If your horse has a lump or mass that is affecting the skin, we strongly recommend that you get it checked by your vet. Sarcoids are (mostly) benign tumours of the skin. They are ‘contagious’ between horses that get sarcoids and are commonly spread by biting flies. They appear in summer and grow in winter.

There are 4 main types of sarcoids:

i) Occult

ii) Verrucose

iii) Nodular

iv) Fibroblastic

All sarcoids can be difficult and expensive to treat and recurrence is likely. Early treatment gives the best results - if you catch them when they are small, the treatment time and outcome can be considerably improved.

Central Equine Vets works closely with Professor Derek Knottenbelt, founder of Equine Medical Solutions, a specialist in Equine Oncology, who has dedicated his life's work to this area.  We work on a referral basis, whereby we perform the initial diagnosis and take extensive photographs and measurements of the lesions which, where necessary, then refer to Prof. Knottenbelt and his team and treatment options.  Treatment for the lesions vary depending on which type of sarcoid is diagnosed, where the sarcoid lies on the horse's body and how big the lesion is.


As with all referals, there is a referal fee involved.  This will be added to your overall invoice following your initial consultation with Central Equine Vets.  Following assessment of the lesion by Equine Medical Solutions, the treatment that is recommended will also carry a cost.  These costs can vary, depending on what treatment is required.  If you would like to have a better understanding of costs that may be incurred, please contact us and ask to speak to one of the vets, who will be able to discuss this with you further.

Treatment and Recovery Time.

The treatment and recovery time of a sarcoid can vary, depending on what kind of sarcoid we are dealing with, how big the sarcoid is and where on the body the sarcoid is located.  Please speak to your vet who can give you some indiciation for both.  The treatment options for sarcoids include: radiation therapy, surgical removal, ligation or tying-off (also known as 'banding'), topical treatment and localised injections.

How Successful Is Sarcoid Treatment?

As sarcoids are a form of skin cancer, the success of its treatment can vary.  Catching a sarcoid early can often be of great benefit in relation to treatment and recovery time as well as the success.  We highly recommend that you do not delay in discussing equine skin lesions with your vet, as this could mean the difference between a successful and a less successful outcome.

To learn more about Sarcoids, visit the Equine Medical Solutions website.

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