Laser surgery for sarcoids - any experiences please

Marigold4

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Last year when all seemed hopeless with my young horse, I bought a young connie as a plan B. He's proving to be a really nice young chap and is currently away being professionally backed. I had him vetted on purchase by an experienced vet at RVS who failed to spot a sarcoid lurking under his thick winter woolies. To be fair it is in an unusual place for a sarcoid and I didn't spot it either until he lost his winter coat. Sarcoid is flat, grey and doesn't look active. It's positioned just where the underside of his neck meets his jaw. The skin there is loose and I wondered about lasering it off? Does anyone have any experience of lasering sarcoids? I'm interested in success rates, cost, can it be done at home, recovery time on horse. This horse is insured.


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meleeka

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Mine had 9 lasered as he was at Liphook under GA for something else. The holes it leaves are pretty horrific although they heal quite quickly. I’d probably leave it until the flies have gone if you decide to go ahead.
It didn’t work for mine and they grew back exactly as they were before, but it was 9 years ago so thinks have probably moved on since.
 

ycbm

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Is everyone certain that's a sarcoid?

As you say, it's a very unusual place for one, but ime is a very usual place for "bitey games" injury in young horses and I'm wondering if it could simply be a scar?

Also, your vet might not have missed it, they can start very quickly and a change of home often seems to cause one to be triggered by stress.
.
 

Domirati

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I would keep an eye on it and see if it grows. Also get vet to look if they are coming out anyway, vet I used looked at photos first and did not charge anything for that. Keep an eye and see if any more come up. My horse had laser treatment six years ago, massive Sarcoid on his flank. Came back with a vengeance last year, just had it re lasered (expecting it to return but hopefully not quickly). His was the size of a large orange and grew to that in six months. He has about six smaller ones in the same area. Cost £2000 including an overnight stay and aftercare. Leaves a big hole, he had 6 weeks box rest. I would wait until October if you were getting it done once flies have finished. Can be done at home but vet preferred to do it at the surgery as they have all the stocks etc and it is cleaner. As I say keep an eye on it. I did weekly photos with a ruler to measure growth. Good luck. Horrible things.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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I tend to find that the flat ones are never too much of a bother if you leave them well alone. Its the ones that turn into big balls and lumps that are the issue.

We have had various ones layered off in the yard over the years to varying degrees of success. Some came back quite quickly, some never came back at all. Some left huge scars, some you wouldn't know they ever existed if you didn't know where they were in the first place.
 

Marigold4

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Mine had 9 lasered as he was at Liphook under GA for something else. The holes it leaves are pretty horrific although they heal quite quickly. I’d probably leave it until the flies have gone if you decide to go ahead.
It didn’t work for mine and they grew back exactly as they were before, but it was 9 years ago so thinks have probably moved on since.
Thanks for replying. That's not great news that they all came back. I wonder if surgery might be better if lasering leaves such a big hole and isn't that successful.
 

Rosietaz

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Mine had a wart removed from the corner of his mouth. (At the time we didn’t know it was a sarcoid but histopathology confirmed - it was an odd place for one!)
Laser was done at home. I think it cost about £400 including antibiotics etc, as the vets I chose would hire a laser for a specific day and then go around the clients who needed the laser treatments - this kept the cost down abit (my original vets quoted me £750 and he would have had to go to horsepital). I had it removed due to possibly interference with a bit at backing time, however has since popped two more and I’m trying the “Sarcoid cure” paste from Facebook first before going back down the laser route - for curiosity more than anything!
Personally I don’t think I would bother with laser removal for a flat one unless it was angry
Edited to add: the mouth wart has gone, the two new ones are on his face by his muzzle (like a small pea size), and a 20p size round lump on his sheath.
 

Marigold4

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Is everyone certain that's a sarcoid?

As you say, it's a very unusual place for one, but ime is a very usual place for "bitey games" injury in young horses and I'm wondering if it could simply be a scar?

Also, your vet might not have missed it, they can start very quickly and a change of home often seems to cause one to be triggered by stress.
.
Thanks for replying. I'll get a photo of it and post it. It does look very much like a sarcoid rather than a scar, sadly.
 
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Marigold4

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I would keep an eye on it and see if it grows. Also get vet to look if they are coming out anyway, vet I used looked at photos first and did not charge anything for that. Keep an eye and see if any more come up. My horse had laser treatment six years ago, massive Sarcoid on his flank. Came back with a vengeance last year, just had it re lasered (expecting it to return but hopefully not quickly). His was the size of a large orange and grew to that in six months. He has about six smaller ones in the same area. Cost £2000 including an overnight stay and aftercare. Leaves a big hole, he had 6 weeks box rest. I would wait until October if you were getting it done once flies have finished. Can be done at home but vet preferred to do it at the surgery as they have all the stocks etc and it is cleaner. As I say keep an eye on it. I did weekly photos with a ruler to measure growth. Good luck. Horrible things.
Thanks for replying. Good idea about the flies. Your horse had 6 weeks box rest! It was a serious op then!

