I Knew A Little More Than I Said About The Lump

I couldn't really bring myself to write the words yesterday. Also I feared writing them would make this into a 'thing'; that writing the words would somehow give life and strength to the __. I'm determined that isn't going to happen, but this is my honest journal and I may want to check back for health care purposes, so here it is.
I know more than I said. I'm just going to factually state it, then move on and go back to our training journal. The vet said the lump below is a sarcoid tumor. It was what I was so scared about when trying to research what it could be on the net. It isn't the type of cancer that grey horses are susceptible to. It's a tumor that can stay the same, or disappear. They can also get 'angry' and grow. If that happens, it isn't good. Removing them or disturbing them has a high risk of  making them grow faster and spread, hence not even a biopsy (so in theory I guess the diagnosis could be wrong? the vet didn't suggest that). It looks innocuous doesn't it?

I'm carrying on completely the same as before except for the immune system support. Please don't send me any stories about this disease that have ended badly (I guess no one would do that). Only positive stories/thoughts or suggestions for immune system boosters! I've gotten some good ideas re the later already and really appreciate them. Then, right back to work :)
Now, back to our training journal. Today my wonderful nephew Alex came to ride Rogo. I wish I had pictures and video, but of course I forgot to bring a camera. Alex is such a great rider. He gets on Rogo and his position is perfect and stays perfect no matter what - legs long and lightly on the horse, heels down, hands and legs quiet,.... I really enjoy watching him ride because I get to see what it should look like. Rogo was slow to get going today, but he may have still been a little lethargic from the tranquilizer yesterday (teeth floated). He went very nicely though after a long warm up. Some days it takes twenty or thirty minutes for him to find his balance and engine.
When the ride was over I showed Alex Rogo's new skill of bending to the left and right as I call out left and right. It's his clicker 'trick' and now he can do bending exercises on his own. Every few bends he gets a piece of apple. We were in hysterics - it's beyond cute. I'll video and post it soon. Next - stretching down.
Thanks for listening. Tomorrow it's all good stuff :)


Karen said…
Sacroids can be annoying and sometimes difficult to get rid of, but they don't spread to the horse's organs or otherwise cause health problems. I'm sure you already know this. They are pretty common, so don't fret. :-)
Achieve1dream said…
Yes, definitely do video tape that!! It sounds adorable! Even though it's still a year away I'm trying to read and learn more about clicker training while mounted. :)

I'm sorry it's a tumor. :( I don't know anything about them so I can't really offer any helpful suggestions. I'm sure someone here can give you tips. Since you can't do anything with it, just try to not think about it too much. It will probably be one of those that's just there, but doesn't change or anything. Positive thinking can do amazing things. I'll send prayers and healing thoughts. Hugs!
I have two gray horses and have lots of experience with both sarcoids and melanomas. My experience was that when the vet excised them, it stirred things up and more grew in different locations. However, once I started using Xterra ointment, they not only went away, but no new ones formed.
Carol said…
I really appreciate the comments. I knew that they didn't spread to organs, but I thought they could really take off and be in numerous places on him. I'm scared to even look it up, because when I was on the net the other day the word euthanasia came up. I was so shocked when I got the diagnosis I didn't ask a lot of questions. The vet said they can grow, bleed, weep, spring up in multiple sites, so I just got stressed. (He also said they can stay the same or disappear). I feel a lot calmer now. I guess I better educate myself (Duh?)
Anyway, thanks SOOO much for this. Sounds like they're mostly manageable.
Oak Creek Ranch said…
Breathe. And I'll breathe with you. He'll be fine.
juliette said…

I think you and Rogo are fine! I hope Kate weighs in on this...she knows about sarcoids and Xterra. I believe these are VERY treatable.

Good, wonderful energy and thoughts for you and your sweetie boy.
Mel said…
Hi Carol, I've had two horse with sarcoids. One had three on his face. The type my horses had were the flat "piled up" skin cell looking types (there are a few different types, which I'm sure you have found out. On both horses, as soon as they started to grow I had the vet cut them out. They cut them out with big margins so now cells were left behind. Both have been extremely successful, healing well with no reoccurance.
I treated both horses with herbals (arbor) and immune enhancers with no success.
Good luck, and try not to worry too much, just take some action if it starts to grow and before it gets too big.
From Mel www.devotedtodressage.blogspot.com author.
P.S. Someone told me that Australian Vegemite work... but I didn't try it.
Hurricanes12 said…
wow i seem to have missed a lot, hugs for you and rogo. i know horses who have got/had sarcoids and personally haven't heard of any terrible stories about them :)
Barbara said…
Ii had a horse that had a sarcoid, it never changed the entire time I had him (8 years). I know of another that had one on his neck, it eventually started growing and was removed with a freeze treatment, it took a couple of times and left a scar that took a couple of years to go away but never was any problem. I also had a dog that had a couple on her back and they just fell off!! Don't know if that is exactly the same thing that horses get. Vet said she had never seen that but had read about it. You guys will be fine. Deep breaths.
Anonymous said…
I wouldn't worry Carol, they are so common and in all the cases I have seen, never go anywhere.

I almost hesitat to write this as I have no knowledge of this beyond what I am telling you, but what the heck!

