved to another yard when she is allowed a small turn out patch, I was hoping maybe two weeks box rest and then moved for another few weeks. I guess that's wishful thinking!
Supagran that's massive - I know very little about it but I'm shocked at the size of that. I would think my mares is much smaller because it's come out through the flank but it will be interesting to find out.
 

JanetGeorge

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We can't ask a horse how uncomfortable it is, but having seen MANY mares with retained large anovulatory follicles wnd the discomfort and downright bad temper they can produce, I can ony guess that a GTC tumour would be enough to show very irritable (or worse) behaviour. Add the testosterone and I have known of a few mares who became increasingly dangerous.. She should be a very different mare when she comes home. But DO remember 'remembered pain' and make a few allowances for a short while, at least.
 

sonjafoers

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Her behaviour to me has actually been very good JanetGeorge, she was originally mine & I sold her after backing and the lady had her for six years but she was bucking in canter & this plus time restraints meant she was getting ridden less & less and eventually not ridden since November. I then bought her back in April and once fit cantered her regularly including recently on her first hound exercise with no bucks at all. She is very sweet and so willing to please but my vet did say if a leg was coming back in canter she would be uncomfortable so I just wondered if this was what was happening in her old home. She also does a strange nudge of your hand when leading, not asking for food but almost trying to tell you something so I wonder if she was uncomfortable. This is me humanising things maybe! Hopefully she'll soon be feeling much happier.
 

JanetGeorge

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I'm fascinated. WHY did you suspect a GTCT. Her behaviour certainly would suggest a niggling pain - but her temperament MUST be fantastic!! Of course, some stallions have fantastic temperaments - I know - my old boy was unbeatable in that quality, but .......testosterone DOES have very obvious signs.
 

sonjafoers

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She is obsessed with one particular mare even jumping post & rail to get to her then circling & guarding her constantly. When they are in separate fields from what I can make out she spends all night galloping around trying to get to her calling all the time. I put this down to her being kept on her own with her previous owner & just settling into a herd situation but as she was also noticeably dropping weight I mentioned it to my vet when he came for something else. He suggested trying Regumate for a week but when this did nothing he scanned her and I'm so glad he did because she is lovely to handle & ride so I never suspected anything was wrong. I put the lack of bucking with me down to having a new saddle & the behaviour down to settling in so I can't thank my vet enough for investigating.
I've spoken to the hospital again today & they said the tumour was just larger than an orange so it's possible it's been there for a couple of years although it's hard to say. After 'naughty' behaviour towards the mare she was in with at the previous owners she has been kept on her own for a number of years so it would never have been picked up.
 

JanetGeorge

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Oh - it would have eventually!! Size of an orange is biggish but they just keep growing. Another 5 years and it would have been the size of a watermelon - and then even the nicest nature wouldn't have stopped much nastier symptoms becoming evident. More pain and more testosterone! Well done for spotting the problems - and well done to your vet for acting on your concerns. The lack of bucking was almost certainly due to a better rider - as well as the saddle! Enjoy your 'new' mare!
 
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