We are taking weekly photos and it hasn't grown. Also feeding Sarcex, though I suspect that a herbal remedy might not be up to the job!
 

Marigold4

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Mine had a wart removed from the corner of his mouth. (At the time we didn’t know it was a sarcoid but histopathology confirmed - it was an odd place for one!)
Laser was done at home. I think it cost about £400 including antibiotics etc, as the vets I chose would hire a laser for a specific day and then go around the clients who needed the laser treatments - this kept the cost down abit (my original vets quoted me £750 and he would have had to go to horsepital). I had it removed due to possibly interference with a bit at backing time, however has since popped two more and I’m trying the “Sarcoid cure” paste from Facebook first before going back down the laser route - for curiosity more than anything!
Personally I don’t think I would bother with laser removal for a flat one unless it was angry
Edited to add: the mouth wart has gone, the two new ones are on his face by his muzzle (like a small pea size), and a 20p size round lump on his sheath.
Thanks for replying. This is what I find mysterious about my horse's sarcoid. I have not had a horse with a sarcoid before, and only heard of them being on places with less hair, so bellies, genitals, eyes and like yours, muzzles. Sorry to hear more have arrived.
 

asmp

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If you really wanted to get rid of it, wouldn’t banding be better as it’s a flat one?
 

BBP

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I think I might lose BBP to his sarcoids at some point. He has developed them between his hind legs. To remove the entire area vets said he would need a general anaesthetic and that it would take at least 2 months to heal, and it would probably cost over £1.5k (I think, I was struggling to take it all in) with no guarantee that they wouldn't return even more aggressively. It feels like the main one is growing pretty quickly.

I think they say laser is the best form of surgery as it seals off vessels etc as it goes and minimises the risk of transferring the virus from affected tissue to non affected tissue that you might get using a scalpel.

Don’t underestimate the power of boosting the immune system in a young horse though. Or the power of herbs to do it. I had to take herbal remedies when I had neurological Lyme disease as NHS didn’t accept the private diagnosis, and having been incredibly ill for 2 years I started taking all the herbs stuff to boost my immune system, gut health etc and within about 3 months I was 70-80% improved I would say. After taking them for a year I was almost completely normal again. Having experienced that myself I am now way more positive about the power of herbs. BBP is on supplements for his immune system and gut health just to try to make me feel like I’m doing something. In your position I’d be tempted to monitor until at least the end of fly season and see what happens then.
 

BBP

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Thanks for replying. That's not great news that they all came back. I wonder if surgery might be better if lasering leaves such a big hole and isn't that successful.
Part of the reason for the big hole is that they want to take a wide margin usually to reduce the chance of leaving affected tissue behind that might generate new sarcoids immediately.
 

Marigold4

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If you really wanted to get rid of it, wouldn’t banding be better as it’s a flat one?
Thanks for replying. Could you explain banding to me please? I imagined by the sound of "banding" that you would need one that stuck out to wrap a band round??
 

AShetlandBitMeOnce

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My boy had lots of sarcoids in all sorts of areas - my advice would be that if it's flat, unangry and out of the way of tack just keep an eye on it but leave it well alone. Herbals remedies are not to be sniffed at either
 

nutjob

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I've had one lasered off my horses stifle. It was flat with a bit of flaky skin on it for several months but then started to grow and I had it removed. As others have mentioned it leaves a large hole but it healed fine and quicker than I expected. I also wouldn't have one done at this time of the year due to the flies. I had mine PTS for other reasons about 4 years after the surgery. It hadn't returned but there was one which appeared on his inner thigh probably linked to the stress from other issues.

As previously mentioned, they leave a wide margin whether laser or conventional surgery. Laser is thought to be better as it reduces the risk of cells being transferred elsewhere by the blade.
 

emilylou

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Had 5 lasered off last summer and have not returned. Initially big gaping wounds that required the horse to be in so the flies didn’t get them and took a little while to heal but had a good outcome and no returns. Was done under GA due to the location and bill was just under £800
 

Marigold4

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I think I might lose BBP to his sarcoids at some point. He has developed them between his hind legs. To remove the entire area vets said he would need a general anaesthetic and that it would take at least 2 months to heal, and it would probably cost over £1.5k (I think, I was struggling to take it all in) with no guarantee that they wouldn't return even more aggressively. It feels like the main one is growing pretty quickly.