A vet tech owns a Thoroughbred at our barn and her horse had one on her head. Owner claims she read about applying toothpaste on it everyday and decided to try it. Well, the thing fell off! I don't know the science behind this, and like I said, I only know that much about it, but there might be something to look into?
Carol said…
Thanks so much for all of the information and feedback. Wow - I should have posted clearly about it last night and I would have felt better sooner.
Story - I read the post at the link you provided. Thanks! Sounds very treatable.
Anonymous said…
I have had many greys over the years....currently have 3 now. One horse in particular has had these tumors, off and on for 10 years, and I can tell you that they have all gone away over time. They have popped back up again but then they just go away. My vet told me that sometimes saddle/girth fit can sometimes be the cause of them so check into that maybe? I also found a wonderful product from a company called "Springtime" for immune support, all my horses are on this now. Keep your chin up and good luck!
Lexa said…
With my horses being the first I own, I've never had to go through something as scary as this with them, but I have had to go through some scary things with my dogs. Just have faith that everything will turn out okay and keep up that immune system support!
Anonymous said…
Dawn had a very large (orange-sized) sarcoid on her neck just over the jugular vein. In that location it was inoperable, but it was getting larger so we used Xterra on it and it's completely gone and has been gone for several years now and shows no signs of recurring - knocks on wood. She has a small one on a leg that hasn't changed in size in years and we just leave it alone. Charisma at our barn had a large sarcoid on her face that was successfully removed surgically.

My advice is that, if it's not in a bad location - where the girth rubs it, say - just leave it alone and don't worry about it unless it looks like it's getting out of hand, which it probably won't.
jacksonsgrrl said…
I had a sarcoid tumor almost exactly like the one you show there removed from Jackson's girth area in 2009 in the summer. It healed fine, and we have a tiny little scar.... I HAD to have it removed due to the location and the fact that the girth would irritate it. I'm glad I did. That being said, you must do what you feel is right. I would watch it and see if it grows perhaps?
TeresaA said…
I had a quarter horse that had on on his neck and chest. It kept growing so I decided to get rid of it. My vet injected cisplatin into it and it disappeared. they are benign tumours and can often be left alone unless they bleed or grow too much.
Jan said…
Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about Rogo's sarcoid! It's so understandable to worry about things, and then research it and worry even more. I have done that too. So good to hear the experience of the other commenters here who have seen it on their horses. It truly does sound manageable and possibly not much of a serious problem. And you are a good owner, with your vet watching it as well. I'm so glad you can feel some relief about it. Take care and give your wonderful Rogo a collective hug from all of us :)!
My Vinny has a sarcoid about the size of a salad plate on his chest. Sometimes it gets bigger, sometimes it gets smaller but it doesn't bother him. He's had it more than ten years, he's 25 and still going strong.

My mother has a bay with sarcoids on his face, the only ones she treats are the ones that pop up near his eyes. She treats them with Xterra and they disappear.

The one thing I will caution you about is that the sarcoids seem to be itchy. Horses will rub them raw if they are able. My mother keeps a fly mask on her horse. Vinny can't really itch his because of where it is and the fact that our fence is electric. When he lived in board fencing he did destroy a fence or two with his scratching.
TBDancer said…
I have a friend who has a warmblood that she has renamed Vet Bill. Anything that comes around, ol' Bill has to get it. About four years ago he got a sarcoid on his neck. Until then I had never HEARD the word (and needless to say, neither had my friend ;o) Well, they put something on it--maybe the Xterra that Kate and others mentioned--and eventually it went away.

Bill has gone on to suffer Face Fungus, a bowed tendon (after the sarcoid, that was SUCH a boring injury), but he has recovered from everything and is currently injury-and-fungus-free and busy looking for other ways to get into trouble.

Long story short, sarcoids are perfectly manageable. As Jan said, you are a good owner and your vet is a good vet. If the sarcoid is not in an area where the girth rubs or there is some other issue, they are, sadly, more worrisome for the owner than the horse.

You've gotten lots of good info already so no advice from me - immune support sounds like a good strategy.

I will add that even though you're suffering with worry, you are fortunate to have found it so you can monitor the situation, and Rogo doesn't know any different.

Thinking positive thoughts for you :)
Dom said…
A friend of mine has a chestnut gelding with a sarcoid tumor. He has had it for 7 years and there's been no change. It's annoying because it's right in front of his girth, but that's about it. Here's hoping this one turns out to be no big deal *hugs*
in2paints said…
My now very old (25 years old), very healthy, QH gelding had a sarcoid when he was about 6. We actually had his removed... not sure if that practice is frowned upon these days, but we just cut it off, stitched him up, and he was good to go. Never another issue or another sarcoid.

My ponies and I are sending good wishes to you and Rogo!
OnTheBit said…
My Gen has several big sarcoid tumors on his tail. I have found that sometimes they grow, and sometimes they can stay the same for years. Gens are pretty big and can sometimes break. A fellow blogger (her blog is A Good Horse) had a grey and told me about this spray she made to help it whenever it got aggravated. I have found it to work out really well. Every once and a while Gen's tumors will break open and since I have been using this spray they have healed afterwards instead of grown. It is Mineral Oil, Tea Tree Oil and vitamin E. I just throw a little of everything in to a spray bottle and give a squirt when I notice that it looks like the turmors are getting irritated.
Carol said…
I'm just blown away by the support, advice and feedback. I've gone from being pretty scared about it to feeling it's pretty much just a condition to be managed. Now I've got information to do that and successful examples of several approaches. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
smazourek said…
I hope this works out well for Rogo and I just learned a ton about treating sarcoids from these comments. I know you were scared to post this but I think it was the right thing to do :)