Simon and the Sarcoid

Simon and the Sarcoid

A few months ago in late May, I noticed a scab on the outside of Simon’s front right fetlock.  He must have nicked it being Simon (because he’s constantly covered in various skin ailments and scabs and bites), and I gave no thought of it.

A few days went by, and the scab was still there as well as was hard to pick off.  Weird, but it’s better not to go digging into my horse with my fingernails.  He probably won’t like that.

Then I went home for a long weekend in early June, and I came back to find not a scab but a full on wart.  Wart?!  Gross!


I texted my friend, who told me to call her when an alien baby started growing out of it… until then it wasn’t interesting.

Since I didn’t want to wait for the alien baby, I googled and searched on Chronicle, and realized it was a sarcoid.  Okay, not skin cancer and not life threatening… but I needed to get rid of it.  My trainer suggested Thuja, an oral natural supplement that kicked up the body’s immune system.  I dissolved them in water and shot them under his tounge with a syringe, but no effect.

Various places on the internet said toothpaste, so I tried that.  It made him minty fresh and sticky.  As an added bonus, flies also loved it… but the sarcoid flipped toothpaste the bird.

I tried antifungal cream mixed with antibiotic ointment and diaper rash cream (aka my scratches concoction), and nothing.

All the while, it was getting slowly bigger.  Bigger and more broccoli like.  I think it goes without saying, that your horse’s leg should not look like a vegetable.  About two months later after I first realized it wasn’t a scab, I sent the vet this picture.


For the record, I also sent this to my friend and told her the alien baby had arrived.  Congratulations Simon!

Some texting with the vet concluded that since this was all in the surface skin and sarcoids tend to be aggressive, the best thing to do would be to remove it all… so that’s what we did.

Oh hi Mom!  What are you doing here on a Friday afternoon?  So nice to see you...
Oh hi Mom! What are you doing here on a Friday afternoon? So nice to see you…

First he gave Simon some happy juice and scrubbed/blocked the foot…

I’m so… sleeeeeepy….

(Warning:  If you’re a little squeamish, stop looking at pictures here.)

Then he cut out the broccoli sarcoid. This needed to be done carefully (aka why we don’t attack our horses with sharp knives) because the tumor was right on Simon’s joint and there isn’t really a lot between the skin and “more important stuff” right underneath.

What’s going on with my leg?

Here’s the offender.  The vet asked me if I would like to keep it… uh, no thanks.  I love Simon, but I don’t need to be collecting his body parts.


Oooh, so sleeeepy!
All stitched up!

Then he stitched Simon back up, and bandaged the leg.  Easy peasy!  Well, probably only easy if you’re a vet… Even though he has to have a bit over a week off for the stitches to heal and the removal was more money than I had in mind, I’m glad it’s off.  There is a chance it could grow back, but since we got all of it while it was small the chance is fairly slim.

I was hoping to clip Simon’s ears as some silver lining to this experience, but even with his head on the ground drooling… I put my fingers in his ears and he was all “I’m awake!  I’m awake!”

Nerd horse.

I may look sleepy but don't touch my ears...
I may look sleepy but don’t touch my ears…

34 thoughts on “Simon and the Sarcoid

  1. Our Morgan had one similar to that on the soft skin of the flank. We treated him with topical Thuja. It took time but did eventually clear up and never came back. Rosemary’s sarcoid on the eye did not allow us to use topicals. We had it removed once, but it regrew within 6 months. They are super tough to treat. I will keep my fingers crossed that his does not come back.

  2. Archie had a growth in his ear and when I pointed it out to the vet, he just popped it of, NBD. Then he said it was viral and asked if I wanted to feed it to Archie. I declined.

    He got another one on his nose a few months later, but that thing fell off by itself and now his left nostril has a little dimple. None since!

  3. Ugh, Wiz has been getting these little wart looking like things ALL OVER. But they come and go… My trainer said they were sarcoids and not to worry about it. Then I talked to his breeder about them and she said his sire and one of his half siblings gets them too, but they come and go and she said they were reactions to fly bites and didn’t happen in the winter. (Well, last winter I didn’t notice them, so maybe that’s true?)

    Sure hope it’s not sarcoids… they sound like a mess. I really hope he doesn’t have anymore come back 🙁

      1. Well, one was looking SUPER scary, like, a fleshy brain, but then, yeah, it just disappeared. They generally don’t get much bigger than a pencil eraser, though. But if Simon hasn’t had them before, then it probably was a sarcoid :\ I’m just going to keep watching the ones on Wiz, and if they disappear during the winter then it probably is just the bugs!

        And what I meant in my last comment was, I hope Simon’s doesn’t come back!

        1. Yours sound like carcinomas. My arab cross would get one seasonally and then it would fall off. One year it got really big so we had it biopsied. Then we treated it with some kind of ointment for cancer. Worked great. He has had other small ones that have not gotten big, so we let them fall off.

          1. I’m not sure because he gets them all over his body, not just in one place, but they are very small- I don’t really see them grow in size. They just kind of heal up. I’ll have to let the vet look at it next time he’s out!

  4. Ooh – weird, but super interesting! My long time riding pal, Taz’s Mom, and I call each other any time we need to do one of those WTH is THAT vet visits. We both love to watch and learn. Secretly, I am always glad if it’s her horse, but since she feels the same about Speedy, we’re even-steven. While that stuff is unpleasant, I love to watch the vet work. Glad Simon is okay. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha, he was joking. Probably because I was like “I’m going to be weird and take pictures of this, okay? okay.” Also, he said he pulled a tooth out of a horse the other day and the owner wanted to keep it!

  5. Ouch! Poor Simon 🙁 Glad he’s ok!

    I’m curious as to what exactly the vet wanted you to do with the sarcoid if you kept it… stick it in a jar of formaldehyde and put it on a shelf in your living room?? EW.

  6. My 34 year old Quarter Horse, drugged to the nth degree to be tubed and rectally examined, did the same thing with his ears. GP was a “no touchie the ears” horse and at 34, there wasn’t jack I was going to be able to do about it. When he was drugged, I (totally on autopilot as I love pony ears!) went to rub his ears, completely forgetting what horse I was dealing with. Poor drugged pony about hit the roof. I felt bad 😡

    Fingers crossed that it doesn’t come back, ever. Bad broccoli! ;D

  7. My little rescue horse I had got a sarcoid right at his girth. Exactly as you described, I was like “eww he has a wart” and two weeks later he had broccoli growing out of his belly :O
    My vet injected a chemical, can’t remeber the name, basically a chemo type drug, directly into it and it fell off a month or so later. To my knowledge, it hasn’t come back and that was 3 or 4 years ago now.
    Love the pictures! 🙂

  8. Hope it stays gone. We’ve had experience of them coming back sometimes, but not always.
    Disappointing that Thuja didn’t work for you. Aero’s definitely changed and seems to be gone but I’m watching the scar closely.

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