I think they say laser is the best form of surgery as it seals off vessels etc as it goes and minimises the risk of transferring the virus from affected tissue to non affected tissue that you might get using a scalpel.

Don’t underestimate the power of boosting the immune system in a young horse though. Or the power of herbs to do it. I had to take herbal remedies when I had neurological Lyme disease as NHS didn’t accept the private diagnosis, and having been incredibly ill for 2 years I started taking all the herbs stuff to boost my immune system, gut health etc and within about 3 months I was 70-80% improved I would say. After taking them for a year I was almost completely normal again. Having experienced that myself I am now way more positive about the power of herbs. BBP is on supplements for his immune system and gut health just to try to make me feel like I’m doing something. In your position I’d be tempted to monitor until at least the end of fly season and see what happens then.
Thanks for replying. I'm so sorry to hear about BPP. That is very sad news.
 

Marigold4

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Here is a photo of the lump. It was hidden in a whorl of fur at the top of his neck. Horse has head up in the photo, if that helps to make sense of the image. IMG_5116.jpg
 

Tiddlypom

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That doesn't look like a flat sarcoid to me. It might be a candidate for banding, but that's a tricky location.

I'd be tempted to watch and wait - the flies have already started, so waiting til late autumn for any procedures would be preferable anyway.

Nearly a year ago. Lots of loose skin so (very experienced) vet found it quite tricky to band. Band only stayed on for about 24 hours, but it did fully sort the sarcoid which eventually fell off and the site healed up. The sarcoid would have been rubbed by her fly mask so I needed it gone.

AAF733D0-9C31-4AA1-9697-D6BCB991CF07.jpeg
 
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ycbm

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I agree, that's not a scar. I would also agree with everyone saying watch it until autumn then deal with it when the flies have gone. In the meantime sarc-ex won't do any harm.
.
 

Marigold4

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That doesn't look like a flat sarcoid to me. It might be a candidate for banding, but that's a tricky location.

I'd be tempted to watch and wait - the flies have already started, so waiting til late autumn for any procedures would be preferable anyway.

Nearly a year ago. Lots of loose skin so (very experienced) vet found it quite tricky to band. Band only stayed on for about 24 hours, but it did fully sort the sarcoid which eventually fell off and the site healed up. The sarcoid would have been rubbed by her fly mask so I needed it gone.

View attachment 92690
Sorry if I'm being stupid but did you mean to say it DOES look like a flat sarcoid? Or it looks like a sarcoid but not a flat one? Does anyone think it might be a wart?
 

Tiddlypom

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Sorry if I'm being stupid but did you mean to say it DOES look like a flat sarcoid? Or it looks like a sarcoid but not a flat one? Does anyone think it might be a wart?
It looks like a sarcoid, but it is too raised to be a flat one. This is a flat sarcoid, circled in yellow, alongside other sarcoids.

AE15CB71-C6AF-4CCB-884A-3B7C219DBB98.jpeg

You need an equine vet's diagnosis so that at least you know what you're dealing with, even if you leave it well alone.
 

Marigold4

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Oh, I see. Thanks for showing me that. I see what you mean now. I've not had a horse with a sarcoid before so not familiar with the different types. I shall do some research!
 

GreyDot

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I have had success with a similar looking sarcoid feeding Sarc Ex and using thuja cream. His was on his forehead under the forelock and looked very similar to your photo. It took about three months, but hass gone completely.
 

ycbm

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Sorry if I'm being stupid but did you mean to say it DOES look like a flat sarcoid? Or it looks like a sarcoid but not a flat one? Does anyone think it might be a wart?
I'm not sure horses actually get warts, except the tiny juvenile muzzle ones at 1 or 2 years old. Sarcoids used to be called warts 40 years back, but they were always sarcoids. Its almost certainly a sarcoid I'm afraid, but it's in a great place I'd you have to have one.
.
 

Slightlyconfused

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Mine had two lasered off 7 years ago. One nodular one under his back leg up high the other on his chest the flat scaly one.

The scaly one has come back this year on his chest with one nodular next to it. So we are lasering again in october. If it lasts another 7 years he will be 21 so i am ok with that and i have been quoted about £500 ish which is what it was last time.
 

humblepie

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Old horse had some lasered which worked well. He was much more comfortable after. Interesting above re the one at corner of mouth as horse - not the same one - has lump on side of mouth. vets couldn’t decide if sarcoid or not. Left it over summer as difficult area to do things to.
 
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